Triathlons require a bit of preparation before you leap right in. You need to train for three different sports, figure out your packing list for the event, and make sure you fuel up adequately and with food that won’t cause stomach issues during the race.
You can do all of this, but there’s one small thing that can make a big difference to your race and your training: sunglasses!
Not all sunglasses are created equal. The best sunglasses for triathletes not only shade your eyes but are designed to withstand bouncy and rugged conditions.
We’ve chosen the Rudy Project Tralyx XL sunglasses as our number one. They have an adjustable nose piece for the highest comfort, a PowerFlow ventilation system to help keep you cool, and interchangeable lenses with a Quick Change System.
Go through the full list and find a pair that suits you before your next triathlon!
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Rudy Project Tralyx XL
Tifosi Optics Davos
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL
1. Rudy Project Tralyx XL
These sunglasses feature just about everything an excellent pair of triathlon sunglasses needs.
One of the most interesting features of these glasses is their PowerFlow ventilation system. This unique design guides air through the vents on the frame and lenses to keep you cool in a notoriously sweaty area. Of course, the increased airflow also helps to reduce fogging, keeping your vision clear at all times.
Despite the enhanced airflow, they remain aerodynamic and lightweight. With a weight of just 1 ounce, they certainly won’t feel like they’re weighing you down.
They’ve also taken care to make sure that the airflow doesn’t obstruct your vision or cause your eyes any discomfort.
Rudy uses their own technology to make these sunglasses RP-D-Centered. This has to do with the quality of vision when applying a curve to the wraparound lenses. With too much curvature, the optical quality can become warped. Rudy’s technology allows for extensive curvature while preserving quality and clarity.
Comfort also comes easy with these sunglasses. An adjustable nose pad and temple grips allow these glasses to fit perfectly on faces of all shapes. You can also adjust their height and how close to or far away from your face they are.
For an even better fit, Rudy’s Adaptive Tips mean that the tip of the arms can be bent into whatever position suits you. Their bendable nature also means that when you insert the arms into your helmet vents, they won’t hurt as they contour around the head.
You can also add extra lenses to your collection. They’re easy to change out as and when you need them, using their Quick Change system. Simply snap the current lens out and snap the new one into place! There are a variety of photochromic lenses available.
- Adjustable nose piece
- PowerFlow ventilation system
- Interchangeable lenses
- Expensive for sunglasses
2. Tifosi Optics Davos
The Tifosi Optics Davos is packed with value and they’re a good-looking pair of glasses too.
You can choose from five different frame colors, each of which comes with three different colored lenses.
You can also buy lenses separately if you wish to round out your collection. They come in a total of five different tints.
The frames are crafted from a material called Grilamid TR-90. It’s tough and may be uncomfortably hard when wearing them. But it has a high bending strength, is resistant to chemical damage, and UV-resistant. For their price, these sunglasses are unusually durable.
The polycarbonate lenses wrap around comfortably and offer good clarity in all conditions. They’re not the easiest to switch while you’re on the go, but it’s still easier than carrying three pairs of sunglasses!
Every lens features three small vents, designed to maximize airflow, reduce misting of the lenses, and keep the rider slightly cooler.
Hydrophilic nose and ear grips are soft and comfortable, and mold to your face to provide a great fit, even when you sweat.
- Polycarbonate lenses
- Hydrophilic nose piece and temple tips
- Three interchangeable lenses
- Wraparound shape
- Not as easy to change lenses on the go as others
Best For Wide Faces
3. Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL
Triathletes with wide faces may have trouble finding sunglasses that fit comfortably. The Oakley Half Jacket eliminates that problem, with a comfortably wide frame and a host of premium features.
These glasses are made to be comfortable. The O Matter frame is unusually lightweight and decorated with stylish metal accents of the Oakley icon.
Their nose pad and ear socks are made from Oakley’s Unobtanium, a hydrophilic rubber that offers impressive grip in all conditions, including sweaty and rainy.
An interchangeable lens system makes it easy for you to swap out the lenses as you need to, allowing you to stick to one pair of glasses for all conditions. You also have a choice of polarized, photochromic, or Iridium lenses. All their lenses are engineered with High-Definition Optics (HDO) technology.
Triathletes who wear prescription lenses can get these sunglasses with Oakley Authentic Prescription Lenses.
- Unobtainium nose pads and earsocks
- High-Definition Optics (HDO)
- Interchangeable lenses
- Lightweight O Matter frame
- May not fit smaller faces comfortably
Top Polarized Sunglasses
4. Native Eyewear Vigor AF
Triathletes with sensitive eyes may choose a pair of polarized sunglasses. These are treated with chemicals to reduce glare and keep your eyes safe and pain-free.
The Vigor uses premium Crystal Carbonate polarized lenses to protect you against UV rays and glare. Not only does this help you perform optimally on race day, but it also reduces long-term sun-related damage.
You’ll also be rewarded with crystal clear vision, enhanced contrast, and better depth perception. Seeing every bump and stone with absolute clarity can give you the edge over others in the field.
The lenses are interchangeable, so you can choose what best suits the weather on the day. Simply clip them out of the frame and replace them with another.
Speaking of the frame, it’s lightweight and made from plant-based resin. This is surprisingly durable and resistant to extreme temperatures. They also feature side vents for superior airflow, to reduce fogging and keep your vision clear.
The Cushinol anti-slip grips are hypoallergenic so they’re suitable for even those with sensitive skin. They’re a medium to large fit, so those with small faces might find them to be too loose.
- Polarized lenses
- Cushion nose pads and temples
- Side vents
- Frame made from plant-based resin
- Might not fit small faces
5. Oakley Radar EV Advancer
You can’t go wrong with Oakleys, and these ones are ideal if you have trouble with your glasses fogging up while you’re running or riding.
Oakley Advancer technology has been engineered to fix this problem. It creates effective airflow using an adjustable nose piece that causes the glasses to sit further away from the face, creating natural vents. They also feature small vents above the eyes, in the actual lens.
Prizm lens technology gives you an enhanced view, with brighter color, more stark contrast, and increased detail. Each Prizm lens is designed for a particular weather condition or environment. You can switch them out along the way as you wish – just make sure to purchase lenses compatible with the Radar frame.
The frame is made from ultralight O Matter, and features soft, hydrophilic Unobtainium nose and temple pads to keep these on your face no matter how much you sweat.
Another thing we like about these glasses is their taller lens shape. Not only does it look stylish, but it offers great coverage to protect your eyes in all conditions.
- Advancer technology
- O Matter frame
- Prizm lens technology
- Taller lens shape
- Might cause pressure points on larger faces
Best For Small Faces
6. 100% Speedcoupe
These dual-lens, semi-rimless glasses are compact and sleek. We recommend them for those with small faces who have trouble finding sunglasses to fit.
Their compact design sacrifices nothing in terms of performance. They offer good coverage without being obtrusive, and the open design allows for efficient ventilation and moisture control.
The polycarbonate lenses are also made to last, crafted to be resistant to scratches, impact, and moisture. A HYDROILO treatment is applied to resist dirt, oil, and liquid.
Your eyes will be safe from UV light and blue light, and you’ll also get a set of clear replacement lenses when you buy. You can purchase additional lenses in various tints to swap out when necessary.
Grippy rubber temple and nose pads keep your glasses right where they should be at all times.
- Semi-rimless vented lenses
- HYDROILO water-repellent lens treatment
- TPE rubber nose pads and tips
- Interchangeable lenses
- Replacement lenses are pricey
7. Julbo AERO SEGMENT
When you’re on the bike or sprinting, do you feel like your gear slows you down? You won’t have to worry about that with these glasses on your face. According to the manufacturer, they weigh just 0.77 ounces. Your biggest problem may be forgetting they’re there.
A wide, rimless lens offers an unobstructed view. The Reactiv photochromic lens has a light transmission rate of between 12 and 87%. You can wear a single lens in any conditions – they darken or lighten according to the light conditions they’re in.
An anti-fog coating keeps your vision clear at all times. The lens shape also promotes natural ventilation.
For comfort, the 3D Nose Fit pads are fully adjustable. That means no matter the shape of your nose, you should be able to find a fit that’s comfy and doesn’t leave marks.
- Reactiv photochromic lenses
- Ventilating frame design
- Internal anti-fog coating
- 3D Nose Fit pads
- Large lens may not be comfy on small faces
8. Smith Optics PivLock Echo Elite
Of all the gear a triathlete owns, the sunglasses are often the easiest to drop, stand on, or scrape accidentally. The Smith Optics PivLock Echo Lite wins top spot for most durable – it’s designed for athletes and tactical units!
The wraparound lens design looks good and serves a purpose by providing an extensive range of vision. Free Float lens tech prevents the lens from being affected by any stress on the frame, which improves durability.
They’re also scratch-resistant and offer superb anti-fog features. You don’t have to worry about dropping these sunglasses while you’re running or riding, either. The lens meets ballistic impact standards, so it can withstand a high amount of force before breaking.
Moldable alloy temples make the fit easy and comfortable. They can also fit under earmuffs or helmets. Adjust the nose pads to get the ideal fit on your face, and you should be able to wear these very comfortably with or without ear protection.
Other features include a 1% UVA/UVB protection, and a PivLock interchangeable lens system for easy switching.
- Adjustable nose piece
- Anti-fog and scratch-resistant coating
- FreeFloat technology
- Moldable alloy temples
- Not comfortable on high cheekbones
Best Woman Sunglasses
9. Tifosi Optics Wisp
Ladies looking for sunglasses that look just as stylish on or off the road/bike, we recommend the Tifosi Optics Wisp. They’re made to be activewear, but their design lends itself well to any setting.
Easy-to-switch lenses allow you to pick and choose your lens according to the weather conditions. They’re decentered polycarbonate, which minimizes distortion and increases clarity.
The Tifosi Optics Wisp also offers impressive durability. A Grilamid-90 frame is strong and resistant to chemical damage. The shatterproof lenses feature a Glare Guard coating to protect against eye strain, and 100% UVA & UVB protection.
Hydrophilic nose and temple pieces prevent excess movement of the glasses while you’re wearing them. You’ll also get a hard zippered case and cleaning rag when you buy!
Be aware that these glasses come in an extra-small to small fit. This may not be suitable or comfortable for all women!
- Decentered polycarbonate lenses
- Hydrophilic rubber nose piece
- Glare Guard reflective lens
- Interchangeable lenses
- The extra-small to small fit may not suit all women
Top Nike Sunglasses
10. Nike Tailwind Sunglasses
These eye-catching sunglasses come from one of the biggest names in sporting apparel, and they do the job admirably.
Engineered with a “flying lens” design, they’re surprisingly well-ventilated and won’t fog up easily. Rubber channel vents in the temple arms also contribute to great airflow, while providing good grip while you’re moving.
The floating nose grip is another airflow-enhancing feature, keeping the lens at a short distance from the face for more ventilation space. A slight downside is that the nose pad isn’t adjustable.
The lenses are easily interchangeable and feature Max Optics technology for superb clarity, detail, and contrast.
- Floating nose pad for better airflow
- Flying Lens design
- Max Optics technology
- Rubber channels in temple arms
- Nose piece isn’t adjustable
Wondering about the features of the best sunglasses for triathletes? Here’s a quick rundown so you know what to look for when buying.
What Features are Important in Tri Sunglasses?
You don’t want your sunglasses to be bouncing around on your face while you’re moving, or even worse, to fall off. Then you either lose time fetching your lost glasses, or lose a pair of glasses!
This is why grip is important. The best sunglasses for triathletes have three grippy sections. The first is at the bridge of the nose, and the other two are on either temple. These three sticky sections help to keep the frame secure on your face and prevent slipping or bouncing.
The sunglasses you choose should fit you comfortably. If they’re too loose around your face, they’re going to move around too much while you’re moving. If they’re too tight, you won’t be comfortable and the pressure on your temples can lead to headaches.
The perfect fit has the three grip sections resting comfortably on the nose bridge and temples. If any of the grips sit in the wrong place (for example, the temple grips don’t touch your temples), then it’s a sign that the sunglasses are too big.
Any hint of tightness, struggling to get the glasses on, or pressure when they’re on your face indicates that they’re too small for you.
A wraparound style is popular for triathletes, as it contours to the face and offers the widest range of vision. The lenses are curved to keep you covered in your peripheral vision as well as straight ahead.
You can choose a pair of sunglasses with less coverage if you prefer. But enhanced coverage can help more than you realize!
The color of your lenses will determine how much light reaches your eyes. Darker lenses are great for bright sunny days, or for conditions where the sun may reflect harshly. Lighter lenses are ideal for overcast days and early morning or evening.
It can be tempting to pick a color based on your aesthetic preference, but we recommend doing a bit of research on tints beforehand. Generally, they’re divided into categories that specify which types of activities they’re best for.
Note that photochromic lenses are light or clear indoors, but darken when exposed to harsh light (like sunlight).