The sun is glaring and sweat beads, sending salty drops down your face. You dive for a spiked ball, spraying sand up and onto your face.
In this scenario, you need the best possible sunglasses to prevent the elements of sweat, sun, and sand from hurting one of your most vulnerable parts: your eyes. Let’s review some of the most recommended sunglasses for beach volleyball.
The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL stands a bit above the rest for a few reasons. To start, the XL stands for extra-long lenses, so they are a bit taller than most lenses, providing for better protection. Further, their rimless and lightweight features give these glasses the edge in performance.
Under Armour’s Octane came in a close second. With the ability to customize to prescription needs and with a lower price tag than the Oakley’s Flak 2.0, the Octane solidified its spot as a top contender.
Features of Sunglasses
When looking at what sunglasses to purchase, the features above make a huge difference to the outcome of your game and enjoyment. We’ve broken down some of the aspects and why they matter.
Although this wasn’t a direct feature, it was listed in both the pros and the cons for each pair of sunglasses. Some people want to purchase quality and will pay a higher amount for a solid pair of sunglasses they know will keep UV rays away from their eyes. Others know that they will forget a pair of sunglasses the second they take them off and so they are simply not willing to invest a hundred dollars for a pair of glasses. To each their own, but it is worth noting your personal preference and the cost of each pair.
It is imperative when playing sports that your lenses are shatterproof at a minimum. Having proper protection from the sun is just as important, as well as keeping glare at bay. If you have poor eyesight, contacts may not be the best option for sand volleyball where a single grain of sand in your eye can throw your game. Sunglasses with the ability to be geared both toward UV protection, shatter and scratch resistant and also customized to a prescription are spot-on features worth noting.
With beach volleyball, constant movement, diving, sun and sweat are givens and so it is without doubt that frames need to be able to stay put without causing headache or strain. Lightweight frames with focus on pressure point technology weigh out over just simply tight frames. Mix that in with style and you have a sure winner.
Not all sports are the same and the ability to customize not only the color of the lenses but also the type of lenses vastly changes the sunglasses rating. Further, the ability to add your personal prescription allow for clear vision matter when you are near or far-sighted.
The Top Five Sunglasses
The Oakley’s stood out in our division. With durability and systems in place to hold your sunglasses from slipping even through sweat created a sure winner. Sporting the features below solidified their spot as our top pick.
The cost of the Oakley Flaks are the only con we came across. Running into the hundred plus range or more is steep for many people, especially those who tend to misplace their sunglasses. For those who do not, to know their sunglasses are going to perform when they need them to is well worth the investment.
The XL in the name is for Extra Large lenses. The Oakley’s taller lenses allow more of the eye to be covered from loose sand and the sun’s rays. If you are not happy with your lenses, simply contact customer service and they replace them. If necessary, replacement lenses are available for purchase and you can even switch them out with the Oakley’s HIGH DEFINITION OPTICS® or the Prizm lenses. All Oakley lenses block 100% of UVA, UVB and UVC, as well as harmful blue light up to 400 nanometers
The frames are constructed of Oakley’s O-matter which makes them durable and lightweight, as well as flexible for improved safety on contact. They utilize Oakley’s Three-Point-System meaning that there are three points of contact on the frame only: at the bridge of the nose and behind the temples. This allows the frames to maintain alignment and eliminate strain and discomfort often experienced with sunglasses that hook behind the ears.
With Oakley, you can customize the lens types and colors, as well as if you would like a prescription in the sunglasses. This allows for a more personal approach to the sunglasses to work best with your face and not make you fit the sunglasses.
The least expensive of our top three sunglasses, the Under Armour Octane’s still pack a punch against the UV light and maintain durability. All Under Armour Eyewear comes with a life guarantee against manufacturer’s defect so you can forget buyer’s remorse with your purchase.
The Octane runs into the hundred plus range.
Under Armour uses ArmourSight lens technology allowing for enhanced, distortion-free vision spanning through the entire lens. They protect against 100% of UVA/UVB rays.
UnderArmour uses ArmourFusion frames. The company injects polyamide into the frames for increased durability. The temples of the sunglasses conform to your head for a unique fit per person. Furthering the customized fit, the nose pads are multi-positioning. Finally, the three-point grip system places a fused rubber component on your temples and nose pad for comfort.
These can be customized for prescription needs.
The 100% Daze sunglasses are spectacular for sport meets life. Basically, you get a great pair of sports sunglasses and lifestyle sunglasses all in one. The cost is still a bit steep for some but the two-for-one deal should help make the opportunity-cost line up for the 100% Daze.
These sunglasses still run into the hundred plus range, but are less expensive than the Oakley’s.
100% Daze allows for two options of lenses. They are both made from polycarbonate but provide two different features. The HiPER lenses give game-changing color and contrast enhancements and the PEAKPOLAR promote uncompromising polarization visuals. These bad boys give 100% UV resistance, feature a scratch resistant lens coating, and use HYDROILO lens treatment to keep water, dirt, and oil at bay.
Grilamid TR90 frame yield shatterproof and lightweight features. The 100% Daze uses ultra-grip TPE rubber nose pads and tips and wraps around for optimal protection.
Like the Oakleys and Under Armours, these sunglasses have the ability for a prescription to be put into the lenses.
The Hulislem Blade II’s are stylish, sleek, light and durable making them the perfect sunglasses for those who are a bit hard on their pairs.
The Hulislem Blade II Sport Polorized Sunglasses are much more affordable, allowing sun protection without the high price tag. This is especially important if you are a person who loses their sunglasses constantly.
The lenses are cut from a single toric lens to allow for depth perception and increased color contrast. Acutint Lens Coloring is utilized to allow the wearer to see natural colors through the sunglasses. Finally, the lenses come with UV 400 Flash Coating to block out UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light.
These frames are made with lightweight polycarbonate and are stress resistant for active use.
The only customization available is to change up the frame color, with a price so low, buy a few and switch them out.
The Duduma Polarized Designer Fashion Sports Sunglasses are what you would expect from the name – sporty and stylish. They get the job done and are affordable along the way.
The Duduma’s are comparable to the Hulislem Blade II’s.
TAC polarized lenses allow for 100% of the UV400 protective coating to do its job and block those harmful UVA and UVB rays. The TAC lenses have seven layers with the first one polarizing, the 2nd and 3rd layers bonding for durability. The 4th and 5th layers focusing on UV protection and the 6th and 7th layer solidifying the shatterproof protection.
These frames come with a lifetime guarantee against breaking. They are lightweight and made from polycarbonate to remain impact and scratch resistant.
While you cannot customize them with prescription lenses, you can change up both the frame and lens colors.
What others are saying
Before we sign off, let’s take a quick peek at what the general consensus is for these five sunglasses.
Starting with our top choice, it is no surprise that most of the Oakley’s reviews rave about the how comfortable and sleek the glasses are. The nose piece and legs provide support while maintaining feel, they conform to your head allowing you to get the job done. Even in sweat, they hold up and stay put.
I’ve worn the same pair of Oakley Flak sunglasses for over 10 years. They have definitely stood the test of time, sand, and sweat over those years. I love how lightweight they are, making them easy to wear all-day for a beach volleyball tournament. However, my favorite feature has to be that the bottoms are rimless, which means that sweat doesn’t pool up in the frames (yes, this has happened with other styles).
Under Armour’s sunglasses feel solid and are of premium quality. Most compared to Oakley and could tell the difference but also stated that the reduction of glare and visibility in all levels was what they needed it to be. Fits excellent and does not dig into the head.
100% Daze reviews boast on the sun protection, as well as the transition the lenses have when opted. Wearers love the simple and sleek look with the protection. It is noted that after much wear, they may need replacing.
The Hulislem’s reviews boasted how the polarization was spot-on, the strap worked well and the sunglasses held up against the elements. Some wearers reported the nose pads caused the lenses to sit too far out from the face and felt the lenses may be a bit on the small side. Overall, most state they would purchase again.
Finally, the Duduma’s users acknowledged they used to be Oakley users until their bank accounts couldn’t afford them. Massive compliments and no slippage even with sweat. Some complained the frames felt cheap but at $20 a pair, this seems par for the course.
Get out there and play
Remember, sunglasses are not a one-size-fits-all. What is important to you may not be for a teammate or perhaps your heart is set on the Oakley’s but you need to save. That is okay. What is most important is you are protecting your eyes the best you can while playing the game you love. So, grab a pair, try them on, and play your heart out during the short summer months.
- Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
- Under Armour Octane Wrap Sunglasses
- 100% Daze Sunglasses
- Hulislem Blade Ⅱ Sport Polarized Sunglasses
- Duduma Polarized Designer Fashion Sports Sunglasses