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Best Motorcycle Riding Glasses

There are few modes of transportation in the world that are as cool as a motorcycle. Unless you have access to something like a rocket car or a fighter plane, you’re not going to find a much cooler way to travel than by motorbike, but there is one notable downside about taking the motorcycle.

Even if it is has a windshield, there’s still going to be plenty of wind and debris in your face. It’s actually one of the perks of riding a motorcycle! But the downside is that when you’re cruising down the road going 55 to 75 miles an hour, a stray speck of sand or dust in the eye can do some real damage. Some people wear helmets to pretend against this, but riding glasses are a good solution too. 

Best Motorcycle Riding Glasses – Comparison Table

Before an in-depth look, let’s take a look at a quick comparison chart. Here are the best motorcycle riding glasses of 2018!

GlassesLens MaterialUV Protection
Oakley Men’s Racing Jacket Polarized Sport SunglassesComposite100%
Viriber Outdoor Motorcycle GlassesComposite30%
Red Baron Motorcycle GogglesPolycarbonate50%
Jackson Safety V50 Calico Safety GlassesImpact-resistant polycarbonate99.9%
Big Ben Motorcycle GogglesPolycarbonate50%
Oakley Industrial M Frame 2.0Plutonite (Oakley trademarked material)100%

Now, this is not to say that these are the only things that matter when picking out goggles for your motorcycle use, but they are something that you should definitely be considering. If you’re looking for the best motorcycle riding glasses, these are definitely going to be on the list. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the various offerings for the title.

1

Oakley Men’s Racing Jacket Polarized Sport Sunglasses – The High End Option

Most people know Oakley either as a glasses maker that charges a whole lot of money for anything that they do, or as the people who are the newest group of Johnny Come Lately’s to the world of military gear. These are both things that they do, but believe it or not, before they began to make military gear, even before their sunglasses became common among infantrymen and special forces operators, the fine folks at Oakley began by making motorcycle gloves. Obviously, they did a good job, because they’re still around today, and they still make various outfits and gloves that are appropriate for motorcycling, too.

Oakley sunglasses and goggles are known to be high quality. They are used in almost every kind of competition you can think of. Militaries issue their sunglasses to their soldiers. Special operations soldiers in the US began wearing Oakleys decades ago during day operations in bright places. You see their sunglasses on baseball fields, on ski hills, on football fields, everywhere. 

They’re valued so highly because they are so sturdy and so well put-together, while also being fashionable. Almost every pair of Oakley sunglasses have lenses that are safety rated, which means that they should be able to take a certain amount of impact force (in testing, represented by a metal spike being dropped on them or rammed into them at a certain speed) without breaking or shattering or penetration. So, if you are worried about whether or not they are going to be able to hold up to the stress, they can.

They look cool, they feel good, they provide good protection from UV rays… where’s the downside? Well, they can fog up from time to time, which shouldn’t be much of a problem if you’re going 25 MPH or higher. All things considered, probably the best set of glasses reviewed, and definitely the best sunglasses for riding motorcycles.

PROS
  • Safety rated and impact rated
  • Looks really cool
  • Polarized and 100 UV protection lens
CONS
  • Somewhat expensive
2

Viriber Outdoor Motorcycle Glasses – The Inexpensive Goggles

Goggles are pretty common among people who ride motorcycles that don’t have some sort of other eye shield mounted on a helmet or something like that. They’re a great way to keep things out of your eye while you’re cruising down the highway at 55 miles per hour or so, but they’re not so great when it gets extremely hot outside or extremely cold, and you begin to have issues related to the fogging of the glasses.

Well, there’s no magic fix for that, and these goggles, though inexpensive and treated with an anti-fogging agent, will still fog up. They attempt to lessen the amount of fog you have to deal with via the use of things like slats in the top to give the lenses a better air flow and the like, but the reality is that there’s not much that can be done to undermine the reality of condensation in the event of sharp differences in temperature in a humid climate.

These goggles are inexpensive, and when you go the cheaper way, you’re not going to be getting the same things that you would get if you spent a lot of money. The lenses are not impact or safety rated, and they don’t keep out much in the way of UV rays. However, if all you really need is to get a quick pair of goggles in order to be able to keep the dust and debris out of your eyes and to keep your vision clear, then this is a good set of goggles that are cheap enough you don’t have to really care about whether you take care of them or not.

PROS
  • Keeps the debris out of your eyes
  • Inexpensive
  • 30 percent UV reduction
CONS
  • They fog up
  • Not safety or impact rated, may not hold up under extreme circumstances
3

Red Baron Motorcycle Goggles – The Aviator Goggles

Aviator sunglasses are a classing design that have been used in aviation for decades. They were made even more famous when Ray Ban brought them to the masses and made them very popular among pretty much everyone who had a few bucks to spend. They also make a shockingly decent design for goggles.

One of the best things about these goggles is that when you get them, you get two pair. You don’t need to deal with the hassle of having to switch lenses or anything like that, just pull over and switch goggles and then get back on the road. Easy to use and hassle-free!

Now, when it comes to how well they work? Well, they manage to block a decent amount of sun and UV rays, but there is a downside. They are not very well ventilated, and that means that, under certain conditions, you are going to have issue with fogging. However, if you treat them with an anti-fogging agent or wipe, you can prevent these issues.

 So, for a cheap price, you can get two decent goggles. Not a bad deal, right?

PROS
  • Very affordable
  • Well-designed and comfortable
  • Blocks a decent amount of debris and sunlight
CONS
  • Not ballistic rated at all
  • Will fog up
4

Jackson Safety V50 Calico Safety Glasses – The Safety Set

They may look like the kind of sunglasses that you would see on the face of a fraternity brother or someone who is out at the beach, but these are actually safety glasses that are rated for use in factories and the like. 

Why is that important when you’re driving a motorcycle? Well, for the same reason that it’s important that the glass in your window is safety rated and is able to take a few collisions. From time to time, things can happen, and you will end up with a rock or a pebble hitting your windshield, or, in the case of your glasses, a pebble might fly up and hit your shades. If they’re not designed to withstand an impact, they’re going to be penetrated, and then you may end up with both pebble and a bit of plastic or glass in your eyes. Not something that you want to have happen.

Now, you may see that these are not well ventilated. What that means is that if you are going to be riding it in certain conditions, you are probably going to end up with fogging issues. However, if it is any consolation, the fine folks at Jackson Safety decided to put an anti-fogging agent on their shades, in order to prevent the fogging issues from being too extreme.

So, if you are looking for a good set of shades that you will be happy to have without having to spend too much money on them, these are a good choice for you.

PROS
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Designed to safety standards and with anti-fogging treatment
CONS
  • Not really anything to complain about here
5

Big Ben Motorcycle Goggles – The Over-The-Glasses Model

These are some big goggles for you to wear while motorcycling, and they are big for one reason; to cover up your glasses. So, if you’re someone who has a set of prescription glasses that they need to wear in order to be able to actualy see the road, then you will find that these are a great selection for you, as you can comfortably fit most regular-sized glasses underneath.

They’re comfortable, and the lenses are a stiff polycarbonate lens that offers about fifty percent reduction of UV rays, whether you’re wearing sunglasses underneath or not. They’re pretty standard goggles, just a bit bigger than the usual motorcycle goggles. The one real complaint here is that these goggles can fog up a bit, especially in extreme temperatures, so be ready to either wipe them down or to treat them with an anti-fogging agent of some sort.

PROS
  • Well designed
  • Affordable
  • Big enough to fit your glasses under, if you have any
CONS
  • Fogging issues
  • Kind of huge and give you a ‘bug eyed’ look
6

Oakley Industrial M Frame 2.0 – The Military Issue Solution

A couple of years back, the military began to see the light (see what I did there?) and realized that they may be better off if they were to issue their soldiers sunglasses. Their special operations units were already buying their own sunglasses, and it was a good thing for them, so why not do it for everyone? The military approached Oakley, and they began to buy, en masse, sunglasses from them. These sunglasses were the Oakley M Frame, and they’re no longer being made.

There are now a variety of sunglasses Oakley sells for those who live ‘extreme’ lifestyles that include things like jumping out of planes and maybe being shot at, and this is from that line. If you go shooting a lot, or if you like to go parachuting, you probably see these sunglasses from time to time, or something like them, and there’s a reason for it.

To begin with, they give an immense amount of eye protection. The ‘Plutonite’ lenses (a trademarked proprietary Oakley substance) are not just capable of stopping the flow of UV light to your eye, but also capable of making sure that your eyes are protected from things like debris and, heaven forbid, from impact. These lenses are powerful and resistant to impact. There arose, from the war in Iraq, a story of someone with an Oakley M Frame pair of glasses caught in an IED explosion. His face was peppered with shrapnel, but the sunglasses protected his eyes from serious injury (though it destroyed the glasses). Using Oakley motorcycle glasses is a good decision, even if they’re not built for that originally.

These are great sunglasses, and there’s a reason that the Oakley M Frame line is as popular and has so devoted a following. One of the rare instances where the name is completely worth the money.

PROS
  • Nigh on indestructible
  • The ultimate in eye protection
  • Oakley warranty is impressive
CONS
  • A bit pricy

Best Motorcycle Riding Glasses - Buyer's Guide

Now, if you’re looking for good sunglasses to protect your eyes while you’re riding, for the best motorcycle glasses, then you’re bound to have a few questions. It’s hard to understand some of these terms and it can be hard to see through the advertising to see what is and isn’t important (and the brand name isn’t important, by the way). Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Does The Lens Material Matter?

Yes, it does. There is a lot that goes into making sure that you are going to be protected while you’re doing whatever, and one of the big things is the lens. Shape, angles, and thickness, as well as the material that they’re made out of, it all comes together to make a lens that will either fracture upon impact or that can stop a fragment from an IED. I would suggest that you get something that is safety or impact rated for your motorcycle glasses, which covers the majority of work glasses and shooting glasses, plus almost everything made by groups like Oakley and Wiley.

What Can I Do To Cut Down On Fogging?

There are a few things that you can do to cut down on fogging, but most of them require a lot of knowledge. You can cut away a bit of material in some cases to prevent or reduce fogging, for example, but you probably don’t know enough to do that. So what can you realistically do?

Well, there is a material that comes either as a spray or on wipes, that you can use to wipe down your glasses or goggles, and it will cut down on the condensation on your lenses. It may not be the perfect solution, but it’s better than not being able to see while you’re barreling down the road at 75 miles an hour.

Conclusion


We looked at a couple of great options in every price range and budget for keeping your eyes protected and in working order, even while you are out enjoying the sun and the wind. Of course, we’re here to talk about the best motorcycle riding goggles, and that means one must be better than the other.

That one is the Oakley M Frame 2.0. It has an increased area of protection, it has lenses that are easily switched out, it is ballistic and impact rated, and they are just monster glasses. They’re well-designed to be able to not just protect the eyes from damage from debris or a collision or a fall, but even to protect the eyes from a hundred percent of UV rays.

So, if you’re looking for a good set of riding goggles as the riding season begins to pick up, here are just a few options that you should be considering. Any of them will be great for you and for your needs, but some are notably more effective and useful than others.