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We’ve come a long way from classifying eyeglasses as bulky medical equipment intended purely for optic aid.

These days, glasses have become less about vision correction and more of a fashion statement, saturating the eyewear market with thousands of different shapes and styles.

While fashion has always blurred the lines bectween the classic and the avant-garde with perennial collections by the likes of Gucci, Ray-Ban and Tom Ford – it’s often the underdogs who rewrite the rules of the game.

With e-tailers like SmartBuyGlasses carrying more than 80,000 products across over 200 brands, it may seem impossible to find that diamond in a sea of glass(es). So we’ve created a list which celebrates ingenious functionality from eyewear brands you may not have heard of!

You can shop or find more info about each of these brands on VisionDirect.

Check Out These Ingenious Eyewear Brands for Travel

ROAV – The Thinnest on the Planet

Traveler pool sunglasses RF

ROAV is a great brand for travel – they bring us the thinnest sunglasses on the planet! Not only are their glasses paper thin, but they’re foldable, and designed to fit in the smallest of pockets.

Taking up as much space as your card holder, a pair of ROAV sunglasses can accompany you anywhere, and any outfit. How do they do it? Their patented micro hinges are press-formed into the stainless steel frame, unlike traditional eyewear hinges that are soldered or riveted.

Their frames are laser cut from ultra-thin stainless steel and weigh less than 20 grams, so you may forget they’re even on; no more sore noses and constant slippage.

But better yet, their lenses offer full protection from harmful UVA + UVB rays, and glare-cutting polarization in every pair. Those eyeballs of yours will be feeling comfy and cared for.

Click to shop for ROAV Glasses

SPY – Scientifically Proven to Alter Your Mood

Traveler safari sunglasses

Spy Optic has taken lens technology to the next level, incorporating the ‘Science of Happy’ into its new collection of eyewear. They are the only color and contrast enhancing lenses on the market that has been proven to elevate your mood!

SPY is an unconventional, fun-loving family of athletes and artists committed to creating exceptional optical products.  They design sunglasses, goggles, and prescription frames that take style cues from the outdoor sports community.

Their Happy Lens technology harnesses the beneficial aspects of long-wave blue light, while offering protection from short-wave blue light known to damage the eyes.

According to independent studies, long-wave blue light can positively affect a person’s mood and alertness. Massive perk for travelers!

Click to shop for SPY Glasses


The first ever sunglasses that play music!

Equipped with bone conduction technology, Zungles’s Bluetooth sunglasses allow you to listen to music and make phone calls, all while being able to fully hear your surroundings.

Their aim was to create the first wearable device that’s actually wearable, and we think they’ve done a pretty great job of redefining existing wearable devices!

The team behind Zungle are skateboarders, fixie riders, snowboarders, and sneakerheads. And they certainly caught the attention of the world – today there are Zunglers everywhere, from New York to  L.A. and Seoul.

Click to shop for Zungle Glasses

Westward Leaning

Sunglasses Pool Female Woman TRaveler Girl RF

Appearing in People magazine as “Hollywood’s hottest shades,” Westward Leaning sunglasses feature a parallelogram-shaped unique material inlay in each temple which has become an identifying icon of their products.

You can choose from 50+ materials on the sides of their frames: reclaimed redwood, marble, gemstone, anodized aluminum, iridescent mirroring, beading and embroidery, and even hand-cut pieces of elk antlers (naturally-shed) collected by Boy Scouts from US National Parks.

They only use the best CR-39, polycarbonate, and nylon lenses, available in over 40 unique & beautiful lens colors. And their frames the finest acetate, a natural, biodegradable plastic that is simply the best material for eyewear.

Some of the most popular models that have be seen on celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid are the Westward Leaning Dyad, Vanguard 11 and Pioneer sunglasses.

Click to shop for Westward Leaning Glasses

Why Sunglasses are So Important

Of course a good pair of sunglasses will have sex appeal, but what’s even more attractive are the health benefits they bring. Sunburn of the eyes is a real thing, and it’s PAINFUL!

Travel has a way of putting us in environments that can be harsh on the eyes whether it be a beach escape, snow skiing vacation, or high altitude mountain trek. And protecting your eyes while you’re traveling is vital for making sure you can continue to see the world with clarity.

We all know the importance of applying sunscreen, but equally important is having a quality pair of sunglasses. Our eyes are particularly susceptible to sun damage, especially light-colored eyes.

Long hours in the sun or the reflecting rays of a lake, beach, or the pavement during a road trip can all lead to some nasty eye complications.

Vision loss, cataracts, eye cancers, and even blindness can be repercussions of not wearing eye protection. Even if you’re traveling on a winter getaway, you should travel with proper eye protection, as snow blindness is a thing (and it sucks!!!)


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Hi there! We would love to send you a pair of KZ Sunglasses to review! They float so they’re perfect for any beach vacation! We would love to send you a pair to review!

    • Hi Lizzy, thanks for reaching out … Feel free to email us at to discuss partnership opportunities :)

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

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