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5 TYPES | FIND THE RIGHT SUNGLASSES LENS MATERIAL FOR YOU

Lens material affects the weight, durability, clarity, and protection level of your sunglasses. Whether you're a style-savvy skater or an outdoor enthusiast, understanding the differences between lens materials like glass, TAC (Tri Acetate Cellulose), and PC (Polycarbonate) can save you from disappointment with your new shades. Read on and choose wisely.

1 5 types | find the right sunglasses lens material for you1.1 1. glass lenses1.2 2. tri acetate cellulose (tac) lenses1.3 3. polycarbonate (pc) lenses1.4 4. cr-39 lenses1.5 5. trivex lenses1.6 Choosing the right material1.7 You asked – we answered

1. Glass Lenses

  • Superior optical clarity
  • The best scratch resistance
  • Heavy
  • May shatter upon impact

Glass lenses are the OGs of sunglasses. They offer the crispest vision of any lens material and are highly resistant to scratches, making them perfect for everyday use. Glass lenses are heavier than their plastic counterparts and can shatter upon impact, so they’re not exactly ideal for high-impact sports or activities where durability is key.

2. Tri Acetate Cellulose (TAC) Lenses

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent polarisation capabilities
  • Less scratch-resistant than glass
  • Reduced optical quality

TAC lenses are incredibly lightweight, making them comfortable for all-day wear. They’re also known for their excellent polarising capabilities, which means they're great at reducing glare from reflective surfaces like water or snow. While they provide good optical clarity and are more impact-resistant than glass, they're not as scratch-resistant, so a little extra care is needed.

*Please note that not all TAC lenses are polarised. The ones below are.

EXPLORE TAC SUNGLASSES

  • Black & Blue Polarised Browline Sunglasses
    Fawler
    €65€59
    Black & Blue Polarised Browline Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Black Polarised Browline Sunglasses
    Fawler
    €65€59
    Black Polarised Browline Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Winslow Thea Blue Folding Polarised Sunglasses
    Waykins
    €55€50
    Winslow Thea Blue Folding Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Transparent Brown Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €54€49
    Transparent Brown Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €54€49
    Black Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black & Brown Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black & Brown Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black & Blue Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black & Blue Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Occasus | Translucent Light Grey Square Polarised Sunglasses
    Otsu
    €95€67
    Occasus | Translucent Light Grey Square Polarised Sunglasses
    Outlet -30%
  • Occasus | Tortoise Shell Retro Squared Polarised Sunglasses
    Otsu
    €95€38
    Occasus | Tortoise Shell Retro Squared Polarised Sunglasses
    Outlet -60%
  • Occasus | Black Retro Squared Polarised  Sunglasses
    Otsu
    €95€86
    Occasus | Black Retro Squared Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Round Translucent Horn-rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Otsu
    €79€71
    Occasus | Round Translucent Horn-rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Round Translucent Light Brown Horn-rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Otsu
    €79€71
    Occasus | Round Translucent Light Brown Horn-rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Round Gunmetal Grey and Green Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €55€50
    Occasus | Round Gunmetal Grey and Green Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Round Gold-tone and Grey Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €55€50
    Occasus | Round Gold-tone and Grey Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Round Gold-tone and Brown Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €55€50
    Occasus | Round Gold-tone and Brown Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Occasus | Blue Square Polarised Aviator Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €65€59
    Occasus | Blue Square Polarised Aviator Sunglasses
    -10%
    Engrave
  • Occasus | Round Blue Double Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €55€50
    Occasus | Round Blue Double Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    Engrave
  • Occasus | Round Black Double Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €55€50
    Occasus | Round Black Double Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    Engrave
  • 3. Polycarbonate (PC) Lenses

    • Highly impact-resistant
    • Lightweight
    • Less scratch-resistant
    • Reduced optical clarity compared to glass

    Polycarbonate lenses are lightweight, impact-resistant, and offer excellent UV protection. They’re a top choice for sports sunglasses, children's eyewear, and safety glasses. PC lenses are also up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses, making them virtually shatterproof. But they’re more prone to scratching, so we recommend scratch-resistant coating options if you intend to be rough with them.

    EXPLORE PC SUNGLASSES

  • Round Silver-Tone Lennon Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €94€85
    Round Silver-Tone Lennon Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Round Rose Gold-Tone Lennon Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €94€85
    Round Rose Gold-Tone Lennon Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Square Black Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €94€85
    Square Black Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Square Grey Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €94€85
    Square Grey Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Square Green Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €94€85
    Square Green Horn-Rimmed Bille Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Round Brown Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €80€72
    Round Brown Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Round Crystal Green Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €80€72
    Round Crystal Green Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Round Bottle Green Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    Trendhim x MessyWeekend
    €80€72
    Round Bottle Green Horn-Rimmed New Depp Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Transparent Brown Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €54€49
    Transparent Brown Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €54€49
    Black Geometric Horn-Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black & Brown Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black & Brown Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black & Blue Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black & Blue Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black Gradient Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    Lucleon
    €40€36
    Black Double-Bridge Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
    New
  • Black and Smokey Bamboo Browline Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €27€24
    Black and Smokey Bamboo Browline Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Brown Bamboo Browline Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €27€24
    Brown Bamboo Browline Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Monochrome Tortoiseshell Round Horn Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €54€49
    Monochrome Tortoiseshell Round Horn Rimmed Polarised Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Clear and Blue Gradient Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €20€18
    Clear and Blue Gradient Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Brown Gradient Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €20€18
    Brown Gradient Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    -10%
  • Black Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    Collin Rowe
    €20€18
    Black Geometric Horn Rimmed Sunglasses
    -10%
  • 4. CR-39 Lenses

    • Better optical clarity than polycarbonate
    • Lightweight
    • Good scratch resistance
    • Less impact-resistant than polycarbonate
    • Bulky in prescription glasses

    CR-39, a plastic polymer, strikes a balance between glass and polycarbonate lenses. It offers better optical clarity than polycarbonate, weighs less, and is more impact resistant than glass. They have excellent scratch resistance, though not quite as good as glass, so they’re a good option for those who want high-quality vision and durability without the weight of glass lenses.

    5. Trivex Lenses

    • Superior impact resistance
    • Lightweight
    • Better optical clarity than polycarbonate
    • The most expensive of the plastics

    Trivex lenses offer a similar profile to polycarbonate lenses – lightweight, strong, and with full UV protection – but with better optical clarity. They’re also more resistant to chemicals and their light weight and strength make them a great option for those with high prescriptions.

    Choosing the Right Material

    If optical clarity is your top concern, nothing beats glass. For an active lifestyle, polycarbonate or Trivex lenses offer durability and protection. TAC lenses are great for reducing glare without breaking the bank, while CR-39 provides a happy medium for everyday use.

    The main question you have to ask yourself is: “Do I need to block glare?”

    Quality non-polarised PC lenses and polarised TAC lenses are about the same price, and if you drive a lot or fish, go for polarised TAC. But if you’re looking for all-round sunglasses for everyday use around town, PC lenses will give you greater clarity.

    Understanding these materials' nuances empowers you to pick the perfect pair for your style, comfort, and protection. Next time you're browsing for sunglasses, remember it's not just about how they frame your face; it's also about how they colour your life.

    YOU ASKED – WE ANSWERED

    Read more about lens coatings here.