Driving / sunglasses

I need some decent glasses for driving.

I will have to put them on before I set off and won't have the option of removing them whilst on the move.

So, I need them to suit all conditions, low light, glare, bright and even night (if that's possible).

I'm not fussed if I have to pay a few hundred quid. I've had a quick scan at some Oakleys, but got a bit lost with the tech and being the lazy twat I am, I thought I'd recruit help from resident ARRSErs.
The best ones I ever had were cheapies from the garage that had bright yellow/orange lenses!! They looked totally silly but they were fabulous, and they worked in fog too!! Everything was really sharp even when it was that horrible glary light!
Dingerr, you can have my very, very rarely worn UK train driver ones if you want. They are to stupid specs set down by the rail industry and we aren't allowed to wear any others.

Like I say, yours if you want them and they'll cost you fekk all. :wink:
Got some Photochromic prescription glasses from Vision Express years ago - Bright light they go dark, dark out and they go more seethroughable. Quite cheap too.
Thanks Recce, I did consider your kind offer for a moment, but the lack of oiled up reflective British Rail jacket put me off.

I'm looking at it for the missus to get me as a Christmas present. It's only fair seeing as I'm buying her a car!
Thanks Recce, I did consider your kind offer for a moment, but the lack of oiled up reflective British Rail jacket put me off.

I'm looking at it for the missus to get me as a Christmas present. It's only fair seeing as I'm buying her a car!

:grin: Fair enough....could've thrown one of those in as well!!
I'm quite happy with my Ray Bans, which are polarised. Cuts down on glare, which is particularly bad when driving into a setting or rising sun on a wet road.
Buy sunny's with polarized lenses. These will help against glare and they will make it able to see right through car windows (when they drive in front of you for example) and they take the glinstering away from water,like lakes etc.
So what's better, photo chromatic or polarized? And why? Do they not pretty much do the same job?
I tend to go with cheap polerised glasses as they are effective in pretty much all conditions and great for road sheen. I always go cheap because when they roll around my car they will always get damaged regardless of price. If they are a present may as well go for expensive :p


Kit Reviewer
I'd say polarised is better, having had both (although the photochromatic were prescription).

Polarised block out light on one plane (if I recall my A level physics correctly) and therefore reduce a lot of glare.

Photochromatic go dark in the light and that works well, but I find that it takes a while for them to go completely transparent in the light, which could be an issue.
Polarised lenses block out light from one plane - in glasses this should be horizontal. When driving, the biggest benefit is after a shower on an otherwise sunny day, especially when you're driving toward a low sun - it stops the reflected glare. There can be an issue with the windscreen, though, some combinations of polarised lenses and windscreen can show the toughening stresses in the windscreen glass, these show up as dark patches which could restrict your vision. Heated windscreens can also cause similar problems. Other than for driving, they're excellent for fishing, allowing you to see better into the water by cutting out the surface reflections on the water. As a wearer, you may notice a slight darkening of your surroundings even with clear lenses, but it will be very minor - a bit like the sun being obscured by thin cloud.

When most people talk about polarised lenses, they're thinking sunglasses, probably because of marketing done by Polaroid, whose main fame comes from tinting polarised lenses (and from those cameras that give you chemical burns). You can get the optician to knock up clear polarised lenses, so avoiding the extra darkness caused by tinting.

Photochromic lenses change from clear to darkly tinted as brightness increases. You can get them made with an initial tint rather than clear. Transition from clear to dark is rapid and the rate at which they change is often a marketing feature. For a driver, this transition is less important than that from dark to light - unfortunately (unless things have changed recently) the dark to light transition takes several seconds if not much longer. This can be dodgy when you come out of a brightly lit tunnel at night - they may not darken much under the artificial light, but when your night vision has just been fucked up.... When I had photochromics, I didn't notice the lenses being affected by dazzling headlights so I didn't experience entering a world of sudden darkness in the same way as coming out of a tunnel.

Of personal choice, I'd opt for clear polarised lenses because I'm only troubled by glare at dawn and dusk. Any other time, I'd just pull down the visor. In your case, an additional light tinting may save you the hassle of reaching up. If the optician has a trial pair (and he should), ask if you can borrow them to check whether the windscreen toughening patterns show up. If they do, you don't necessarily have to give up as the problem may not occur with a different manufacturer.

Someone's going to pipe up that windscreens are laminated, not toughened. That's generally true of modern cars but the bending process involves heating which provides a degree of heat strengthening if not actual toughening and can still give rise to the stress patterns.

If you go for polarised, when you get them, hold the lenses against another pair of polarised glasses. When the glasses are held in the same plane, you should be able to see through them clearly. Rotate one pair and you should get increasing darkness as you move towards 90 degrees. If the darkest point doesn't occur at 90 degrees, get the optician to check that the lenses have been made correctly. Vertically polarised lenses are neither use nor ornament.


Kit Reviewer
What he said! I'll add that with my polarised Ray Bans (and also with cheapo driving sunglasses from eBay) i notice dark spots on the back windscreen of some cars, but never on the front.

And you should be able to test the polarisation with just one pair of glasses. When the lenses are held parallel (that is, parallel lengthways) to the ground, there should be little glare. Turn them 90 degrees and you should see a lot more glare.
Thank you everyone, there's much to consider. I'm waiting delivery of a Ford Galaxy, which has heated windscreen, so I'll have a look at what technologies manufacturers have.

Which manufacturer would you consider the best? I've looked mainly at Oakley.
Go to a good Opticians,and get yourself a pair of Serengeti "Drivers", best driving glasses bar none,not cheap,but why not buy the best.

Went to buy a new pair whilst in London,and this 'trendy' twat tried to sell me some Oakleys,took him out into the street,and showed him the difference between my old pair of Serengetis,and his pair of Oakleys,he then went back into the shop to track down the nearest wholesalers,told me if I ever came back he would discount me a new pair of "drivers". ;-)
What are they like for driving in at night?
Dingerr try these,not top of the range or designer look, but really do the job for me day and night, they are so cheap buy 2 or 3.

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