The Best Sunglasses for Kids

The Best Sunglasses for Kids

I rarely go outside without my own sunnies on, but my mom brain doesn’t always remember to put sunglasses on my kids. I do know that their skin, and eyes, are much more sensitive than adults and it’s super important that we protect them from the suns harmful rays.

Finding the best sunglasses for kids is more important than many of us realize.

TMM Team Member Ginny’s son wearing Polarized Babiators.

Which ones are free from harmful chemicals? Do they all provide UV protection? Do they make sunglasses for really young infants? A quick search on Amazon for “best sunglasses for kids” yields more than 4,000 results, which is so overwhelming!

The Mountain Mamas Team put our heads together and came up with this list of the Best Sunglasses for Kids.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases.

8-month old Harper wearing Baby Banz glasses with her dog, June.

For a great post by Amelia on the importance of kids wearing sunglasses, and some tips on how to keep sunglasses on kids faces, check out Kids’ Sunglasses are Crucial, Protective Gear, NOT Accessories.

Best Sunglasses for Babies and Toddlers

Babiators

A toddler riding a balance bike wearing Babiators.
Brandie Shydos 2 year old wearing his Babiators Classic Aviator Polarized glasses. Photo by Brandie Shydo.

Babiators are my personal favorite and I think they’re the best overall sunglasses for babies. They come in sizes 0-2 yrs, 3-5 yrs and 6+ yrs. I recommend sizing up.

My kids are 3 and 5, and in over a year, they’ve yet to break a pair of Classic Babiators. They are made from a soft lightweight frame and the lens shape is more round, than oval, which my kids say “looks cooler”. They don’t pinch noses or temples.

The frame material is a BPA, PVC and vinyl-free blend of rubber and polyester. The lenses are polycarbonate, which is the same shatter-proof material that most adult glasses are made of. Babiator’s are prescription lens compatible.

The Babiators warranty offers a free replacement if you lose or break your glasses – just pay shipping.

Banz

A baby wearing a bike helmet and Baby Banz sunglasses.
1 Year old Harper wearing Baby Banz. They don’t fit great under helmets, so we had to improvise by wearing them on the outside of the helmet.

Banz infant sunglasses are great because they have a wrap-around adjustable head strap. No more losing sunglasses!

The frames are made of a stiff plastic material, but again, for super little babies who are wearing them very loosley, or if they’re just propped up on their eyes while in the stroller, they work great.

Banz baby sunglasses are extremely practical with no bells and whistles. And should anything happen to your Banz (like if you sit on them – which is what I did), they’ll ship you a replacement, totally free.

Jan & Jul

A toddler wearing Jan and Jul glasses.

Jan & Jul sunglasses are awesome for babies and younger toddlers. The entire line comes with a removable, adjustable strap to help keep them in place.

The frames are durable and made with flexible, chemical free materials. The lenses are polarized, shatterproof and rated UV-400 (which means that the lenses block 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays)

My son doesn’t like to wear sunglasses in general, but we like Jan & Jul’s because they are flexible, have a good shape for the face, and fit well under his bike helmet.

TMM Team Member Emily

Best Sunglasses for Little Kids

Knockaround Polarized

Boy wearing Knockaround Polarized sunglasses.

My 7 year old just got a pair of the Knockaround Polarized glasses from REI and he LOVES them because they look cool and the lens is a bright color. He also says they don’t squeeze behind his ears.

I love them because $20 for a pair of polarized glasses is a good deal, especially considering they are rated UVA400 (they block 99-100% of UV rays).

Child wearing Knockaround Polarized sunglasses while playing baseball.

The Knockaround’s are advertised as fitting 1-5 year olds, but my almost-8-year-old is wearing them and they fit great.

MiniShades

Family with kids wearing Mini Shades

MiniShades are a Tales Of A Mountain Mama team favorite, and for good reason.

They come in three different sizes to fit toddlers all the way up to pre-teens. The lenses are polarized, just like grown-up sunglasses, and they offer 100% UV protection.

The rubbery frame material is nearly indestructible, and free from harmful chemicals like BPA, lead, PVC and phthalate.

Toddler on a bike wearing Mini Shades.

Our favorite feature of MiniShades, hands down, is their “Hide & Seek Loss Warranty”. That’s right, if you break, or lose, your MiniShades, they will send you a replacement free of charge (just pay the $7 shipping fee).

We love our MiniShades, and they even cover loss in their warranty. And yes, we have cashed in on that for every pair we have.

Amelia, Tales of a Mountain Mama, Mama-In-Chief

Real Shades

A little girl wearing Real Shades.

REAL Kids Shades are a favorite of TMM Team Members Amelia and Valerie. These sunnies come in a wide range sizes in both polarized, and non-polarized lenses, and they can accommodate prescription lenses. They also offer many different colors and styles, which is super helpful if you have picky kids.

We love Real Shades! I personally like them a lot better than Babiators because I think they fit better and stay on little heads.

TMM Team Leader Amelia

My kids don’t really like wearing sunglasses, but if they can take some ownership of picking out the ones they want, i’ve found them to be more likely to wear them.

The kids frames are made of TPEE, which is a a bendy, rubber-type material. They are comfortable and indestructible. But in case they do get destroyed (or lost), Real Shades will send you a replacement for free.

Best Sunglasses for Big Kids and Teens

Goodr

A toddler wearing his mother's Goodr sunglasses.

Goodr sunglasses are technically made for adults, but since they have a rubber coating, we’ve found that they fit older kids really well. The Circle G model runs a little small so this is a great option for kids.

Toddler wearing Goodr sunglasses.

With 100’s of styles and fun prints to choose from, even the pickiest of kids are guaranteed to find a pair they’re stoked on. And at just $25 a pop, you should get a pair for yourself, too Mama!

Pit Vipers

Mom and child wearing Pit Vipers.

If you’re like me and this is the first time you’re hearing of Pit Viper sunglasses, just ask any older kid. These sunnies are TRENDING right now and for good reason! The styles are loud and fun – think 80’s Nascar slash ski bum.

But what’s fashion without function? Pit Vipers come in styles for just about all sports from cycling to skiing. Pit Viper’s are an adult fit, but we have found that most styles will fit older kids.

Disclaimer: The Pit Viper website contains some pretty crass content. Proceed with caution (and a sense of humor)!

Julbo

A boy wearing Julbo glasses while kayaking in a lake.
Amelia’s son protecting his eyes from the water’s glare with Julbo sunglasses.

The Julbo kids sunglasses line offers over 20 different styles to choose from, with size ranges from 0 months to big kids. I personally recommend sizing up, as I’ve found most styles to run on the small side.

Julbo’s are one of the more expensive options out there, but they have great clearance sales, and offer free shipping. Their lifetime warranty covers manufacturer defects, and they will send replacements for scratched lenses for about $15.

One downside to Julbo’s are that the frame material in their kids line contains BPA.

A boy squatting in the flowers wearing Julbo's.
TMM Team Member Valerie’s kiddo wearing Julbo’s.

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The Best Sunglasses for Kids

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  • Sarah Toal is a Colorado native who now calls Jackson, Wyoming, home. Sarah, her husband Evan, and two kids August, age 7, and Harper, age 5, spend their (long!) winters snowboarding, and (short!) summers riding bikes, floating on the Snake River, and hiking. Follow our adventures and general family chaos on Instagram: @sartoal

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