Best Sunglasses

There are a ton of options to choose from when it comes to sunglasses, so we set out to find the best pairs that are made right here in the U.S.A. We’ve listed our top choices (with plenty of details on each one), why we liked them, and the factors that went into our research below. Check it out!

Our Findings

We found several great brands still producing high quality sunglasses here in the U.S. – are they aren’t your household names like Oakley and Maui Jim. Companies like American Optical and Randolph Aviators have been producing some of the best eyewear in America for decades. We broke out our findings into a few different categories based on style, functionality, and use cases. Gatorz, Smith Director, Shwood, and Liquid Eyewear were just some of the other companies that really stood out to us. Read more about our recommendations below.

Top Recommendations

Best SunglassesBest for:
American Optical Original Pilot SunglassesAviators
Gatorz Radiator SunglassesPolarized
Smith Director Elite Carbonic SunglassesDurability
Shwood Wood SunglassesWooden
Liquid Eyewear Player SunglassesSport

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Check out additional product details, what we liked, and what we didn’t like about each of our top picks.

Best Aviator Sunglasses

American Optical Original Pilot Sunglasses


American Optical has been making high quality spectacles in the U.S. for over 100 years. The Original Pilot Sunglasses are very popular with military pilots, and have been for over 50 years. These glasses have a silver alloy frame, polished True Color® glass lens (comes in grey or green), and 100% UV protection. We loved that the Original Pilot sunglasses are both stylish and sturdy – these frames don’t break or scratch easily. This is the standard when it comes to aviator sunglasses – you won’t be disappointed. Sizes: 52, 55, and 57mm.

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Things we like:

  • Stylish, looks great on several face shapes
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • UV protection

Things we don’t like:

  • Not polarized

 

Best Polarized Sunglasses

Gatorz Radiator Sunglasses


Gatorz Radiator sunglasses were the best polarized frames we came across in our research. They are constructed with TruRay optics, which is an advanced filtering technology to help improve perception and clarity, and reduce glare. Along with being polarized, the lenses also have 100% UV protection and an anti-scratch coating. The frame is made of 7075 Billet Aircraft Aluminum right here in the U.S., designed to withstand harsh conditions. If you’re an active individual, these sunglasses are for you. Lens width: 68mm.

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Things we like:

  • Color clarity and contrast
  • Stainless steel hinges
  • Anti-scratch lenses
  • Good balance

Things we don’t like:

  • Limited color selection

 

Most Durable Sunglasses

Smith Director Elite Carbonic Sunglasses


The Smith Director Elite sunglasses performed best in our durability research. They are very popular among active individuals and law enforcement – and for good reason. The lenses and frames are constructed with an impact resistant material that reduces the risk of scratches and breaks. These sunglasses also offer 100% UV protection. They are very lightweight, which may be counter intuitive to being highly durable, but we found that they held up well to many impact tests. You can also get the darker, polarized version of these sunglasses for just a few dollars more.

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Things we like:

  • Durable and scratch resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Tight fit, don’t slide

Things we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t come with a hard case

 

Best Wooden Sunglasses

Shwood Wood Sunglasses


Shwood is the original wooden sunglasses, made in Portland, Oregon. Canby is one of their flagship models, and continues to be one of their most popular. These sunglasses have a phenomenal fit on several face sizes and shapes, coming in the classic wayfarer shape. They are very stylish as well – the frames are made with Acetate wood – a premium hardwood that is really tough and has a smooth finish. The lenses are polarized and have 100% UV protection. Overall, the Shwood Canby is a great pair of sunglasses for anyone who is looking for something stylish to wear in a casual environment.

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Things we like:

  • Unique design
  • High quality lenses
  • Several color options
  • Premium construction
  • Comes with a hard case

Things we don’t like:

  • More prone to snapping that typical metal or plastic sunglasses

 

Best Sport Sunglasses

Liquid Eyewear Player Sunglasses


The Liquid Player polarized sunglasses are the best option we’ve found for really active individuals who need a pair of shades while they are on the tennis court, golf course, ski slope, or wherever else. The lenses have 100% UV protection and 13% light transmission while still maintaining great color clarity. We found that it was really easy to trace balls while wearing them. The fit is good for several face shapes and these sunglasses are sturdy – they will stay on your face when you’re sweating and running around. This pair of shades also has hinge-less frames, which works to optimize for fit and durability. Overall, a great pair of sunglasses for active people.

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Things we like:

  • Slip resistant fit
  • Polarized
  • Good color contrast

Things we don’t like:

  • Hinge-less sunglasses can sometimes be a pain for storing them

Factors We Considered

Style

Sunglasses are meant to be functional and stylish! We wanted to make sure that our top choices are going to look good. We looked for pairs of shades that had several different color and style options to choose from, and in general looked good on several different face types.

Fit

Fit is very important when you’re searching for your next pair of sunglasses. There are a few factors we looked for when it comes to fit:

  • Slip resistant
  • Adjustability
  • Comfort level
  • Resting position (too high, too low, etc.)

Clarity

Your sunglasses need to be able to function well, and clarity and color contrast are two big pieces of that. Lenses can block out as much light as they want, but if you can’t tell the difference between two colors when you’re looking through them, they don’t serve much of a purpose.

Durability

Nothing is more frustrating than having your sunglasses snap. After all, they are typically not a cheap investment! We looked for durability in both frames and lenses. For frames, typically metal and impact-resistant plastic are going to outperform other materials. For lenses, crack-resistant construction and a no-scratch coating are important.

Value

As fellow consumers, we want to make sure that you are getting the best sunglasses for your money. That’s why we eliminated over 10 products that we felt were too low quality for the price they listed.

 

All American Reviews Team

We’re here to take the guesswork out of buying quality, American products and services.