The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses


Reviews of Goldwing and motorcycle-related products and services
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:09 am



For years, I wore a relatively cheap pair of sunglasses in my helmet. They were a drug-store find, after trying MANY different pair. They fit, but weren't very uncomfortable with a helmet on. I tend to put them on my seat when taking them off, and after they had been sat on one too many times, they finally broke.

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.

Harbor Freight Sunglasses
Harbor Freight Sunglasses


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.

I hope this helps some people in their quest for sunglass perfection!



User avatar
Overdog
Posts: 173
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:00 am
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 83 Goldwing Interstate

74 BMW R90/6

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby Overdog » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:42 am

I get mine from Safety Glasses USA online. They have a ton of styles and colors and, most importantly to me, they have inexpensive safety glasses with bifocal lenses!

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2008
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby FM-USA » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:53 am

Amazing... I never heard you were looking for sunglasses.
I could have directed you years earlier.

(non-sarcastic pun tho it sounds like it, still an attention get'r :) )

I've used these "Safety Glasses" for a few years now. They work GREAT!!! They're comfy, really light weight, the hinge is STRONG!, there priced really reasonable, there widely available and can take a beating without breaking. I was so impressed, I bought 3, 2 tinted and one clear for evening & night riding. 8-)
Speak of taking a beating and strong. While working on the bike and didn't notice they dropped. I accidentally partly ran one pair over. I'm still using them! Another HUGE PLU$!
Being the softer plastic I knew cleaning these would haze a little sooner than most. For scratch resistance I've used car waxes, Rain-X and those 'once a year' finishes and this plastic glasses handles it all well. :geek:

I have one ear that's a smidgen higher. Heating up the ear-leg and bending is EZ over a heat source due to no wire inside. If you have a smaller head and the legs pre-bent reach makes them too loose, just heat it up and remold.

One bad drawback to these is the lens shape. Right where I view, it scratches way to easily. I tried buffing it out but it becomes way to wavy for me. I want to see as crystal clear as possible.

One improvement I found, they are available with little magnifiers molded in. Of course they're a little more pricey but NO WHERE NEAR prescriptions. As far as I know only 2.0 mag is available BUT I have not looked in over a year. "IF" you're frugal as me, I'll be cutting out and saving those little magnifiers and (somehow) attaching to sunglasses that don't have it. Them little mag's online are ridiculously priced too high.

DEFINITELY one great pair(s) of glasses for riding.
FM (aka:Floyd)
Last edited by FM-USA on Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

User avatar
lacanars
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:46 am
Location: Oakland, NE
Motorcycle: Current: 1982 GL1100I Interstate
Previous:
1981 Honda CM400C
1978 Yamaha XS400

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby lacanars » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:20 am

I wear something very similar, they are a Visio V20 by Jackson. However the comfort across the top of the ear was not there and seemed to be cutting into my skin. I started using "Chums" over the side rails of the glasses. They are like a sports band to help hold glasses in place, then I don't leave them on the seat either cause when not wearing them they just hang around my neck. I push them way up on the sides and they add a cotton pad to the sides of the glasses and are now very comfortable and is less than $10.
Attachments

CaptLen
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:39 am
Location: Norwalk, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800A

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby CaptLen » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:44 pm

Thanks for the info, everyone- I checked Safety Glasses USA and was excited to find that they have anti-fog available on some of the bifocals. This is great because in cold weather the pinlock doesn't fog but mu glasses will. They're a bit more than the Harbor Freight but I'll give them a try.

User avatar
tandem54
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:00 am
Location: Surprise, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby tandem54 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:47 pm

Now if you can only find similar ones for us poor guys that have to wear prescription glass's!!!!!!!
I did just buy a couple pairs of "Flip up, Clip On sunglasses on e-bay" ($7 a pair) to try, so far so good, i bought 2 pair 1 pair from 2 different places to compare them. I have only received 1 pair so far.
I have been buying them from Walmart ($15 a pair) but when i take them off and put then in my pocket (at a store etc.) I get scratches!
They are cheap and I don't know just how good the UV protection is, but they seem good.
I’d rather be Riding my Motorcycle thinking about God
Than sitting in church thinking about my Motorcycle

User avatar
seabeechief
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby seabeechief » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:50 pm

I also have been looking for the "right" sunglasses. The closest I have found for the tinted glasses are DeWalt safety glasses. I bought them either at Home Depot or Lowe's, I don't remember which, for less than $10. The stems are slender and STRAIGHT, so I can get them on after I put my helmet on. I also bought a "yellow" pair for night/rainy riding and I like them a lot as well. Their drawback is the stems are curved like regular glasses, and very difficult to put on after the helmet is put on.

For what it's worth, I bought a pair of prescription bi-focal's from one of the mail order/internet sites. I bought the old time "AO" Aviator/Pilot glasses that were in vogue a lifetime ago. I like the frames with the straight stems, but the bottom part of the bi-focal somehow distorts the print at the bottom of the page. I know that sounds weird, but when reading, if I tilt my head down slightly to read the bottom part of a page, everything is good. If I just move my eyes downward, toward the bottom of the bi-focal, the bottom of the page looks like it is "funneled" or cone shaped and the print narrows at the bottom. I'm sure someone can explain that better, but that's the best I can do. The internet company had no interest in my problem. I MAY try a pair from another company, this time with the transitional darkening process. I don't know if they can be made with the ANSI Z87 safety lens, but that would have to be available before I would buy another pair.

Chief
Combat Vets Association - San Antonio
Patriot Guard Riders - San Antonio & Austin
Darkside #1609

User avatar
Overdog
Posts: 173
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:00 am
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 83 Goldwing Interstate

74 BMW R90/6

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby Overdog » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:07 pm

FM-USA wrote:Amazing... I never heard you were looking for sunglasses.
I could have directed you years earlier.

(non-sarcastic pun tho it sounds like it, still an attention get'r :) )

I've used these "Safety Glasses" for a few years now. They work GREAT!!! They're comfy, really light weight, the hinge is STRONG!, there priced really reasonable, there widely available and can take a beating without breaking. I was so impressed, I bought 3, 2 tinted and one clear for evening & night riding. 8-)
Speak of taking a beating and strong. While working on the bike and didn't notice they dropped. I accidentally partly ran one pair over. I'm still using them! Another HUGE PLU$!
Being the softer plastic I knew cleaning these would haze a little sooner than most. For scratch resistance I've used car waxes, Rain-X and those 'once a year' finishes and this plastic glasses handles it all well. :geek:

I have one ear that's a smidgen higher. Heating up the ear-leg and bending is EZ over a heat source due to no wire inside. If you have a smaller head and the legs pre-bent reach makes them too loose, just heat it up and remold.

One bad drawback to these is the lens shape. Right where I view, it scratches way to easily. I tried buffing it out but it becomes way to wavy for me. I want to see as crystal clear as possible.

One improvement I found, they are available with little magnifiers molded in. Of course they're a little more pricey but NO WHERE NEAR prescriptions. As far as I know only 2.0 mag is available BUT I have not looked in over a year. "IF" you're frugal as me, I'll be cutting out and saving those little magnifiers and (somehow) attaching to sunglasses that don't have it. Them little mag's online are ridiculously priced too high.

DEFINITELY one great pair(s) of glasses for riding.
FM (aka:Floyd)


http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/bf34.html $11.00 for stick on bifocals. I've used these and they stick pretty well.....I've gone back to contacts now.

User avatar
WVJefo
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:01 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Aspencade "The 12"
1994 1500 Aspencade "The Black

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby WVJefo » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:39 pm

I have been using a cheap pair of safety glasses from Home depot for last few of years. I generaly lose them before I break them

Jeff

bjrussell
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: London KY
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby bjrussell » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:46 pm

I wear prescription bi-focals. I get them from Zenni Optical. They fit in my helmet very comfortably, and don't hurt my ears! I do use the clip-on sunglasses with them. About $24 and the optical quality is great and they are amazingly durable (wire frames).

User avatar
seabeechief
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby seabeechief » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:56 pm

bjrussell wrote:I wear prescription bi-focals. I get them from Zenni Optical. They fit in my helmet very comfortably, and don't hurt my ears! I do use the clip-on sunglasses with them. About $24 and the optical quality is great and they are amazingly durable (wire frames).


bjrussell, do you happen to know the number of the frames on your glasses? I have looked at the Zenni website until I am almost blind.

Chief
Combat Vets Association - San Antonio
Patriot Guard Riders - San Antonio & Austin
Darkside #1609

bjrussell
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: London KY
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby bjrussell » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:23 pm

The Zenni Optical frames I am using are #419014. Yes, there are more than a few frames on that site.

User avatar
MNAspencade
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:02 pm
Location: Jacobson, Minnesota
Motorcycle: 1985 Gl1200 Aspencade

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby MNAspencade » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:45 pm

I too have found that using safety sunglasses are also very useful. After spending a fair amount on fancy sunglasses I bought the safety glasses for working in the yard. I found that they do not get wavy over time or when left out on the dash in the elements. The ones that I use are available at Wally World (Wal-Mart) and run about $5 and they come in a variety of frame styles and colors (even pink for the ladies)

Ride Safe !!

User avatar
1grouch2u
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:08 pm
Location: Bonham, TX
Motorcycle: 1976 Honda Goldwing GL1000

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby 1grouch2u » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:33 pm

And all this time I thought it was my wife that was the crazy one! -A friend of ours left a pair of safety glasses that he got from Home Depot at the house, and she just fell in love with them! -They're still her favorite sunglasses. For the longest time whenever our friend would come over to visit he'd always bring her a pair- kinda got to be a quirky inside joke- now even though they will hide (like guitar picks) for a while, at any given time you can't turn around without finding a pair tucked away somewhere in the house. -I just thought it was funny to see them brought up on here.

I've been known to wear them when I can't find mine- which I've got to put a plug in for- Have you ever seen the advertisement for these shades where it shows the guy run over some with a forklift? I don't know what they're called, or even where to get them anymore, but I've been wearing the same pair for years now- daily, not even just for riding! I used to wear the Ray~Ban Aviators with the ear loops (before I got so faithful about wearing a helmet...) but as was pointed out they weren't very comfortable under my helmet.

Not much information here, just thought I'd say hi and share what looking back on what I've written was a private joke... oh well, good shades -especially for the price! (But I still like my forklift glasses better.) 8-)

User avatar
seabeechief
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby seabeechief » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:05 am

Sam's Club sells a package of six pair of safety glasses for about $24 that I have been using around yard for several years. I wore them as my motorcycle glasses until I found the DeWalts.

Chief
Combat Vets Association - San Antonio
Patriot Guard Riders - San Antonio & Austin
Darkside #1609

User avatar
nsjoe
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: Wickliffe, Ohio
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800A

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby nsjoe » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:55 am

If you have a US Safety Gear around, they have a pretty nice selection of Safety glasses. I started wearing them several years ago when I, too started looking for the best all around riding glasses. I was impressed with the impact resistant glasses, and they have a lot of different sizes, shapes, and colors. I see they have magnifiers, too:

http://www.ussafetygear.com/ProductDeta ... 143X-00000.

Some will go over regular prescription glasses, and some look strikingly similar to wingadmin's HF glasses:

http://www.ussafetygear.com/ProductList ... ty+Glasses

Happy motoring....
Joe
Darksider #493

User avatar
1grouch2u
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:08 pm
Location: Bonham, TX
Motorcycle: 1976 Honda Goldwing GL1000

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby 1grouch2u » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:40 pm

I did some digging and found what I think are the glasses I've been wearing the past few years (the ones that survived being run over by the forklift...) I originally saw them in a spam from 'BikerOrNot.com -like I said YEARS ago!- and I'm pretty sure this is them :

http://store.bikerornot.com/products/He ... n-USA.html

-I didn't spend but a few bucks for mine at the time, but still not bad, as they've been really terrific shades, and I'd still recommend them even at the current price.

(There are also a lot of options I see now, so cool :D )

Wingdude1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:26 am
Location: Johnstown Pa
Motorcycle: 3002 GL1800

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby Wingdude1 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:40 am

Hey fellow riders I just wanted to make a comment on clip on sunglasses I purchased recently. Not sure of the brand but got them at a Pilot Travel center for 14.99. They have different styles to fit your particular glasses shapes. I highly reccomend these as there is no distortion and your visability is just as clear as not having them on. They come in a well designed protective case also to avoid scratching when not in use. I have bought many pairs over 40 years and have finally found some that I would reccomend. I will be buying more to have in each of my other vehicles. This was the best $15 I have spent on anything for years.

Dan 2003 Wing

zeus661
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:34 pm
Location: Rossford, Ohio
Motorcycle: 2013 F6B Deluxe

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby zeus661 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:33 pm

I buy safety glasses with reading lenses so I can read my GPS. And if needed see thing close up.

User avatar
1grouch2u
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:08 pm
Location: Bonham, TX
Motorcycle: 1976 Honda Goldwing GL1000

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby 1grouch2u » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:15 pm

Here's a link to these shades- http://store.bikerornot.com/products/He ... ign=073114 -they're really great!

CruiSinVT
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:04 pm
Location: South Burlington, VT
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby CruiSinVT » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:29 am

I'm a bit of a sunglass snob, and have fallen in love with my Revision Stingerhawk glasses.

They're a bit pricey in the sense of $100 to get you started, but replacement lenses are only $26 each. You can often find 30% off coupon codes, and military get more than that, if I'm not mistaken.

Military ballistic protection for my eyes, great wrap around fit, built in anti-fog, slim flexible arms, interchangeable lenses...

http://www.revisionmilitary.com/store/s ... y-kit.html

User avatar
twostrokes48
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:21 pm
Location: San Antonio,TX
Motorcycle: 98 Goldwing 1500 trike
75 GL1000 (restoring)
98 Goldwing with landing gear (for sale)
94 Goldwing 1500- towpac trike (sold)
88 Goldwing 1500- (sold)
84 GL1200 Aspy-SOLD
75 GL1000(stolen 87)
88 GW trike (totaled)
1972 750k2

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby twostrokes48 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:10 am

1grouch2u wrote:I did some digging and found what I think are the glasses I've been wearing the past few years (the ones that survived being run over by the forklift...) I originally saw them in a spam from 'BikerOrNot.com -like I said YEARS ago!- and I'm pretty sure this is them :

http://store.bikerornot.com/products/He ... n-USA.html

-I didn't spend but a few bucks for mine at the time, but still not bad, as they've been really terrific shades, and I'd still recommend them even at the current price.

(There are also a lot of options I see now, so cool :D )


If you are referring to the Hercules sunglasses by Global Vision, they are also available on Amazon from $6.00 for up to about $20 for others.

User avatar
1grouch2u
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:08 pm
Location: Bonham, TX
Motorcycle: 1976 Honda Goldwing GL1000

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby 1grouch2u » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:52 pm

Yeah, that's the guy! 'Hercules' -by Global Vision 8-)

User avatar
3 4 the road
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:34 pm
Location: Clinton, Washington
Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Goldwing Trike

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby 3 4 the road » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:49 pm

Just a quick thank you note for recommending the Harbor Freight sunglasses. I have been using them for a couple of months now, and have found them to be everything you said. I wish they came in another tint than grey, such as amber, but otherwise, they are perfect. I wear contacts with them, and as you said, they are great about keeping the wind out of your eyes. And they are cheap enough, I am not worried about having to replace them if they get scratched or lost. I have sat on them a couple of times, with no bad results.

I will have to say that my wife is not all that keen on their style! :lol: But I think they are just fine.

I am in the process of ordering some clear ones for winter and night riding.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:51 am

3 4 the road wrote:Just a quick thank you note for recommending the Harbor Freight sunglasses. I have been using them for a couple of months now, and have found them to be everything you said. I wish they came in another tint than grey, such as amber, but otherwise, they are perfect. I wear contacts with them, and as you said, they are great about keeping the wind out of your eyes. And they are cheap enough, I am not worried about having to replace them if they get scratched or lost. I have sat on them a couple of times, with no bad results.

I will have to say that my wife is not all that keen on their style! :lol: But I think they are just fine.

I am in the process of ordering some clear ones for winter and night riding.


I have the same problem as you: My wife is not thrilled with how they look. But I'm a function over form guy, for the most part. So oh well. :)




Return to “Product Reviews”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests