It might sound a bit odd considering the name of the product, but sunglasses come in both daytime and nighttime models. Though, the two are fairly different from one another in terms of what makes one pair better than another.
For nighttime sunglasses, you do not need to worry so much about intense damaging light, because the sun not out to bombard you with damaging UV radiation. Instead, nighttime sunglasses need to effectively limit the sources of light remain, all the more so because the darkness makes them seem brighter by contrast.
Best Nighttime Driving and Night Vision Glasses of 2018
That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best night driving sunglasses. Then we provide a thorough buyer’s guide, so you know what to look for in a pair of night driving sunglasses that are right for you.
|Eagle Eyes Classic Aviator (Editor’s Choice)||Stainless Steel||Micro-infused lense||Non-polarized with Anti-Reflective coating|
|Soxick Men’s HD||Aluminum Magnesium||UV400 Protection||Polarized and Anti-Reflection coated|
|Duco Night Vision||TR90||UV400 protection||Polarized|
|Soxick HD||Aluminum Magnesium||Premium quality resin||Polarized and Anti-Reflection coated|
|BLUPOND Night Driving||Durable Metal||Polycarbonate||Polarized|
1. Eagle Eyes Classic Aviator Night-Lite – Best Night Vision Glasses for Driving
Eagle Eyes as a brand has a long history of using cutting-edge technology to manufacture some of the best performing sunglasses available in numerous niche markets. In fact, the brand originated when NASA scientists were trying to figure out how to best protect an astronaut’s eyes while in space where the absence of an atmosphere allows the full intensity of sunlight to shine.
To clarify, the Eagle Eye’s are not polarized. In fact, this is the only pair of night driving sunglasses we looked at that are not polarized. Thankfully, Eagle Eye managed to use a combination of architectural lens manufacturing processes with an anti-reflective coating such that the absence of true polarization is not missed. Still, you cannot help but wonder how much more effective these sunglasses would be if they were polarized.
In terms of durability, the Eagle Eye’s are a bit of a mixed bag. The frames are made out of stainless steel, which is not really one of the more durable materials for frames. On top of the material, the frame temples are exceedingly thin likely to prevent them from being heavier than they otherwise would be due to the stainless steel. Altogether, this makes the Eagle Eye frames the least durable that we reviewed.
Conversely, the lenses are fairly durable. For one, they are made with two layers or a scratch resistant coating on either side of the lens, and they are made out of a proprietary material that is similar to polycarbonate though, it is not as good as Tivex/SR-91. The only disappointment with the lenses is their subpar performance during the daytime.
2. Soxick Men’s HD Metal Polarized – Best Anti-Glare HD Night Vision Driving Glasses
Soxick is an odd brand for a couple reasons. The technologies used in the brand’s night driving sunglasses is fairly impressive and has a storied history. In fact, the technology used for Soxick sunglasses was developed explicitly to aid the German military with low-light conditions and was eventually utilized in the creation of their night vision goggles. Granted, Soxick sunglasses do not perform anywhere near night vision capabilities, but it is an unusual pedigree itself.
However, the brand is not a German brand at all. Instead, a Chinese company owns the Soxick brand and manufactures the sunglasses. While this is not inherently a bad thing, the market situation gets even trickier as there is only a single official seller of Soxick merchandise, a seller by the name of Hong Tai. While the seller has a great reputation for reliable and responsive customer service, the narrow outlet has opened the door for fakes to be made and sold as genuine Soxick sunglasses.
Beyond the off business infrastructure, Soxic sunglasses are only okay when it comes to nighttime driving sunglasses performance. A large factor in this is due to the fact that Soxick relies on a film to provide their polarization. Polarized film is not only an inferior type of polarization, but it is also known to wear out after extended use and is not always consistent across the full lens.
If you are playing a sport at night, these sunglasses will present everything in a much sharper focus than without them. In fact, you can also wear these sunglasses for improved clarity during the daytime, because the lenses provide UV400 protection which prevents ninety nine percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
3. Duco Night Vision 8953Y – Best Wrap Around Yellow Night Driving Glasses
Night driving sunglasses are great if your eyesight only suffers from nighttime glare, but many people who struggle with nighttime glare also suffer from other issues with their eyesight. In this case, the most common “solution” is to buy a pair of snap on nighttime lenses. Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where the lenses are regularly falling off of the prescription glasses’ bridge. Another issue is that snap on accessories are not all that expensive and an incredibly niche market, so the polarization is liable to be worse than even night driving sunglasses with a polarized film.
This is where the Duco’s come in handy and are made explicitly to be worn with prescription lenses. For one, this is the only pair of night driving sunglasses on our list that come in more than one size. Aside from the fact that this provides different options for men and women, it also provides some wiggle room depending on the type of prescription frames purchase. Be forewarned though, the quality of these nighttime sunglasses as fitovers can be a bit iffy.
Still, these night driving glasses are also the only ones we reviewed that have a small, night lens side panel. This panel provides the same nighttime lens benefits to your peripheral vision and also prevents cars that are passing you from shining their bright lights even out of the corner of your eye. Another important feature is the silicon nose pad. Rather than using a stilted nosepad like most other types of glasses prescription or otherwise this design allows the Ducos to fit snugly against your prescription glasses without occupying more space on the bridge of your nose.
4. SOXICK HD – Most Durable Driving Glasses Lenses
Continuing the lineup of odd brands, SOXICK HD is not actually a distinct brand in and of itself. Instead, SOXICK HD takes Soxick brand sunglasses and places their own lenses in the frames. In this way the sunglasses can achieve the best of both worlds while ultimately lowering their overhead. While Soxick may or may not be thrilled about this practice, it allows the Manneco’s to offer a superior lens at the same price point.
In fact, if the SOXICK HD used a polarization other than film, these would likely be the best performing night driving sunglasses instead of the Eagle Eyes. That being said, the lenses themselves are fairly impressive. For once, these lenses are made from ten different layers many of which are not often found on other night driving sunglasses and are not on any other product we reviewed.
On top of the coatings and films, the lenses are made out of a shatter-proof German resin which is actually superior to polycarbonate though it does still fall a bit short of Tevix/SR-91. Finally, these lenses are the only on our list to utilize two convex lenses with the coatings and layers in between them. This allows the contrast generated from the yellow tinting to become even clearer.
Great If They Fit
Unfortunately, the SOXICK HD suffer from the same issues with their frames that Soxicks do. Namely, these sunglasses do not really fit many people all that well. In an effort to make a unixes one-size-fits all, these frames are really a one-size-fits few. Essentially, women report the frames to be a tad too large on their face, while men regularly find them to be too snug. Still, the frames are made out of the same aluminum magnesium alloy making them both lightweight and durable.
5. BLUPOND Night Driving Glasses – Best Day & Night Driving Sunglasses
BLUPOND is a fairly new company founded in 2015 that ostensibly specializes in eyewear and sports accessories. We suspect that must be the business plan, because it is not currently the business reality. Instead, Blupond actually produces a number of driving sunglasses for both the day and night as well as a few specialized sport glasses. In terms of “accessories,” the brand does sell swimming and nose clips, but that is about all.
Build Quality and Protection
In terms of role, the BLUPONDs do at least serve admirably as a solid pair of daytime and nighttime glare reducing sunglasses. Unfortunately, their yellow tinted lenses are not quite good enough to make them the best for sports which seems a bit odd considering that is supposed to be their specialty but they are more than appropriate for everyday wear. For one, they offer excellent protection against the sun’s rays. With UV400 protection, your eyes are spared the damaging effects of ninety nine percent of all UV radiation.
Oddly though, these sunglasses do not truly shine in any category. Their polarization is material based, but even the material seems to have the alternate effect that the yellow tinting of the lens is supposed to provide. Quite simply, these sunglasses do not actually provide much additional clarity in low-light situations. Instead, low-light settings actually often seem darker than normal, albeit with a yellow coloration.
Best Night Driving Glasses – Buyer’s Guide
When purchasing night driving sunglasses, the single most important feature is a polarized lens. The primary issue with night driving is that the glare from light generally headlight, but technically any light source can cause issue will cause a kind of acute blindness even if you are not looking directly at the light.
While compensating for the glare, you will end up squinting a bit and involuntarily contracting the pupil to reduce light from getting to your retina. Over a long period of time of doing this, your eyes will begin to fatigue ultimately making the problem worse in a vicious spiral.
Glare occurs when light strikes a horizontal surface before reflecting into your eye. Because of the angle of reflection, the light is more intense than if it had entered your eye from a different direction causing a glare. Polarization removes the horizontal light waves while allowing the angled vertical light waves to pass through.
Polarization can take a couple forms. First, the way the lens material is architecturally manufactured can act as a filter. On the other hand, some sunglasses use a film to simply block light’s direction. Finally, some manufacturers select materials which are naturally polarized. Each of these methods or polarization has its benefits.
The architectural polarization is the most effective. This type of polarization is consistent throughout the lens and will not fade over time. Unfortunately, this type of polarization is also often the most expensive.
The next most effective type of polarization is where the lens material itself is naturally polarized. This generally leads to a mostly consistent polarization, through points of concentration and dispersion can occur. Still, this type of polarization will not fade over time either.
A polarized film is the least effective means of polarizing lens, but it is also the most common. The reason for this is simple: cost. It is much cheaper to coat the lenses in a polarized film than to alter the manufacturing process. Thankfully, this savings of cost is often passed on to the consumer too though, this kind of polarization will fade over time and use.
You should be careful though, because polarized lenses have a tendency to make seeing LED and LCD lights difficult as well. If your vehicle, phone, or dash accessories use either of these lights, you may not be able to see them properly if the lens polarization is too effective.
Just because night driving sunglasses have “night” in their title does not mean they are not useful during the day as well. The same types of light patterns that cause glare at night also affect you during the day generally with more frequency since there is more light. You simply may not notice quite as much because the darkness allows glare to seem brighter by contrast.
As such, if you are going to wear night driving glasses during the day to cut down on glare, you will want to make sure that they also cut down on the other issues with light most prominently, UV radiation. While night driving sunglasses may not cut down the sun’s intensity, they still need to protect your eyes from both UVA and UVB radiation.
UVA radiation is the most common type of UV protection offered by sunglasses. Even cheap sunglasses in a gas station that purports UV protection probably protects from UVA rays. Be forewarned, this is a bit of a marketing trick.
That is not to suggest that UVA radiation is not dangerous, but it is far less intense. UVA rays also account for the overwhelming majority of UV radiation altogether, upwards of ninety five percent. Still, it is far easier and cheaper to protect against UVA ray and allows a manufacturer to still claim 100 percent UV protection without technically lying.
Sunglasses that provide UVB radiation protection are the real deal. Because UVB ray protection is more costly and difficult, if a manufacturer is going to go through the trouble to provide UVB protection, you can bet that they went ahead and threw in UVA protection as well.
UVB rays are far more intense than UVA rays and far more damaging to the eyes. However, UVB radiation if only a major problem between 10 am and 4 pm. Regardless, UVB protection will generally increase the cost of the sunglasses significantly more than UVA protection, but is vital for daytime sunglasses.
Unlike daytime sunglasses, nighttime sunglass lens materials are a bit more restricted. This is because the primary function of nighttime sunglasses to reduce glare and amplify light is hindered by some of the materials that daytime sunglasses use for their lenses.
Polycarbonate is by far the most common type of lens material used for nighttime sunglasses. It is relatively cheap and exceedingly durable. In fact, brands that advertise “shatter-proof” lenses are generally referring to polycarbonate lenses. Aside from the aforementioned benefits, polycarbonate is also one of the lighter materials used for sunglasses lenses regardless the type of sunglasses. Unfortunately, polycarbonate is known to reduce the optical quality a bit.
This material is far less common in a pair of nighttime sunglasses lenses, but it is by far the best performing. Tivex is the actual material in question, whereas SR-91 is simply a naturally polarized version of Tivex. This material is lighter, more impact resistant, and more scratch resistant than polycarbonate. Tivex also provides as clear an image as glass. Unfortunately, sunglasses made with Tivex/SR-91 lenses are some of the most expensive available.
While it may not always be the most important quality for daytime sunglasses, nighttime sunglasses should always be tinted, and they should always be tinted one color: yellow. The reason for this has to do with the way that different colored lenses respond to different wavelengths of light.
Yellow and Amber
Depending on the situation and brand, some manufacturers may sell nighttime glasses in either yellow or amber lens tinting. While there is a reason for this, the purposes of nighttime lens tinting is to amplify the available light in low-light settings and to cut down on blue light.
While amber tinting technically accomplishes both of those tasks, yellow tinting simply does it in a vastly superior manner. Instead, amber tinting is actually better for dawn and dusk when the light conditions are fading but have not yet reached “low-light” levels.
It is of worth noting that yellow will cause significant color distortion, but that is often less of a concern in low-light settings where colors are already dimmer anyway. While amber will also cause color distortion, it is not nearly as distorted as yellow tinting hence its preference during dawn and dusk.
When it comes right down to it, the reason to purchase night driving sunglasses is fairly singular: to be able to see better while driving at night. All of the other features that a pair of night driving sunglasses may provide pale in comparison to an inferior type of polarization or glare reduction.
That is why our top recommendation for the best night driving sunglasses goes to the Eagle Eyes. Even though the frames are liable to get broken if you are not cautious and alert, even if the lenses are not even truly polarized, these glasses still cut glare in low light conditions better than any other we reviewed.
Of course, night driving sunglasses can still have their use during the day. Golfers, hunters, and fishermen often swear by the additional clarity provided by yellow-tinted sunglasses, which makes the Soxick sunglasses a great choice. And for those who also wear prescription lenses, the Ducos are pretty much the only game in town.