Sunglasses for flying.


I’m looking for a good pair of sunglasses for flying in the $60 price range. I don’t need anything fancy, just a good, sturdy, comfortable pair. I’ve tried american optical, and I really like them, they just don’t fit comfortably under my headset. I don’t want to spend more than $60 because sunglasses break, get lost, stolen, etc. too easily.



I have two pairs of Serengeti Velocity(s) with the driver’s gradient. Non polarized. I bought them from for $129 but they now sell them at Wal-Mart for $99 (AHHHH!)

The reason I have two pairs, is that I stepped on one pair that was way out of warranty, and destroyed them, sent them back and Serengeti, and they replaced the frame and lenses no charge, and next day aired them to my house for for free!

Spend the extra $39 bucks and get a great pair of sunglasses from a great company.

I swear by my Serengeti’s, and I know a lot of other pilots who do. My buddy flies in the reserves and his whole wing uses them as well.

They fit under headsets (in pistons I wear the FlightCom Denali) very well.


Absolutely! I’ve been wearing Serengeti glasses for over 20 years now, got my first pair from my airline pilot uncle when I started flying. They are by far the best flying sunglasses I’ve tried, and I’ve tried almost every brand you can think of.

Do a Google search for “Serengeti sunglasses” and select the “Shopping” tab. Then sort by price, low to high. You’ll find a nice selection for under $100 bucks. Or even $80!

Or go here:


I don’t really feel comfortable buying an expensive pair of sunglasses that I’ve never tried on. I did find a good pair of fossil aviators for $50, and I ow a polarized pair with a snapped strut. They’re comfortable and they look really good on me. What would the sarengettis give me that the fossils won’t?


msh168 indicated they sell Sarengettis at Walmart. Why not swing by there and try before you buy? Remeber, buy cheap, you get cheap. Your vision I would hope is worth the extra $30.

Me, I hate sunglasses when I fly. I haven’t found a pair that adequately blocks the light AND I can read the panel comfortably especially in high contrast conditons when above a cloud deck. I’ve tried both the brown tint and grey tint sunglasses. Brown tint drives me nuts as it makes the colors wonky to me and grey works great on the outside but instrument panel is too dark especially if I am headed east in the morning.

With regards to losing them buy a second pair just for your flying, leave them in your flight bag when you take them off. Only way you lose them is if you lose the flight bag :unamused:

In other words slow down…


That’s what I’m wondering. What about the sarengettis will more adequately protect my vision? Both block UV rays, right?

And there are no WalMarts around where I live. Surprising, I know.

#8 … s-Reviews/ may help. It’s generic in description for each brand, functionality such as UV block and stuff like that. Site seems unbiased to brand name.

No Walmarts? Wow, you must be in the boondox not to have one in driving distance? Criminy, Carthage MS a booming town of maybe 2500 to 5000 peope has a Walmart.

You may want to go into Google, type in serengeti eyewear and then the name and state of where you live and it wouldn’t surprise me you find an eyewear store that sells the brand.

I did it for Brandon MS and came up with lots of hits.


It’s not that the Serengeti glasses are “better” for your eyes, it’s the characteristics of the lenses that make them great for flying.

First, the color and filters used on the Serengeti Driver lenses increases contrast and blocks out blue light, helping reduce fatigue and blurring.
One nice benefit is that cloud layers and formations become easily visible, instead of being just a big grey/white blob. Nice if you’re trying to avoid them or pick a soft spot to fly through.

Second, they are photochromic, meaning they get lighter or darker in response to how bright the sun is. Light transmissions varies from 9% (fully dark) to 24% (fully light). This means they work well on blazing, blue sky days and on overcast days as well. And, you can wear them later in the afternoon/evening when it’s not so bright and get the added contrast and definition without the glasses making it too dark to see.

The brown color definitely takes a little getting used to. I wore the grey G-15 Ray-Ban lenses for many years before I got Serengetis, and it took me about a week to adjust. Now, you couldn’t pay me to go back. Obviously it’s a matter of personal preference, but you should really give them a try. Also, the brown Ray-Ban B-15 lens is very good. Might be an option.

As far as wanting to try them on, you can go to a local Pearle Vision or LensCrafters, find frames that you like, and get the dimensions of the lenses and frames to compare to Serengeti models on their website or a shopping site.

Good luck!


Also, unlike many of the cheap Chinese made knock-off glasses, the lenses on the Serengetis (and Ray-Bans) are optically correct and won’t distort images. I’ve got some cheapies that I wear when boating that give me a headache after prolonged wear due to distortion.

+1 for the Serengetis.

Large Aviator/Driver’s Gradient


I got a cheap pair of red tint Berkley (as in the fishing company) for $10 at Walmart and they don’t seem to distort the images too bad. Also, they have 1 mm of polarization as opposed to .75 mm (according to the packaging.)However, I have no idea how they would be for flying, since I’m sure some of you know I am not a pilot :frowning: I do know they are good in a car and for fishing. The point of this long rambling post (I think) is that in my humble opinion, $10 sunglasses are fine for me personally.


spring for the Serengetis… love mine.


Be careful with polarized glasses in the cockpit. Two things you have to worry about:

  1. Polarized lenses can interfere with viewing LCD displays, such as those on your GPS, etc. Need proof? Go put on a pair of polarized glasses at the store, then look at your cell phone display, digital watch face, or even an LCD display over in the electronics department. You’ll see lots of distortion or even complete blackout of the displays as you tilt your head.
  2. Polarized lenses and many aircraft windshields also don’t mix. This mostly applies to heated windshields on jets, but I’ve seen the same effect on some plexiglass windshields on small aircraft.

Get some non-polarized Serengetis, preferably the ones with a “driver’s gradient” lens. The bottom half of a gradient lens is slightly less tinted than the top, so your view of the instrument panel isn’t obscured.


Yep, been covered with TheEggman in a different thread :wink: … 036#117036