It doesn't matter if you are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or just going on a casual day hike. The type of sunglasses that you choose is critical. Your eyes can be more damaged than you realize when you hike in dangerous terrain.
Sunscreens should protect you from the damaging UV rays of the sun, but you will need your sunglasses to protect your eyes against dirt, debris, and distracting glare, especially when you are hiking in the snow.
Hiking sunglasses should be lightweight, durable, and offer protection against the sun's UV rays.
Here are some more specifics:
You should look for sunglasses clearly marked UV 400 to ensure that you are protected from UV rays almost 100%.
UV radiation from the sun penetrates Earth's atmosphere, reaching your eyes as UVA and UVB wavelengths. You are at risk of developing macular degeneration, photokeratitis (also called snow blindness), or other serious eye conditions if you don't have UV protection.
When shopping for hiking sunglasses, consider Polarized Lens. These lenses can block the glare of light reflecting off flat surfaces, which is beneficial for hiking in snow and near water.
Polarized sunglasses allow you to see clearly in bright light conditions. You can easily see below the surface of the water or appreciate a sunset at the horizon.
Also, you should consider the material of your sunglasses lenses. High-quality lenses are made of strong and durable materials such as polycarbonate, Trivex, or plastic. To ensure that they are resistant to scratches and other protective coats, they must be strong enough to withstand all elements.
Polycarbonate is an alternative to regular plastic lenses. It is thinner and lighter than regular plastic lenses. This lens material is great for hiking, and sunglasses made of polycarbonate are impact-resistant.
Trivex lenses use a newer material that shares the same characteristics as polycarbonate lenses. Sunglasses with Trivex lenses are light and scratch-resistant, but they can be more expensive than other types.
The most economical lens type is plastic lenses. However, they can be scratched easily and damaged more easily than other types of lenses, so they don't last as long.
Wraparound sunglasses are also a good option to protect your eyes from the sun and wind.