Here’s one thing you should add to your beach bag: a pair of floating sunglasses.
You probably already own a regular pair of sunglasses to protect your peepers when you’re out on the beach. When you actually get in the water instead of just lounging around the shore, you are going to need more than just your ordinary sunnies.
If you like surfing, fishing, sailing and other ocean activities, you’re going to need UV protection for your eyes while you are actually out in the ocean. You put on sunscreen for your skin; it makes no sense to skip your eyes. Risking damage to your vision is synonymous to saying goodbye to your water time. So when you wear sunglasses in the middle of the ocean, you better make sure they float.
These days, there are many brands that sell floating sunglasses as a lifestyle item. However, not all products are equally made. If you don’t want to end up with a poorly made product, check out this list of the best floating sunglasses available in the market today.
- 1 #1 Tree Tribe Polarized Bamboo Floating Wayfarer Sunglasses + Case
- 2 #2. Ideal Eyewear Polarized Floating Sunglasses
- 3 #3. Wave Gear Classic Polarized Floating Sunglasses
- 4 #4. Rheos Gear Sapelos Floating Sunglasses
- 5 #5. Fiore® Polarized Floating Sunglasses
- 6 Best Floating Eyewear Retainer Straps
- 7 FAQs
- 7.1 How well do these sunglasses and straps float?
- 7.2 What activities should I wear floating sunglasses for?
- 7.3 Floating sunglasses vs. regular sunglasses: are they really worth it?
- 7.4 Can I wear my floating sunglasses even on days when I’m not in the water?
- 7.5 Do the sunglasses come in larger sizes? What if my head is slightly bigger than most?
- 7.6 What if I wear prescription lenses? Can I have my floating sunglasses upgraded with the appropriate prescription grade for my eyes?
- 7.7 What are the usual dimensions for floating sunglasses?
- 7.8 How do I keep my floating sunglasses from falling off of my head?
- 7.9 Are there designs that are specifically for men or for women?
- 8 Factors To Consider When Buying
- 9 Final Thoughts – Which Should You Get?
The Tree Tribe Floating Wayfarer Sunglasses bring to life the classic wayfarer style that looks good on just about everyone. Each pair of sunglasses are handcrafted with natural bamboo. The bamboo frames are then carbonized to strengthen the material and to provide a richer finish.
Bamboo is porous by nature, which makes the sunglasses naturally buoyant. Also, by Tree Tribe using real bamboo, no two pairs are the same. Tree Tribe provides more than just quality eye protection; they also plant 10 trees with every purchase of a pair of their signature floating sunglasses.
- Made of eco-friendly bamboo
- Uses 35mm polarized lenses
- Has UV400 protection
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Flexible hinges for maximum comfort
- Comes with a cool bamboo case and a microfiber cloth
The Ideal Eyewear Polarized Floating Sunglasses provide the perfect company for your boating or fishing trip. This bamboo pair uses polarized polycarbonate lenses that are shatterproof and scratch-resistant so you can continue to go all out without worrying if your sunglasses can keep up.
- Polarized, shatterproof lenses
- Reduces glare
- Comes with UV400 protection
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Black frame with smoke lenses
The Wave Gear Classic Polarized Sunglasses are perfect for beach sports such as volleyball, but they are also ideal accessories for boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and even surfing! Made of “unsinkable plastic,” this pair will surely bob up when they fall into the water. The polarized lenses also minimize glare and reduce eye fatigue so you can continue seeing clearly and comfortably as you enjoy the ocean.
- Made of buoyant plastic frames
- Comes with 100% UVA and UVB protection
- Comes with a microfiber carry pouch
If you are the ultimate waterman going on an extreme paddling, fishing or scuba diving adventure, you are going to need more than just a pair of average floating sunglasses. What you’ll need is the Rheos Gear Sapelos Floating Sunglasses, which was built to last the toughest conditions. This pair is made of virtually indestructible ultra lightweight TPX® material that weighs 30% less than other materials.
- Composite frame
- Mirrored and polarized lenses
- 100% UV400 protection
- Dual anti-scratch lens layers
- Premium polarized lenses
- Shatterproof lens technology
- Built-to-last screw-long hinge
- Sleek gunmetal finish
If you are looking for a lightweight and high performance pair of floating sunglasses to match your active lifestyle, the Fiore® Polarized Floating Sunglasses will meet your standards. It is made with an aerodynamic frame with side windows and breakthrough Tri-Acetate Cellulose (TAC) polarized lenses that are highly impact-resistant. If you are highly motivated to perform well, this is the pair that will match your lifestyle.
- TAC polarized lenses
- Aerodynamic design for unobstructed peripheral vision
- Hard-coated, scratch-resistant lenses
- Offers 100% UV400 protection
- Very lightweight
- Highly impact-resistant
For additional support for your floating sunglasses, you are going to need retainer straps that also float. Here is our shortlist of the best available brands out there today.
Best Floating Eyewear Retainer Straps
If you are an active waterman, a long distance boatman, a lifeguard, or a supreme water athlete, you will need your sunglasses to stay on especially when it’s go time. While floating sunglasses will save you the hassle of getting totally wet upon retrieval, you need to ensure that your eye protection stays on and doesn’t fall off in the first place.
The Chums Floating Neo Eyewear Retainer is made of lightweight foam-filled neoprene that comes with an adjustable fit. This is perfect for surfing, kayaking, water rafting, canoeing and other water activities that have a heightened risk of eyewear falling into the water.
- Made of lightweight neoprene
- Adjustable fit
- Comes in classic black or neon colors
Your floating sunglasses are a valuable investment, which is why you should also go the extra mile to protect them. The ProvenPremium Neoprene Floating Sunglass Strap is a highly visible and adjustable neoprene sunglasses holder that will keep your valuable sunglasses safe at all times.
- Made of foam-filled neoprene
- Highly visible in bright neon colors
- Comfortable and adjustable
- Simple clip design for easy wear and removal
How well do these sunglasses and straps float?
Bamboo, ultra light plastic, and neoprene are buoyant materials that can float for long periods of time because they are lighter than water. However, your sunglasses can still be washed away by gushing water or currents so it is best not to leave your sunglasses and retainers floating unattended.
What activities should I wear floating sunglasses for?
Any physical activity near or in any body of water such as the ocean, lakes, rivers, and even swimming pools are best done with floating sunglasses on to minimize the additional risk of having to retrieve them when they fall off. Wear floating sunglasses for activities like beach volleyball, football, lifeguarding, surfing, bodyboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and boating.
Floating sunglasses vs. regular sunglasses: are they really worth it?
You can go ahead and wear your expensive non-floating sunglasses and regret losing them when they fall into the water. Or you can just get floating sunglasses and not worry about a thing!
Can I wear my floating sunglasses even on days when I’m not in the water?
You definitely can! Your floating sunglasses also function as regular sunglasses so you can wear them to work, while driving, and to anywhere you want to go. This is why it is important to choose a design that will also suit your city lifestyle. Some floating sunglasses may look too sporty or athletic when worn outside of the water, but they can be used like regular sunglasses just the same.
Do the sunglasses come in larger sizes? What if my head is slightly bigger than most?
Floating sunglasses are made of bamboo and flexible plastic— and both materials will be able to adjust to most heads. Most of these models only come in one size that fits all.
What if I wear prescription lenses? Can I have my floating sunglasses upgraded with the appropriate prescription grade for my eyes?
These floating sunglasses come with regular lenses that have no prescription grade. If you wish to customize your own pair of floating sunglasses, you can check with your ophthalmologist or eye doctor. You can show them the floating sunglasses that you want and they can tell you if they can use the frame and put on prescription lenses.
What are the usual dimensions for floating sunglasses?
Most floating sunglasses are made with the same dimensions as regular sunglasses. These would be 50mm across the eyes, 18mm across the bridge of the nose, and 146mm across the temples. If you need larger sunglasses, try to look for a model that has adjustable straps.
How do I keep my floating sunglasses from falling off of my head?
They seem to be easily knocked down by wind. All floating sunglasses have to be made with ultra light materials so they would float. You can use sunglasses strap retainers to keep your sunglasses from falling off your head. We featured some of the best brands for eyewear retain straps in the article above.
Are there designs that are specifically for men or for women?
All floating sunglasses featured here can be worn by both men and women. Most of the designs are unisex. You can choose the brand and design of floating sunglasses that suits your preference. Some designs are more masculine than others because of their rugged look. However, they are not made to be worn just by men.
Which lens color is best for water?
Different lens colors work better depending on where in the water you are and how deep you are. Grey is perfect for deeper, bluer waters, as it gives you the truest color. This makes it so you don’t have to strain your eyes as much. If you’re in shallower water, copper or brown lenses are better, as they give you better contrast. Lastly, if you’re in the water during low-light conditions or just before dawn, yellow lenses are best. They help to make everything a bit more visible.
How can I prolong the life of my floating sunglasses?
If you spent good money on your sunglasses, the last thing you want to do is break them. Here are a few tips to make sure they live their best life:
1. Take your sunglasses off with two hands.
It might not look super cool, but the more and more you take them off with one hand, the more and more they will loosen and begin to misalign. Eventually, you’ll realize that the frames and arms are bent out of shape.
2. Don’t wash your glasses with cleaner
Many cleaners are unnecessary and can actually do more long-term damage than good because of the alcohol and other chemicals inside. Instead of glasses cleaner, use mild dish soap and scrub with your fingers. Always and only dry with a microfiber cloth so you don’t scratch them.
3. Don’t leave your glasses in the sun
Most of the sunglasses on our list are made with a type of molded plastic. As we know, plastic heats and melts. If your glasses are left in the sun for too long, there’s a chance that the sun can flex and misshape your frames.
Factors To Consider When Buying
There are a wide variety of lens types available on the market today. Opticians should truly be visited if you’re serious about finding the best lenses for your needs, though here’s a little guide to get you started:
1. Blue-Blocker Lenses
Blue-blocker lenses block blue light, hence the name. Prolonged blue light exposure can increase macular degeneration; therefore it is extremely important to stay protected as much as you can. Blue blockers lenses are very popular in the surf community, as well as other sports communities like snowboarders and boaters.
2. Polarized Lenses
Polarized Lenses are easily one of the most popular for watersports, as they help to cut out reflective glare. The sun cannot only be harmful but also distracting if you’re trying to hit a wave and it’s shining in your face.
3. Mirror-Coated Lenses
Mirror-coated lenses are essentially lenses with a reflective material coated on the front. This reduces the amount of light that is allowed to enter through the eye. If you’re in sunny conditions most of the day (as we would guess if you need water sunglasses) than these are ideal as well. You’ve most likely seen flash coating (the multi-colored rainbow coating) on these reflective sunglasses before.
When you’re looking for the proper sized sunglasses, there are a few things that you need to determine first. To begin, look where the eyes on the sunglasses are centered. They should be the same width as your face so that your eyes align with the center of the lenses. This can be done by simply measuring the distance from pupil to pupil, then comparing with your choice of glasses. Second, you want to test out the bridge piece on your favorite pair of glasses and get one that is similar. Ideally, the bridge shouldn’t be so small that it will pinch your nose, but also shouldn’t be so large that it will constantly slip and chafe your skin.
When we say shape, we mean consider the shape of your face. If you have an oval face, most sunglasses will work for you because your feature ratio is fairly even. If you’re someone who has a sharper face with more defined angles, we recommend getting round sunglasses to balance it out. That’s the opposite for those with round faces. Lastly, if you have more of a heart-shaped face, getting frames that are a bit wider at the bottom can help bring some balance to your face.
Sunglasses don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be useful. Unless you purchased your floating sunglasses for a specific sport or for the luxury brand name, there’s no reason to spend hundreds on a new pair. As long as your floating sunglasses offer UV protection, you truly don’t have to worry about much else.
If you’re wearing your sunglasses in the water, you’re most likely swimming, surfing, or enjoying some other watersports. This means you’ll need a pair that can protect you in case of any accidents. Things happen. If you got a surfboard to the face, you could easily get poked in the eye, get optic nerve damage, get a corneal abrasion, or worst case: go blind in one eye. This is why it is very important to find frames that are strong or impact resistant, such as polycarbonate frames, especially if you plan on playing sports.
But of course! No one wants to rock a pair of shades in the summer if they aren’t stylish. Well, mostly everyone. You’re better off getting a versatile pair of shades that you can wear no matter the occasion. Just getting back from the pool and late for dinner with your in-laws? Good thing you already have your slick floating shades that double as a formal accessory.
Final Thoughts – Which Should You Get?
If you’re planning on being in the water a lot this summer, there is no reason not to get a pair of floating sunglasses. There are way too many stories of surfers and fisherman losing their nice shades to the deep in a moment of excitement. Don’t let that be you.
We highly recommend Tree Tribe’s Polarized Bamboo Floating Sunglasses. They’re sleek, stylish, polarized, and eco-friendly, basically, everything you need in a great pair of floating sunglasses. Have fun in the water this summer and remember to keep your sunnies safe!