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Evaluating Bifocal Sunglasses for Aviation

Evaluating Bifocal Sunglasses for Aviation

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A professional pilot tested Dual Eyewear’s bifocal sunglasses under multiple conditions with good results.  

I've always had a difficult time finding bifocal sunglasses that combine utility, comfort and style. Most pilots needing corrective lenses wear untinted bifocals with flip-up sunshades or use expensive prescription-grade tinted lenses; some, like me, try attaching unreliable hydrostatic appliques to regular lenses or just suffer through squinting in sunlight.

Then I came across Dual Eyewear’s bifocal sunglasses in a print advertisement and wondered if they might have solved my problem. The company has engineered an aviation collection of six different 1.5/2.0/2.5x bifocal styles with three color choices of shatterproof and scratch-resistant lenses that provide 100 percent UV protection. Sounded good enough to try.

I field-tested three of the five available aviation bifocal sunglass products. 

Acting the role of test pilot, I checked them for functionality, style and durability; I also investigated their compatibility with digital avionics displays and gauged their comfort in a working pilot’s most challenging real-world condition: while wearing a headset. 

I evaluated each pair of glasses in my single-engine plane as well as while flying an airliner, driving my car and even while mountain biking—and the results were fantastic in all cases.

First, I tested the modern-style AV1 with the gray lens, then the green lens in the classic World War II aviator-style, AV2. But my favorite was Dual Eyewear’s NV1 style with a bronze lens. 

I found the height of the bifocal line on all three pairs was perfect for allowing a corrected view of the up-close instrument panel, tablet, or GPS and simultaneous views outside—without needing to nod up and down to refocus from inside and outside. In addition, I had no problems reading various color digital avionics displays and tablets while wearing these bifocal sunglasses. 

Thin stainless steel frames fit nicely under various aviation headsets (I tested them using two different headset brands) without the throb that often comes when thicker-framed arms are pressed against the temple. 

Dual Eyewear bifocal sunglasses also have easily-adjustable nose pads which allow for individualized fitting. To aid the designed durability, each pair of Dual Eyewear glasses comes in a nice cloth pouch inside a protective case.

With competitive pricing, a lifetime warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, Dual Eyewear provides a quality product that every bifocal-using pilot should consider.  

John “Omar” Bradley lives in Chattanooga and now flies for a major airline after a 23-year Air Force and Air National Guard career flying the T-37, T-38, B-1, T-1, KC-135 and LC-130. As an ATP, CFI-I, CFI-G and SES-rated pilot, he currently has over 6,600 hours in various military and civilian aircraft, including more than 1,500 hours in single-engine aircraft. Send questions or comments to


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