Picking the right cycling sunglasses isn’t about choosing the most expensive ones. It’s about choosing the ones that meet your needs. Going for a short ride? Training for a cycling race or triathlon? Going camping or on holidays and plan to take your bike? 

There are various factors to consider when buying cycling sunglasses. We have reviewed six cycling sunglasses based on the most important categories. There’s the best overall ones, beginner sunglasses, the best budget shades, low light ones and the best lightweight sunnies.

Best Cycling Sunglasses Reviewed

Best Overall

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Have you found it hard to find the perfect pair of cycling shades? Look no further than the Oakley Kato Sunglasses. Their original rimless design, reinforced at key points, is stylish, durable and functional. They provide the same field of vision as a mask, with excellent field of vision and functional protection. 

The lens is designed with Prizm technology, to help with color perception and contrast. But what really makes these glasses so special is the many adjustment options. They come with three sizes of nose pads and their temples can be tilted to change the angle of the lens.

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Best Budget Option

Garneau sunglasses are developed to perform in style. The Grilamid TR-90 nylon feature means they have outstanding transparency and weathering stability. The polymer inserts at the nose bridge and stems make for strong support.

Vents on the stems and lenses help with fogging. With that in mind, and the flexible, lightweight construction, you get the biggest bang for your buck with the Course Superlegga - especially during hot-weather rides.

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Pros

  • Worn by professional cyclists
  • Weathering stability
  • Great for mountain biking
  • Price is ideal for beginners
  • Positive customer reviews

Cons

  • Not big enough for small faces
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Most Stylish Pair

Pit Viper reminisced, “Hyped up on two different energy drinks, we created the Monster Bull.” The sunglasses feature a black frame with neon green splatter. The Monster’s are the darkest polarized mirror lens and the look-through colour is blue.

A majority of customer reviews state that the glasses are designed for a small face, making them popular with kids and women.

Monster Bull owner Alicia L said, "Perfect fit for a small face. The colour is more beautiful than the photos on the site." We agree with Alicia - The Monster Bull rocks!

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Pros

  • Size perfect for kids and women
  • Affordable price
  • Sturdy and tough

Cons

  • No sunglass case
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Best Lightweight

Oakley’s Prizm lenses are designed to manipulate light and boost contrast, making your viewing environment more vivid and colourful. The semi-rimless frame helps with ventilation and provides a better area of vision. 

The O Matter frame is tough and durable and will keep up with your fast-paced urban life. Unobtainium technology is used for temple tips and nose pads. It means it will keep the frame in place without slipping.

The base lens colour is pink and the light condition is medium to light.

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Pros

  • Prizm lens technology
  • Great for urban cyclists
  • Tough and durable frame
  • Unobtainium technology, prevents slipping
  • Super lightweight

Cons

  • Price
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Best for Low light

Are your current sunglasses way too dark when cycling in low light? We have found the perfect sunglasses for low light - Julbo's Aerolite Performance Sunglasses.

The Aerolite's photochromic lens make them the glasses of choice in low light. The NTS (non temperature sensitive) technology optimizes the photochromic lens in both hot and cold weather, so they can be used for both cycling and skiing.

With adjustable nose pads, Air Link Temple technology, a lightweight elastomeric cushioning insert, and hair-resistant Grip Tech material, the Aerolite Performance will give you a comfortable, secure fit. Plus, the well-ventilated construction prevents fogging.

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Pros

  • Stays firmly in place
  • Full venting
  • Photochromic sun protection
  • Very light
  • XYZ Optics technology

Cons

  • Price
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Best for Smaller Faces

Although the POC Devours won our pick for best overall sunglasses, they're very big for small faces. For people who have small faces, it's hard to find sunglasses that fit. Oakley's Radar EV Path features a revolutionary design with a bigger lens that widens the superior visual field.

Radar's key feature is the O Matter frame, which is 25% lighter and two times stronger than usual. The material is more heat and cold-resistant, stopping the frame from becoming hard to break. 

The strong grip is perfect for a small face. This prevents the sunglasses from sliding down your face. Unlike traditional lenses, the shape of the lens doesn't touch the cheeks.

Radar's advantage is the Prizm feature that adjusts vision for different environments. The Unobtainium pads and tips increase in grip with wetness, so you'll be fine when it rains or when you sweat.

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Pros

  • Lenses are spotless, excellent vision
  • High Definition Optics
  • Frame designed to keep you cool
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • O Matter frame is light and strong

Cons

  • Price
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BUYING GUIDE: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING CYCLING SUNGLASSES


First, you need to identify the type of cycling you’ll be participating in. It can be track, BMX, mountain biking or road cycling. Then it comes down to the size of the sunglasses, helmet compatibility and the lens.

Size

It is obviously best to look for sunglasses in a range of different sizes. 

Small

Oakley’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses feature a strong grip, perfect for a small face. The Pit Viper Monster Bull Polarized sunglasses come in the original size (5.43″ width) or double wides (5.86″ width). Customers have complained that the Monster Bull’s are for a small head, so go double wides if you’re an adult male. 

One size

There’s only one size for the Oakley Kato and the sunglasses tend to be on the large size. There’s also only one size for Garneau Litewall shades and Oakley Sutro Lite Sunglasses – Matte Black.  

Large

For those with a large head, go for Oakley’s Flak 2.0 extra-large size.

Helmet Compatibility

Garneau Litewall sunglasses are compatible with the P-09 helmet.

Helmet compatibility is often a personal choice, however, based on the size of your head. Often the helmet pushes the sunglasses too far down the nose. Therefore, when trying on new helmets – take your sunglasses with you.

Lenses

Lens quality is one of the most important features of cycling sunglasses. The advantages of polarised cycling sunglasses are that they avoid flashes of light and blinding reflections. They also relieve eye fatigue and are good for seeing natural colours. But some cycling purists believe polarised lenses should only be purchased if you have problems with glare and excessive light.

Cyclists are exposed to a lot of sunlight and light reflected from a different range of surfaces, so it’s best to use a darker lens. Also, if you’re most likely to cycle during summer, pick a dark lens for high luminosity. If you’ll be cycling in winter most of the time or overcast days, go for a yellow or clear lens, ideal for low light conditions.

FAQ

Do I need to think about impact resistance sunglasses?

Top cycling sunglasses have thicker lenses (about 2mm thick). They offer better impact resistance than regular plastic lenses.

What is the benefit of wrap-around sunglasses?

Sunglasses that wrap around your face cover more area. This prevents more sunlight, wind and debris from entering your eyes.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – the best cycling sunglasses in 2021. Focus on choosing a pair of sunglasses that meets your budget, size, lens, technology and your preferred style of cycling. For us at Altitude Sports, our top pick Oakley Kato performed exceptionally well in every category that we tested. Now it’s time for you to order your next pair of cycling shades. See you on the bike!