So I went on a quest: find the best sunglasses for riding. I had a few parameters:
- Relatively inexpensive, so that when they got sat on, scratched, otherwise damaged, I wouldn't be too upset
- Have very thin arms, so that they fit with my helmet on, and didn't become painful after a couple of hours
- Of good optical quality, so the image was clear, not foggy or distorted
- Block UV light, to help protect the health of my eyes
- NON-polarized, because when looking through plexiglass (helmet faceshield, windshield), polarized sunglasses cause huge, distracting rainbows - here's an example, looking through the plexiglass window of an airplane through polarized sunglasses:
I first thought of using my old Ray-Ban Aviators, which have thin cable temples to fit inside my airplane headset and keep the noise out. However, those are definitely not inexpensive. I started trying on every pair of sunglasses that I could find. Anytime I was out somewhere with my motorcycle and I saw a place that sold sunglasses, I would start trying them on. I discovered that there are very few sunglasses available anymore that are NOT polarized - and those that aren't, are typically of very low quality.
Then one day I was in Harbor Freight, looking for a few things. I saw that they had some tinted safety glasses on sale, for $2.49. I thought, "hey, that's a good idea, I can wear them when I'm working outside and need safety glasses." So I bought a pair.
A few days later, I thought, "I wonder if these would work good as motorcycle sunglasses?" And to my utter surprise - they did! They fit every single one of my criteria: Cheap, excellent optical quality, comfortable to wear (the arms are very thin), block UV light, and non-polarized. As an added bonus, they're safety glasses, so they are going to be able to absorb some kind of impact, i.e. bugs or small stones, if I happen to have my faceshield up. They are wrap-around, so they keep wind from blowing around the edges and drying out my contact lenses.
I was amazed - these things are the PERFECT motorcycle sunglasses! They normally sell for $3.99 each, and are often on sale for $2.49. I bought a box of them, and keep several in my bike, to give passengers and to use in case I sit on a pair of mine. You can buy them online at Harbor Freight: UV Safety Glasses With Grey Lenses. And for people who ride without a faceshield at night, they have clear ones as well: UV Safety Glasses With Clear Lenses.
They also have a cheaper version, Smoke Lens Safety Glasses. While these on the web page do make a UV claim, they do NOT in fact block UV light, so I can not recommend them. Wearing non-UV-blocking sunglasses is very bad for your eyes.
I hope this helps some people in their quest for sunglass perfection!