Beat the Sun: 8 of the Best Sunglasses Made in America
Welcome to American Gear Guide’s list of the best sunglasses available. These sunglasses are precision made in the USA using the highest quality lenses with frame designs that set trends around the world.
American Optical: Original Aviators
The AO Original Pilot sunglasses are the true original aviators. These high quality classics have been issued to millions of U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen since 1958. Still as stylish as ever, the AO Pilots are one of the finest examples of aviators made and though they’re nearly identical to Randolph Aviators, the AO’s cost significantly less. Last observed price range: $123 – 244
Arc Iris Sunglasses
At Arc Iris, precision cut hardwood frames and Zeiss lenses combine to produce unique high end sunglasses. I was incredibly impressed with the look, feel, and clarity of Arc Iris sunglasses at the Outdoor Retailer Expo. These sunglasses are simply works of art.
Last observed prices: $255 and up
Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses
Some of Oakley’s top sunglasses are still made in the USA, including the calm and cool Holbrooks, which are often on sale with most retailers. These sunglasses sport Oakley’s impact resistant and polarized Plutonite lenses which filter 100% UVA, UVB, UVC, and blue light up to 400nm. The Holbrook’s stress resistant O-Matter frames are both lightweight and durable. Oakley makes a variety of colors and lenses available to suit your style.
Last observed price range: $100 – 200
Smith Chamber Elite
Smith’s Elite line is all made in the USA. If you’re looking for stylish sunglasses that offer serious impact protection then the Smith Chamber Elite is the superior choice. These top rated sunglasses meet US Military Spec MIL-PRF-31013, ANSI Z87.1 impact protection standards. They also block out 100% of harmful UVA, UVB, and UVC light.
Last observed price range: ~ $80
Randolph Aviators are excellent sunglasses. While AO held the original military aviator contract, Randolph now holds the current honors… If you think it’s worth the extra money to own the current issue sunglasses then I suppose Randolph Aviators are for you. Randolph Engineering does offer more style and sizing options than AO.
Last observed price range: $199-329
Note on Brands No Longer Made in the USA:
Some eyewear brands that used to be made in the USA have unfortunately been bought out by multi-national corporations like EssilorLuxottica which now owns Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Costa. Oakley still produces some sunglasses in the USA, but also makes some models in a variety of other countries, Ray-Ban has models made in China and some made in Italy, while Costa now sources their parts in China and assembles them in the USA. The “savings” in costs from exploiting unethically low wage labor, non-existent labor rights, and little to no environmental safeguards have not been passed on to you the consumer; they charge ever higher prices to exploit ignorance.
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