The Ultimate Guide to Prescription Sailing Sunglasses

Prescription sailing sunglasses are required for those that have difficulty seeing and need eye protection from harmful UV rays. But what pair of sailing sunglasses are right for you?

After you read through, you’ll be able to decide what offers maximum protection and is the perfect pair. In addition, you’ll learn about why polarized lenses are needed while sailing.

For any water sports or activities on the open water, your eyes must be protected from UV rays. Bright sunlight, over time, can damage your eyes.

How to Choose the Best Prescription Sailing Sunglasses for You

There are plenty of different options to consider for prescription sailing sunglasses. Finding the best sailing sunglasses for you will come down to style, comfort, but also a handful of other factors.

Prescription sunglasses will vary from one brand to the next, so it’s best to have a few options to compare. When used for sailing, you’ll want to consider sunglasses that are great for long hours on the water.

Style and Comfort

Prescription sailing sunglasses

One of the easiest decisions you’ll be making for a quality pair of prescription sunglasses for sailing is how it looks and feels on your face. Trying them on or at least measuring your face when shopping online will help in the process.

While wearing them, you need to consider the nose pads to make sure they don’t fall off of your nose when moving around or when they become wet.

The best sunglasses can handle a variety of conditions. You’ll be in wet conditions when you set sail, whether it’s rain, ocean spray, or sweat and you don’t want them sliding off your nose.


With UVB and UVA rays, you’ll need polarized lenses in order to be considered for the best sunglasses. UVA rays can pass through the cornea, lens, and retina of your eyes, while UVB rays can still cause eye damage and eye strain.

The sun is the primary concern to be protected from above, however, there are other issues at hand. For example, the reflection from the water’s surface, bright white from your boat or sails, and glare from handrails or various objects that could harm your vision.

Lens Shape

Sailing sunglasses with bridge

The shape of the lens makes a difference in deciding what sailing sunglasses are best. The ones that have fewer angles (round) might be easier to see out of, but they might not protect against glare as well.

Sunglasses that have flat lenses are not as great at repelling UV rays being reflected from the water. Curved lenses are great for protecting the eyes from debris, but provide the worst sharpness on objects at a distance.

Lens Colors

Choosing the right colored lenses for sailing is crucial to seeing in difficult conditions. All sunglasses for sailing have some kind of lens color to help aid your vision. There are many different colors to choose from, which makes it important to understand the differences between them.

Choosing gray lenses is the easiest and most universal color for polarized lenses. They don’t have much distinction in other colors when viewing and they are great for most all light conditions.

Materials Used

Cleaning sailing sunglasses

The material of the lenses makes a difference, with some being glass and others being polycarbonate or plastic.

Glass offers the best scratch resistance and views, but has less stability if they’re dropped or hit. Plastic has a solid combination of eye protection and clear visibility but scratches much easier.

You could also opt for photochromic technology so that your lenses change when the sun’s rays do. This allows you to have one pair of glasses versus two. Either way, you’ll need a pair you can trust to offer the best eye protection with quality materials.

Lightweight and Ultra Durable

Having sunglasses that are lightweight means you’ll forget you’re wearing them, or at least they aren’t a heavy feeling on your head.

Not all sunglasses are created equal, so lightweight ones also need to be durable.

You’ll want sunglasses that are shock resistant and have less resistance to wear and tear from daily use. Reading reviews on the desired pair help tremendously in this aspect.

Waterproof and Easy to Clean

Since your pair of prescription sunglasses are being used while sailing, this means you’ll likely have saltwater on them often.

You’ll not only want waterproof capabilities but something that is easy to clean and can handle these conditions.

Can Polarized Sunglasses for Sailing Have Prescription Lenses?

Polarized sailing sunglasses at the beach

Depending on the brand of choice, you can easily have polarized sailing sunglasses with your prescription in them.

Most brands offer an easy time navigating their website to order a specific pair of sunglasses and add the prescription manually.

If your prescription is a difficult one, you might not be able to enter this information as easily.

Instead, it’s best to chat with the company you choose and send them your prescription information to narrow down the results.

How Much Do Prescription Sunglasses for Sailing Cost?

Prescription sailing sunglasses are going to cost you a pretty penny if you believe that you have to have the most expensive option. However, you’ll want to find the best bang for your buck in order to get the perfect pair.

You can expect to pay between $150 to $500 on average depending on the brand. The reason some may cost more than others is due to materials, prescription strength, frame, and lenses.

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Sailing Sunglasses

Yellow mirrored sailing sunglasses

A good pair of prescription sailing sunglasses needs to cover all the bases for sailing. This means choosing ones that fit the important features and criteria above (polarized, shape of lens, durability, etc).


Before you jump straight into a popular pair of sunglasses, check the price tag. How much it costs for some prescription sailing sunglasses is one of the first things consumers notice.

Having a budget in place is key to narrowing down what you can afford so you don’t have to waste time.

Neutral Colors for Lens

If you don’t have time to carefully decide which colored lens is best for you, go with gray or blue. These are the most universal at blocking out UV rays no matter the time of day.

Neutral colors, in general, are also a good choice. Most consumers might not care what color lens they have as long as it helps to protect their eyes from the light while they sail.

Anti Reflective Coating

Mirrored coating is a great option for those that want to reflect light away from their eyes in addition to polarized lenses. Blue mirrored lenses are popular, along with green and silver.

While these aren’t required for ultimate comfort, some of the best sunglasses have them. It might take a bit longer to order these online, so consider this if you’re eagerly waiting for your pair to arrive.

Final Thoughts

Prescription sailing sunglasses are essential for blocking out harmful UV rays, glare, and other conditions like wind, water spray, and the sun’s reflection on your boat.

Having protection from these various elements makes the world of difference between typical gas station sunglasses and ones specific to your situation at sea.

The best sailing sunglasses will likely be based on budget, with a handful of other key features. It’s important to do your research and find a quality pair that keeps your eyes protected.