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5 Best Sunglasses for Horseback Riding

by:
Reviewed by:
Samuel Wallace

Riding a horse with the sun glaring down on you? It’s a challenge. You’re out there, feeling the wind, the power of the horse beneath you. The sun, however, is relentless. The sunroof is distracting and, at times, blinding when open at noon.

You need clarity. You need protection. And not just any sunglasses will do. You need the best. The ones that fit snug, don’t slip, and give you crystal clear vision. We’re talking about sunglasses made for horseback riding.

We’ll uncover the nitty-gritty details of what makes a pair of sunglasses perfect for riders. From the curve of the frame to the tint of the lens. 

Ready? Let’s ride into the world of clarity and style.

Spoiler Alert – Here’s Our Overall Best Pick for Best Sunglasses for Horseback Riding

Among the myriad options, the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses stand out as a top contender, offering a blend of style and functionality perfect for the saddle.

Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses
  • Shatterproof, optically decentered polycarbonate lenses

Best Sunglasses – Our Top Picks

  1. Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses
  2. Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses
  3. Smith Pivlock Arena Sunglasses
  4. Julbo Renegade Sunglasses
  5. Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses

Importance of Sunglasses in Horseback Riding

Riding a horse is not just about the thrill and connection with the majestic creature; it’s also about ensuring safety, especially for your eyes. The right pair of sunglasses can make a world of difference when you’re out on the trail or in the arena. 

Let’s delve into the reasons why.

Protecting Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

The sun, while a vital source of energy and warmth, emits ultraviolet radiation (UVR). This invisible component of sunlight can be detrimental to our eyes. Just as we apply sunscreen to shield our skin, our eyes need protection too.

  • UVA and UVB Protection: Sunglasses designed for horseback riding typically offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. These rays, if left unchecked, can accelerate the onset of eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. As if our eyes were plants, prolonged exposure to UVR would be like exposing them to a scorching sun without water.

Enhancing Vision and Reducing Glare

The windshield of your car would be dirtier if it were dirty. That’s what riding can feel like without the right eyewear.

  • Polarized Lenses: These are the unsung heroes in the battle against blinding reflections. Whether it’s the sun reflecting off a water body or the bright arena sand, polarized lenses act like a shield, filtering out the reflected light and reducing glare. It’s like having a built-in sun visor for your eyes.
  • Contrast and Clarity: Some advanced sunglasses come equipped with technologies, such as PRIZM lens technology, that enhance contrast. This means spotting a potential hazard on the trail becomes easier, as these lenses amplify the distinction between objects and their backgrounds.

Shielding from Dust and Debris

When galloping behind another rider or simply riding in windy conditions, the air is often filled with more than just excitement.

  • Physical Barrier: Sunglasses act as a frontline defense against airborne particles. Whether it’s tiny pebbles, sand, or even insects, sunglasses keep these out of your eyes. It’s akin to wearing a helmet; you hope you never need it, but when you do, you’re grateful you have it on.

Top 5 Sunglasses for Horseback Riding – Reviews and Comparison

After hours of meticulous research and sifting through countless reviews and expert opinions, we’ve curated a list that truly represents the best in equestrian eyewear. 

Dive in as we unveil the Top Sunglasses for Horseback Riding, ensuring your rides are both stylish and safe.

1. Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses – Overall Best

Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses
  • Shatterproof, optically decentered polycarbonate lenses

A stylish fusion of functionality and style, the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses are the perfect addition to every equestrian enthusiast’s wardrobe.

First off, the Grilamid TR-90 frame? It’s not just a fancy name. This frame is lightweight, making it feel like you’re wearing a cloud, and it’s incredibly durable so that it can handle those wild rides. 

Polycarbonate lenses are like personal shields for your eyes, providing superior protection from debris. And those mirrored finishes? They’re not just for looking cool (though they do); they help reduce glare from the sun. 

Now, the real MVPs are the hydrophilic rubber ear and nose pieces. They ensure these sunglasses won’t slip, no matter how sweaty your ride gets. Plus, with adjustable fittings, they’re like a custom-made suit for your face. 

Aside from the vented lenses, you’ll never have to worry about fogging in the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 horseback riding sunglasses.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Good value for money
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Comfortable for extended wear
  • Effective wind protection

Cons

  • Not polarized

Click here to get your pair of Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses.

2. Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses

Oakley Radar EV Path OO9208 Sunglasses For Men+ BUNDLE Leash +Designer iWear Care Kit
  • 💥Bundle of 3 items : Authentic Oakley OO9208 + Oakley Leash + Designer iWear Complimentary Care Kit
  • 💥Imported
  • 💥2 YEAR WARRANTY: Includes Manufacturer Warranty, cleaning cloth and case.
  • 💥GREAT VALUE- FREE CLEANING KIT. Includes: a Designer iWear 1 ounce spray bottle, mirror, screw driver/key chain, and a folded microfiber cloth.

Oakley Radar EV Sunglasses feature cutting-edge tech combined with sleek design, making them the perfect choice for the modern riding enthusiast.

To begin with, those Prizm lenses aren’t just for show. They pack a punch with 100% UV protection, ensuring your peepers stay burn-free even on the sunniest trail rides. 

And speaking of clarity, Oakley’s patented High Definition Optics tech is like upgrading your vision to 4K resolution, so there’s no more squinting. 

The lightweight O Matter frame? It’s like the featherweight champion of the eyewear world. And those straight edges and hard lines? They’re not just about looking cool (which they do); they offer a high-wrap design for maximum coverage. 

You can also keep your shades secured with the universal eyewear leash for those wild rides. The sunglasses are every rider’s trusty sidekick!

Pros

  • Enhances trail visibility with changing light conditions
  • Swappable lenses for versatility
  • Comes with a comprehensive care kit
  • Vented lenses prevent fogging
  • Secure fit with Unobtanium ear socks and nose pads

Cons

  • May not fit well with certain helmets

Click here to get your pair of Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses.

3. Smith Pivlock Arena Sunglasses

Smith Optics Pivlock Arena Max Sunglasses, Opal Frame, Super Platinum Ignitor Carbonic TLT Lenses
  • Medium fit/large coverage
  • Carbonic TLT lenses
  • TR90 frame material, hydrophobic lens Coating, Two-Position adjustable nose pads, slide-on Temple tips and Hydrophilic Megol Temple and nose pads
  • Toric lens Curvature

A fusion of style and functionality, the Smith Pivlock Arena Sunglasses are tailored for equestrian enthusiasts.

The Smith Pivlock Arena could be your dream come true when it comes to sunglasses that feel custom-made for the saddle. With its composite framework, these shades are as sturdy as they come.

But here’s the kicker: the Carbonic TLT lenses. They’re designed to give you a crystal-clear view of the trail, ensuring you spot every tiny obstacle.

A non-polarized lens means consistent shading across the entire surface. And for those sweaty rides, the Hydro Phobic Coating is a lifesaver, repelling moisture like a charm.

As a result of the medium fit and large coverage, your eyes are shielded, and the TR90 frame material is lightweight and durable.

Whether it’s a wild ride or a mean one, the Hydrophilic Megol Temple makes sure you get a snug fit. Plus, that Toric lens curvature? It’s all about giving you a broader, distortion-free view.

Pros

  • Smith lenses enhance contrast effectively, even without a brown or red tint.
  • Water-repellent coating on both lens sides helps prevent fogging and is long-lasting.
  • Arena lens shape offers a better fit than the V2, preventing sweat accumulation.
  • Frameless design with improved, more curved temples that don’t interfere with helmets.
  • Adjustable nose piece with two positions for a customized fit.

Cons

  • Mirror finish attracts fingerprints easily.

Click here to get your pair of Smith Pivlock Arena Sunglasses.

4. Julbo Renegade Sunglasses

Julbo Renegade REACTIV Sunglasses Black/Red-Light Fire Yellow/Brown, One Size – Men’s
  • INTENDED USE: The Julbo Renegade is a lifestyle frame designed for both men and women with its laid back everyday style, and high quality features. Ideal for everyday wear, offering a perfect blend of clarity and style, enhanced grip, and a wide field of vision. Available with either REACTIV or Spectron lenses.
  • WRAPAROUND CURVED TEMPLES: Ergonomic design provides exceptional fit for any activity.
  • 1-3 REACTIV LIGHT AMPLIFIER LENS: Photochromic lens with a yellow base tint to amplify visible light. Lens becomes lighter or darker based on ambient light conditions, providing unmatched clarity no matter the brightness or time of day. Antifog treatment and external oil-repellent coating (prevents marking, promotes easy cleaning, and facilitates water runoff). Suitable for disciplines such as trail running, mountain biking and cycling. Visible Light Transmission Rate: 17% – 75%.
  • FIT: Rubberized Grip Tech Temples won’t stick to hair. Flexible rubber on the nose bridge increase comfort and grip.
  • JULBO HERITAGE: Since 1888 Julbo has been developing the highest-quality sunglasses and lenses, with a focus on craftsmanship, durability, and functionality. Julbo continues the tradition of creating premium eyewear with a dedication to quality, offering a lifetime warranty on all its products, while also pushing the boundaries of innovation with REACTIV Photochromic lens technology.

A pair of Julbo Renegade Sunglasses is the ultimate companion for every horse enthusiast looking to stand out from the crowd. 

Its Trivex lens ensures clarity while you navigate those tricky trails if you have ever galloped into the sunset and wished your vision weren’t so cloudy.

And with its non-polarized feature, you get consistent shading across the lens. But wait, there’s more! The Anti-Fog Coating ensures that even on those chilly morning rides, your vision remains unclouded. 

It is the Wraparound Curved Temples that make these shades stay snug, even on those intense gallops.

The real MVP here is the 1-3 REACTIV LIGHT AMPLIFIER LENS. Whether you’re riding at noon or dusk, this lens adjusts to give you crystal clear vision, making sure you spot every obstacle.

And for the cherry on top, the rubberized Grip Tech Temples and flexible nose bridge mean no more annoying slips, just pure equestrian excellence.

Pros

  • Photochromic lenses designed for REACTIV are capable of adapting seamlessly to different lighting conditions.
  • A shock-absorbent grip insert provides a snug and comfortable fit.
  • Lenses made of durable materials are impact-resistant, making them sturdy for active use.
  • In addition to looking stylish, the curved temples provide a wide field of vision.

Cons

  • The design provides less ventilation, which may result in fogging in humid climates.

Click here to get your pair of Julbo Renegade Sunglasses

5. Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses

Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses, Safety Glasses Shatterproof UV Eye Protection for Combat, Shooting, Fishing, Biking, and Extreme Sports, Matte Black Frame, Grey Tinted Lenses, Ballistic Rated
  • Changeable lens capability allows maximum light condition versatility
  • Shatterproof lenses block 100% of UV rays
  • Meets GL-PD 10-12 MCEP standard, superseding MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic standard
  • Certified to ANSI Z87.1-2003 high impact and optical performance standard
  • Rated as OSHA grade occupational protective eyewear

WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses by Wiley X combine style, safety, and functionality in a single pair.

Ever galloped into the sunset and wished your eyes had a shield? Enter the Wiley X WX Valor. Crafted with a robust Polycarbonate frame and lens, these sunglasses are built to last. And, if you’re caught in a dusty trail or a splash, a quick hand wash gets them sparkling again.

Their capability to change lenses is what makes them so special. Whether it’s a sunny afternoon trot or a cloudy morning canter, switch up the lenses for maximum light versatility. Plus, they’re not just about looks. 

These lenses are shatterproof, blocking 100% of UV rays, ensuring your eyes remain protected from those sneaky sunbeams. Certified to the ANSI Z87.1-2003 standard and rated as OSHA grade, they’re the perfect blend of style and safety for every ride. 

Pros

  • A large-size fit is ideal for individuals with larger heads.
  • Combat shrapnel can be withstood by this impact-resistant material.
  • The sunglasses do not touch high cheeks due to their reduced vertical dimensions.
  • Lenses are interchangeable between WileyX’s and aftermarket makers’ lens colors.
  • Compared to other premium brands such as Oakleys, this brand is more economical.

Cons

  • The provided case lacks features, such as compartments for extra lenses or backpack clips.

Click here to get your pair of Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses.

What To Look For When Buying Best Sunglasses for Horseback Riding?

Selecting the right sunglasses for horseback riding is more than just about style; it’s about safety, comfort, and enhancing your riding experience.

As you gallop through various terrains and weather conditions, your eyewear plays a pivotal role. Let’s delve into the key considerations to guide your purchase.

1. Lens Quality and UV Protection

When galloping under the sun, the quality of your sunglasses’ lenses is paramount. It’s not just about dimming the sunlight; it’s about safeguarding your eyes. Opt for lenses that absorb between 75 to 90% of light, adjusting based on the terrain and time of day. 

It’s even more important to make sure they offer 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays. Why? 

These pesky rays can lead to serious eye ailments like cataracts and macular degeneration. And for those adventurous souls who love the thrill of the outdoors, sturdy lenses that resist scratches and shattering are a must. 

After all, a stray branch or unexpected debris shouldn’t ruin your ride. In essence, top-notch lens quality and UV protection are your trusty sidekicks, ensuring clear vision and eye health as you ride into the horizon.

2. Material and Durability

When you’re out on the trail, galloping with the wind in your hair, the last thing you want is a pair of sunglasses that can’t keep up with the adventure.

The material and durability of your eyewear play a pivotal role in ensuring you’re protected from the unpredictable elements of the great outdoors.

Consider this: a rider’s journey is often filled with unexpected challenges, from dust storms to stray branches. Sunglasses crafted from robust materials act as a shield, guarding against these potential hazards.

It’s like having a trusty steed that never falters, no matter the terrain. So, when choosing your next pair, prioritize resilience and strength. In the world of horseback riding, having sunglasses that can endure the journey is as crucial as a saddle that fits just right.

3. Lens Color and Its Impact on Vision

The lens color of your sunglasses isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a strategic choice that can significantly impact your vision. During the blazing summer, gray lenses act like a cool shade, reducing the intensity without altering colors.

It’s akin to riding in the daytime with a natural filter, ensuring you see the trail as it is. On the flip side, when the path is dimly lit or you’re trotting through shaded woods, yellow lenses come to the rescue. They brighten up the surroundings, making obstacles more visible.

4. Frame Design

A horseback rider’s sunglasses frame design plays a crucial role in ensuring optimal vision and comfort. Wraparound sunglasses act like a protective shield, shielding your eyes from sneaky sun rays coming from the sides.

It’s like having a personal sun visor that moves with you, ensuring that no matter where the sun is positioned, your eyes remain shaded. A detachable head strap is also a game-changer when sunglasses slip off during a ride. 

It’s like having a safety belt for your sunglasses, ensuring they stay put, even during the most adventurous rides. In essence, the right frame design is the unsung hero, enhancing your riding experience by leaps and bounds.

5. Comfort

When galloping through open fields or navigating tricky terrains, the last thing a rider wants is the nagging discomfort of ill-fitting sunglasses. It’s akin to wearing a shoe that’s just a tad too tight; it might not seem like a big deal initially, but over time, it becomes a constant source of irritation. 

The unsung heroes here are lightweight frames, which ensure almost no weight on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears. It’s like having a feather-light shield for your eyes.

And then there’s the magic of adjustable nose pads. These little wonders allow for a tailored fit, adapting to the unique contours of your face.

6. Polarized or Non-Polarized

The debate between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses is a common one when buying sunglasses. It’s a sunny day, and suddenly a water puddle reflects the sun, causing a sharp glare on horseback. This is where polarized lenses come to the rescue.

They act like a knight in shining armor, reducing that intense glare with their special filter, making your ride smoother and your vision clearer. But here’s the twist: while they’re great at battling glare, they don’t shield your eyes from UV light.

On the flip side, non-polarized lenses might not have the same glare-fighting prowess, but they can be just as effective in certain conditions.

It’s like choosing between a thoroughbred and a quarter horse; both have their strengths, and the best choice depends on the journey ahead.

The Debate: Pros and Cons of Wearing Sunglasses while Riding

Like any gear, sunglasses come with a set of advantages and challenges.

Pros

  1. Safety First: Beyond UV protection, sunglasses offer a physical barrier, guarding against flying debris.
  1. Protection from Harmful Rays: Sunglasses filter out harmful UV rays, preventing damage to the eyes. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to conditions like ‘snow blindness’ and cataracts.
  1. Reduction of Glare: Sunglasses reduce the sun’s glare, especially in arenas with sand that reflects intense light.
  1. Enhanced Vision: Wearing sunglasses during the day can improve nighttime vision.
  1. Dust Protection: Sunglasses shield the eyes from dust and debris, especially when trailing other riders.

Cons

  1. Fit Issues: Not all sunglasses are made equal. Some might not sit snugly, risking them falling off during a ride.
  1. Maintenance: Just as a horse needs grooming, high-quality sunglasses require care. They must be kept clean and free from scratches to provide optimal vision.
  1. Cost Implications: While there are budget-friendly options available, premium riding sunglasses, with their advanced features, can be a bit heavy on the pocket.

How to Maintain and Care for Riding Sunglasses?

Riding sunglasses are more than just a stylish accessory; they’re a shield against the elements, ensuring clear vision on every ride. 

But like any piece of equipment, they require proper care to stay in top condition. Here’s how to keep them looking and performing their best:

  • Guard Against Scratches: Just like a prized pair of boots, your sunglasses need protection. When they’re not shielding your eyes, nestle them in a hard case. This simple step can keep those pesky scratches at bay.
  • Regular Cleaning Ritual: Give your shades a spa day. Every week, give them a gentle clean with a microfiber cloth and a lens-specific solution. In the heat of summer, they might need this pampering daily. But remember, no harsh chemicals or paper towels; they’re more trouble than they’re worth.
  • The Water Trick: Before wiping them down, let cool running water cascade over your sunglasses for about 15 seconds. This mini shower helps dislodge any stubborn grime, ensuring your clothes don’t just push dirt around.
  • Home Sweet Home: Designate a special spot for your sunglasses. Consistency is key whether it’s a drawer, a shelf, or a dedicated case. Keep multiple pairs at home, in your bag, and in your car in case you forget.
  • Steer Clear of Harsh Cleaners: Your sunglasses deserve the best. Avoid using any cleaner not explicitly meant for sunglasses. That bottle of window cleaner? It’s best left for the windows.

Which Is The Best Sunglasses for Horseback Riding?

The ideal horseback riding sunglasses are more than fashion statements when navigating the intricate world of equestrian eyewear.

They’re a fusion of comfort, durability, lens quality, and design, tailored to the unique challenges riders face. From the sun’s blinding glare to unexpected trail debris, the right pair can make all the difference.

Among the myriad options, the “Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses” stand out as a top contender, offering a blend of style and functionality perfect for the saddle.

Despite personal preferences, prioritizing UV protection, fit, and lens type will ensure you make the right choice for your equestrian adventures.