Nowadays it is pretty hard to find sunglasses that can be used during the daily flight operations, right? Besides quality you are also looking for the perfect fit and sturdiness. Fragile sunglasses are an easy victim in the harsh and unforgiving cockpit environment. This article serves as a guide to get you through the endless possibilities of models and options. I explain some features like gradients and polarization. And last but not least, I give you my opinion about the most commonly used pilot sunglasses in the cockpit. Choosing a pair of sunglasses was never as easy. Don’t waste your precious time and just keep on reading.
Gradient or no gradient?
The gradient sunglasses are sunglasses in which the lower part of the glass is lighter than the upper part of the glass. This means you don’t need to move your head while flying because you can easily see your instruments. At the same time your eyes are protected against the bright sun when you look outside. 2 in one and super convenient!
Non polarized please!
If a salesperson tells you that you need polarized glasses for flying, just get the * out of there! This advise couldn’t be more wrong. Reading instruments in a glass cockpit environment becomes impossible while wearing polarized sunglasses. The polarized glasses filter the horizontal reflections and sparkle from the image you are looking at. Therefore you can not see anything when looking at your PFD. Avoid polarized sunglasses.
The best looking pilot sunglasses for men
One of the first sunglasses I tried on was an original Ray-Ban model, the Wayfarer. In my opinion these sunglasses look best on men. Everytime I see the Wayfarer model I am surprised by how good it fits to most faces. It is robust and sturdy. It protects your eyes against bright sunlight and white light from clouds. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t go well with my face. While wearing them there is too much space between my eyes and eyebrows. If the model would have been a perfect fit, I would have chosen these sunglasses for sure! Are you a male aviator? I would definitely go for this model, with a gradient perhaps. 😉 If you are interested in this model, find more details here and view it in all kinds of sizes and colors.
The most worn pilot sunglasses
The well-known Aviator by Ray-Ban. An amazing pair of sunglasses and so incredibly light… you don’t even feel that you are wearing them. This is something you might appreciate while flying. The Aviator is very useful as well as fashionable. It looks good on almost every face shape and they come in different designs. The most worn pilot sunglasses by male and female pilots for a reason. Click on the following link if you are interested in the Aviator model. Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses
Professional but with a little edge
If you don’t want to follow the crowd… go for the Clubmaster sunglasses from Ray-Ban. The Clubmaster is super comfortable and protects your eyes against bright sunlight and white light while flying through clouds. What I love about these glasses is that they are a strong and robust model for men and women. The Clubmaster is little bit edgy and not as obvious as most other pilot sunglasses. The model is inspired by the 50’s and it is timeless & vintage. I chose this model and never regret my decision. I couldn’t be more happier, as you can see in the picture on top. 😉 I have the Brown one. Check it out here: Clubmaster
If your budget is high enough I would say, go for a Serengeti. These sunglasses are made for pilots and the view is truly amazing. I tried so many of these. Unfortunately the price range was not in my budget so I decided to buy a Ray-Ban instead. These sunglasses fit very well, the view is super clear and because of the lightweight model you won’t even notice you are wearing them. They have photochromic lenses which constantly adjust to different light conditions, which is great in a cockpit environment. The Spectral control diminishes haze and distracting glare. I noticed that it enhances contrast and sharpens vision. You can find one of the best (gradient included) and cheapest versions here on this website.
Which one do you have?
In the end you are the one who decides which model fits you best. Do you only care about comfort or is style also an important aspect? I, for example, love a darker shade since I do not want to look into super bright light all the time. I also did not choose for a gradient sunglasses because I can read my PFD and instruments completely fine. Again, this is just an opinion since I also know a few people who absolutely love the gradient sunglasses. Another tip; buy those sunglasses at a decent store. You don’t want to to pay top dollar for a fake.
Please let me know in the comments below which sunglasses you have and if/why you are happy with those or not. Did you agree with my article or do you have better options? Don’t hesitate to comment below, I love to hear your opinion! 😀
Wondering which headset you have to buy for your flight training / airline job? Make sure you check out my next article about the best aviation headsets!