If you’ve ever snowboarded or skied, you know the thrill of shredding a mountain of pristine snow with nothing but the wind at your back and adventure in front of you. Talk about gnarly.
But if you’re not wearing polarized sunglasses or goggles, chances are the only thing that’s gnarly is the glare.
Polarized sunglasses help increase your vision and block glare by preventing horizontal light from entering your lenses. That way, only vertical light passes through, giving you the clarity to perfect your 360—or watch others tear up the terrain park from the comfort of the ski lodge. Sunglasses protection is important to ensure that your eyes are shielded from harmful UV rays and having the proper eyewear is just as important as protecting your skin.
If you’re curious about switching to polarized sunglasses, read on for the top five ways these seriously-cool specs can benefit you on the mountain, the beach, or wherever life takes you. And don’t forget your replacement sunglass lenses, to make it easier to take your glasses on any adventure.
#1 Reduces Glare
Whether you’re carving down a ski slope at full speed or fishing on a lake as tranquil as a Bob Ross painting, glare is the perpetual enemy of a safe, good time. That’s because glare can temporarily blind you, as well as give you a double black diamond-sized headache.
By blocking horizontal light, polarized lenses can significantly reduce this often disabling characteristic of light.
To better understand how this works, let’s dive into light’s illuminating properties and how they contribute to glare.
The Mechanics of Light
If you’ve ever taken a physics class, you probably learned that light operates as a particle and wave. If that’s not mind-blowing enough, consider that light’s wave function exists on multiple planes at once: horizontal, vertical, and any combination dictated by the angle of reflection. This light is known as unpolarized light.
However, when light waves hit a surface, they’re immediately reoriented according to the alignment of the reflecting plane. In other words, when a light wave hits a horizontal surface, it’s reflected horizontally, becoming polarized light.
Let’s dive into the two main alignments of polarized light:
Polarized sunglasses include vertical light filters to only let vertical light pass through, reducing glare—and increasing your fun level.
#2 Helps Minimize Eye Strain
Like your biceps and glutes, the muscles in your eyes occasionally work overtime. When this happens, your eyes may become strained and tired from helping you see clearly in less-than-optimal conditions. This is known as eye strain.
In addition to tired eyes, symptoms of eye strain include:
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- Burning eyes
- Reduced concentration
- Sore neck and shoulders
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
By blocking glare and increasing visual acuity, polarized lenses can help reduce symptoms of eyestrain.
Some lenses go one step further by optically correcting your polarized lenses. This means your lenses are crafted with your precise eye curvature in mind, minimizing eye strain even more.
Goodbye, squinting. Hello, superior vision.
#3 Increases Clarity
Imagine this scenario: you’re carving the mountain up like Shaun White, winding your way through beautiful pine trees and snow banks. You’re wearing your favorite snow pants, blasting your favorite music, and donning your coolest non-polarized sunglasses.
On this bluebird day, everything is perfect. That is, almost everything.
Less than ten feet in front of you, a branch has fallen that would send even the most polished professional snowboarders tumbling head over heels down the mountain. You see the branch at the last minute, but don’t have enough time to avert the frozen obstacle.
The difference between polarized vs non polarized sunglasses is that If you were wearing polarized sunglasses, the story might have been different. That’s because polarized sunglasses can help improve visual clarity by:
- Increasing sharpness
- Increasing color contrast
- Minimizing color distortion
Let’s further explore each of these aspects of polarized glasses.
Sharpness, also known as visual acuity, plays a pivotal role in helping you see clearly into the distance.
When images are sharper than the edges of your skis, you’re better able to tell the difference between pillow-soft snow and frozen branches. Polarized lenses help increase visual acuity by blocking out glare and keeping what’s in front of you crystal-clear.
Increases Color Contrast
In blinding bright light, everything (including ice, rocks, and other skiers) is shrouded in a blizzard of white light. As a result, you’re less likely to tell the difference between snow the color of vanilla ice cream and branches tinged with dirt and debris.
By banishing glare to the ski lodge, polarized lenses can help preserve color distinctions between objects.
That way, you can keep shredding the good stuff while keeping harmful obstacles out of your path.
Minimizes Color Distortion
Similar to color contrast, color distortion is an optical hazard that can cause you to wipe out. In short, color distortion, also known as chromatic aberration, occurs when a lens can’t follow all colors to the same point.
As a result, that bad-news branch may appear in multiple places at once. Or, it may appear larger or smaller than it actually is. Either way, this scenario spells trouble.
Polarized lenses can help focus all colors on the same point, making it easy to tell where an object begins and ends. With overall reduced glare, you can shred down the mountain with clearer vision than if you were wearing non polarized sunglasses.
#4 Helps You See Into the Water
If you’re enjoying a snowsport and come across a non-frozen body of water, you might be on the wrong mountain. Nevertheless, polarized lenses can help you see into the water, making them ideal for activities like fishing—especially ice fishing. So whether you’re looking for the best sunglasses for water sports or just need a versatile pair that will take you from snow to water activities, polarized eyewear might be the right choice.
In many ways, water is glare’s liquid sidekick. It dramatically increases the level of glare by giving light an ample surface to transform into topsy-turvy horizontal waves.
One of the benefits of polarized sunglasses is their ability to minimize glare and distortion, allowing you to see clearly into the water. That way, ice trout become more than slippery phantoms swimming beneath holes in the glistening ice.
#5 Can Add to Your Style
While polarized sunglasses may not be the exact reason you land your first 360, they may be the reason why you get so many looks at the resort.
That’s because polarized lenses can come in a variety of colors, including:
In addition to providing different advantages depending on the color, polarized lenses can help match your vision to your visionary chalet-inspired wardrobe.
To Wear or Not to Wear?
Although polarized sunglasses can take your outdoor game to the next level, they may not be the right move for every situation and environment.
Let’s look at the best times to wear polarized sunglasses and when to leave them at home.
When to Wear
Among the many benefits of polarized lenses, glare reduction is at the top of the list. As a result, polarized lenses are ideal for the following outdoor activities:
- Beach lounging
- Sun tanning
In general, polarized lenses are fantastic choices for most activities that involve Mother Nature.
When Not to Wear
Like rich desserts, loud concerts, and television marathons, polarized lenses have their time and place. In general, it’s wise to avoid polarized lenses when you are:
The good news is that you don’t have to buy a different pair of polarized and non-polarized sunglasses to meet your every need. Instead, consider lenses that you can easily swap out.
That way, you can wear the same frames regardless of whether you’re on the mountain or plowing through a mountain of work on your LCD screen.
A Recap of Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Lenses
Horizontal light is like a skier on a mountain for the first time. While they may be able to ski down the mountain, their angles will likely be wobbly, wide, and chaotic. They may even crash into other skiers and snowboarders.
Vertical light, however, is like a professional skier navigating the tightest spaces, looking smooth and stylish along the way.
In the same way a rope blocks off an advanced area from less-experienced skiers, polarized lenses block horizontal light from entering your vision, reducing glare and increasing visual acuity. Non-polarized lenses, on the other hand, let all light through.
Whichever lens you choose depends on your situation. For most outdoor activities, polarized lenses are the way to go.
Become King of the Mountain with Revant Optics Polarized Lenses
From blocking glare to making you the mountain’s MVP (most vision-enhanced person), polarized lenses can help you excel in many outdoor activities. More importantly, if you want to know how to protect your eyes while you are outdoors in bright sunlight or even overcast weather, choosing the right pair of sunglasses is crucial for long term eye health.
As a result, Revant Optics should be on your mind whenever you embark on your latest adventure.Whether you dig the classic look of aviators, the laid-back feel of wayfarers, or anything in between, Revant Optics has the replaceable, polarized lenses you need to truly see the world.