Transitions vs Polarized Lenses for Riding a Motorcycle

Few people recognize the importance of proper eye protection like those who ride motorcycles.

Polarized Lenses vs. Transitions for Riding a Motorcycle

Transitions vs Polarized Lenses for Riding a MotorcycleAll it takes is one trip down the highway, flying along astride a powerful chrome-and-steel machine, to realize how crucial it is to maintain vision and keep the sun out of your eyes.

For many motorcycle enthusiasts, the debate about the best type of goggle or pair of sunglasses often boils down to two lens formats: transition (or photochromic) lenses and polarized lenses. Both have their respective strengths and the decision of which to choose really amounts to one of preference. But you need some facts and information on which to base that decision. To help you decide, here are the essential the pros and cons of both lens systems:

Transition Lenses – Pros

  • They automatically adjust to lighting conditions without any effort on behalf of the wearer.
  • They’re available in two different colors, brown and gray. Both styles function exactly the same way.
  • Regardless of their state – fully clear, fully tinted, or anywhere in between – transition lenses provide 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • They react only to ultraviolet light, so will not accidentally darken when exposed to most forms of artificial lighting, indoor or out.
  • Transition lenses are fully compatible with anti-reflective coatings and are available in virtually every lightweight lens material and design.
  • They are available in both prescription and non-prescription form, and in a variety of specialty applications, such as bifocals and progressive lenses.

Transition Lenses – Cons

  • Since motorcycle windscreens are already designed to block ultraviolet light, transition lenses may not fully darken if worn behind such a windscreen.
  • They do not adjust instantaneously. Your eyes are exposed for a short time when you first encounter sunlight, and shaded for a period when you enter a darkened room from outside.
  • While most of the transition takes place in the first minute, photochromics can take up to fifteen minutes to reach their fully darkened state and another fifteen minutes to fully clear again.
  • They react differently in different climates. Photochromic lenses will reach a darker state at cold temperatures than they will at warmer temperatures.

Polarized Lenses – Pros

  • Polarized lenses are designed to block incoming horizontal light rays and are extremely effective at reducing glare caused by reflected sunlight.
  • They greatly improve contrast and visual acuity.
  • They effectively eliminate hazardous and annoying reflections.
  • They are available in virtually every lightweight lens material and design.
  • They are available in both prescription and non-prescription form, and in a variety of specialty applications, such as bifocals and progressive lenses.

Polarized Lenses – Cons

  • Polarized lenses maintain only one level of shade or tint. They may not provide the right amount of protection under all light conditions.
  • Those who wear prescription glasses will require a separate pair of “clear” prescription lenses for indoor and nighttime use.
  • Polarized lenses can block out the readings from LED and LCD screens, making it hard to see certain types of motorcycle gauges, cell phone displays, and GPS screens.

Shop Polarized or Transitions SunglassesHopefully these facts will help in your search for the ideal pair of motorcycle sunglasses or goggles.

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