Warning: TL;DR (just see the links below)
- Visor up (or off, stashed in the top case) unless it's raining (even through most of winter).
- The only helmet that fits my long oval noggin doesn't offer an internal sun visor. And even if they did, I doubt it would be polarized (more on that later).
- No prescription (though I do find myself wearing my readers more and more frequently these days)
- Very sensitive to light and glare
- A little picky about optical quality
After trying a handful of brands of cheap safety glasses in clear, yellow, and smoke -- and I mean cheap, like $2-3 / pr
-- I realized the optics were pretty bad on all of them, they all scratched quite easily, and the non-polarized smoke lenses didn't relieve eye pain from and fatigue due to glare.
I've also tried several varieties of relatively expensive ($100-$250) sunglasses over the years (e.g. Oakley and similar). And I've tried a bunch of mid-priced options, $50-$100, too. While the optical quality on the expensive glasses was very good, and I liked the polarization, none were durable enough. Mostly, they scratched far too easily. The mid-priced options generally had good to very good optical quality, but suffered the same problems.
The sweet spot for me is inexpensive safety glasses with decent optics:
- Polarized. I've been using Radians Revelation (RV01P0CS ) with polarized smoke lenses for a while and like them just fine. After two years / 10k miles, they're scratched up enough I need replacements. (Probably should have changed them out after 1 year / 5k miles). I'm trying Jackson V30 Nemesis (28635) as replacements, just for kicks. Should arrive in a couple days.
- Clear. Previously used Crossfire 2164 and Radians Revelation. The Radians are quite good, just like the sunglasses. The Crossfire have slightly better optical quality and are just as durable, but the lenses are a little too small top-to-bottom for my face and don't block enough wind.
- Yellow / Amber. I gave up them after abandoning the cheapies. While the yellow / amber lenses help a bit with contrast in flat light, I often find the conditions producing flat light are also bright enough that I need sunglasses. If I like the V30 Nemesis sunglasses and clear lenses, I might give yellow / amber lenses another try.
Scab and others make some good points about the potential limitations of polarized lenses, but I don't seem to have any trouble viewing electronic screens (for me that's dash and cell-phone-as-GPS) unless I angle my head substantially to one side. His comments about (not) seeing through windshields -- I do the same, checking where drivers are looking, and don't seem to have any trouble doing so -- had me wondering if my Radians are not, in fact, polarized. I checked, and they are.
My polarized safety glasses do, however, clearly make road-based glare and artifacts like tar snakes and oil spills less apparent. But for me, that's a small price to pay for the benefits.
FWIW, my go-to sunglasses when not riding
are Maui Jim 302-02: great
optical quality and damn near impossible to scratch glass lenses, polarized, neutral gray tint with 12% light transmission, incredibly comfortable, and fit my face perfectly. Unfortunately, I'm on my last pair and have run out of spare parts (MJ ran out years ago), so when I next break something, they're done for. I can't find replacements that come anywhere close in the current market, unfortunately.