The best driving sunglasses 2018: look cool and improve your vision behind the wheel

Whether you lap up the cool breeze in your M3 convertible or rumble from A to B in your classic Mini Cooper, it's worth investing in a decent pair of driving sunglasses

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The sun sometimes causes more hazardous driving conditions than rainstorms, as the glare distorts and creates illusions and blind spots. 

To make sure you’re armed against this, investing in a decent pair of driving sunglasses is essential. But it isn’t as simple as heading to your local high street store and picking up a stylish pair on the cheap; there’s some serious factors that you need to consider. 

Sunglasses don’t necessarily have to be specified as suitable for driving, but there are certain attributes that are just a no-no when it comes to buying a decent pair for wearing behind the wheel. 

How to choose the best driving sunglasses

You should avoid brightly coloured lenses – pinks and blues in particular – as these distort the colours of traffic lights and signs. 

Instead, darker colours like greys and browns are more suitable; our top pick in this list of the best driving sunglasses, the Maui Jim Wiki Wiki Sunglasses, feature a brown lens, which is ideal for driving. 

Second, you’ll need to consider the frame of your sunglasses. Victoria Beckham-esque sunglasses that are about three sizes bigger than your actual face aren’t practical, as they interfere with your peripheral vision. Instead, you should be looking out for slim frames, such as those of the Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, which feature in our list. 

Look out for the tint level of your sunglasses, too. Mid level lenses are the best all-rounders while lighter lenses are good for duller conditions.

The darkest lenses should only be used in the bright light of high altitude, mountainous driving. You should aim to get polarised lenses – they're the best sunglasses for reducing glare but often come at a premium price.  

With all that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of the best driving sunglasses to help you remain safe behind the wheel in sunny weather.

 Heading to retailers such as John Lewis and Amazon, we’ve factored in superior style and designer names so you can really benefit from the best of the best. 

The 6 best driver's sunglasses

The best driving sunglasses

1. Maui Jim Wiki Wiki Sunglasses Polarized

Stylish unisex sunglasses that offer superior clarity in bright light conditions

Specifications
Best for: All-rounder
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Plastic
Frame material: Titanium frame
Reasons to buy
+For men and women+Grey and bronze lenses available
Reasons to avoid
-Too big for smaller face shapes

This stylish offering from popular designer, Maui Jim, combines the ideal lens with a universal frame, creating the perfect pair of driving sunglasses for men and women. 

Due to the warm bronze colour of the lens, the designer suggests that these sunglasses are ideal for everyday use and changing light conditions – great if the weather can’t make its mind up. 

The lenses are polarised, too, so you won’t have to worry about the glare caused by light reflecting off wet surfaces or other cars on the road. 

The best driving sunglasses

2. Ray-Ban Oval Flat Lens Sunglasses

Go for the grey pair if you’re considering these fashion sunglasses

Specifications
Best for: Visual comfort
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Glass
Frame material: Metal
Reasons to buy
+Universal style+Thin frame
Reasons to avoid
-Avoid Turquoise and yellow lenses 

Grey is one of the best colours for driving, so make sure you pick out the right lens if you’ve fallen for these sunglasses. Featuring the popular Ray-Ban oval style, these are classically stylish as well as being practical for the road. 

The grey lens will maintain colour integrity while you’re behind the wheel, while the flash coating reflects glare for better vision in sunny conditions. These sunglasses have been designed with a minimalist frame, so you don’t have to worry about your vision peripheral being obscured, too. 

The best driving sunglasses

3. Santos De Cartier Aviator-Style Leather-Trimmed Gold-Plated Sunglasses

Stay suave while driving with these ultra-cool sunglasses

Specifications
Best for: Men’s fashion
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Glass
Frame material: Gold-plated frames
Reasons to buy
+Brown leather nose for comfort+Gold-trimmed frames
Reasons to avoid
-Not polarised 

If you’re looking for a pair of driving sunglasses that encapsulate masculinity, you can’t really go wrong with this offering from French designer Cartier. As a tribute to Brazilian pilot, Mr Alberto Santos-Dumont, they’re designed in the classic aviator style, and boast a leather nose and gold-plated frames for added luxury. 

Featuring brown lenses, they’re the ideal colour for driving, and they’re faded, too, so your eyes are shaded when you’re looking out of the windscreen but you can still clearly see the dashboard through the lighter bottom half.

The best driving sunglasses

4. American Optical Original Pilot Sunglasses

If you like the aviator style of our second pick, these have a more pocket-friendly price tag

Specifications
Best for: Bright conditions
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Glass
Frame material: Steel
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy structure+Dark gray lenses
Reasons to avoid
-Don’t protect from glare 

These durable sunglasses have been endorsed by the US Army, so you know right away that you’re investing in a decent pair – unfortunately you’re going to have to keep dreaming about that pilot’s licence, no matter how popular they are with the US air force. 

With their classic Aviator style, these sunglasses are a great alternative to our second pick, although you will have to compromise on polarisation. Even so, the dark gray lenses are the ideal match for bright driving conditions, and they shouldn’t distort colour either. With a strong, steel alloy frame, they may even survive if you accidentally sit on them.

The best driving sunglasses

5. Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses

Share the driving with these unisex Ray-Bans

Specifications
Best for: Unisex
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Glass
Frame material: Plastic
Reasons to buy
+Share with your partner+Range of lens and frame types available
Reasons to avoid
-Avoid the blue and pink lenses 

With their universal styling, these sunglasses are a great choice if you’re looking to buy a pair for the car. No matter who’s driving, the person taking the wheel can benefit from a comfortable wearable that’ll give them better vision on the road. 

Make sure you stick to the brown and grey lenses, as blue and pink can distort colour, and you wouldn’t want to mistake a red signal for an amber! 

While they aren’t polarised, their stylishness more than makes up for it, if you’re willing to compromise. 

The best driving sunglasses

6. Ray-Ban Polarised Jackie Ohh Rectangular Sunglasses

As bold as you can probably go, if you prefer a big frame

Specifications
Best for: Unisex
UV protection: Yes
Lens material: Glass
Frame material: Plastic
Reasons to buy
+Bold, stylish frame+Polarised lenses
Reasons to avoid
-Not oversized 

While we can’t quite meet your expectations if you prefer a pair of oversized sunglasses, we can meet you in the middle with these bold Ray-Bans. With a thick black frame, they’re wacky enough to make a statement, but they’re still practical enough for you to wear while driving without them getting in the way of your peripheral vision. 

With their dark grey faded lenses, they won’t distort colour, and you’ll be able to see the dashboard clearly though the bottom lighter half of the lens.