pilot sunglasses - Dutch Pilot Girl

Pilot sunglasses reviewed! – 2017

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! 


24 thoughts on “Pilot sunglasses reviewed! – 2017

  1. Pilot sunglasses exude timeless style and exceptional UV protection. Their classic aviator design complements any outfit, while the sturdy frames ensure durability. With their iconic look and reliable performance, pilot sunglasses are a must-have accessory for every fashion-forward individual. For those seeking premium quality and style, Dohn Ash sunglasses are definitely worth trying out.

  2. I’m a professional pilot for 30years +. I like the glasses of the old ray ban but after a long days work it feels like they are about to eat their way into the top of my nose. I had a pair of Randolph’s that I really liked. Real glass, large glasses that were curved and blocked the light from coming in from the side. Great fit for my face at least. I brought them to the beach and stepped on them. To bad. Have never found that model online.
    The best glasses by far was a pair of Rodenstock sunglasses. https://www.kleiderkreisel.at/damen/sonnenbrillen/153609431-rodenstock-pilotenbrille
    I had them for 13 years before I lost them. They had everything good glasses should have. Titanium frame and super light. The glasses small enough to sink in around the eyes and block the light from every angle. Great lenses. They are not produced any longer.
    After that pair I haven’t really found any great glasses. I feel the comments about glasses are to much about style and looks and not really about what they are made to do. Blocking sharp sunlight out while it’s still possible to see what is inside.
    Maybe I will discover something in this tread.

  3. I see few people saying great things on Serengeti, but I am disappointed with it. I got the Driver gradient non polarised lens, Modugno frame. In an A320 cockpit just doesn’t work.
    The photochromic lenses won’t adjust as there are no UV rays in the cockpit, so they’re always very light, and eventually my eyes get tired for too much light coming through. Same when you drive your car, the windshield reflects almost all the UV.
    They’re comfortable and good only to walk around, when your sunglasses gets direct sunlight.

    Other than that, for pilot use, I think they’re very overpriced and rubbish. Best choice for me is a less technological gradient sunglass without photochromic lenses; it works way better for a fraction of the price, and Serengeti sleeps in my drawer.

  4. I’m on the hunt for my first pair of pilot sunglasses. Do you have any suggestions for a pair without the metal-jointed nose pads? I find that those get stuck in my hair when I inevitably put them on my head.

  5. I find my Randolph Aviators better than my Ray-Ban Aviator for comfort, lens, and looks.
    I keep my Ray-Ban as my backup pair, but might get an additional pair of Randolphs instead.

  6. Hi Michelle,

    I posted a question and soon after received an email regarding confirmation of something or other as it isn’t clear. Instructions were to click “Confirm” below, but it reads “confirm follow” (which I don’t understand) and when I tried to click that “confirm follow” the message is: “This url is not syntactically valid.” so of course it won’t work.

    Next I tried subscribing, but seem to have the same problem of email confirmation.


  7. Hi,

    I’m in the process of getting prescription eyeglasses and have tentatively decided on the Ray ban Aviators with the new semi rim. Here’s my quandary: They come in two sized lenses, the small which I prefer and the larger which is what I assume the piiots choose. I think that the small size looks best on my long face. Is there any advantage to getting the larger lenses as far as peripheral vision goes?


    1. Thanks Emerson, Marty also mentioned American Optics, I still haven’t been able to get my hands on them but I will try them as soon as possible. Are you using them as well? And what are your thoughts?

      1. Hi Michelle. I’ve been using Ray Ban for flying for around 10 years. In my personal opinion, the only models who are still good for flying are the ones equipped with G-15 glass. Unfortunatelly I think thay Ray Ban became to popular in the las decade, and they stop to invest in technology. They just became a fashion brand.

        On the other hand, I tryed American Optics (AO) whitch are just perfect for flying. They have really good glass technology and they are very resistant to scrach and if you use polycarbonate glass, they are really hard to brake.

        For the last, today I fly with Serengeti. The temples and filters are for far the best. They have gradiet glass, and very sensible photocromatic glass, whitch even across an airliner windshield they change Shades. They may not be so hard or so resistant as the AO, but the view an filters are better.

        In my personal experience i would recommend serengeti and AO. But im really not a fan of Ray Ban any more.

  8. Hi Michelle! greetings from Turkey…My first choice is tag heuer ; Model: TAG 252 205, color: Brun Fonce Ivoire, this is the one of the best in my opinion. you may try it on. May you have the best day :))

      1. i’ve tried AO(American optics) original pilot glasses. They’d never let me down, till i bought my new ones(light weighted, no glare, no eyestrain etc…) i am sure that u will love it. May you have the best days!!! take care (kendine iyi bak) :))

  9. For me it is Serengeti all the way. I have multiple pairs of sunglasses and I have never come across a brand that beats the quality of Serengeti. I use them daily in high- and low light conditions and even on days when the sun is not out. Spend the extra 100-150 euros in comparison to Rayban or other glasses, you’ll thank me later. Groetjes from Holland.

  10. I have these sunglasses for military pilots that fit me well and has a 360 view of your face and lighting so perfectly,sometimes you can forget the feel that you are wearing them.

      1. USAF pilots wear “Randolph Aviator”, the model has been copied by RayBan and many others, but Randolph was the first official model, supplied to U.S. defence. They also are certified for militar standards.

  11. Got the Serengeti Brando with gradient. Imported, cost me just over 100 euros. They are not as expensive as you might think, as long as you know where to look 🙂

  12. Hello good night Michelle I agree with You. It is very important to choose sunglasses for everybody. And You are a Pilot. Also Yıouahve to be so picky in choosing sunglasses. Due to me The Sunglasses comfort is more importnat than its style. Because You wear on the Sunglasses not the people around You. So Choose the best sunglasses Which feels You comfort at your flights. I wear on Rayban Which is about 180 Euros. I advise You to wear on Pilot wear sunglasses Which is useful for You at flying your plane. If You need stylish one too. I suggest You to buy two Sunglasses first is for your flight Business at Cockpit area. Second is for casual wear sunglasses at your free time at outdoors. Finally ; I advise You to care of your sunglasses like your eyes.I wish You have successful and Lucky days to You.

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