What is the best pair of aviation sunglasses to wear?

For pilots, having the right pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes will be an important consideration for both comfort and safety. Hence, a recent post written by Roger Worden for his Roger’s Soaring Blog is well worth reading.

Roger began his post by noting that aviator sunglasses are specially designed with a teardrop shape to prevent sunlight from coming from a wide range of angles. In other words, they do not change much and they generally don’t follow fashion trends. He also pointed out that yellow lenses will help a pilot see cloud structure better than other colors.

On the other hand, Roger noted out that polarized sunglasses should generally not be used for flying for two reasons:

  • Cockpit glass, instrument windows and even handheld devices such as GPS units may have some unintentional polarization. When this is combined with polarized sunglasses, dark spots and distracting color patterns can appear and interfere with a pilot’s vision.
  • Polarized sunglasses are designed to cut glare but a little glare can also be a good thing as it can actually be the glint off of another aircraft.

Roger then mentioned that he started using American Optical’s FG-58 sunglasses and that they were ok but somewhat uncomfortable due to their design. Hence, he now uses them as backup.

Instead, he is now using Serengeti Aviators Drivers Gradient glasses and he noted that while he likes them, he has found that their lenses are not as hard as the lenses of other sunglasses (In fact, he scratched the lenses after a year or two). In addition, he pointed out that the temples consists of pretty thin wire and when he clips his radio earpiece to them when he is flying gliders, the clip will tend to slide around a bit.

Roger’s entire post is well worth reading but we would also like to ask you our readers about the aviation sun glasses you are currently using. Specifically, what brand or brands of aviation sunglasses would you recommend and why?

Serengeti Aviators Drivers Gradient

4 Responses to What is the best pair of aviation sunglasses to wear?

  1. Steve March 16, 2011 at 05:21 #

    Hey – I own the glasses in that photo!

    Seriously though, I love my Serengeti Velocity Aviators – the lenses have incredible clarity and the Driver's Gradient is the perfect color for adding contrast to the sky.

  2. Brad Koehn March 16, 2011 at 13:40 #

    I have a pair of Scheyden (http://scheyden.com/) sunglasses that the aviation podcasters are always promoting (and most have 30% – 40% off coupons). They really are nice glasses; I keep mine in the supplied bag and aluminum box to keep them safe when not in use.

  3. Kebgolfer March 21, 2011 at 21:09 #

    I like the Serengeti Large Aviator Sunglasses. They

  4. Carrie April 2, 2011 at 18:38 #

    I am a passenger only in our plane. Which sunglasses are the best for those of us who want maximum sun blockage?

Leave a Reply