The 7 Best Aviator Sunglasses For Sun Protection & Style
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When the 1986 film Top Gun premiered, aviator sunglasses sales increased by 40% and a style icon was born. The classic sunglasses trend is still going strong — and you don’t have to be a pilot to wear these soaring accessories. The best aviator sunglasses provide UV protection and are the right fit for your face shape and size. From there, the world is your oyster when it comes to this style — you can score everything from classic Ray-Ban glasses to seriously hip pairs with colored lenses that match your outfit.
Fashion-savvy folks routinely rock this look at the beach, music festivals, or just around the city. One reason aviators are so popular is because they look good on many face shapes. Aviators complement faces that are oval, oblong, heart-shaped, or square. If your face is round, look for aviators that have more angular details. When it comes to size, a mid-size aviator will be the most compatible frame on the majority of people. The average size of aviators is 58-millimeters wide so if you have a more petite face look for a pair that is more narrow in size. Remember: the best sunglass shape for you is the one you love.
You can choose among three key specifications when shopping for aviator sunglasses. Lenses that are polarized minimize reflection of anything shiny. This can help your eyes from straining, however, they don’t protect you from UV rays unless they have a UV-blocking coating on them. Mirrored lenses are not just for looks — they actually reduce the light that goes through the lenses by 10 to 60%, thanks to a reflective coating on the outside of the lens. Both polarized and mirrored lenses are ideal for high altitudes or blocking glare from snow or water. Gradient color lenses are darker at the top of the lens and gradually get lighter, or more transparent, in color. These lenses are great for driving because they protect your eyes from overhead sunlight, while still allowing you to see your dashboard with clarity.
The classic shape of aviators make them the perfect accessory for many styles. Whether your fashion taste is classic, edgy, perfectly color-coordinated, or sporty, you'll find a pair of perfect aviators on this list to carry you through summer (and beyond) — including some with thousands of reviews from obsessed fans.
1. Best Cheap Classic Aviators
If you can't keep track of sunglasses to save your life, this cheap pair of aviators gives you the same look as Ray-Bans at a fraction of the price. The classic style is available in 58 or 62 millimeters, or you can opt for a smaller 55-millimeter square style. They do have polarized lenses to help with reflection and will block 99% to 100% of UV rays. They come in eight colors and different lens types like mirrored options. These glasses have more than 7,600 reviews and many say they love how lightweight and comfortable they are, thanks to the way the frames flex out to relieve pressure on your ears.
Helpful Review: "Love these glasses! They are sturdy and gorgeous and comfortable. I was skeptical but they feel great on. I'm not usually one to wear sunglasses but haven't gone anywhere without these they did take some getting used to. Great on a budget and good quality. They also came with a hard case which was an ease on my mind. Three kiddos and accidents happen so I really appreciate the hard case instead of a soft one."
2. Best Classic Pair of Aviators
This pair of classic aviators from Ray-Ban are what you think of when you think of Top Gun. They come in both polarized and non-polarized styles and offer 100% UV protection for your eyes. They were even originally designed for military use. This highly rated pair, which has more than 8,000 Amazon reviewers, is on the pricier side, but that extra protection and the quality of materials (along with the Ray-Ban brand name) contribute to the sticker price. Reviewers say they are worth every penny, as long as you are good at keeping track of them. They come in a variety of both lens and frame shades, as well as four sizes ranging from 55- to 62-millimeters. You can even opt for the Ray-Ban Evolve photochromatic lenses, which gradually change color from a lighter shade to a darker shade within three minutes when exposed to UV light outdoors, and change back once you step inside. These authentic glasses are a crowd favorite.
Helpful Review: "I've worn Ray-Ban sunglasses dating back to my junior high school days when the original Miami Vice drove me to purchase several pair[s] of Wayfarers. These aviators (black 58mm) are a perfect fit without being oversized and have the quality I've come to expect from Ray-Ban. I prefer the non-polarized for driving and the sturdy case and cleaning cloth it arrived with keep it safe and secure when I travel."
3. Best Mirrored Aviators In Lots Of Colors
These mirrored aviators are stylish and protect your eyes from the sun. They have a sturdy metal frame, with non-polarized lenses and 100% UV400 protection. Plus: they boast more than 7,200 reviews and come in 12 lens colors like green-blue, purple, and olive. While this pair may not last for the next five summers, the low price means you can instantly upgrade your wardrobe without breaking the bank. They're 58-millimeters wide and most reviewers say the sizing is spot-on and in line with most classic aviators.
Helpful Review: "VERY nice shades. Got them in gold with silver lenses. They seem to be of great quality, very sturdy, though lightweight. I wore them for a full day, no discomfort whatsoever. I've bought lots of mirrored sunglasses, and more often than not, regardless of the color of the mirrored lenses, they've been dark (from my perspective), too dark to wear/see well indoors, e.g., in a store. What surprised me about these is that they're relatively light, can see fine indoors with them, yet they're completely opaque to observers, your eyes can't be seen even in bright light. Ideal for driving."
4. Best Aviators With Colored Lenses
These trendy colored-lens aviators will make a statement anywhere you go. They have a metal frame and non-polarized lenses, while offering 100% UV400 protection. These fun glasses are available in 10 colors that include blue, brown, green, pink, orange, purple, red, and silver. They are slightly wider than average at 59 millimeters. The nose piece has soft silicone pads that reviewers say are comfortable to wear all day. These glasses also come with a microfiber carrying bag, which can be used to clean the lenses. Fans of these glasses also rave about how the colors change their perspective and add a slight tint to their view.
Helpful Review: "I love these glasses! I've been looking for aviator sunglasses with a yellow tint for a while. Not the easiest thing to find without paying more than they're worth. These are definitely worth the cost. They fit well and are fairly comfortable."
5. Best High Fashion Aviators
These Kate Spade sunglasses are polarized, making them perfect for blocking glare whether you're on the slopes or a boat. They measure 59 millimeters, have a 100% UV-protection coating to protect your eyes, and feature pearlized arms with fun accents.
Helpful Review: "I wanted polarized glasses and I'm so picky when it comes to them. I don't want them too dark because then I have a hard time seeing. I've had like 3 pairs of different brands and they'll be polarized, but dark when I put them on. If you’re the same way, these are PERFECT! They are polarized and are bright. I was a little concerned because all my other polarized glasses had the mirror look on all of them and since these didn't I was a little skeptical. Once I opened these and put them on I fell in love! They come with a case and a cleaning cloth!!! TOTALLY WORTH IT."
6. Best Oversized Aviators With Gradient Lenses
These oversized aviators feature a gradient color lens and measure 60 millimeters in width. They're available in purple, blue, and silver — all of which follow the same gradient. They have more than 1,000 reviewers and many say they are sturdy and high-quality, but that you should be okay with glasses that have an oversized fit. The lenses themselves are polarized with 100% UV protection.
Helpful Review: "So I really love the way that's sunglasses look! I was looking for a pair that were a little oversized but didn't make me look weird. They fit great & are so stylish. So happy with my purchase."
7. Best Aviators For Smaller Faces
If you love the look of aviators, but can never find a pair that fits, these aviators for smaller faces is for you. They measure 53 millimeters wide, narrower than typical aviators, though they also come in 58 millimeters if you like the look of these and need a bigger size. They have polarized lenses with 100% UV400 protection. They come with a leather carrying case, a microfiber pouch, and soft glasses cloth for cleaning — as well as a mini screwdriver for any loose screws.
Helpful Review: "If you're looking for a great pair of glasses and you have a small face these are perfect — love the frames and how they fit. I really wanted aviator glasses but they were all too big for my face. [...]. These are made very sturdy. They don't feel like they'll fall apart as you take them off. Not flimsy at all! [...] Right out of the case they look great."