UKC

Varifocal sunglasses.

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 buzby 14 Dec 2020

Hi. Up till now when I’ve been out in the hills I’ve just used regular sunglasses but with my eyes ever deteriorating with age it looks like the time has come for prescription ones.   I usually wear varifocals every day and while I’ve been searching  online I’ve been looking at getting sunglasses that I could wear in the hills for cycling and for leisure as well.   The ones that I think would suit best are eye wateringly expensive just for standard distance lenses but an extra 100 pounds for varifocals. Just wondered if anyone has varifocal sunglasses and are they worth the extra cash. It would be handy if I didn’t have to swap glasses for navigation but not sure how good varifocals would be using a dark lens Thanks.  

 Rick51 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

I've got a pair that are polarised as well. No problems with them except the price.

 marsbar 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

 I usually get a pair of normal and a pair of sunglasses when I get new glasses.  It is expensive now I need varifocals but it's just one of those things.  I wear my glasses every day and my sunglasses most days in the summer so I think it's worth it.  

 sjminfife 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

When my prescription changes I get a pair from Specsavers usually as part of a 2 for 1 deal. I get polarising lenses and they work well for driving. I usually get Rayban frames as these have the most "wrap around" you can get with varifocal lenses. If I have a choice of varifocal "quality" I go for middle or top. IIRC two pairs usually come to around £300.

 Graeme G 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

I just get a 2nd pair of glasses at my opticians who do a buy 1 get 1 free deal. You pay for the tint,  but means I’m not adding excessive expense by paying for a frame and lenses. They do fine. But yes they’re too dark in normal conditions.

 Pedro50 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

I've got varifocals with photosensitive lenses which clear or darken as required. The sun protection has been fine up to 14000 feet albeit without snow glare. 

 colinakmc 14 Dec 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have a pair of Osiris Cat 4 sunnies with varifocals, as part of the previously mentioned Specsavers 2 for 1 deal. They have a very good wraparound, and are still useable 3 years later, mostly your prescription doesn’t change very much in a couple of years, so this time I got the same frames but with the reactive lenses, at their darkest they approximate Cat 3 but on a gloomy Scottish morning they’re more or less clear, hence useable on the mountain bike. Best of all 3 worlds.

 Graeme G 14 Dec 2020
In reply to colinakmc:

Glad they worked for you. I tried reactolites but they were too dark for normal use for me. Also failed with contacts. So two pairs of glasses it is. Pain in the ****!! 

 buzby 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

Thanks for all the info, trying to justify a pair of oakley carbon blades but the price is making me nauseous. They do seem to fit the bill for hiking , biking and walking around the high street meaning i would only need the one pair which is good when i need prescriptions but man they are pricey. cheers all.

 Jon Stewart 14 Dec 2020
In reply to buzby:

They're worth the money if you want to be able to read in your sunglasses - if you're with a big chain optician your best bet is to get them as an additional pair on offer. It's often sensible to get a slightly cheaper varifocal design in your sunglasses as you won't be reading or using a vdu in them as much as your everyday ones.

Jon (optom) 

In reply to buzby:

I have varifocals and am considering vari shades too.

I can cope (just) for a climbing day without glasses other than for reading.

I bought some cheap tinted readers online, theses work OK and not a problem if they follow the fate of most of my shades 

In reply to buzby:

I've had varifocals for a number of years, always with reactolite lenses and they were fine for peaks such as Toubkal. They have always been fitted to what I would call 'conventional' frames, in my case thin metal so the arms don't interfere with peripheral vision. After a couple of day's cross-country skiing in the French Jura 5 years ago, travelling with the sun mostly coming from one side, I got snow-blindness in one eye. So, my optician got me a pair of wrap-round Tagheur frames and I had those fitted with my varifocal prescription. Expensive, yes, but you only get one set of eyes. My prescription has changed since then but not enough that I can still use them to read with and use a map. They get used for sea kayaking as well. Ironically the frames were made about 10 km down the valley from where I got the snowblindness.


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