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Best sunglasses

Old 20th Jun 2019, 20:56
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Best sunglasses

Hello,

I recently broke my beautiful pair of sunglasses while unloading myself from an aircraft : the glasses unloaded themselves from my shirt's pocket.

I am looking for the best replacement possible, sunglasses that would be designed for aviation.
More precisely, I am looking for the equivalent of the Garmin D2 GPS watches :
A GPS watch can be expensive, but has reasons to justify the price : specific aviation functions (altimeter, compass, gps track and speed, track recording, etc..) which are not mandatory at all but are nice to have.

I am not talking about the looks only, I can find any shape or form I like on any brand's website.
I am looking for a pair of sunglasses which would be of specific interest to aviation : I don't know what that could be.
They could be polarized, or photochromic, or have more filtering for the more intense light at high altitude, or even have a rim designed not to interfere with a headset's ANR.

I understand any pair of sunglasses will do the job, but what is the model that you chose and what's it specific advantage over other models ?
What is it that you like about the sunglasses you own and that justifies buying them as such a high price ? (when compared with the basic 100 ray ban model)

Thank you
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Old 21st Jun 2019, 09:05
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KayPam, the best glasses are ..... the cheapest!

I'm forever sitting down on them, dropping them, "putting them in safe places" which are even safe from me ever finding them again.....................

Average life expectancy of a set of H 'n' H shades? 2 to 3!

And we are talking hours here ............
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Old 21st Jun 2019, 10:11
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you don't need special 'aviation' sunglasses, just something you're comfortable with and your headset doesn't press on that much.

why not just get a pair of ray ban aviators if you want something aviationey?

sunglasses don't have special functions, they are just sunglasses.
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 00:47
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Originally Posted by AndoniP View Post
sunglasses don't have special functions, they are just sunglasses.
Pullin Power!
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 10:49
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I bought a pair or Randolph sun glasses back in 1991. They're still going strong!
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 10:55
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I used to know someone who acquired a pair of very expensive aviator sunglasses which were his pride and joy. On our way somewhere in his car he stopped for petrol, paid, then pulled away from the pumps in a typically flamboyant boy racer manner accompanied by a loud clatter as his shades departed the roof where he'd left them for some reason. The next noises were swearing, reversing car, a crunch as he ran over them, then some ill-concealed stifled laughter from me. Not much chat for a while after that...
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 21:01
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Lost sun glasses.

I know of one posing a...hole, who, upon being invited to a trip on a rather large yacht, went out and got himself the most expensive Ray Bans he could find.
Questioned why there was a bit of string in the box, and on being informed it was to be attached to the shades and looped round the neck to prevent loss.
Only an idiot would need to do that, according to our man.
Moments later he confirmed what everbody thought and his expensive shades disappeared in to the Menai Straits!!!
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 21:40
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I had good results with Serengeti Drivers. They don't darken as much as reduce glare thereby improving the visual distinction between objects:

https://www.serengeti-eyewear.com/en...ivers-gradient
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Old 23rd Jun 2019, 09:56
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
I had good results with Serengeti Drivers. They don't darken as much as reduce glare thereby improving the visual distinction between objects:

https://www.serengeti-eyewear.com/en...ivers-gradient
+1 for Serengeti... however they seen to offer mostly perspex glasses nowadays.
Does anybody know a company still doing high base curve (8 or 9) non polarized mineral glass lenses. My RE JAGs need replacement.

Last edited by BDAttitude; 23rd Jun 2019 at 10:22.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 09:08
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Bigatmo, by a country mile. (Having previously used RayBan , Serengeti, and Randolph.)
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 13:24
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I bought a pair of RayBams in China in 2004 and they are still going strong. Best fiver I have ever spent.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 18:50
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Originally Posted by tremblerman View Post
I know of one posing a...hole, who, upon being invited to a trip on a rather large yacht, went out and got himself the most expensive Ray Bans he could find.
Questioned why there was a bit of string in the box, and on being informed it was to be attached to the shades and looped round the neck to prevent loss.
Only an idiot would need to do that, according to our man.
Moments later he confirmed what everbody thought and his expensive shades disappeared in to the Menai Straits!!!
I'm not interested in bragging with something whose price is so high only for the purpose of bragging.
That would be a Rolex : it costs thousands but delivers exactly the same service and looks as something possible ten or one hundred times cheaper.

I'm interested in the equivalent of the Garmin D2 : a GPS watch that delivers many functions that cannot be easily replaced by any other individual device, and even if they are not really necessary, they still are a plus.
For example, right now I'm learning to glide. The "nearest" function of my watch gives me distance and bearing to my home airfield. I even have an app that computes my remaining height assuming a given gliding ratio. Obviously my instructor does not need a watch to know the distance to the airfield. But I could never know it so easily on my very first flight.

My phone could not do that (it does not have a barometer). Even if it could, I could not use it easily since it's in my pocket, not accessible.

If you know a feature of sunglasses that could be useful, any, now and here is the time to tell me

Thanks for the bigatmo suggestion. I'll look into it, preferably with a store retailer.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 19:40
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So you want sunglasses for gliding?

And need to know the features to look out?
Why don't you say so

Most glider pilots prefer brown orangeish tinted glasses because they improve cloud contrast by attenuating the blue spectrum. It is believed that you can observe thermal activity better with them especially at the edges of cumulus where you definitely see haze threads you would not see with greenish tints. The grandfather of those are Zeiss Skylet glasses. But those Serengeti Drivers or others are probably not so bad as well.

Often glider pilots prefer not so dark tints, because you sometimes have some twilight underneath bigger clouds. Those Skylets are for example available in 70% reduction of transmission whereas 85% are default in most other applications.

As there are no possibilities to shade from above or the sides big, curved and tight wearing frames are preferred.

Big no are thick temples, because they restrict your field of view when circling in thermal with other gliders. You can detect motion in this area surprisingly well.

Big no is polarization due to LCD compatibility. You might want to get a fancy moving map ... No problems to be expected with the hood though.

Personally I found some ruggedness useful on airfields as well - well not only on airfields so that might be a peronal thing . Hence my preference of mineral glass - but that's not compatible with high base curve and exotic tints unfortunately.

I am afraid gliding sunglasses are rather special and you won't score with them on the beach .

Cessna drivers have other specific needs (eg they are well shielded from above but have uncomfy headsets to wear) so probably have airline pilots. So there are no generic aviation sunglasses although some are called aviator.

Last edited by BDAttitude; 24th Jun 2019 at 20:00.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 19:29
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Professional use in a commercial flight deck, Bigatmo. Wish I had brought them earlier, perfect tint for a glass cockpit. Designed by a pilot for pilots.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 20:21
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
I had good results with Serengeti Drivers. They don't darken as much as reduce glare thereby improving the visual distinction between objects:

https://www.serengeti-eyewear.com/en...ivers-gradient
You should never wear photochromatic sunglasses while flying.
Research at RAE Farnborough concluded that whilst they might darken quickly, it takes a very long time for them to clear again and hence the evaluators (then known as the Institute of Aviation Medicine) sent out a big NO to both the RAF and the CAA.
Likewise, polarised glasses should not be used while flying as without realising it, you may have polarised glass on some of your instruments rendering them unreadable if the glass gets 'rotated' or if you tilt your head by more than a certain amount.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 12:20
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
You should never wear photochromatic sunglasses while flying.
Photochromatics do NOT work inside cars. Do they work behind cockpit windshields?
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 12:33
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
You should never wear photochromatic sunglasses while flying.
Research at RAE Farnborough concluded that whilst they might darken quickly...
chevv,

The Serengeti sunglasses to which I referred had a fix gradient tint( darker at the top of the lens, lightening toward the bottom) vs a degree of tint that changed in relation to ambient light levels.

I wore them for many years with no difficulty while looking through quite a few cockpit windshields. In fact, I was able to get my Rx lenses done by Serengeti in the same configuration. I don't think Corning Glass does Rx lenses any longer.

Horses for courses !

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Old 26th Jun 2019, 16:25
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Originally Posted by KayPam View Post
.....

If you know a feature of sunglasses that could be useful, any, now and here is the time to tell me

......
Apologies for my seemingly rather flippant reply above at #2 - but, seriously, I'm a complete disaster-area when it comes to glasses so if I have to spend 5 on a pair I tend to regret it as I just know the outcome. That tends to limit my choices somewhat! But, as others have said, good shades are a great help! But, never having used anything "good" I can't help in any useful way - apart from cost!

H 'n' H
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 18:28
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I drive coaches fora living so rely on a decent pair of sunglasses. Personally I would avoid polarised lenses, I find they make looking through glass a bit strange, and can also do odd things to lcd screens. Oakley are my brand of choice, look good, work well and are tough with it
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 08:30
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Originally Posted by KayPam View Post

My phone could not do that (it does not have a barometer). Even if it could, I could not use it easily since it's in my pocket, not accessible.
Most phones made since about 2012 have an integrated barometer...

But to me the problem seems to be that you don't have a definite list of requirements. You'll never manage to buy a satisfactory product if you just buy the one with the longest checklist of features.

Take your Garmin D2 watch; all those functions mean that it is not optimised for one single function. It doesn't have a thermally-stabilised quartz oscillator, for example, so it isn't accurate as a chronometer. Eventually I think you'll hit the limits of the compromised functions and become dissatisfied.

In general it's better to buy a single optimised product for each specific use-case and leave the all-in-ones on the shelf.
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