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Sunglasses fall off. And they get scratched. And they break. Worst of all, this seems to happen whether they’re on our face, hung on a shirt, stashed in a pocket or on top of our heads. Luckily, some of the best sunglass straps can help.
You’ve probably seen sunglass straps before. Sometimes called eyewear retainers, the simple strip of fabric connects to the arms of your glasses behind your head. This lets you hang your shades around your neck when not in use and provides a safety net in case your sunnies fall off while on your face.
Sunglass straps are a great choice for fishing, cycling, hiking and other outdoor activities where sunglasses are prone to falling off. In addition to the safety aspect, some eyewear retainers also keep glasses more secure against your face by tightening around the back of your head. This means less bouncing around and less chance of your shades falling off.
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But sunglass straps are also very convenient in casual situations where you need to take your shades on and off: think, going in and out of stores while shopping or working in the yard. In these cases, you won’t need to find a place for your sunnies every time you take them off. In short, eyewear retainers make sunglasses easier to deal with and less likely to break or get lost (for example, at the bottom of the lake or ocean).
What Are the Best Sunglass Straps?
They all do the same thing, but sunglass straps come in a variety of materials, sizes and colors that all impact your intended use. Below are a few things to consider while shopping, plus five of our favorites to buy right now.
Material: The best sunglass straps are comfortable and sturdy. That might come in the form of durable cotton, buoyant neoprene or flexible plastic. Keep in mind that the material of your sunglass strap will most likely touch your head or ears when your shades are on, as well as your neck when they’re off.
Compatibility: Make sure that eyewear retainers will fit your sunglasses. Sunglass straps vary in terms of fit, with some being more snug on thin frames (such as aviators) and others fitting better on shades with thick frames.
Adjustability: Some eyewear retainers feature an adjustment bead to tighten or loosen the strap. This is very handy if you occasionally need a snug fit for high-impact activities like mountain biking or boating.
Color: In the right color, sunglass straps can blend in with an outfit or make a fun dad-style statement. Like anything else on your body, consider how an eyewear retainer will fit with your personal style.
1. Ukes Premium Sunglass Strap
Our favorite sunglass straps are these neoprene Ukes. The neoprene fabric is very soft, waterproof, stain-resistant and, best of all, buoyant. That means accidentally dropping your sunglasses in the lake, river or ocean isn’t the end of the world. Thanks to a slight stretch, the neoprene also helps accommodate a wide range of sunglass arms. Measuring just under 20 inches long, the straps keep your glasses at a good distance when worn around your neck. The Ukes also come in 33 patterns — all of which are bright and over-the-top (in a good way).
2. Oakley Sunglasses Leash
If you’re looking for a low-profile sunglass strap, check out this sunglasses leash from Oakley. The strap itself is very thin and keeps its semi-circle shape. This ensures that the strap stays out of the way while mountain biking, running or doing any other high-intensity activities. On either end of the strap, you’ll find small rubber pieces that squeeze around the arms of your sunglasses. These are designed to fit Oakley glasses, although they’ll work with other brands as well. Just be sure to check which size is best; the strap comes in a small size that fits 11 by 17-millimeter sunglass arm tips and a large size for about 17 by 24-millimeter tips.
3. Croakies Original Sunglass Retainer
For a bit of extra security, go with this sunglass retainer from Croakies. At 6.6 inches long, the neoprene strap is meant to keep your glasses closer or even secured around the back of your head. This comes in handy for activities like exercising or boating where your shades are prone to bounce off. We also like that the neoprene comes quite far up the glasses’ arms, adding some cushion against your ears. These are meant to fit medium-sized glasses, but if you have larger frames, check out the XL version here.
4. Chums Original Eyewear Retainer
These Chums Originals are a good pick for casual usage. They’re made of a comfortable cotton that comes in a plethora of colors for matching any personal style. The cotton is durable and slightly stretchy for fitting over most regular-sized frames. Our favorite feature, however, is an adjustment bead that lets you tighten and loosen the strap. This is great for going from casual to more intense activities or vice versa.
5. Luxe Performance Adjustable Retainer
If you’ll mainly be using your sunglass strap for sports, boating and other high-intensity activities, check this retainer from Luxe Performance. Instead of a traditional strap, the retainer uses a streamlined adjustable cord that keeps your sunnies securely on your face while in use. You get two size options — 14 or 16-inch — which denote the maximum length when extended. The retainer is built for sports and reading glasses with thinner arms, although they fit a decent range of shades.