Living in The Sunshine State often exposed to the glare and harmful UV rays, my sunglasses are a part of me. It’s not all about eye protection, they look good and make it that bit easier to share my life blog-side whilst still feeling securely hidden and put together behind a pair of aviators. I have however neglected the kids eye health although I pack hats and sunscreen as absolute essentials, there’s never a thought for sunglasses and my kids are constantly squinting into the sun, unprotected from ultraviolet rays that damage their delicate eye tissue.
In stepped Vision Direct Australia who kitted my little family with a pair of shades. Not only are we all stylin’ but we aren’t risking nasties like eye cancer and macular degeneration. I’ve never ordered sunglasses online before but shopping for sunnies on the web for the first time was easy, here’s our Vision Direct Australia review and tips to getting the right pair of sunnies:
In collaboration with Vision Direct Australia. All opinions remain my very own.
Crappy cataracts and the importance of wearing sunglasses
Genetically blessed with poor eye sight, I frequent the optometrist more often than I would like. I know how these eye tests usually go, so it was a cause for concern this time around when put through a number of unfamiliar machines and exercises. There were ones that blew wind in my eye, another that tested my peripheral vision, there were eyeball scans and eye dyes. The usual run of the mill test lasts 30 minutes, I was in the optometrist chair for 1.5 hours. The end result, my eyes are not as healthy as they once were and I must be mindful of chronic dry eyes, potential cataracts and glaucoma which can lead to blindness. Say what!?
Scaring the life out of me, my optometrist advised me to use eye drops regularly and always wear sunglasses outdoors. My poor eye health is partly genetics and also from exposure at a young age. Whilst I can’t do much do fix the damage done to my own eyes, I can give them a better chance for healthier eyes by reducing the risk of damage the sun can cause unprotected eyes.
It’s worth seeing a kids optometrist for regular check-ups and eye tests to monitor eye health to keep on top of any vision and eye issues.
Do kids need to wear sunglasses?
Kids tend to spend lots of time outdoors, whilst there is no clear evidence children’s eyes are more susceptible to damage, it’s the culmination of time spent out in the sun without eye protection that increases the risk of damage to the eye. Reason why my kids school encourages the use of sunglasses in the playground.
UV rays entering the eye can cause all sorts of eye complications from inflammation of the cornea (sunburn to the eyes), temporary vision impairment and serious diseases. One of the best way to protect kids eyes is investing in a decent pair of sunglasses.
Which sunglasses are best?
Not all sunglasses are made equal, here are things to look out for when choosing sunnies:
Reasons I love aviator style sunglasses
An avid sunglasses lover my Ray-Ban Aviators are the best sunnies I’ve ever owned. As stylish as they are practical, originally designed for pilots in 1937 by Bausch and Laumb, Aviators are perfect for travelling with super thin lens and a lightweight flexible frame that has earpieces that wrap around the ears to fit snugly and comfortably.
The large oversized lens is slightly curved to maximise coverage over the entire eye and reduces glare. They come in tons of different colours and there’s something a bit special about a mirrored lens, where you can hide the windows to your soul.
Meets Australian Standards of Lens Category 2 and above
Look for sunglasses that provide UV protection with a Category 2 or above, an Australian government standard for all sunglasses sold in Australia (AS/NZS 1067:2003).
Any lens category below 2 are fashion glasses and provide little or limited UV protection. The higher the lens category the more glare protection they provide, but all Category 2 and above provide UV protection.
The most important thing to look for is UV protection, look out for labels and product descriptions that state the sunglasses provide UV protection, which is what is needed to prevent UV damage to the eyes. Read more about the Australian Government sunglasses classifications here.
UV Protection or Polarized lens?
Lens Category 4 is the highest category which provides both UV protection and glare protection, these sunglasses in this category often have mirrored or polarized lenses. However polarized lens do not provide extra UV protection, they simply help cut out the surface glare, particularly handy around snow and water.
Whilst I love my polarized lenses which noticeably cuts out glare and provides sharper colours in bright sunlight, they are not necessary for eye protection. Often, polarized lenses are more expensive and if on a budget, not essential.
EPF Rating of 9 or 10
In addition to the Australian Standards lens category, there is also an Eye Protection Factor rating (EPF). Look for lenses that are EPF 9 or 10 the highest rating for blocking out almost all of UV rays.
Tips for choosing sunglasses for kids
Kids are prone to tripping, falling and losing things. Here are some extra tips for choosing the right pair of eyeglasses for kids:
Make sure the children’s sunglasses fit snug and sit close to the face to reduce the risk of exposure from the sun.
Lightweight sunglass frames
Kids are not generally use to wearing sunnies outdoors, so the heavier they are the more burdensome and least likely they will keep them on. Choose lightweight frames and lenses, look for sunglasses made from polycarbonate a light and durable material.
As well as light in weight, choose sunglasses for kids that have a malleable frame. This can save a costly pair of sunglasses from breaking. Pick a frame with a little give when stretched awkwardly or sat on. Look for bendy frames, spring hinges or brands that are from high endurance labels.
Kid proof lenses
Look for plastic (not glass) lenses that are scratch proof and impact resistant.
Whilst they may not be the most fashionable (they are getting better) the wraparound lens or wrap around sunglasses are the best for extra protection from peripheral sun exposure. The frame wraps around the face and creates a perfect seal, protecting the sides of the eyes.
Sunglasses hard case
Some sunglasses, particularly children’s only come in a soft drawstring bag. Kids will be kids and a soft case provides little protection, purchase a hard case so kids expensive sunglasses are carried around safely and securely.
Let kids choose
Narrow down a selection of sunglasses that meet the sun smart criteria and are in the right price range then have the kids pick out their own sunnies. This provides some ownership of their new sunglasses and allows them to value and look after their selection. They might also be more willing to wear the eyewear regularly.
Pros & Cons of ordering sunglasses online
Ordering sunglasses online has it’s benefits with price and convenience being top of the list, however there are some pros and cons for shopping shopping for sunglasses on the internet:
Pros of ordering sunglasses online
- Huge selection – I was surprised at how big the range of sunglasses online sunglasses store Vision Direct Australia has. They stock the latest styles and all of the popular and quality brands including Burberry, Oakley, Dolce and Gabbana and Ray-Ban. I have become particularly fond of a pair of yellow Givenchy Aviators – which of course I had to have.
- Discount sunglasses – As a purely online store, the prices are competitive with shops I checked including Sunglasses Hut and OPSM. My lilac mirrored polarized Ray-Ban Aviators cost $320 in store compared to Vision Direct Australia’s $253.95 inclusive of free delivery for purchases over $99. A savings of $67.95!
Cons of ordering sunglasses online
- Cannot try before you buy – As much as I loved the pair of Givenchy Aviators, these unique frames were hard to find in store to try and see if they suited. With high cheekbones and no bridge on my nose, shopping for sunnies for my face is tricky and would feel better trying them all before purchase.
- There’s a delivery time – In a world full of instant gratification, shopping for sunglasses requires patiences. Vision Direct Australia has a delivery window of between 5 – 11 business days after confirmed order.
- A process for returns – returning sunglasses purchased online is not as straightforward as going to a shop for a refund. Even though Vision Direct Australia has a very generous 100 day returns policy, offering full refund on any unused pair of sunglasses, tracked return postage is paid by the buyer and there is a wait for a refund.
- Do I trust Vision Direct Australia? With all online purchases, there is an element of trust. Will I receive the sunglasses? Are the sunglasses authentic? Who are Vision Direct Australia? Having received glasses from Vision Direct, the online sunglasses and spectacle retailer are a legitimate business, operating since 2008. I can vouch that our sunglasses were received and are authentic – even taking them to the local OPSM to confirm. The frames are sturdy, the lenses of high quality and the packaging was faultless.
Best sunglasses for family travel
Here are our pick of the best sunglasses for travelling with families including the little ones. Kids sunglasses are the cutest!
Top sunglasses for kids
Heres our pick for the best sunglasses for kids, all selected provide UV protection and are lightweight and durable for travelling with kids:
Carerra Carino 13 Kids
Both my kids love wearing these sporty and dynamic Carerra’s from a trusted eyewear brand that lends their designs for the rugged outdoors. The lens are polycarbonate and frame a propionate, making them very light and comfortable. This style comes in a variety of cool colours including blue and lime or green and grey.
Price: $77.95 ($67.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Carrera CARRERINO 13 Kids MBG/Z0
Ray-Ban Wayfarers for kids!
Kids can be just as on-trend as the grown ups with their very own pair of Rayban Wayfarers.
Price: $89.95 ($79.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban Junior RJ9052S New Wayfarer 100/71
Ray-Ban Junior Izzy
My girl loves these lightweight and very durable pink Ray-Ban Junior Izzy’s in pink. They fit snugly around the face, the bluish grey mirrored lens reflects the glare and look super cute.
Price: $114.95 ($104.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban Junior RJ9060S Izzy 70084V
Under Armour Nitro – Wraparound
This active brand trusted for quality base layer clothing has branched out into sunglasses and true to form, they’ve created a durable pair for kids who enjoy adventuring outdoors. The brand has their own patented lens and frame material, flexible and light, perfect for kids wear.
Wraparound sunglasses tend to look a little nerdy, but these ones are sporty and cool with a semi rimless, clear look with a UV protective lens that wraps around the eye providing maximum eye protection.
Price: $86.95 ($76.96 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Under Armour Nitro L Kids 86000048-141441
Polaroid Aviators for kids
I’m a sucker for aviators and these Polaroid Kids Aviators that come in various colours (green/gold, gold/pink and silver/grey) are adorable.
The Polaroid Aviators are also a Category 3 lens and polarized as a bonus. These sunglasses for kids are great value for money, I love the mirrored lens look great which provides a little more protection from the glare.
Price: $56.95 ($46.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Polaroid PLD 8015/N Kids Polarized J5G/K7
Top sunglasses for women
Heres our pick for the best sunglasses for women, all selected provide UV protection are lightweight and durable for travelling with the family:
Women’s Ray-Ban Aviators
A variety of different colours from traditional dark frames and dark lens to blushed brown frames with lilac mirrored lens, I love these Rayban Aviators, they are the best polarized sunglasses and keep raving on about them. The best part Vision Direct Australia have the best price on eyewear.
Price: $253.95 ($243.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Flash Lenses Polarized 167/1R
They also come in a matte gold frame with blue polaraized lens or matte gold with mirrored green lens, both fabulous!
The eternally chic Givenchy have also embraced the aviators and their version are high fashion, hip with a double nose bridge in bright yellow frame and amber mirrored lens. Other designer sunglass colours include green, black and red.
Price: $228.95 ($218.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Flash Lenses Polarized 167/1R
Ray-Ban Clubmaster Polaraized
Super hot right now and easy to travel with are the timeless Ray-Ban Clubmaster, which come in standard and polarized lens as well as a folding pair.
Price: $277.95 ($267.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban RB3507 Clubmaster Aluminium Polarized 136/N5
Top sunglasses for men
Raen SUKO Men’s Wayfarers
Wayfarer with a little twist, the Raen SUKO brand offers a tortoishell style frame with green lenses. They sit comfortably on the face and very lightweight in a acetate frame.
Price: $210.95 ($200.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Raen SUKO BRNDT
Ray-Ban Aviators Polarized
You can’t go wrong with the Classic Ray-Ban Aviators. Timeless, stylish and practical. We love them.
Price: $229.95 ($219.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Polarized 001/58
Oakley Half Jacket – Wraparound Sunnies
Sporty for the great outdoors, Oakley’s are known for their quality, ultra durable and practical sunglasses. These wraparound style protect the eye and look half decent doing so.
Price: $152.95 ($142.95 with $10 off code: 748AW075FNQ2103)
Product Number: Oakley OO9154 HALF JACKET 2.0 XL 915401
Tips on ordering sunglasses online
- Try sunglasses on in a store – head to your local sunglass shop and try on the latest sunnies and have them jot down the style and product number and the purchase your pair online 🙂 Cheeky but you’re able to save a bit of money this way.
- Keep packaging and tags on for return – When the sunglasses arrive, do not take the labels off or throw away the awesome and protective packaging they come in as you may need it for returns.
- Multiple sunglasses – If ordering multiple sunglasses, the sunnies may have different delivery times and come in separate packages.
- Signed delivery – sunglasses are sent by courier or Australia Post with tracking, someone is required to sign upon delivery.
Look out for Vision Direct Australia discount codes for further savings on already reduced prices. Purchases online will receive rewards dollars where you can apply up to $20 off the next pair of sunnies.
For $10 off your purchase, use my discount code:
Vision Direct Australia discount code: 748AW075FNQ2103
Aviators, Wayfarers, Oversized, Foldable or Portable Sunglasses? Which do you prefer and where do you shop for glasses online? Have you ordered sunglasses online in Australia?
Would love to know your experience good and bad about buying cheap sunglasses direct, please leave a comment below: