Motorcycle sunglasses focus on features that help you find the best glass with the best eye protection for your ride, and some of those features are specialized. As we've discussed in previous blog posts, it is often the most subtle differences that make the sunglass either suit your particular purpose or fit your unique face. By far, the vast majority of the time the focus is on safety features; however, there are times when manufacturers of motorcycle eyewear offer designs that reflect the general population's current market trend . For example, if popular culture tells us the iconic large sunglass Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's are hot, even biker eyewear for women will favor a little bigger design. We know there are spikes in sales for teardrop wire frame sunglasses if they appear in movies (think Tom Cruise in Top Gun). Good, bad or indifferent, we are influenced by what is popular whether that be in our favorite movies or in fashion forward celebrities. We are all influenced by these general trend. But of course, the most important features for biker eyewear are comfort and safety. Sometimes that means paying attention to
Nose Pads - Not Just a Style
This post addresses some sunglass attributes not often discussed. Here at Pacific Coast Sunglasses, we periodically get phone calls from people who want to buy sunglasses but they say, "Nothing works for me. The glasses always slip down my nose" or "my nose bridge is really low so sunglasses don't fit me." Sometimes this does limit the choices but the best thing to remember if you have a low nose bridge is that nose pads are your friend. What I mean is that nose pads are actually part of the design. These pads are terrific at helping the sunglasses stay where they should stay. See the example of our Pilot below:
Polarized Sunglasses - Are they Better?
This is another feature that causes angst for some sunglass shoppers. Motorcyclists, in particular, will call and say something like, "I heard that polarized lenses were better for you but I don't like the fact that they cause me to see weird colors at some angles". This is an important discussion. First, polarization is NOT UV protection. Polarization refers to added glare protection, particularly off water. It does not protect your eyes "more" from the UV Rays of the sun; however, it does off more protection from glare. So, what does that mean? Just be educated. If you ride by the ocean in the afternoon, maybe polarization is an important feature. Some motorcyclists don't want this feature because it also diminishes glare off water in the road and they want to see that flash so they see the puddle. Some people are simply too annoyed by the fact that these special lenses make it difficult, if not impossible, to see the screen on your cell phone or the LCD screen when you are buying gas. You decide what is best for you.
Rubber Tips on the Arms
This really is personal preference but the reason it is being discussed in this blog is that if you have long hair, this may not be your first choice. Some of these little rubber tips are so good at cushioning or keeping the glass in place that they seize upon your long strands of hair. My eyes water just thinking about it. OK, maybe I am a little sensitive. I admit, some men and women are not bothered by this at all. In fact, many people seek these rubber tips out on sunglasses because they like the feel and comfort. Just one more thing to think about when buying sunglasses. See the photo below for one example of what they look like:
Sunglasses and goggles with multiple lenses: Are they worth the hassle?
Multiple lenses, extra lenses or lens kits are popular among bikers. They all have their favorites whether that is a sunglass or a goggle. Most motorcyclists will say that their number one reason for choosing this specialized feature is convenience. The fans of eyewear kits, whether it be a goggle or a sunglasses, fully appreciate being able to stop for dinner and then swap out the smoke lens for a clear lens for the night ride. They also like the fact that they don't have to carry another full pair of sunglasses so they save space in their saddle bag. It is funny, though; the very things that are cited as advantages, annoy others. It is such a personal choice. Just as often, I have had riders order two pairs (one smoke, one clear lens) adding something about how they are not going to go through the hassle of fooling around with popping lenses in and out of a frame. One customer literally said, "It takes too much of my time!" So with most things when it comes to motorcycle riding and gear, whatever floats your boat.
Specialized motorcycle sunglass features are important to consider when purchasing eyewear. Truly, it is often the subtle differences that can be important to a ride and it is critical that your eyewear is comfortable, protective and stays on your head when you ride. Equally as important is that the eyewear not be distracting (if you are constantly pushing your slipping sunglasses back on your head, that can be outright dangerous.
So, take some time to consider some of these points the next time that you are searching for that perfect riding sunglass. Do your sunglasses tend to slip down your nose? Is your nose bridge lower than typical? Is saving space in your saddle bag important to you? Think about these special details as you are shopping in your favorite motorcycle shop or sitting at home at midnight scouring the internet web stores (and snacking on your favorite treat). It goes without saying, in addition to all of these considerations, find one that makes you look and feel like the cat's meow. Be safe, be seen and enjoy the ride.