We spend A LOT of time mountain biking outdoors with our 3 year old, and one item that we’ve learned is essential are sunglasses. Off-road they protect little eyes from dust; in a trailer or trailer-cycle, they guard from stray rocks and gravel flying up. If the sun is bright, glasses protect your child from UV-rays; and perhaps most importantly, they’re fun and look cool!
Any sunglasses will work just fine, but if you are looking for some sporty ones, here are our favorite picks. These will work great not only for cycling but also for hiking, playing, boating, etc.
One piece of advice: for biking, and for other active sports, buying glasses with a band or adding a pair of croakies can be hugely helpful. They let kids take their glasses on and off without worrying about losing them, and if they fall off they won’t land on the ground (or in the water, as the case may be).
What to Look For
The most important thing to look for when shopping for kids sunglasses is UV protection. The glasses should provide 99%-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays (all the glasses listed here do). Why is this so important? Because kids eyes are not as capable as adults eyes in filtering sun rays. In fact, children take in about three times the annual UV exposure of the average adult. Yikes!
Additionally, you need to make sure you are buying sunglasses that are actually going to stay on and be comfortable for your child. We’ve bought several pairs of gas station sunglasses for my son, and what a mistake that is. They constantly slip off, fall down, etc. Invest in one of these pairs of lightweight sunglasses instead and your child is going to much more likely to keep them on.
The Best Sporty Sunglasses for Active Kids
These adorable glasses come in a ton of fun colors and are virtually indestructible. The Rivbos frames are made of food-grade rubber so they are both flexible and safe. (Evidently I’m not the other parent who has a child that likes to chew on EVERYTHING). They’re also super affordable, and suitable for kids ages 3-10.
For toddlers, I love strappy sunglasses. For biking, they fit easily under a helmet, stay in place, and keep dust out of little eyes. The RKS toddler glasses are attractive and durable enough to withstand life in the outdoors. Order a size up because they run small.
If your family is serious about cycling, and you are looking for the real-deal for your child, check out these glasses from BBB. After reading all the cycling forums, these were the glasses that were recommended over and over and over. Comes in a pouch with two sets of extra lenses: yellow and clear. Fits best on kids ages 3-8.
These super-affordable sunglasses offer high-performance features at a fraction of the cost. Which is good, because you won’t be too sad when they get dropped in the lake or run over by a bike. Appropriate for kids between 2-5.
Polarized lenses protect your child’s eyes from the sun, and are made from polycarbonate which is impact-resistant. Likewise, the frames are flexible and difficult to damage–which is a plus, because we all know what a pair of kids sunglasses is going to be put through. These glasses fit kids ages 6-10.
Still not sure which pair to buy? Use this handy comparison chart.