Oakley Clifden – Not just for mountaineering sunglasses

oakley sunglasses for mountaineering

Why side shields on sunglasses?

Normal sunglasses don't come with side shields and bridge blockers. They're mostly only on mountaineering sunglasses like the Vuarnet Glacier 1315 (as worn by James Bond) for a cool $640 or the cheaper Julbo Vermont Classic for $149.99 or the Oakley Clifden featured here for $196.


These sunglasses not only block light from the front of your eyes, they block it from every direction so none of the harmful UV rays reach your eyes. This is critical in a mountaineering situation where the light is more intense.


Wearing normal sunglasses in the mountains could actually do more harm than good because UV light can reach your eyes in a dilated state from the sides. 

Built for adventure

There are 3 lens option for Oakley's Clifden which are perfect for the mountains and 3 more for other outdoor pursuits. These lenses enhance color, contrast, and detail to make the most out of any activity. Prescription lenses are also available for the Clifden.


The side shields and bridge blocker prevent harmful UVB light reflected from snow, land, and water from reaching your eyes.


The Clifden also comes with a coated woven steel leash so you can be confident about not losing your sunglasses in the chaos of adventure and to conveniently hang them around your neck when you don't need them.


If for whatever reason you don't need the side covers and bridge blockers, you can easily pop them off. It gives the Clifden a different look on your face, almost like a different pair of sunglasses.

Prizm Snow Black Iridium lens - a category 4 lens with a rose base color that blocks 94% of light (not suitable for driving but great for bright snowy mountains)

Prizm Snow Sapphire Iridium lens - a category 3 lens with a bronze base color. Blocks 87% of light for open mountain ranges

Prizm Snow Torch Iridium Lens - a category 3 lens with a bronze base color. Blocks 83% of light.

Prizm Tungsten Polarized lens - a category 3 polarized lens with brown base color. Blocks 86% of light. Great for contrasting trees and other vegetation.

View with Prizm Tungsten Polarized lens and without

Prizm Deep Water Polarized - a category 3 lens with a blue base color. Blocks 88% of light. Great for adventures out at sea.

View with and without Prizm Tungsten Polarized lens

Prizm Shallow Water Polarized - Category 3 polarized lens with green base color. Blocks 85% of light. Great for shallow bodies of water.

View with and without Prizm Shallow Water Polarized lens

Pros

  • Protects your eyes from all sides
  • Side shields and bridge blockers can be removed
  • Lenses provide great detail and contrast
  • All except one are great everyday lenses
  • Lightweight frames
  • Prescription lense available
  • Leash included

Cons

  • The style may not suit everyone

Conclusion:

If you're exposed to the sun from the sides on a daily basis, for example when you're driving, the Clifden is a great pair of sunglasses to consider. Even if you don't like the look with the side shield, you can take them off when you're around people if you're that embarrassed and pop them back on when nobody's around.

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