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  • Everyday Sunglasses – Polarised or not? (Warning Oakley Content)
  • Premier Icon BillOddie

    I’m trying to decide on new normal “not-riding” sunglasses and having whittled down my frame choices down to one, I have come unstuck on trying to decide on lenses.  As they will be prescription, it’s not a small investment

    I think the crux of it is that I can’t decide on whether to get Polarised or non-polarised lenses.

    My current Oakleys have normal grey lenses which have been good for the vast majority of time I have had them.  They are maybe a bit light for foreign holidays but for the UK they are pretty damn good.

    I’m tempted to get the same again but do I get the “normal” or the polarised?  I have heard that polarised lenses whilst are good cutting down glare they can mess with your depth perception a little and also don’t necessarily play well with things like Sat Navs and smartphones.

    Any experience – positive or negative?

    These glasses will be used for normal daily use, including driving and hiking. They probably won’t be used for riding as I have a specific pair for that.

    Premier Icon metcalt

    I’m a fan of polarised lenses, was advised to get some years ago when working as a lifeguard to combat glare from the pool and have been buying them since.

    Never personally had any issues with depth perception, for me they’re no different to normal glasses other than the benefit of the polarisation. No issues when using a sat nav or seeing the screen in between the dials on my car unless I tilt my head, and I try not to drive like that 🙂 also helps to remove any dash reflection or glare off other cars on sunny days.

    Smartphone wise, only had an issue when I had a tempered glass screen protector on, fine in portrait mode but darkened in landscape. Since taking the protector off I’ve had no problems.

    Negatives – tend to be a bit more expensive!


    I had polarized riding specs, adn literally JUST getting them reglazed with non polarized photochromatic lens.

    I didn’t get on with teh polarizatoin – i found it ‘distracting’ – drain covers etc would look ‘too shiny’ in the wet, and i guess thinking about it now they did mess with depth perception…

    Will see how i get on with teh changing lens.

    My ‘normal’ non riding sunnies have never been polarized, and i think they are fine…

    I also had screen/LCD issues!


    Premier Icon toby1

    I usually opt for a polorised lens, but yes, if you rotate a screen through 90 degrees (using a phone/camera) regularly it’ll go black if they are Oakleys.

    I’ve never noticed a depth perception problem, but maybe I wasn’t looking for one.

    Premier Icon rossburton

    My sunnies are polarised. I’ve never had a problem with depth perception, and the complete lack of windscreen glare (and less practically, glorious sea views) more than makes up for phones being a bit weird.

    Premier Icon Dorset_Knob

    Yeah, I liked polarizing lenses until I became dependent on my mobile for navigation in car and on bike, and they messed quite badly with that, for me. (No screen protector or anything.)

    Premier Icon Dorset_Knob

    (The photochromatic lenses on my Rudy Projects are amazing though – going from almost totally clear to about 80% almost immediately. Brilliant.)

    Premier Icon Stuuey

    Don’t think you are meant to wear polarised lens while driving/operating machinery because they can hide displays/warnings on the dash. That said they are great for this time of year.

    Premier Icon krixmeister

    Polarised every time. Much better for cutting down glare especially this time of year with low angle sun.

    One thing to note – the polarising coating on Oakleys seems pretty fragile. I’ve gone through quite a few Oakley polarised lenses, and have learned never to use any “normal” lens cleaner products (with various types of alcohol) to clean them. Just a bit of dish soap and warm water.

    Even then the lenses probably won’t last more than three years before the polarised coating starts crazing. But Oakley optics are just so good that I put up with that (plus the cost) for the benefits.


    Sat Navs and smartphones.

    Not sure why but those aren’t too bad with mine, just some rainbows across the screen. The bike computer screen however goes completely black and is unusable.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    I have heard that polarised lenses whilst are good cutting down glare they can mess with your depth perception a little and also don’t necessarily play well with things like Sat Navs and smartphones.

    Never had a problem with depth perception. It’s an issue with my phone though which is seemingly polarised also – perfectly fine in portrait, completely black in landscape. The only time this presents a problem is taking photos, the first time I tripped over it I thought my phone had packed in.

    Premier Icon uniqueusername

    My current and previous everyday Oakley’s are polarised. Not had any issues that would put me off doing so again.
    When using my wife’s camera that doesn’t have a real viewfinder if you turn it portrait the screen goes black.
    I feel like some times some things have an oil sheeny look, but I couldn’t tell you what the conditions are fur that effect and it doesn’t cause an issue.
    The previous pair has had the coating fail now, but I had them a good while (over five under ten years probably) before that happened and I’d assumed that was down to horrible suncream and not really taking too much care if them.

    Premier Icon richmtb

    I prefer polarised. I tend to go with a lighter tint and polarised as it takes care of glare and gives you lenses that works in a broader range of light conditions. Not had any issues using them while driving in fact the lack of glare, from say a wet road when the sun comes out, make them ideal.

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    I like polarised, but I’m wary about using them in winter because it’s harder to spot icy surfaces.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    I have polarized Oakleys – think they are Chainlinks? – and they are far and away the best sunglasses I’ve had, over previous Oakleys, Raybans and others

    Premier Icon Pierre

    I bought polarised Oakleys many years ago when I used to row, and the reduction of glare off the water was remarkable. I’ve chosen polarised sunglass lenses ever since – they’re slightly darker, and every now and then you have to tilt your head or the LCD screen you’re looking at, but nearly everything looks better through polarised lenses. 😎

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    Thanks all, plenty to ponder!

    A slight curve ball, but have you thought about the prisms instead of the normal lenses?
    I really appreciate the extra contrast and clarity in mine

    Came to suggest Prizm!

    I have pretty much every type of lens Oakley make, because I’m a bit of a sad sack! The polarized ones are great for every day, even greater for use on or around water (brilliant for sunny days on the Test!) but wouldn’t be my preferred choice for driving or snow. On the latter, they can flatten it out too much.

    I only have Prizm in my Radar EVs at the moment, and for use on the bike they’re sublime lenses in all but the very shittiest of conditions, when I switch to clear.

    Premier Icon stevious

    No problem with car displays or smartphones for me. My bike computer sometimes goes dark if I’m wearing my casual sunnies on the bike though.

    I’ve used my prizm road glasses for driving a few times but never found them as nice as polarised. It’s definitely the glare thing, which feels like a bigger deal at car speeds but less so at bike speeds.

    When I had polarised glasses BITD I couldn’t use my phone in landscape orientation as a sat nav because it went all dark. So I had to rotate to vertical. Obviously not a major problem but it could be very annoying if you own a car with a massive screen (digital dash?) and the filter is the ‘wrong’ orientation.

    Aside from that minor issue, polarised glasses are great for, well, everything. Especially driving (assuming you can read the dashboard).

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    Ordered non-polarised Prizm Grey lenses in Targetlines in the end.

    Decided that seeing as the outlay was just under £300 and I wouldn’t be able to sell them on as they are prescription I would get a combination of my two current lenses.

    Prizm Grey should take my normal Grey lens which I have in my Monster Dogs and used with no issues and make it slightly more awesome like the Prizm Trail lenses I have in my Racing Jackets!

    There might well be times on really bright days on the bike I reach for the Targetlines rather than the Racing Jackets and non-polar makes sense for that.


    Living near the sea and with super bright sunshine even in winter, polarised every time. And always with my prescription too.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    I have polarised too, but I can’t wear them when driving as they distort the screen on the dashboard.


    I have Polarised Oakley Silver Edge for abroad and a cheap £50 dark tinted ones for he UK.
    The tinted ones just aren’t enough for Greek sunshine.
    Can’t say I have any problems with my phone using Polarised as the OLED screen on Samsung phones are quite good, IPad Pro is difficult to see with them on though.

    I got some polarised Oakleys a couple of weeks ago before going On holiday to Bali. Great outdoors in the harsh tropical sun and awesome for beach use. . Some weird lines on glass etc but it’s not that bad.

    Biggest issue I have is at work.

    I’m an air traffic controller at a fairly busy international airport. Lots of folk at work wears sunnies indoors, (it’s not a crime because we’re looking outside most of the time).

    Problem with the polarising Oakleys is 5 out of the 6 RADAR screens at work are rendered totally unusable unless I tilt my head at a 90° angle.

    Premier Icon swavis

    No @Houns yet? I’m shocked… 😉

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