When Out On The Water, What Type Of Sunglasses Are Recommended?

Imagine yourself cruising on a stunning yacht, the wind brushing against your face as you enjoy the mesmerizing view of the open water. As you bask in the glory of this nautical adventure, there is one essential accessory that you cannot overlook: sunglasses! But with countless options available, how do you know which ones are best suited for your maritime escapades? Fear not, for this article will guide you through the waters of sunglass selection, unveiling the perfect shades that will not only protect your eyes from the glaring sun but also effortlessly elevate your style. So, prepare to embark on a voyage of stylish eyewear exploration and discover the ideal sunglasses for your aquatic adventures!

Factors to consider

UV protection

When selecting sunglasses for water activities, one of the most important factors to consider is UV protection. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your eyes and even lead to conditions like cataracts or macular degeneration. Therefore, it is essential to choose sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. Look for sunglasses that are labeled as having 100% UVA and UVB protection to ensure that your eyes are properly shielded from the sun’s damaging rays.

Polarized lenses

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing sunglasses for water activities is whether or not they have polarized lenses. polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare caused by the sun’s reflection off of water, making them ideal for boating, fishing, or any other water-based activities. These lenses work by filtering out horizontal light waves, which are the main source of glare. By reducing glare, polarized lenses can enhance your vision and allow you to see more clearly and comfortably on the water.

Lens color

The lens color of your sunglasses can also impact your visual experience on the water. Different lens colors have varying effects on the perception of depth and contrast. For water activities, it is generally recommended to opt for lenses with a gray or brown tint. These colors provide natural color perception and do not significantly alter the way you see objects. Additionally, they can enhance contrast in bright conditions, helping you better discern the details of your surroundings.

Lens material

The lens material plays a significant role in the quality and durability of your sunglasses. There are several lens materials commonly used in sunglasses, including glass, polycarbonate, and Trivex. Glass lenses offer superb optical clarity but can be heavier and more prone to breaking. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses, on the other hand, are lightweight and impact-resistant, making them ideal for water activities where accidental drops or impacts may occur. Additionally, these materials often come with built-in UV protection.

Frame design

While the lenses of your sunglasses are essential, the frame design also plays a vital role in the overall performance and comfort of your eyewear during water activities. When choosing sunglasses, look for frames that are lightweight, yet sturdy enough to withstand movement and potential impacts. It is also beneficial to select frames with a wrap-around design or a snug fit to prevent water and wind from entering your eyes. Silicone nose pads and rubber temple grips can also provide added comfort and a secure fit, ensuring your sunglasses stay in place, even during intense water activities.

Wrap-around sunglasses

Benefits of wrap-around sunglasses

Wrap-around sunglasses are an excellent choice for water activities due to their unique design. Unlike traditional sunglasses, wrap-around sunglasses provide enhanced coverage and protection by fully encircling your eyes. This design minimizes the amount of glare and water splashes that can enter from the sides or top of the sunglasses. By offering maximum coverage, wrap-around sunglasses provide a more comprehensive shield against the sun’s rays and the elements, ensuring clear vision and increased safety on the water.

Recommended wrap-around sunglasses for water activities

  1. Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL: These lightweight wrap-around sunglasses from Oakley feature a durable frame and polarized lenses for superior glare reduction.

  2. Costa Del Mar Fantail: Known for their exceptional quality, Costa Del Mar offers wrap-around sunglasses specifically designed for water activities. The Fantail model offers a comfortable fit, excellent UV protection, and a choice of lens colors to suit different lighting conditions.

  3. SunCloud Zephyr: If you’re on a budget but still want reliable wrap-around sunglasses for water activities, the SunCloud Zephyr sunglasses are a great option. They provide 100% UV protection, polarized lenses, and a lightweight frame at an affordable price.

Sport sunglasses

Benefits of sport sunglasses

Sport sunglasses are specifically designed to withstand rugged conditions and intense physical activities. When engaging in water sports or any outdoor activities near water, the right pair of sport sunglasses can provide numerous benefits. These sunglasses typically feature a lightweight and durable frame construction, often made of materials like nylon or TR-90, which can withstand water exposure and resist damage from impacts. Sport sunglasses are also designed to stay securely in place during movement, ensuring they won’t come off when you’re diving into the water or maneuvering through rough waves.

Recommended sport sunglasses for water activities

  1. Smith I/O Mag: The Smith I/O Mag sunglasses are a popular choice among water sports enthusiasts. They feature a versatile magnetic lens interchange system, allowing you to quickly switch between different lens options to adapt to various lighting conditions. The frames are lightweight, the lenses provide excellent clarity, and the fit can be customized for optimal comfort.

  2. 100% Speedcraft: These sporty sunglasses from 100% offer a sleek design and exceptional performance. With a wide field of view and high-quality lenses, they provide clear vision and protection from the sun’s rays. The frames are durable and designed to stay securely in place, making them suitable for water activities such as paddleboarding or kayaking.

  3. Nike Vaporwing Elite: Designed with input from world-class athletes, the Nike Vaporwing Elite sunglasses are engineered for superior performance. They feature an aerodynamic design, interchangeable lenses, and adjustable temples for a secure fit. The lenses provide excellent clarity and are treated with a water-repellent coating, ensuring optimal vision even in wet conditions.

Floating sunglasses

Benefits of floating sunglasses

If you frequently engage in water activities such as boating, kayaking, or fishing, floating sunglasses can be a lifesaver. These sunglasses are specifically designed to stay afloat in water, minimizing the risk of losing them if they accidentally fall off. Floating sunglasses typically feature lightweight frames made of buoyant materials, such as foam or certain types of plastic. They often come with polarized lenses to reduce glare and offer UV protection, making them a practical and convenient choice for water enthusiasts.

Recommended floating sunglasses for water activities

  1. Rheos Coopers: The Rheos Coopers sunglasses are not only designed to float, but they also deliver excellent performance and style. With their lightweight nylon frames, polarized lenses, and hydrophobic lens coatings, these sunglasses are perfect for water activities. They offer 100% UV protection and come in a variety of lens colors to suit different lighting conditions.

  2. Chums Floating Neo: Simple yet effective, the Chums Floating Neo sunglasses offer the convenience of floating eyewear at an affordable price. The lightweight frames are made of foam and feature a strap to keep them secure. These sunglasses provide 100% UV protection and are available in various lens colors.

  3. Dragon H20 Floatable Collection: Dragon’s H20 Floatable Collection combines functionality and fashion. These sunglasses feature frames made from a specialized material that keeps them afloat in water. The lenses are polarized and provide excellent optical clarity. With their stylish designs and reliable performance, Dragon’s floatable sunglasses are an excellent choice for water activities.

Prescription sunglasses

Benefits of prescription sunglasses

For those who require corrective lenses, wearing prescription sunglasses during water activities provides numerous benefits. Prescription sunglasses allow you to enjoy clear vision while protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. By eliminating the need to wear contact lenses and regular sunglasses simultaneously, prescription sunglasses offer convenience and enhanced visual comfort. Whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you can enjoy the freedom of water activities without compromising your vision.

Recommended prescription sunglasses for water activities

  1. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL: Oakley is known for its high-quality prescription sunglasses, and the Flak 2.0 XL is a popular choice. These sunglasses feature a wrap-around design, impact-resistant lenses, and customizable prescription options. They offer excellent UV protection and can be fitted with polarized lenses for glare reduction.

  2. Ray-Ban RB2132: Ray-Ban offers a wide range of stylish prescription sunglasses, including the iconic RB2132 model. These sunglasses feature a classic design and provide excellent visual clarity. With prescription lenses tailored to your specific needs, you can enjoy both fashion and function on the water.

  3. Maui Jim Mavericks: For those seeking premium prescription sunglasses, the Maui Jim Mavericks are an exceptional choice. These sunglasses boast high-quality lenses that provide vibrant colors and unparalleled clarity. The frames are lightweight and durable, making them suitable for water activities.


Benefits of goggles

While sunglasses are often the go-to eyewear for water activities, goggles can offer certain advantages in specific situations. Goggles provide a snug and watertight seal around your eyes, effectively protecting them from water splashes or submersion. If you engage in activities like swimming, snorkeling, or diving, goggles are a must-have to ensure clear vision underwater. They can also provide additional protection against wind, debris, and UV rays when compared to regular sunglasses. Goggles with anti-fog features are particularly beneficial to prevent fogging caused by temperature changes or humidity.

Recommended goggles for water activities

  1. Speedo Vanquisher 2.0: The Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 goggles are a popular choice for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts alike. They feature a sleek design, UV protection, and anti-fog lenses, ensuring clear vision both in and out of the water. The goggles provide a comfortable fit and are highly adjustable to accommodate different face shapes.

  2. Aqua Sphere Kayenne: The Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles are designed for maximum visibility and comfort. With oversized lenses, these goggles provide a wide field of vision and excellent peripheral vision. The goggles feature a scratch-resistant coating, UV protection, and an anti-fog treatment to ensure optimal performance during water activities.

  3. TYR Nest Pro: The TYR Nest Pro goggles combine style and functionality. The goggles feature a unique design that conforms to various face shapes, providing a secure and comfortable fit. They offer anti-fog and UV protection, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor water activities. The lenses also have built-in glare reduction to enhance your visual experience.

Lens coating

Benefits of lens coatings

Lens coatings can enhance the performance and durability of your sunglasses, making them a valuable addition for water activities. Some common lens coatings include water repellent coatings, anti-scratch coatings, and anti-reflective coatings. Water repellent coatings can help prevent water droplets from sticking to the lenses, ensuring clear vision and minimizing distractions. Anti-scratch coatings increase the durability of your sunglasses, protecting them from minor abrasions or impacts that may occur during water activities. Anti-reflective coatings reduce glare and reflections, improving visual clarity in bright or sunny conditions.

Recommended lens coatings for water activities

  1. Hydrophobic coating: Hydrophobic lens coatings repel water, ensuring that water droplets roll off the lenses instead of clinging to them. This coating is particularly beneficial for water activities where splashes or water submersion may occur.

  2. Scratch-resistant coating: Sunglasses with scratch-resistant coatings can better withstand the wear and tear that may happen during water activities. This coating helps prevent minor scratches and keeps your lenses in optimal condition for clear vision.

  3. Anti-reflective coating: Anti-reflective coatings eliminate unwanted reflections and glare caused by the sun or water surfaces. This coating improves contrast, reduces eye strain, and enhances visual clarity, allowing you to focus on enjoying your water activities.

Additional features

Water repellent coating

A water repellent coating on your sunglasses’ lenses can be a valuable feature for water activities. This coating helps prevent water droplets from adhering to the lenses, minimizing any obstruction to your vision. When water droplets slide off the lenses instead of sticking to them, you can maintain clear and unimpeded vision, even during intense water sports or heavy rain. Water repellent coatings can significantly improve your overall visual experience and make the time spent on the water more enjoyable.

Anti-glare coating

An anti-glare coating is another beneficial feature for sunglasses used in water activities. This coating reduces the amount of glare caused by sunlight reflecting off the water’s surface, allowing for better visibility and reducing eye strain. By minimizing glare, you can see more clearly and comfortably, making it easier to navigate through water, spot fish or other objects, and enjoy your time on the water without distractions. Anti-glare coatings can greatly enhance the performance of your sunglasses in bright and reflective conditions.

Adjustable nose pads

Sunglasses with adjustable nose pads offer added comfort and customization, particularly during water activities. Adjustable nose pads allow you to fine-tune the fit of your sunglasses to suit the unique shape and size of your nose. This ensures a secure and comfortable fit, preventing the sunglasses from slipping or bouncing during movement on the water. Additionally, adjustable nose pads can also help to reduce pressure points and alleviate discomfort, allowing you to focus on enjoying your water activities without constantly adjusting your sunglasses.

Budget considerations

Affordable options

If you’re on a budget but still want reliable sunglasses for water activities, there are affordable options available that offer good quality and adequate protection. Brands like SunCloud, Tifosi, and Goodr offer sunglasses specifically designed for outdoor activities, including water sports. These brands provide sunglasses with polarized lenses, durable frames, and UV protection at a more budget-friendly price point. While they may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end brands, they still offer sufficient protection and functionality for casual water activities.

Investment options

For those who frequently engage in water activities or require specific features, investing in high-quality sunglasses is a worthwhile consideration. Brands such as Oakley, Costa Del Mar, and Maui Jim are known for their exceptional quality and performance. These brands offer a wide range of sunglasses with various lens options, advanced coatings, and durable construction. While the initial investment may be higher, these sunglasses typically provide superior optical clarity, enhanced protection, and long-lasting durability, making them a valuable investment for serious water enthusiasts.


When out on the water, it is crucial to choose sunglasses that provide adequate UV protection, reduce glare, and offer optimal vision. Wrap-around sunglasses, sport sunglasses, floating sunglasses, prescription sunglasses, and goggles are all excellent options for different water activities. Consider factors such as lens color, lens material, and frame design to ensure maximum comfort and performance. Additionally, lens coatings, water repellent coatings, and adjustable nose pads can further enhance your experience on the water. Whether you opt for more affordable options or invest in high-quality sunglasses, prioritizing your eye protection is essential for enjoying water activities safely and comfortably.