The best sunglasses of 2022
Elicit POC ($250)
Best for fast driving
This drastically minimal rating plate is like portable zen. Weighing just 23 grams, it features a single frameless synthetic lens that stretches high and wide so you lose track of where the Elicit ends and your face begins. The color and depth enhancing lens encourages high speed because you see so much so quickly.
Nathan Sunrise ($50)
Nathan designed his debut sunglass for runners, but this street-sport crossover is an all-round option for any outdoor enthusiast. In terms of quality and aesthetics, the Sunrise competes with twice the price. Polarized plastic lenses ensure sharp vision, while the lightweight, springy thermoplastic frame is snug but not too tight. (Grip inserts on the ears help.) Plus, the mid-size frames offer ample protection and a classic wayfarer look.
Smith Embarkation ($199)
Best for trail to town
Our love for the Embark boils down to colour. Yes, with their light blue removable side shields, comically mismatched temple tips, and purple frames, these sunnies are eye-catching and fun. But it’s the brown-tinted, polarized lenses that make them stand out. The throbbing, vibrant optics amplify hues and contrasts so well that one tester compared them to the use of hallucinogens.
SPY+ MONOLITH 50/50 (Polar $190, Non-Polar $150)
Built for the bold – MONOLITH 50/50 are the ultimate performance sunglasses that make a statement. The oversized lens offers an incredible field of view, while SPY+’s patented HAPPY® Lens technology is tuned to increase most and alertness. The durable and lightweight TR-90 frame features Scoop® ventilation for a clearer view and rubber nose pads for a secure fit, making these the ultimate sunglasses for any adventure.
Spy+ Genre ($120)
Best for style
Super wide, blocky temples match large gloss black frames, forming a continuous band around the head. Surprisingly for such fashionable sunglasses, the genre shows decent performance on gentle outdoor missions. Thanks to the neutral grey-green lenses, which add depth but are easy on the eyes, you can put them on and take them off without color changes as you move in the shade.
Costa Caleta ($206)
Best for boats and beaches
A lot of serious watercolors look bulky or goofy. Not the Caleta. Costa’s designers incorporated seaworthy features without sacrificing aesthetics. Large but stylish cat-eye lenses ensure ample coverage and unobstructed vision. Discreet pads provide additional support in the frame and wide temples block the ambient light. The polarized, gray-tinted glass lenses offer excellent optics. Just remember that glass lenses, still the pinnacle of optics, are not meant for batting sports.
Rudy Project Agent Q ($250 and up)
Best for extremes
When the wind gusts or mud flies, the Agent Q shines. On its own, this sleek wrap is like any standard bike or run pair. But it comes with myriad additional features like snap seals around the lenses that breathe but stop particles; removable side shields; and a detachable elastic headband. We tested the version with photochromic lenses, which automatically adjust from 26 to 91 percent blockage and are rated to military standards for impact resistance. (Not all versions have these lenses.)