Sunglasses are an integral part of Gear Patrol staffers’ EDC whether we’re commuting in NYC or reporting on stories across the world. That said, the style and function of each pair vary as widely as the subject matter we cover. Some styles are strictly stylish, others are built for performance. Styles range from iconic brands like Ray-Ban to performance-oriented brands like Spy and Oakley. While certainly not a definitive list of the best shades on the market, these are the ones that won’t leave our faces this summer.

Electric Knoxville

“For the longest time, sunglasses were a relatively-disposable accessory to my life. I viewed them from the most utilitarian perspective possible — all they needed to do was cut glare and block UV — both of which could be accomplished satisfactorily with a $20 pair from the gear shop rack or even the cheap Wayfarer knockoffs tossed out at every event. Cheapness offered the benefit of not caring if they were scratched or crushed. When a pro athlete friend gave me a card worth 70 percent off, I decided to find out if I was missing anything, and bought these. Now I understand why nice sunglasses are nice sunglasses. Even after four years, they’re still in pretty good shape, bar a couple of scratches and a loose arm. When they do finally bite the dust, I’ll probably buy another pair.” — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer

Ray-Ban Hexagonal RB 3548N

“Sunglasses are my guilty pleasure. I have many pairs. That said, these Ray-Bans are unique among my collection. None of my other pairs — Arnette, Smith Optics, SPY, Oakley, Electic — have thin frames, mainly because I don’t trust myself not to break them. But as I’ve had these bad boys for over a year now, I’ve learned something: if you look good in something, you take care of it. And damn do I look good in these.” — Tucker Bowe, Staff Writer

Spy Optic Pismo

“I’ve only had this pair of shades for a year, but they’re one of the most comfortable pairs of sunglasses I’ve ever owned. The arms have sturdy spring hinges in them which help accommodate the fit. And the keyhole bridge allows them to stay secure on your face without putting any pressure on the bridge of your nose. They’re also lightweight, which adds to the comfort factor. If I’m going to be walking around the city all day or hanging out at the beach, this is my go-to pair as they’re ideal for extended periods of time if you’re not doing any running or a physically intense activity.” — Ryan Brower, Content Producer, Gear Patrol Studios

Oakley Holbrook Metal Prizm

“I’ve been rockin’ with Oakley for years, and there’s one model in particular that I’ve always gravitated towards: the Holbrook, a classic design fused with modern Oakley technology. I’ve probably gone through four or five pairs over the last five years or so as I really put a ton of wear and tear into my shades. Holbrooks though are super rugged and durable and are designed for performance. Of the last 4 pairs I’ve had, they have all been the lower-end, plastic frame version. I recently came across the sleek, upgraded metal version and immediately fell in love. These bad boys basically haven’t left my face since I bought them back in April. The Prizm Sapphire Polarized lenses round out one of the best-performing pairs of sunglasses on the market.” — Alyx Effron, Account Executive

Billy Reid Ian Sunglasses

“Half the challenge of selecting a great pair of sunglasses is finding frames that work for your face, and it took me a long time to figure out that my low nose bridge and high cheekbones need something small and round. But once I got there, this pair from Billy Reid’s young eyewear line was a no-brainer. I like the leather-wrapped rims, but what I love is that the deep amber lenses make people look more tan than they actually are. It’s a fun effect in the summer, and looks even better in the fall and winter.” — Justin Fenner, Senior Associate Editor

Spy Optics Cliffside

“After the lenses on my go-tos got scratched-to-hell by the conveyor belt going through security at Newark Airport, I was constantly on the lookout for replacements. I never went out of my way to get a new pair — when it comes to sunglasses I wait until I cross paths with something I like. Call it shopping via serendipity. I happened across a pair of the Spy Optics Cliffsides and I was an immediate fan. It’s not flashy and it’s just old school enough for its own good. It’s hard to find sunglasses that fit my large head/face, but the thin matte black metal frame, smoked lenses and tortoise temples sit comfortably on my face all day and also slide perfectly into my motorcycle helmet (a crucial function) and go with nearly every outfit. I bought a cheaper pair of shades just so I didn’t wear these all the time and risk breaking or losing them, which is the most frustrating part because I never pick those up. I always grab the Cliffsides on the way out the door, every day.” — Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Madewell Indio Sunglasses

“Small tortoiseshell frames and silver metal arms in a flattering shape. What more can you really want in sunglasses? As someone who typically gets a new pair of sunglasses every quarter, it’s a miracle I’ve held onto these for almost a year. But seriously, these frames look good on basically every face shape and the tortoiseshell works for everything from an outdoor wedding to commuting on a bicycle. And, the pair is only $55, which is a steal considering how much you can spend on sunglasses these days.” — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer

Spy Spritzer

“If there’s one thing kids like to get their hands on, its sunglasses. My two girls — at one and three years old — reach for mine incessantly, flexing the arms outward until they’re way too big or knocking them off my head to a nearly-guaranteed lens-to-rock fate. That’s why I’m digging Spy’s stylish Spritzer sunglasses right now—their matte plastic frame feels almost kid-proof, their polycarbonate lenses can take a pebble when I can sneak in a mountain bike ride, and, best of all, they’re cheap. At $65, they aren’t a huge loss when they succumb to kid torture.” — Ali Carr Troxell, Managing Editor, Editorial Operations

Vintage Serengeti DR 6227

“I wear a few different pairs of sunglasses, mainly switching between Japanese-made styles by SALT. and David Kind. Aside from the incredible quality, the thing I love about these sunglasses is the superior optics that feature polarization and an anti-reflective coating. But another pair of sunglasses that is close to my heart is the Serengeti DR 6227. In high school, I commandeered a pair from my father that was manufactured by Corning Optics. They had Japanese-made frames and amazing rosy-red lenses. I didn’t know at the time, but they had some of the best lens technology available. The scratch-resistant glass lenses are polarized, photochromic and include a spectral control filter that enhances contrast by suppressing blue light and glare. They’re also impact resistant and have a polyurethane coating on the back of the lens for protection. Because the pair I got from my dad has some serious sentimental value, I recently scored a pair on eBay that I can wear worry-free. The frame is made in France, but the style and optics are very similar — they’re definitely not something you see every day.” — John Zientek, Staff Writer