The Best Sunglasses for Hiking & Outdoor Activities

There’s been a massive boom in hiking around the world. According to the AllTrails app, hiking was up 50% in 2020 – with gyms closing, people confined to their homes, and no running races, this is no surprise.

This trend has continued and is set to continue as more avid hikers continue exploring new trails. Becoming a regular hiker means being well-equipped with all hiking essentials, including having good quality sunglasses for hiking.

Our eyes are often neglected but being out in the blazing sun (even in the winter months) can do more damage to your eyes than you think, which is why hiking sunglasses have some pretty complex technology.

We’ve listed some of the best sunglasses for trekking and hiking that offer both protection and functionality.

At a glance: Here’s our best hiking sunglasses

A few frequently asked questions about sunglasses for hiking

Before we get into the best hiking sunglasses for women and men, let’s first answer a few frequently asked questions that people have when looking for good quality hiking sunglasses.

Do I need sunglasses for hiking?

Short answer: yes. Whether you are hiking, fishing, backpacking, biking or doing watersports, a quality set of sunglasses is essential. Not only will they protect your eyes from the sun, but they also offer excellent protection from dirt, sand, snow and other ‘things that tend to find their way into your eyes during active outdoor activities.

Are polarized sunglasses better for hiking?

Polarized lenses are an absolute must for hiking, especially if you’re hiking near large bodies of water. Polarized lenses give the wearer added protection from direct sunlight as well as glare from water or snow.

When light reflects off a surface, such as snow or water, the light becomes ‘polarized’. Polarized sunglasses filter out this reflected light and reduce glare.

What makes a good pair of hiking glasses?

Have you ever been on a hike with the wrong pair of sunglasses? Whether they’re sliding down your nose, constantly fogging up, or not giving enough protection from the glare – the wrong pair of hiking sunglasses can really ruin your hike.

Here’s what to look out for in a good pair of hiking and outdoor sunglasses:

  • Polarized lenses: Polarized sunglasses are essential for hiking – don’t ever buy a pair that aren’t polarized!
  • Anti-fog coating: Foggy lenses block your views – while not always an issue with hiking, it’s an excellent feature to have in a pair of outdoor sunglasses.
  • Weight: When you’re wearing sunglasses for a prolonged time, you want a pair that is lightweight for added comfort.
  • Non-slip fit: Look for sport- or hiking-specific glasses designed to stay in place – especially if you are prone to get sweaty on your face.
  • Durability: You don’t want brittle sunglasses that are prone to wear and tear. Look for frames made of durable materials and lenses that are impact- and scratch-resistant.
  • UV protection: Make sure to get sunglasses that provide UV protection. If you want to get really fancy, then get sunglasses with photochromic (transition) lenses that lighten and darken based on your surroundings. These are great for hikes where you’re moving between shaded forest areas and open landscapes.
  • Aesthetics: While it shouldn’t be the first thing that you look for, you still want to like the look of your sunglasses. There are enough high-quality sunglasses available that still look good – so you should be able to find a pair that suits your style.
  • Price: Don’t always go for the cheapest option; invest in a quality pair that will not only serve you better on the trails but will also last for years to come.

Can I get prescription glasses for hiking?

If you need to wear prescription glasses in your everyday life, you can still get prescription glasses for hiking. Many manufacturers and retailers of sunglasses now provide you with the option to provide your prescription details, and they’ll custom make a pair for you. Ryders Eyewear and Abaco both offer this option.

Alternatively, you can find a pair of “clip-on” lenses or a large pair of “fit over” glasses that can be worn over the top of your regular prescription glasses while hiking.

So, what are the best sunglasses for hiking?

High-quality, comfortable eyewear while hiking can make the difference between an enjoyable hike and one filled with discomfort. Choose wisely when buying sunglasses for trekking.

Here are some of the best outdoor sunglasses:

Abaco Polarized

Abaco makes a few excellent hiking sunglasses are reasonable prices. While they’re not the most technical glasses, they are great for the average hiker.

Their lenses are polarized and have 100% UV protection and 2mm polycarbonate lenses. They are also layered with triple-action scratch resistance and anti-reflective inner lens coating.

Specs:

  • Lens material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: They range from $60 to $100

Buy now

Abaco Polarized sunglasses
Polarized Abaco sunglasses

Enthusiast by IRONMAN Triathlon

These IRONMAN® sunglasses are great for completing races as well as for hiking. The square, wraparound style has a rubberized black plastic front frame with stainless steel detailing on the temples and polarized lenses to reduce glare.

Specs:

  • Lens material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $39.95

Buy now

Sunglasses for hiking
Enthusiast by IRONMAN Triathlon

Pello – Standard by Ryders Eyewear

Ryders Eyewear offers some great sunglasses for all outdoor and sports activities. We love this particular style as it provides both the ‘sporty’ and ‘casual’ sunglasses look.

Its anodized magnesium aluminide frame is lighter and stronger than aluminium, and its wire core temples and nose pads can be adjusted to sit perfectly on your face. It’s also impact resistant and offers 100% protection from UVA, UVB and UVC rays, and harmful, high energy light to 400nm. That’s a lot of protection!

Specs:

  • Lens material: Polycarbonate, hydrophobic
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $149.99

Buy now

Hiking sunglasses by Ryders Eyewear
Hiking sunglasses by Ryders Eyewear – Pello

Jackson – Standard by Ryders Eyewear

Another great option from Ryders Eyewear, the Jackson-standard gives a more classic, casual look. It’s also impact resistant and offers 100% protection from UVA, UVB and UVC rays and harmful, high energy light to 400nm.

This pair is an excellent option for women’s hiking sunglasses.

Specs:

  • Lens material: Polycarbonate, hydrophobic
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $149.99

Buy now

Hiking sunglasses by Ryders Eyewear
Hiking sunglasses by Ryders Eyewear – Jackson

Foldable Polarized Sunglasses by Foldies

These aren’t your regular sunglasses for trekking but are perfect for the traveler who loves to indulge in a bit of hiking on their trips (and not have to carry a specific pair of sunglasses with them for it).

The unisex polarized Folding Classics by Foldies are practical, stylish, sturdy, and can easily be folded away to pack into your backpack. They are also 100% UVA + UVB protected and have polarized, scratch-resistance lenses.

They’re the perfect backpacking sunglasses!

Specs:

  • Lens: HepTEK™ 7-layer lens system
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $69

Buy now

Backpacking sunglasses by Foldies
Backpacking sunglasses by Foldies

Oakley Flak 2.0 XL

You’ll find some great Oakley hiking sunglasses, but the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is a great all-around option for hiking sunglasses. It’s lightweight, comfortably hugs your face, and the frame has a rubber coating for extra grip.

The polarized lenses are optimized with high-definition optics and patented XYZ Optics for razor-sharp clarity. The lenses are also coated with black iridium, which provides a mirror-like reflection giving you more protection.

Specs:

  • Lens: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $128

Buy now

Oakley hiking sunglasses
Oakley hiking sunglasses

Julbo Explorer Mountain Sunglasses

Julbo Explorer Mountain Sunglasses are designed for extreme conditions. These are for the hikers tackling the big mountains like Mt Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp – they’re a bit of an overkill for average hiking.

The frame material is made from nylon, and the lens material is made from polycarbonate. As for the polarized lens, the Julbo Explorers have full-spectrum UV protection, an anti-reflective coating, and brown color.

Specs:

  • Lens: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $229

Buy now

Julbo Explorer sunglasses for hiking
Julbo Explorer sunglasses for hiking

GOMER – Polarized Smoke Black

Pretty much all the sunglasses from Bomber Eyewear are perfect for hikes where swimming might be involved – whether it’s a dip in a waterfall, lake, or river. Their glasses are all floatable – meaning you won’t lose them if you forget to take them off before jumping into the water!

Their sunglasses are designed for optimal comfort and performance with lightweight, durable materials. They are both polarized and offer 100% UVA & UVB protection.

We love the Gomer Bomb polarized smoke lens sunglasses for its clean lines and retro style for a fun, bold look.

Specs:

  • Lens: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes
  • Price: $62 (use the code 15BOMBER for 15% off)

Buy now

Gomer Bomb from Bomber Eyewear
Gomer Bomb from Bomber Eyewear


Fourth of July to Mark a Further Rebound for U.S. Domestic Tourism

Mary F. Calvert  / Reuters

Daniel Flanagan and Zhadyra Darbayeva enjoy the weather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., July 3, 2021. Mary F. Calvert / Reuters

Skift Take: An estimated 43.6 million Americans were set to travel at least two hours’ for a trip this July Fourth weekend, or 5 percent more than a previous record set in 2019. Let’s hope travel’s back for good.

— Sean O’Neill

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Cancun Shuttle – Shared Airport Transportation

Cancun Shuttle - Shared Airport Transportation

Over the years, I’ve lived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico several times. I love that city and I recommend it all the time for those looking for a great vacation and for those looking to live in a tropical, laid-back destination for a while.

It’s an easy place to reach, too. I arrive at the Cancun Airport, and if I’m traveling on my own, I hop into a Cancun Shuttle shared transportation for the 50 minute ride down to Playa del Carmen. They drop me off at my accommodation (Reef 28 Hotel or an Airbnb) and just like that, I’m ready to enjoy my time in this great town.

I know that getting from the airport to Playa del Carmen, or even to the Cancun hotel zone, is a major reason for concern for many travelers. The Cancun airport is well-known for being a hassle, with a confusing and intense set-up that makes it overwhelming to book transportation at the airport once you arrive.

It takes time, you don’t know if you’re getting a good deal (it’s very easy to pay too much if you book transfers at the airport) and you’re stuck amongst the crowds of people trying to get out of there.

That’s why I typically recommend organizing transportation in advance and if you’re a solo traveler, shared transportation is the best option. This way, you avoid all the hassle at the airport, your transportation service will be waiting for you by the exit when you arrive and for a very affordable price, you’ll be taken to your hotel or apartment.

The downside of course is that the van will have other travelers too and the driver will drop everyone off in the order that makes the most sense based on the route. But in my opinion, for prices as low as $12 per person to Cancun and $25 per person to Playa del Carmen (not bad for an almost 1 hour ride), it’s worth the extra ten minutes or so that it might take to drop others off before you.

It’s funny because when I was younger and traveling on the lowest budget possible, I would almost never book airport transportation in advance. I would arrive, figure out the local bus or train system and take whatever was the cheapest option, regardless of the hassle or time it took. The goal was simple – spending the least amount of money.

But now, those days are over and the goal has shifted. When I arrive in a destination, getting to my accommodation quickly and with complete ease is what’s important. And when that can happen without having to spend a fortune, such as the case with booking shared transportation from Cancun airport, it’s a bonus and I don’t hesitate to book it.

The post Cancun Shuttle – Shared Airport Transportation appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Cancun Airport Private Transfer Options

Cancun Airport Private Transfer Options

Arrival at the Cancun Airport in Mexico is always an interesting experience. Usually, immigration and customs are a breeze, but once you leave that area and head towards the exit, this is when things get hectic. When it comes to Cancun airport transportation, many visitors find the process to be a real headache.

It begins with passing a dozen or so rental car and other transportation desks, where the staff will undoubtedly start calling out to you to try and get your attention. Then, a minute later, you enter the welcome hall, where dozens of semi-official looking people will start approaching you, also trying to convince you to use all kinds of transportation services to reach your hotel, Airbnb or wherever you might be staying.

It’s confusing, it can be intense and it’s not a very relaxing way to start any trip to Mexico.

On the other hand, you could always book private Cancun airport transportation in advance, using a reputable company that is known for prompt and professional service and excellent pricing. This is especially useful if you are traveling in a group of 2 or more people as the cost will work out much cheaper than shared transportation.

Private transportation from Cancun airport is also the easiest and quickest way to get out of the airport and be on your way. You just want to make sure the company you choose for your private transfer gives you one clear price so that you are not surprised by any hidden charges.

If you choose this method, you simply walk through the throngs of people trying to pressure you to use their services, head straight for the exit, go outside and then you’ll find your private driver waiting for you. You’ll get right into your comfortable car or van and off you’ll go, without any hassle at all. This works whether you are going to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Akumal or even Tulum, or anywhere else in the Riviera Maya region.

In the end, if you book a transfer at the airport, you need to be really careful if you want to avoid being overcharged. And you also need to give yourself plenty of time as it can take a while to choose a company, pay at the desk and find your vehicle, all while hoping that you didn’t get ripped off.

Obviously, if you’ve just flown in from another country, the last thing you’ll want to do is hang out at the airport for extra time trying to figure out how to get to your accommodation. Doesn’t spending more time on a white sand beach sound so much better?

Have a wonderful, hassle-free trip to beautiful Mexico!

The post Cancun Airport Private Transfer Options appeared first on Wandering Earl.

A Spectacular Las Vegas and Grand Canyon Road Trip

Las Vegas Grand Canyon Road Trip view

 

Every now and then while traveling, there comes a week when everything magically falls into place, with one remarkable experience after another. Some moments might have been planned, others spontaneous and several completely unexpected, but together, the result is almost hard to believe, in the best way possible.

That was my past week, while on a spectacular Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip.

It all began with…

 

The Las Vegas Experience

Despite the 118F (48C) temperatures, we roamed up and down The Strip each day, wandered in and out of the hotels and casinos and spent some time in the Arts District and at the Fremont Street Experience. We went to the wacky and trippy Meow Wolf Omega Mart art installation as well and paid a visit to Gorilla Sushi where we partook in their awesome all-you-can-eat sushi deal.

And we stayed at the renovated Flamingo Hotel & Casino, right in the center of the strip. The rooms were large, very comfortable and the location was perfect. During the week it was only $40 per night.

We also ended up in a helicopter thanks to Georgiana. One afternoon she had the random idea to take a sunset helicopter ride over the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and over The Strip. I think it went from being an idea to us being in a helicopter flying over Vegas in about 4 hours. And it was absolutely one of the best decisions we made as the views are brilliant to say the least! (We went with 5 Star Helicopter Tours. They were great and they offer cheap deals through Groupon.)

Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip helicopter

 

Next up on the Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip….

 

The Grand Canyon Experience

We rented a car, and left Vegas. First stop – the massive Hoover Dam. It was pretty interesting to walk across it but the heat was brutal and we didn’t stay long. A couple of hours later we took a fika break in the town of Kingman, Arizona. By sheer luck, we stumbled upon the absolute cutest little bakery (Cupcakes by Jan) run by the absolute cutest and most welcoming elderly woman, who happens to also bake some outstanding cupcakes. This was an excellent find.

Then we continued driving, eventually arriving at the wonderful Grand Hotel in the town of Tusayan, near the entrance to the one and only Grand Canyon National Park. The very next morning, off we went into the park…and I’m not sure what to say about it apart from ‘go there if you haven’t been!‘. The Grand Canyon is mesmerizingly beautiful to the point of absurdity.

We spent that night in the very pleasant little town of Williams, Arizona (there’s a wide range of accommodation here), located on famous Route 66. Here we walked along the main street, checking out the historic shops, saloons and eateries, many of which seem to be left unchanged from a hundred years ago.

Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip

 

After a solid sleep…

 

The Death Valley Experience

This day was surreal as well and not an original part of our Las Vegas Grand Canyon road trip. As we were driving through Bullhead City on our way back to Las Vegas, we suddenly decided to go full force and continue on to Death Valley National Park. So, from Arizona to Nevada to California we went, and despite the driving time, we managed to arrive in the early afternoon.

Inside the park we visited Zabriskie Point (unique mountains and mud formations), Artists Palette (mountains full of colorful mineral deposits), Badwater Basin (lowest point in North America) and the Mesquite Sand Dunes (huge, silky desert sand dunes) as well as driving through a ton of other gorgeous landscapes.

The temperature did reach a ridiculous 130F (55C) though, so it was somewhat impossible to be outside the car for more than a few minutes at a time. But it also seemed to keep people away as we only encountered a handful of others during our entire time in the park, making the experience even more special.

Mesquite Sand Dunes Death Valley

 

So yes, this park is AMAZING. I had been to part of this park before but I honestly forgot that the landscapes were so damn otherworldly and mind-blowing. Again, AMAZING!

Finally, late that night, we pulled back into Las Vegas, promptly passed out in our hotel room and woke up the next day ready to fly back to Florida. And back in Florida is where I am now after that crazy, insanely memorable, ‘this is why I travel’, too-good-to-be-true kind of travel week!

The post A Spectacular Las Vegas and Grand Canyon Road Trip appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Fun Group Activities in New South Wales, Australia

NSW view

 

The southeastern Australian state of New South Wales is well known for its national parks, coastal cities, and rugged coastlines. Visitors travel hundreds of miles to explore the Blue Mountains, various surf beaches, and even dozens of wineries within The Hunter Valley region. 

As familiar as you might be with the offerings of NSW, discovering group activities can be a little harder. If you’re about to set off on an Australian adventure, here are some not-to-be-missed experiences for you and your loved ones. 

 

Wine Tours

Travelers exploring north of Sydney in NSW may end up in one of Australia’s most significant wine regions. Consider the Hunter Valley wine tours as a fun, educational group activity that teaches you about some of the finest wines in Australia. 

The Hunter Valley has made a name for itself with Shiraz and Semillon wine varieties, and many family-run and world-renowned wine brands call this region home. 

 

National Parks

While pleasing everyone on a group trip is not always easy you won’t find too many people saying no to an adventure through one of New South Wales’ many national parks. 

Explore the world’s oldest cave systems within the Blue Mountains National Park, and conquer your fears with a ride through the mountains on the Scenic World cable car. There is also an abundance of hiking and bushwalking activities, such as the Sea Acres walk in Sea Acres National Park and the White Sands Walk in Jervis Bay National Park. 

 

Culture, Arts, and Heritage

Even if you’ve explored the world and have already seen your fair share of culture, your travel group will likely be amazed at the offerings in New South Wales. An eclectic mix of European and Aboriginal history is on display in the many museums, art galleries, and festivals across the state. 

Check out Aboriginal rock art in the national parks, explore gold rush towns looking for precious gems, or even pay a visit to various filming locations. New South Wales has provided the backdrop for many famous movies, including Planet of the Apes and Mission Impossible. 

If your group is in the mood to experience more local produce after going on a wine tour, you may even be just in time for one of the state’s many famous beer and wine festivals, cultural festivals, and food festivals. 

 

Wildlife and Nature

What better way to spend your vacation than getting up close and personal with Australian wildlife and nature. New South Wales offers many different wildlife activities, such as whale watching, zoos, and sanctuaries. If you’ve never seen a koala or kangaroo, there are plenty of opportunities to get quite close to them and grab that first glimpse.

While you’re outside in nature, you could also be exploring some of the most famous waterfalls, such as Winifred Falls in the Royal National Park, and Belmore Falls in Kangaroo Valley. Travelers heading along the NSW Coast may even decide to take a break in one of over 100 ocean pools from Yamba to Bermagui. 

 

Winter Activities

Groups planning trips away from home often find that some of the most competitive rates are in winter. While the weather may not be easy to predict, you can at least be ready for winter activities. NSW is home to many standout ski resorts – even some of the largest in the southern hemisphere. Get your skis ready for over 60 miles of cross country trails at Perisher, or visit the highest ski field in Australia, Charlotte Pass. 

Life is all about making memories, and there’s no better way to do that than with your closest friends and family. While you’re planning your next group adventure in Australia, consider making the journey to New South Wales where wine tours, ski trips, cultural experiences, and more await your attention. 

The post Fun Group Activities in New South Wales, Australia appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Renewed LGBTQ Travel Is Focus of Travel Advisors But Not Destination Marketing

Landaa  / Zoom Vacations

From left: Joel Cabrera, Chief Travel Officer and co-founder of Zoom Vacations, walking with his boyfriend Matt on the beach in the Maldives. Landaa / Zoom Vacations

Skift Take: It’s obviously tremendous for the tourism industry that LGBTQ travelers have been enthusiastic about hitting the road this summer. Imagine how much more revenue destinations could earn if they did a better job of marketing to that community.

— Rashaad Jorden

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Britain’s Travel Industry Turns Out to Protest Government Restrictions

Jason Clampet  / Skift

The travel industry gathered at Westminster in London to protest on June 23. Jason Clampet / Skift

Skift Take: A united front came together for a “Travel Day of Action” — but it’ll take an extremely loud voice to convince policy makers to fast forward the proposed July 19 reopening date and pry open wallets for more cash handouts.

— Matthew Parsons

Read the Complete Story On Skift

12