Best Sunglasses For Pilots 2022

10 Best Sunglasses For Pilots 2022

Why Do Pilots Need Sunglasses?

Aside from making pilots look cool, sunglasses actually serve a pretty significant purpose in the cockpit. No matter what the weather is, pilots are always where the sun is; up above the clouds. With that in mind, an aviator’s most important tool is their eyes. Without them, they wouldn’t be able to fly. Up above the clouds, the sun is as bright as it can be, especially in the cockpit. With all those windows, the sunlight can be blinding at times. This is where sunglasses come in. They simply allow pilots to maintain their vision in the cockpit, not only for their safety, but the safety of their passengers. The need for sunglasses in the cockpit ultimately led to the development of the ever famous “aviators”. But what makes aviator sunglasses particularly good for pilots compared to ‘regular’ eyewear?


Are Aviators Different Than Regular Sunglasses?

At the very core, aviator sunglasses are essentially no different that any other sunglasses. That being said, their configuration is what makes them so useful to pilots. The large, egg shaped lenses of aviator sunglasses aren’t just for show. When they were developed for use by military pilots, their shape was specifically designed for both maximum protection and maximum comfort. Not having to worry about your eyewear and being able to look in any direction without glare increases a pilot’s situational awareness; a very important skill for any pilot. Aside from this, many aviator sunglasses are non-polarized. This is because many times, polarized sunglasses can distort avionics displays, as well as the pilots view out of the cockpit. It’s not extreme but it is something to keep in mind.


10 Best Sunglasses For Pilots 2022

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a loved one, the following is a brief list I have compiled of the 10 best sunglasses for pilots in 2022!

Ray-Ban RB3025

Made famous by Top-Gun, the Ray-Ban 3025 aviators are certainly a classic. Designed in 1937, the 3025s have a long legacy that still continues to this day. With all metal frames and glass lenses, these glasses are top notch quality. The RB3025s are actually my personal choice when it comes to eyewear. Not only do I use them in the cockpit but they’re great just for wearing around everyday! If you order them via the link above, you’ll have a choice of over 20 lens/frame color combinations!


Randolph Classic Aviator

Quite literally designed for military pilots, the Randolph classic aviators will serve you well. Not only do these glasses look good and serve their purpose, but they’re built like a tank! If taken care of, these glasses are sure to last you a lifetime. Randolph aviators have a unique shape being that they’re a bit slimmer other aviators. This appeals to some, but it’s really all down to personal preference.

Ray-Ban RB3519

Very similar to the RB3025s, the Ray-Ban 3519 sunglasses are another great choice for aviators. For the budget minded person, these are an amazing option. The 3519s are significantly cheaper than many other Ray-Bans glasses, but hold the same quality. Although they don’t come in as many fun colors, they do their job well and for a long time!


Serengeti Large Aviators

Oftentimes an overlooked brand, Serengeti offers some of the best eyewear options for pilots. One thing I really like about Serengeti’s sunglasses is that they’re gradient. They effectively eliminate glare from the sun above, while providing a much clearer view of the instrument panel as opposed to regularly tinted glasses. As is with all other sunglasses in this list, Serengeti sunglasses are built at a very high standard of quality it will last a lifetime if given the proper care.

Randolph Concorde Aviators

Designed after the glasses worn by military fighter pilots and named after the famous Concorde airliner, the Randolph Concordes are a very stylish piece of gear for any pilot. While they are essentially the same as the Randolph classic aviator, the Concordes come with sky blue tinted lenses. Personally, I think they look quite cool!

Ray-Ban RB 3136

The Ray-Ban 3136s are a very unique aviator from Ray-Ban. As you’ve probably noticed, most glasses by Ray-Ban utilize sleek, rounded lens shapes. As you can see, the 3136 aviators are much more square. Personally, I quite enjoy the look of the square lenses! But like I’ve said before, it all comes down to personal preference.

American Optics Original Aviators

While not the most popular eyewear brand, American Optics still offers some very nice products. The original aviators by American Optics are built quite solid and come in a variety of colors! Compared to many other brands of aviators, the American Optics original aviator is priced very reasonably.

Ray-Ban RB3422Q

Essentially a much more rugged version of the RB3025, the Ray-Ban 3422Q aviators are probably the most solid pair of sunglasses on this list. While they are designed for outdoor recreation, they can easily be utilized by pilots. If you’re someone who is a bit more rough with their sunglasses and doesn’t want to risk breaking them, I can’t recommend the Ray-Ban 3422Qs enough.

Serengeti Velocity

Another piece of eyewear by Serengeti, the Velocity glasses are not your conventional aviator. With a much thinner lens, the Velocity aviators are extremely ergonomic while still maintaining a good amount of protection from the sun’s glare. Like the Serengeti large aviators, the Velocity glasses come with gradient lenses, making them perfect for pilots.

Serengeti Varese

The Serengeti Varese aviators are essentially the same as the Velocitys with one minor difference. The Varese aviators have slightly larger lenses. It is a subtle difference but for some it’s a selling point. I think the Serengeti Varese aviators create the perfect happy medium between large, clunky lenses and small, matrix style lenses. Again, they come with gradient lenses which for me, makes them an incredible choice for any pilot.

Why Quality Sunglasses Are Important For Pilots

Many people might be wondering why you can’t just go to your local corner store and buy a pair of sunglasses for 10 bucks. Well, you can, but for pilots specifically, I think it is important to carry a good quality pair of glasses. The cheap glasses you can find at Walmart or Tesco aren’t built very solid. From personal experience, I have cheap lenses just fall out of their frames while I was wearing them! It took a few broken pairs for me to make the switch to a pair of high quality aviators. I bought my Ray-Ban 3025s a long while ago and have not had to buy another pair since. This is why I think all pilots should consider purchasing a pair of high quality glasses. Not only is having a pair of glasses break in the cockpit annoying, but it can be dangerous. You’ll just end up messing with your glasses instead of flying the plane. I know from experience. As you can probably guess, this is extremely unsafe and is the main reason I think all pilots should eventually consider spending a little extra money and get themselves a nice pair of shades that will last them for the rest of their career.


I Hope you enjoyed today’s article and I’ll see you in the next one! Fly safe 🙂





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