The best mountain bike sunglasses will stop your vision being compromised by debris, letting you focus on the trail ahead... and out of A+E.

The best mountain bike glasses are light, ergonomic and well ventilated, so you never feel claustrophobic. Here we round up a bunch of the best glasses. Pair these with one of the best mountain bike helmets and your whole head will thank you for it. If you’re looking for more eye protection, check out our buyer’s guide to the best mountain bike goggles.

Smith Optics Shift Mag

Smith Optics Shift Mag

Smith Optics Shift Mag glasses

Magnetic masterpiece

Colours: Loads! | Weight: 30g | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Superb lens clarity. Quick lens changes. Flexible frame is less prone to breakage.

Cons: Hefty investment.

A magnetic frame makes swapping between the two included lenses (clear and choice of Chromapop tint) a doddle. Both lenses are impressively clear and durable considering the inevitably regular cleaning eyewear is subjected to when mountain biking. Vision is unobstructed and every element of the Shift Mag is well made. A premium pair of glasses at a premium price.

Read our full test review of the Smith Optics Shift Mag glasses

Toolfreak Spoggles

Toolfreak Spoggles

Wet weather eye protection at a great price

Rating: 8/10

Pros: Great value for money, decent performance

Cons: Not the trendiest brand, fit won’t suit everyone

Using safety glasses has long been a top tip for thrifty mountain bikers and the Toolfreak Spoggles are impressively cheap at less than £20. They come in a carry case with an array of accessories and feel nothing like the disposable items you might find down at your local hardware store. While not the most stable fitting glasses, we can’t argue with the quality and value.

Read our full test review of the Toolfreak Spoggles

Julbo Fury Reactive glasses

Julbo Fury Reactive glasses

Julbo Fury Reactiv glasses

Effective light-adapting tech

Lens: Contrast Rose Flash, Clear lens and goggle bag inc. | Weight: 25g | Rating: 8/10

Pros: Wide coverage. Excellent clarity. Stable over rough terrain.

Cons: Premium price. Lens sits close to eyebrows. Can react too slowly for trails that dip in and out of woods.

This Fury Reactiv is just 25g and has a light-adapting photochromatic lens designed for changeable conditions. It’s lightweight and minimal, but has wide coverage and protection, in the vein of many of the bigger 1980s-inspired glasses around. The fit is very stable and worked well with the two different helmets I tried – there’s even a soft, rubberised bridge on the arms where they sit on top of the ears. The lens doesn’t immediately react as you leap out of the open into the trees; the gradual change takes about ten seconds, but I never found it too dark at the wrong time. Having a slight tint means it’s always slightly darker than a totally clear lens for gloomy UK woods anyway.

Read our full test review of Julbo Fury Reactiv glasses

Smith Attack Max

Smith Attack Max

Lens clarity, simple lens changing and comfort

Colours: Plenty! | Weight: 23g | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Top quality Chromapop lens

Cons: Very expensive and slightly distracting frame

Quality-if-pricey eyewear that sits perfectly on the head and suits a wide range of head shapes. The clarity of the Chromapop lenses is second to none. They would be perfect if it wasn’t for the slight encroachment of the lens attachment into your peripheral vision.

Read our full test review of the Smith Attack Max

100% speedcraft photochromic

100% Speedcraft Photochromic

Protection of goggles with the airflow of glasses

Weight: 28g | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Best of both worlds design

Cons: On the pricey side

The frame may not as wide as some of the other larger eyewear on the market as the lens flares out from underneath but this means it doesn’t feel too wide on the face and keeps out of peripheral vision. The arms have just enough flex to really latch on to your head without feeling too tight. The lens adjusts automatically depending on light conditions. It’s not fast, but if you’re in and out of the woods on a semi-regular basis, this clever tech is a useful feature. There’s also a clear lens included which will cover most UK winter conditions.

Read our full test review of the 100% Speedcraft Photochromic glasses

best mountain bike glasses

Decathlon/B’Twin/Van Dysel RoadR 900

Decathlon/B’Twin/Van Dysel RoadR 900

Light, comfortable, range of easily swappable lenses

Colours: Grey/grey, white/red, white/blue, Team | Weight: 25g | Rating: 8/10

Pros: Another effective product at an impressive price

Cons: A bit utilitarian

This pair of glasses has changed names over the years (used to go under the B’Twin brand, for example) but it is fundamentally the same Decathlon-exclusive product as ever. No helmet compatibility issues. Simple lens changing process. Excellent price. They fulfil all of a rider’s requirements from eyewear – light, comfortable and with a range of easily swappable lenses that cover the whole gamut of conditions.

Read our full test review of the Decathlon RoadR 900

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How we tested the best mountain bike sunglasses

With all our glasses and goggles, we tested them in variety of conditions as well as both wooded and open trails, looking to see how all of these performance criteria measured up against optical clarity and contrast enhancement, so that we could ride faster and more confidently.

What to look out for when buying eyewear for mountain biking

Comfort and clarity are key when it comes to mountain bike glasses, so the frames have to fit well to the face and not move around on rough terrain. They have to fit without fouling against your helmet and offer good protection from debris and insects while also allowing air to circulate for ventilation. Ideally frames should come with replaceable lenses, so you can adapt them to different light conditions, and the lenses should be easy to switch with excellent optical clarity. Some glasses come with adjustable nose bridges and arms to custom tune to your head shape.

Which type of lens should I use?

Make sure the glasses you use for mountain biking have a polycarbonate lens – you don’t want shattered glass near your eyes in the event of a crash. Lenses come in a veritable rainbow of colours and tints, but mostly boil down to clear, contrast-enhancing coloured tints and darker/mirrored tints for bright, sunny conditions. Yellow or rose tints can help increase contrast in low-light conditions, but they will cut the amount of light reaching your eyes, so can often make things seem darker when it’s really gloomy – they’re better for bright days in dark woods. On gloomy winter days we’d recommend a simple clear lens. All you want in these situations is protection from your eyes from debris (and wind, which can cause watering). If you’re riding in wide-open wilderness, such as in the mountains, and there’s little tree cover, choose a dark tinted or mirrored lens (if you want to look flash). Mirrored lenses can help enhance contrast, but they generally come with a premium price tag. Finally there are photochromic lenses that ‘automatically’ adjust to the light conditions. These can work well if you’re in the trees for a decent length of time, then in the open for a while, but don’t react quickly enough to cope with trails that rapidly switch from tree-lined to open.