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What are Wraparound Sunglasses?

Angie Garcia

Written By:

Angie Garcia

Updated: 12 June 2024 •  
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If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you know how important it is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
That’s where wraparound sunglasses come in, providing great protection in a stylish design.
Let’s explore what wraparound sunglasses are, how they differ from other sunglasses, and why they’re a popular pick for any outdoor enthusiast.

Understanding wraparound sunglasses

cyclists cycling with wraparound sunglasses on

Wraparound sunglasses are ideal for those who prioritize sun protection and comfort during outdoor activities.


These sunglasses offer high protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
They have a unique shape that wraps around your face to provide coverage for your eyes and the skin around them.

Wraparound sunglasses are popular among outdoor enthusiasts, such as runners, cyclists, hikers, and golfers.
They are also commonly worn by individuals who work outdoors, such as construction workers, landscapers, and those who spend much time on the water, such as boaters and fishermen.

man wears wraparound sunglasses

The shape of wraparound sunglasses sets them apart from other types of sunglasses.


One of the distinguishing features of wraparound sunglasses is their unique curved lens that closely mimics the natural shape of your face.

The design typically features curved lenses extending beyond the frame and thick arms curling behind your ears.
This design allows the sunglasses to fit more securely on your face to prevent any stray rays of sunlight from entering from the sides.

Wraparound sunglasses also often feature a sleek, angular design that mimics the contours of your brow line, making them a stylish and practical choice for any outdoor activity.
Some types also have a vented design, which helps to prevent fogging and keeps your vision clear even in humid conditions.

One of the most significant advantages of wraparound sunglasses is the amount of protection they offer.
Because they wrap around your face, they block out more sunlight and UV rays than traditional sunglasses, which only protect your eyes from direct sunlight.

man cycling on dirt road with wraparound sunglasses on

With their secure fit, they’re ideal for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities.


However, there are some downsides to them too.
The design can sometimes be too tight or uncomfortable for people with wider faces, and the curved lenses can cause distortion or visual issues.

Some people also find that the wraparound style can cause discomfort or pressure on the temples or ears, especially if the sunglasses are not properly fitted.
Because wraparound sunglasses provide more coverage than traditional sunglasses, they may be less fashionable or versatile for everyday wear.

How to choose the right wraparound sunglasses

Selecting the right pair of wraparound sunglasses can feel overwhelming.
But don’t worry; there are some key factors to consider that can help you choose the perfect pair.

1. Face shape and size

Choosing sunglasses that fit your face shape and size is crucial.
For individuals with larger or wider faces, wider frames and arms that suit their facial structure are recommended.
On the contrary, people with smaller or narrower faces should go for wraparound sunglasses with narrower frames and arms.
woman wears wraparound sunglasses while holding a tennis racket

The color of the lenses can also affect the performance of your wraparound sunglasses.


2. Lens color

Gray lenses are popular because they provide neutral color perception and reduce glare.
Brown and amber lenses enhance contrast and depth perception, making them ideal for activities like fishing or skiing.
Yellow lenses are also a good choice for low-light conditions.

3. UV protection

Make sure the wraparound sunglasses offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.
This will protect your eyes and prevent long-term damage to your eyes.

3. Polarization

This type of lens diminish glare and enhances visibility during bright conditions, which is particularly crucial for tasks like driving or water sports.


4. Material

Wraparound sunglasses are available in various materials, including plastic, metal, and nylon.
Plastic frames are lightweight and affordable, while metal frames are durable and stylish.
Nylon frames are a fantastic choice for sports enthusiasts due to their lightweight and flexible design.

5. Activity

The activity you’ll use your wraparound sunglasses for plays a crucial role.
If you’re a cyclist or runner, look for a pair with a snug fit and vented design to prevent fogging.
If you’re a hiker or mountaineer, consider wraparound sunglasses with interchangeable lenses to adapt to changing light conditions.

Alternative options to wraparound sunglasses

runners wear sunglasses while running

Other sunglass types may be more convenient options with other benefits.

While wraparound sunglasses are an excellent choice for those seeking maximum coverage and protection from the sun, plenty of other sunglasses options may be more suitable for different face shapes and styles.

1. Aviator sunglasses

Actor Tom Cruise wearing aviator sunglasses in the 2023 film Top Gun Maverick

Actor Tom Cruise is wearing aviators in the 2023 film ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Source: Robb Report

Aviator sunglasses have a timeless design thanks to their teardrop-shaped lenses and thin metal frames.
Famous personalities like Tom Cruise and Jennifer Aniston have been spotted wearing aviator sunglasses.

2. Wayfarer sunglasses

Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton wearing black Wayfarer sunglasses

Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton wearing black Wayfarer sunglasses. Source: Who What Wear

Wayfarer sunglasses have a bold and iconic design, with a thick plastic frame and square lenses.
Renowned personalities like Kate Middleton and Bob Dylan have been known to sport wayfarer sunglasses.

3. Clip-on sunglasses

woman wearing a pair of glasses with clip on sunglasses
Clip-on glasses allow you to switch between prescription and sunglasses without carrying an extra pair.

Clip-on glasses are an eyewear accessory that can be attached to the top of regular glasses with a clip mechanism.
They provide a hassle-free and straightforward method to turn your regular glasses into sunglasses without the need for switching between two pairs of glasses.

Switch up your look in seconds with Mystery’s classic tortoise design.

The Tim clip-on sunglasses are an excellent choice for those seeking a trendy and geeky look.


Wrapping up!

Wraparound sunglasses offer maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays and are ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, running, and cycling.
Their unique curved lens closely mimics the natural shape of your face and wraps around it to block out more sunlight and UV rays than traditional sunglasses.

One of the most significant advantages of wraparound sunglasses is their secure fit, which makes them ideal for those who want to enjoy their outdoor activities without worrying about their sunglasses slipping or falling off.
They may be less fashionable or versatile for everyday wear, and other sunglass styles like aviators or clip-ons may be more suitable depending on your preferences and needs.
By considering factors like face shape, UV protection, and activity, you can find the perfect pair of wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes and allow you to enjoy your time outdoors to the fullest.

Angie Garcia

Written by:

Angie Garcia

Angie is a Manila-based writer who specializes in wellness and lifestyle topics. She likes trying out new workouts and drinking coffee when not writing.

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