Sunglasses are one of the most important pieces of gear you can take with you on your outdoor adventures. They don’t just protect your eyes from UV rays, although that is incredibly important. When you’re hiking or on the water, sunglasses help prevent glare. This means that it’s easier to see things like changes in the terrain or hazards in the water. Wearing sunglasses, especially polarized sunglasses, can help keep you safe and make your experience more enjoyable.
There’s a big difference between sunglasses designed for strenuous, challenging activities and flimsier sunglasses you can get at just about any store. Good active sunglasses don’t have to be expensive– but they do need to be thoughtfully designed and made with sweat, drops, bumps, scratches, and other risks of the great outdoors in mind.
Today, we’re going to talk about Bajío Sunglasses. Bajío Sunglasses is an American-made company based out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. These sunglasses were made for anglers, by anglers– in fact, that’s how we met! We first found Bajío at an American Fly Fishing Trade Association show, and we were blown away by their passion for fishing and the knowledge and ethos that go into their sunglasses. Bajío genuinely cares about making their product the best it can be and improving their customers’ outdoor experience– and it really shows in their designs.
About Bajío Sunglasses
Bajío Sunglasses is a newer company with a modern design ethos and a major focus on sustainability. They assemble their glasses here in the US and have thought out their sustainability plans all the way down to the way they package their products in biodegradable paper bags with 100% algae-based ink to keep forever chemicals and microplastics out of the water. Innovation is the name of their game, and they are constantly looking for new ways to reduce their environmental impact. Even their name reflects their mission; bajío is the word for shallow salt flats along the coast of Florida, which is one of the fragile fishing ecosystems that Bajío wants to help protect.
The point is: You can feel good about buying from Bajío Sunglasses. A portion of their profits go directly to causes they support, and they are deeply committed to having a minimal environmental impact. You can also feel secure knowing that the people who designed these sunglasses love the outdoors just as much as you do, and that they designed their sunglasses with you and your hobbies in mind.
About The Glasses
So what kind of sunglasses does Bajío make? They have several different frame options, including both bio-nylon and metal frames. Poly lenses start at $209, while glass lenses start at $259. The glasses come with a limited lifetime warranty and are highly resistant to damage; it’s likely your Bajíos will last a long time! The frames come in a variety of widths and sizes, and use features like rubber nose pads, rubber temple tips, and flex hinges to make them as comfortable as possible.
Bajío makes it very easy to find the right size. If you can’t try on frames in person, they provide detailed measurements for each of their designs, letting you compare the precise measurements to your facial features or existing pair of comfy sunglasses.
Bajío’s lenses really make them stand out as a company. They have some of the lightest glass lenses on the market; they weigh virtually the same as their polycarbonate lenses. Poly lenses are shatter-resistant, and glass lenses are scratch-resistant; choose your lens type based on what you typically do to your sunglasses.
Bajío lenses are all blue light blocking polarized lenses that come in several different colors. Here’s what they are, and what their best uses are:
- Blue Mirror: Good for bright light conditions, this is the darkest glass lens Bajío offers. It features a gray base and gray polarized film along with blue mirroring to create a low-contrast, natural look that’s perfect for offshore fishing and bright sun conditions
- Green Mirror: A great lens for inshore fishing, this is their second-darkest glass lens- so it’s also good for bright light conditions. It uses a brown base, brown polarized film, and a green mirror finish to create a high-contrast lens that lets you spot underwater structures like coral and other obstacles more easily. This lens creates a slight brown tint.
- Gray: Low contrast, this lens has all of the technical features of the blue mirror lens— just without the flashy appearance. It has the same uses, too.
- Silver Mirror: This lens is Bajío’s most versatile glass mirror. It’s ideal for bright, medium, and lower light conditions, and is good for fishing flats, reefs, and shorelines. The copper base, brown polarized film, and silver finish combine to let you see fish, coral, and everything else in the water.
- Copper Mirror: Very similar to the silver mirror, but is less visually flashy. These are very comfortable in all but the brightest light conditions.
- Rose Mirror: This low-light lens can be worn in bright light, too. It’s the company’s lightest, most technical lens (and our favorite). The red base, brown polarized film, and pink mirror create a super high-contrast lens that lets you see deeper into the water than you’ve ever seen before. It’s perfect for fishing in shallow water, under canopies and cloud cover, and in western rivers and lakes.
- Violet Mirror: An ultra-light high-contrast lens, the violet mirror uses a red base and a violet finish to let you spot fish under cover and see clearly into the water on the cloudiest days.
Sunglass lens colors aren’t just an aesthetic choice: each color provides a different level of contrast and response to different light conditions. Some colors, like blue, violet, pink, and red, can reduce eyestrain in the snow, making them great for skiing and winter sports. Other colors, like yellow and orange, make it easier to focus on fast-moving objects. To find out more about the different sunglasses lens colors can do, and which ones will work best for you, check out our complete guide to lens colors.
First, we tried on every frame that Bajío brought with them, in several different lens colors. While the fit and the look were great, a great appearance doesn’t always mean great performance. However, these shades were definitely not style over substance, and we really put them through their paces. We took them everywhere: full days of fly fishing, big day hikes, trail running, and even skiing! And we used them in all types of weather, too– rain, clouds, and sun.
In addition to trying on nearly every frame style, we’ve been heavily using the Boneville frames (which are only available in limited places as Bajio has replaced that frame type in there lineup. We will be heavily testing the Palometa frames as well and updating our review to include those.
We put our Bajío Boneville glasses (with rose mirror lenses) through some hard tests, and we’re thrilled to say they passed with flying colors. These sunglasses are of the highest quality. They have the clearest lenses we’ve ever worn. The frames are durable, beautifully-constructed, and extremely comfortable. Bajío offers frames in many styles to match any taste and use case. These frames are a fantastic middle ground– they don’t have complete coverage, which allows for good airflow, but they still offer great protection. The rose mirror lenses are our favorite sunglasses for cloudy days and low light conditions.
It’s not just the Bonevilles that are great quality; the whole lineup is incredibly well-done. The size guide and color guide are so easy to use and understand. While these are expensive sunglasses, we think that they’re worth it. They’ll protect your vision, have prescription options, and even make it easier to see obstacles in the water or in the landscape.
These are extremely comfortable glasses, in every frame type. We wore them all day, including full active days filled with 5+ hours of heavy movement without discomfort. Great design, light weight, and comfortable nose piece.
These lenses are incredibly clear. They are of the highest lens quality, and comparable to the most expensive glasses on the market. This was the case on multiple lens colors as well.
There is just about every lens color option. So whatever your use case, you can find a color that is perfect for you. Some unique lens colors, like the Rose perform insanely well in low light conditions, making these our favorite low light glasses.
Price & Value
These are on the higher end of performance sunglasses. That being said, the company values, warranty, and product quality keep the value proper. If you want the highest quality glasses on the market, these are them. We understand if these fall out or your ideal price range as they are on the higher end of most people’s price ranges.
Where to Purchase
They’re extremely helpful in helping you find the right fit and lens color on the website, so be sure to leverage the site, or a local retailer to find the right pair.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about