Best mountain bike sunglasses 2023 – MTB glasses to protect your eyes and improve your trail vision

Melon Kingpin sunglasses
(Image credit: Melon)

The best mountain bike sunglasses can transform your ride from a sketchy eye-watering blur to a thrilling high-definition experience. No only do the best glasses keep your vision clear and provide defense against harmful UV rays, they're also a vital piece of protection against dust and general trail debris.  

In order for riding glasses to perform as best as possible they need to fit perfectly too, and getting the right ones for you and your proportions is a must. A pair of mountain bike-specific sunglasses needs to look stylish too, and when paired with one of the best mountain bike helmets and MTB jerseys they can really elevate your image on the trail. 

With all of these considerations in mind, we've compiled a list of the best mountain bike sunglasses out there today.

If you're a gravity rider who would benefit from wearing goggles over glasses then make sure to check out our guide to the best goggles available for MTB.

Meet the testers

Why you can trust BikePerfect Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Bike Perfect's Richard Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. He's tested many riding glasses over the years, so knows a good pair when he sees them.

Guy Kesteven
Guy Kesteven

Guy's been testing and writing about mountain bikes for as long as Rich has been riding them and has tested hundreds of riding specs over the years. Look, he's even wearing some in this photo.

The best mountain bike sunglasses

Julbo Fury sunglasses

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
A big coverage options that shrugs off scratches, weather and steam without distortion

Specifications

Lens type: Spectron 1, Spectron 3, Reactiv
Frame type: Full frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Prescription lens options
+
Excellent zero distortion suspended optics
+
Very good long-term value
+
Light and secure

Reasons to avoid

-
Some peripheral intrusion

All Julbo Fury models use the same lightweight full coverage frame which holds the lenses in the center only to stop distortion and make switching optics super easy. Ventilation gaps right across the top and sides and a lower edge cut-out keep steaming up to a minimum, too. 

You can see the frames themselves all around your peripheral which might annoy some but it's not enough to significantly reduce the field of vision. The soft shock-absorbing fixed nose pieces and cunning ‘violin bow’ elastomer ear grips keep the Fury secure even on the most furious descents apparently without sticking to hair (I can’t confirm or deny that). The locking hinges are still firm on all three sets even after months of heavy use and there are Fury S glasses for smaller heads.

To find out why we gave them a maximum five-star rating, read our full review of the Julbo Fury sunglasses.

100% Speedcraft SL sunglasses

(Image credit: Rich Owen)
Lightweight glasses that give an excellent field of vision

Specifications

Lens type: HiPER Red Multilayer Mirror Lens+
Frame type: Half frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes (two lenses included)

Reasons to buy

+
Great field of vision
+
Light feeling
+
Secure without feeling tight
+
Fogging quickly clears
+
Clear lens included

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price

Don't be put off by the 100% Speedcraft SL's somewhat road-orientated stylings (they are Peter Sagan's glasses of choice) as they are a great choice for off-road use too. 

With a feather weight and an almost completely uninterrupted field of vision, it's easy to forget that you're wearing them. The pair we've been testing come with the mirrored lens, clear lens, soft case and spare nose grip that all fits nicely in a hard case.

The hydrophobic lenses stops large water beads from forming and while they can occasionally mist up, the fogging quickly clears. The Speedcrafts make look a little delicate, but we've been riding in them on muddy, wooded trails for a while now without any issues.

Check out our full review of the 100% Speedcraft SL sunglasses.

Melon Kingpin sunglasses

(Image credit: Rich Owen)
Best for customization options

Specifications

Lens type: Zeiss
Frame type: Full frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Large Zeiss lens
+
Well ventilated
+
Spare lens as standard
+
Customizable stylings
+
Hard and soft cases included

Reasons to avoid

-
Interference with some helmets

The Kingpin is the latest offering from online only retailer, Melon, which follows on from their popular Alley Cat glasses. Built around a large, quality Zeiss lens, you can make your Kingpins almost unique with a host of customizable options that comes as part of the standard price from Melon's website.

They're not cheap, but when you consider the package includes a spare (low light) lens, plus a hard and soft case, they're decent value overall. Quality-wise, they're up there with the best riding sunglasses around, but the flared arm tips did cause issues with some of the deeper fitting trail helmets we tried the Kingpins with. 

For more info, check out our full review of the Melon Kingpin sunglasses.

Smith Optics Wildcat sunglasses

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Best for maximum coverage optics and an exceptionally stable fit

Specifications

Lens type: ChromaPop
Frame type: Full frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Goggle-style coverage at a glasses weight
+
Brilliant optics
+
Stable, adjustable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price
-
Lenses scratch relatively easily

Compared to average glasses the Optics are absolutely outstanding. While recent weather means we’ve not had a chance to wear the dark ChromaPop lens in the Wildcats, we’ve worn them loads in Squad goggle guise. We’ve always loved the clarity they deliver and how fresh they keep our eyes feeling even in changeable conditions. Considering the full wraparound coverage and the flexible/replaceable frame design the complete lack of distortion from the '5 base' cylindrical lens is exceptional, too. That particularly helps in low light or long day situations where eyes can get confused more easily and have to work harder to assess the trail and surroundings.

The amount of coverage – particularly with the nose spread to bring them in close - is right up there with a mid-sized goggle, too. Obviously, the frame edges aren’t completely sealed against roots or rain but you’ll definitely find you’re blinking a lot less when things get wet or filthy. They shed water off the lens pretty well too and there’s certainly no reduction in the totally solid fit security when wet. 

Read our Smith Optics Wildcat review for more details.

Koo Demos sunglasses

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Wide wrapping lenses for great coverage

Specifications

Lens type: Zeiss
Frame type: Full
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant Zeiss optics
+
Firmly stable
+
No upper edge gap
+
Decent ventilation

Reasons to avoid

-
Large gap between glasses and face
-
No clear lens option

Koo is the sunglasses partner for the helmet manufacturer Kask, and has a small range of sunglasses from casual to premium on- and off-road performance models. Spectros and Demos are at the top of this range, with the Demos being more orientated to off-road use, whether that's mountain biking, cyclo-cross or adventure riding.

They come with a Zeiss lens that wraps around the face to give better peripheral vision. The lens is vented and the glasses sit reasonably away from the face to keep them fog-free, although it does invite the possibility of more dust, bugs or debris getting inside.

Thin arms, two-position adjustable nose piece, ribbed nose pieces and Megol elastomer strips meant they played well with helmets and stayed securely in place when riding.

Find out more in our review of the Koo Spectro and Demos cycling sunglasses.

Madison Crypto glasses

(Image credit: Madison)

Madison Crypto

Trail glasses with a bargain price tag

Specifications

Lens type: Polycarbonate
Frame type: Full frame
UV protection: Yes
Interchangeable lens: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Casual styling
+
Ships with 3 lens options
+
Brilliant field of vision

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

The name isn't the only on-trend feature with Madison's Crypto glasses; their large big-coverage design is in-line with all of the best glasses currently available, and the fact they produce this awesome package at a killer price point is just a bonus too. 

Madison ships all Crypto glasses with three lenses, all of which best suit certain conditions and environments. While we're big fans of the clear option for UK winter riding the tinted option is great for bright days and sunnier climates. 

Thanks to the adjustable nose piece and non-slip rubber arm tips you can be assured the Cryptos are going to remain secure when riding. the addition of a sturdy hard case and soft pouch means they'll be safe when not riding too. 

We're also keen on the Crypto's more casual styling, which looks good off the bike as well as on. 

Tifosi Sledge glasses

(Image credit: Tifosi)

Tifosi Sledge

An affordable big coverage option

Specifications

Lens type: Polycarbonate
Frame type: Full frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Big coverage
+
Brilliantly affordable
+
Adjustable fit
+
Several lens tint options
+
UV protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Not dripping in tech
-
Fit may be too big for larger faces

Tifosi are best known for designing top performing performance sunglasses in all shapes and sizes at super affordable price points. The Sledge is their latest large lenses option and sets to bring big coverage and styling with a wallet friendly price tag. 

The Sledge comes equipped with Smoke, All-Condition Red and clear interchangeable lenses. Nott only does this make them great value, but it also means there's a lens tint option for every condition imaginable. 

It's not just the lens that's been well thought out though, on top of the major styling the frame sees ventilation and aerodynamics in equal measure. Included in the box is a zipped hardshell case and a soft microfiber cleaning pouch.

Oakley Radar EV Advancer mountain bike sunglasses

(Image credit: Oakley)
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Oakley Radar EV Advancer

A great option for humid rides

Specifications

Lens type: Prizm
Frame type: Half frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Advancer nose piece helps de-fog
+
Prizm lenses enhance color and contrast

Reasons to avoid

-
Hydrophobic coating only on the outside of the lens

The Oakley Radar has been one of the most popular mountain bike sunglasses for some time. A few years back, Oakley launched the EV or extended vision version, and now it has adapted the no-fog Advancer nose piece to the platform. With a vented lens, the Advancer nose piece can push the spectacles a few millimeters away from your face with the flip of a switch to improve airflow behind the lens.

For the latest iteration of the Radar, the EV Advancer features a new larger lens cut that extends coverage, and a more rounded lower edge to make it less likely to cut your face in a crash. The nosepiece and ear stocks feature the brand's Unobtanium rubber which gets tackier as you sweat, and the glasses are available with Oakley's Rose Prizm Trail lens.

Smith Ruckus mountain bike sunglasses

(Image credit: Smith)
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Smith Ruckus

The most hassle-free lens swapping system on the market

Specifications

Lens type: ChromaPop
Frame type: Frameless
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy swap lenses
+
ChromaPop lens offers best-in-class optical clarity
+
Prescription lenses available

Reasons to avoid

-
Huge lens likely to swamp small faces

The Ruckus is the latest evolution of Smith's PivLock easy-change system. The lens is changed by rotating the arms 90-degrees and inserting the egg-shaped nub into the new lens and returning them by turning them back down. The arms no longer fit directly into the lens, now they go into a reinforced plastic mount on the edge of the lens, a welcome improvement as it was easy to scratch the lens with the previous system. 

Smith's color blocking technology is called ChromaPop and filters two specific wavelengths of light (blue and green, and green and red) that cause color confusion. The brand says this allows for improved definition, more natural color, and unmatched clarity, allowing your eyes to pick up more detail. 

The Ruckus comes with two lenses: a dark mirrored lens; and a Contrast Rose Flash lens.

100% S3 mountain bike sunglasses

(Image credit: 100%)
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100% S3

The best sunglasses for changeable light conditions

Specifications

Lens type: HiPER Multilayer Mirror Lens
Frame type: Half frame
UV protection: Yes
Changeable lenses: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Suited to smaller faces
+
Photochromic lenses

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

Over the past few years, 100% has gone from a company best known for its motocross gear to a cycling powerhouse with a sizable range of performance sunnies. 

For the brand's latest S3 model, 100% took features from two of its previous products to create one of the best mountain bike sunglasses on the market. The S3 uses the understated brow from the S2 model and borrows intake vents from the Speedcraft sunglasses.

The S3s are offered in a range of color options and feature hydrophobic and oleophobic lens treatment, which repels water, oil, and dirt from the scratch-resistant lens. 

How to choose the best mountain bike sunglasses for you

With so much choice out there, it can be really difficult to make a decision. Luckily we're here to help, so if you're struggling to figure out which mountain bike sunglasses would suit your needs more, here is everything you need to think about first.

What type of coverage should I look for?

When it comes to protecting your face from errant trail debris, the larger the lens, the better the coverage. However, too big, and not only will you look like the third member of Daft Punk, but your glasses will likely interfere with your helmet. 

Ideally, the best mountain bike sunglasses have some curvature to wrap around your face for a bit of side protection but also to prevent wind and light from sneaking around the edge and making your eyes water.

What type of lens is best for mountain biking?

Leave your sunnies with glass lenses at the trailhead. We love a good set of Ray-Bans or other fashion-focused shades, however, if they have a glass lens, you're putting your eyesight in danger. At the risk of flogging a dead horse, the primary duty of eyewear on the trail is to protect your eyes, so when that pebble your riding mate kicks up hits the glass sitting in front of your peepers at 60kph, what do you think is going to happen? Instead, look for sunnies with polycarbonate lenses or similar impact-rated material that won't shatter into your eye.

Having the right color and tint lens is also going to make a huge difference in you seeing that slick root well before you ride over it. Lenses with amber or rose tints increase contrast and help your eyes pick out trail details. Photochromic lenses are also a good option, especially if your local trail network goes from wide-open meadows to thick tree canopy cover. 

Many optical brands are offering color filters on their lenses, like Oakley's Prizm and Smith's ChromaPop. Each brand's system is slightly different, but they all use special dyes to filter individual colors to increase contrast and for better detail recognition and depth perception.

Also, look for some type of hydrophobic coating at the very least on the outside of the lens. When moisture and oil come into contact with your glasses, whether it be from a stream crossing or sunscreen infused sweat dripping out of your helmet, a lens with this coating will bead and run off instead of smearing and obstructing your vision. 

It's also worth looking for a bit of venting in the lenses to prevent them from fogging as you slog up a steep fire road.

What frame do I need?

The frame of the best mountain bike sunglasses will largely determine their fit. Avoid metal-framed glasses as they are not designed to withstand any kind of impact, and in a crash, they will create sharp edges around your eyeballs and face. 

The majority of riding glasses are half-frame, meaning the frame will connect to the lens on the top half, leaving the bottom edge exposed; though a new crop of riding sunnies like the Oakley Flight Jacket and Ryders Roam see the frame run along the bottom edge of the lens. There are also plenty of full-frame and frameless glasses, too.

Is the fit important for mountain bike sunglasses?

A good pair of glasses should only touch your nose and your head just behind the ears. You want to look for a rubber nose piece with a bit of adjustability built-in, and the ear stocks should have plenty of length, but shouldn’t be so long they interfere with the retention system on your helmet.

As these three points are what keep your glasses stuck to your face, in addition to the rubber nose piece look for grippers on the ear stocks, which should provide enough tension to hold the glasses on but not give you a headache.

Aaron Borrill
Freelance tester

Aaron is Bike Perfect's former tech editor and also the former gear editor of Bicycling magazine. He's tested thousands of bicycles all over the world. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, raced nearly every MTB stage race in South Africa and completed the Haute Route Alps. Recently, Aaron has also taken up Zwift racing and competes at the highest level of eRacing, the ZRL Premier Division.


Rides: Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB 

Height: 175cm

Weight: 61.5kg

With contributions from