Pilots wearing sunglasses is an iconic American image, one that appears often in movies, magazines, history books and more. Those classic images appeal to our shared appreciation for freedom, courage, innovation and exploration. Also, pilots tend to look pretty cool in a pair of shades.
For pilots, sunglasses are about far more than image. They protect one of the most important assets an aviator has -- vision. More than perhaps any other occupation, pilots are exposed to harsh sunlight and solar radiation, which can fatigue eyes, cause long-term damage to tissue and even lead to cataracts.
According to the FAA, ultraviolet radiation increases about 5 percent for every 1,000 feet of altitude.
The good news is that modern technologies exist that can protect your eyes and even improve your vision while you’re flying.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PAIR OF SUNGLASSES
The shape of your sunglasses is up to you. Whether you like a traditional wireframe aviator or a pair of wraparounds is a matter of personal preference.
For frames, the FAA suggests only that you look for sunglasses sturdy enough to take some abuse. Lenses are more complicated. When it comes to lenses, the FAA suggests:
1. Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.
2. Look for sunglasses with larger lens shapes.
3. The lenses should be tinted to optimize visual performance while minimizing color distortion. Look for neutral tints with between 15-30 percent light transmittance.
4. Avoid polarized lenses! They’re great for fishing. But they’re awful for reading digital cockpit displays. Leave them in the boat.
OUR AVIATOR SUNGLASSES
Pilot Mall is your best source for aviator sunglasses, with a wide variety suited for both professional and recreational pilots.
Our sunglasses have built-in UV protection and glare-reduction features, that will keep you flying safely, with a clear and accurate view of your surroundings.
We carry sunglasses from Method Seven, Randolph Engineering, Serengeti and Oakley. Each distinctive brand blends craftsmanship, technology and style.
Method Seven designs precision optics specifically for pilots.
The company’s mineral glass lenses use rare earth elements to enhance contrast. You can choose from three tint options based on your routes and needs.
Method Seven’s darkest tint, called SKY 9, works especially well for pilots navigating extreme sun conditions, especially those flying west and chasing the sun. The company’s mid-level tint, Sky 18, is a great all-around pair of sunglasses. The lightest tint, Sky 30, is a great choice for older pilots who need more light.
Learn more about Method Seven Sunglasses today.
Originally designed for military use, these shades are now available to the civilian market. Each set of Randolph Engineering sunglasses is handcrafted in the United States to military standards.
We carry the Aviator, Intruder and Concorde models in a variety of sizes, lens options and frame colors. All feature built-in UV ray protection and glare-reduction.
Check out Randolph Engineering Sunglasses today.
All Serengeti aviator sunglasses include the company’s unique photocromatic technology. The lenses automatically adjust to varying light conditions. With a pair of Serengetis, you can also count on high-definition contrast and excellent color enhancement thanks to spectral control technology.
If you want a shape other than the traditional aviator frame, this brand might be for you. The Serengeti lineup is packed with a variety of styles.
Find the Serengeti Aviator Sunglasses style that best suits your needs.
Oakley Sunglasses aren’t just for baseball players and endurance athletes. They are a great options for aviators as well.
Oakley sunglasses can block UVB, UVA and UVC light with their unique Plotonite lens material. The company is also famous for glasses that offer a snug fit, something to consider if you’re trying to fit headgear over your shades.
Check out our selection of Oakley Aviator Sunglasses.
YOU CAN TRUST PILOTMALL.COM
Owning the right pair of sunglasses is a crucial piece of flight preparation. Your eyes are important. There’s a lot on the line, and there’s a lot to consider.
Buying your sunglasses from a company that understands the needs of pilots is essential. Many sunglass retailers simply don’t understand a pilots needs and what’s at risk.
Embrace the American spirit with a pair of high-performance and stylish aviator sunglasses from Pilot Mall.
Your eyes will thank you, and you’ll look cool, too.