Finding the right sunglasses can be a troublesome chore, if I asked you to think back to your last pair (they do have a tendency to break, don't they?) I'm sure that most of you will remember having bought them at a tourist attraction, on the street or more generally, on-the-fly.

Things You Will Need

A purse of anywhere between $5-$200 (this bracket contains every spectrum of quality and design, anything over this seems superflous.

The Internet: Most pairs of polaroid sunglasses can be bought at discount prices online, whether from the original website or from other bargains such as Ebay.

A plan: You will need to plan ahead, quality sunglasses may not necessarily entail a huge dent in your expenses, but it is still an investment for the average consumer. Sports sunglasses may be a necessity for a skiing trip, but they may look odd on the beach (if you are fashion-minded).

Step 1

Here in Rome, even the fashion minded will tend to buy their 10 euro replicas from the local street corner, confident in the dark lenses for protection. The problem with this is that dark lenses, without UV protection will trick you eye into absorbing radiation than having no lenses at all!


(resist the temptation, you'll thank me for it later)

This how-to will try and buy sunglasses which are both cheap and of high quality. A look at the paths available to us, where to buy, what to buy and when.

Knowing what sunglasses are right for you. Interrogate yourself ruthlessly. Although this may a redundant activity to some, I still cringe when I watch a skiier career past me with Aviators on.

What do I plan on doing with them? Where am I going with them? What is my budget? Fashion minded, sports sunglasses or both?

For the sake of this article's consitency let us assume we are looking for cheap, durable sunglasses that give us high UV protection. Once the decision is made, we move onto the second step.

Step 2

Alright, so I'm headed for a rough 3 weeks in the mountains with friends, I'm in dire need of some eyewear to last me the unpredictable nature of the Alps. I know I need the attributes I mentioned earlier; cheap, durable with protection. But how do I know?

Prime UV Protection

I'm sure we're all familiar with the dangers attribute to UV exposure, especially with regards to the eyes. What we are looking for: Lenses that protect from 99-100% of harmful UVA and UVB protection. This is usually listed as UV400 protection, or simply "Meets ANSI UV requirements". So jot that done as part of our list of requirements.Ideally, wrap around sunglasses will protect you from all directions, afterall what use is a lens when the sun can bypass it? Often this may come at the expense of looks, the choice is yours, I advise a compromise.


Due to the nature of my excursion I am settling for nothing less than a quasi-indestructible pair of sunglasses. These are usually marked by carbon fibre, steel or other light weight and flexible frames. Sports sunglasses will tend to fit more smugly to bounce about less and be less susceptible to shock.


Although sports sunglasses market themselves as cheap at $300, ultimately after scouting and reading reviews left-right and center, I've decided that I want to spend less than $100 on a pair on sunglasses that meet our aforementioned requirements. The Next step will encompass the search for the right pair, now that we know in detail what we want, and can expect.

Step 3

ANSI protectionThe hunt begins. Lets take another look at our checklist.

Our pair of sunglasses:

- Need to meet ANSI standards (UV 400)

- Need a flexible, durable frame

- Need to cost under $100

This is where your "googling" abilities will come in handy. I advise reading reviews (dont forget Amazon), checking EBAY, and once you've found your item, you need to search until you are comfortable with the price.

In my case, I'm going to enter the following string on google, based on my preferences:

"UV 400, sports sunglasses, durable" (for instance)

The results will usually be direct offers, use these to browse for aesthetics, you can discard the price for now.

Step 4

Oakley 2 MinuteOnce you've found a model you like. You only need to research the price.

My browsing came up with the following product:
Oakley 2 Minute
These are the Oakley 2.0 Minute, which officially come at a little over $105. The only thing left for me is to browse until I can find a safe, integral alternative.

Finding the right sunglasses should not be a low-profile decision. It can also be a lot of fun. I suspect that many people envision their dream sunglasses as being not a great bang for their buck. But frankly, the tradeoff is not worth it. A little research and a little knowledge can go a long way. And while those 10 euro replicas may last you a month, and look like the real thing. The real deal will last, and if it doesnt it is under guarantee. The guarantee is also on your eyeseight.

Tips & Warnings

Tinted lenses without the proper UV filter do worse than having no lenses at all, since they will trick your eyes into widening further, increasing exposure!