Top 5 Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses of 2023

Smiling man with ultralight hiking sunglasses and backpack on a North American hiking trail

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Choosing ultralight sunglasses for your upcoming hiking expedition from the array of options can pose a challenging task. It’s vital to take into account factors such as weight, UV protection, lens quality, durability, and comfort.

Our guide is designed to simplify this decision-making process, guiding you through the maze of choices, and ensuring you select the optimal ultralight sunglasses that align perfectly with your needs.

Top Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses

  1. Most Ultralight: Julbo Fuse (0.77oz/22g)
  2. Best Overall: Smith Optics Parallel Max 2 (0.98oz/28g)
  3. Best Value: Julbo Trip (0.88oz/25g)
  4. Photochromic: Tifosi Optics Tyrant 2.0 Fototec Sunglasses (0.84oz/24g)
  5. Budget Option: Knockaround Fast Lanes Polarized Sunglasses (0.81oz/23g)

1. Most Ultralight
Julbo Fuse

Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses: Julbo Fuse

Key Specs

Weight: 0.77 ounces (22 grams)
Price: $$


✅ Ultralight

✅ Fog resistant


❌ Relatively expensive

The Julbo Fuse ultralight hiking sunglasses bring both style and functionality to outdoor enthusiasts. Their polarized Spectron 3 lenses offer excellent protection against glare, making them perfect for bright environments near water or in the mountains. The comfortable fit features lightweight curved temples and soft material for enhanced grip and everyday comfort.

While they offer great features, we noticed that they can be a bit snug, even in adult sizes. Nevertheless, these sunglasses are a stylish and practical choice for your outdoor ventures.

2. Best Overall
Smith Optics Parallel Max 2

Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses: Smith Optics Parallel Max 2

Key Specs

Weight: 0.98 ounces (28 grams)
Price: $$$


✅ Replacable lenses

✅ Durable

✅ Various colorways available


❌ Some configurations are expensive

The Smith Parallel Max 2 ultralight hiking sunglasses combine performance and style for outdoor enthusiasts. With an enlarged size for better coverage and a minimal look, they’re equipped with Carbonic TLT lenses and hydrophilic megol temple and nose pads for a secure fit.

We can highlight their exceptional comfort, lightweight design, and increased vision. If you’re seeking sunglasses that offer both functionality and style, the Smith Parallel Max 2 could be your perfect companion.

3. Best Value
Julbo Trip

Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses: Julbo Trip

Key Specs

Weight: 0.88 ounces (25 grams)
Price: $$


✅ Relatively affordable

✅ Good quality


❌ Few color options

The Trip sunglasses offer a perfect blend of style and performance for both men and women. Their sleek design suits everyday wear, yet the advanced lenses and thoughtful features make them suitable for more active moments.

With excellent grip and lightweight frames, these sunglasses stay put during intense activities. The category 3 lenses provide exceptional vision for various conditions, and the polarized lens adds extra clarity and color enhancement.

4. Photochromic Option
Tifosi Optics Tyrant 2.0 Fototec Sunglasses

Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses: Tifosi Optics Tyrant 2.0 Fototec Sunglasses

Key Specs

Weight: 0.84 ounces (24 grams)
Price: $$


✅ High quality

✅ Good fit


❌ Lenses could be even darker

The Tifosi’s Tyrant 2.0 photochromic sunglasses are built for your sun-soaked adventures. With Fototec™ lenses that adapt to changing light levels, you won’t need to switch out lenses or sunglasses. These shades handle everything from bright sunlight to dim forest shadows.

We noticed that the photo-reactive lenses perform exceptionally, adjusting smoothly between light and dark. The snug fit suits active use, and features like the nose bridge enhance comfort during long hikes. Overall, these sunglasses offer a reliable option for those seeking adaptable eyewear for their outdoor pursuits.

5. Budget Option
Knockaround Fast Lanes Polarized Sunglasses

Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses: Knockaround Fast Lanes Polarized Sunglasses

Key Specs

Weight: 0.81 ounces (23 grams)
Price: $


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable


❌ Lenses feel a bit flimsy

The Knockaround Fast Lanes polarized sunglasses offer a winning combination of style and protection. With rectangular lenses designed for medium to larger faces, they provide excellent UV protection and reduce eye strain from glare.

We rave about their comfortable fit. These sunglasses are perfect for bright days. While some users find the lenses a bit delicate during cleaning, the overall value and quality make them a fantastic choice for daily wear.

How to Choose Ultralight Hiking Sunglasses

When gearing up for outdoor adventures, it’s easy to overlook the need to protect our eyes. Hiking sunglasses play a crucial role in shielding us from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause eye fatigue and discomfort during extended hikes.

Look for sunglasses with “100% UV protection” to ensure they block both UVA and UVB rays effectively.

Advanced lens technologies, like polarized lenses, photochromic lenses, lens coatings, and different tints, offer clarity and eye protection. Sunglasses are categorized based on their lens tint and light transmission, so choose accordingly for your hiking conditions.

The frame design matters too; opt for sunglasses with full coverage and wide arms to guard against sunlight, insects, and trail hazards.

Your hiking sunglasses are more than accessories; they’re essential allies for your outdoor adventures. If you want to become an expert in selecting the right pair, check out our comprehensive post on the topic.

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