Look good and see better with these seven specs.

sunglasses
(Courtesy Vuarnet)

Vuarnet Tom Nightlynx ($310)

It takes some serious optical voodoo to make me go, “Whoa!” I’ve been reviewing shades since before the turn of the millennium, putting hundreds of pairs to the test. Until now, nobody won big at night—the intended milieu of Vuarnet’s deep yellow Nightlynx lenses, which are tinted and optically tuned for when the sun don’t shine. A shortish hop down the 405 and on Hollywood Boulevard made me a believer. The lenses worked wonders with oncoming traffic. But the Nightlynx do more than tame head-on glare. Peripheral details jump out, too.What makes darker lighter? By reducing available illumination by about 30 percent, the lenses filter out visual garbage. And when light is scarce, everything seems cleaner and clearer. The benefits really accrue when the sun is low or otherwise clouded over; these lenses aren’t for full-on brightness. When I tried them during a jog down a steep fire road sinking into darkness, I was able to make out details that would be lost to the unaided eye. I was smitten. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the name of the retro frame design, Tom, honors original eighties mustache stud Tom Selleck.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Bollé)

Bollé Heron ($99)

Best for those on a budget 

Everything about the Heron is pretty damn good, starting with the polarized polycarbonate lenses, which are tinted a warm brown that performs like a champ. Those lenses provide maximal coverage, nestling in tight under the brows and dropping close to the cheek. Wide temple pieces block light and wind at the sides. The springy, lightweight nylon frames comfortably grip the head with sticky-when-wet pads at the nose and earpieces. All was secure during a brutally hot trail slog. But the Heron has a conspicuous extra that value-priced shades often lack: playful sass, which shows in the flashy green mirroring and bright highlights that wake up the dark frames. You get sport-wrap coverage without sport-wrap style, at a super cool price.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Rudy Project)

Rudy Project Sintryx ($300)

Best for cyclists 

Once again, racy Italian eye-gear specialist Rudy raises the bar for aggro high design. The lenses on this light, go-fast number are high, wide, and wrapped back for huge coverage and an unobstructed view. What appears to be a decorative little logo above the nosepiece is in fact a button that unlatches the frame for swapping tints. On the other hand, you may never feel like changing out the polarized gray synthetic lenses, which are impressively glass-like in their resolution. Red-orange mirroring adds a demonic glow and knocks back glare. Springy frames hug the head to keep the Sintryx in place no matter what. Though gusts swatted me around and dust blew, my eyes were safe and completely comfy behind the big lenses, which are cleverly vented to kill fog.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Maui Jim)

Maui Jim Little Maks ($299)

Best for the street 

Slipping on this study in elegance offers instant reward. I was blown away by the view through Maui Jim’s rose-tinted polarized lenses. Punched-up depth, detail, and color were more than worth a moment of pink shock. These are all you need for most everyday uses behind the wheel and on the boulevard. The lenses are made of lightweight glass rather than plastic, so the optics will stay sharp longer, and gradient mirroring, high to low, further fortify the Little Maks against the searing sky and light flares from man-made surfaces. Translucent over-ear pieces are a nice departure from the usual blah black or tortoise, but Maui’s quiet about it. Nothing here but class, though flattish lenses and a lightish tint mean you might be miserable in full-on glare.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Roka)

Roka Monaco ($170)

Best for savvy style 

Beverly Hills meets sports eyewear in this category smasher, which manages to perform like a racing shield—big coverage with super security and feathery weight—and do a celebrity-grade style number with swoopy, oversize lenses and opaque mirroring. Crystal-clear optics in a cool neutral tint take the sting out of sun on gleamy surfaces. The feel is minimal—almost forgettable—­belying the glamorous style that others see. But don’t be fooled: the Monaco is equally adept at training hard and long, then helping you give the competition hell on race day. These shades really can sub in for an athletic shield, because that’s exactly what they are, in a stealthy, shape-shifting sort of way. Like with last year’s Gear of the Year–­winning Phantoms, Roka has taken its triathlon heritage and added a little attitude.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Costa del Mar)

Costa del Mar Montauk ($199)

Best for on the water

Hold the Montauk’s translucent frames up to the sun and dig the grainy pattern. Now put on this unashamedly old-school sports wrap and revel in the bombproofness. Sun ain’t getting anywhere near your eyeballs, no matter where it’s coming from—the sky, the water’s surface, or the boat deck and instruments. Ditto howling wind and spray, which are walled out by big wrap-back lenses and wide temples with sticky cladding at the ears. The pristine optics (the lenses are made of polarized synthetic) are downright spectacular. The tint lends itself to streamside and lake, where fish, rocks, and foliage lurk. Seashore name and vibe aside, I loved the Montauk for high-altitude hiking and sweaty trail running, too. Gill-like vertical vents move enough air to de-steam the lenses and fend off fog.

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sunglasses
(Courtesy Kaenon)

Kaenon Clarke ($209)

Best for everything

Gazing across a timbered mountainside in midafternoon sun in Idyllwild, California, is nice even without sunglasses. Then I looked again through Kaenon’s polarized synthetic Ultra lenses, which sport tech that makes colors jump up and holler. Whatever the hue, there’s extra oomph here—brighter, bolder, and more saturated—but without appearing cheap or special-effecty. Clarke’s look is easy, with a bit of flash from the blue mirroring. The lenses pull inward toward the cheek and wrap back at the sides just enough to boost coverage and protection without looking obnoxiously sporty. Add to that security from springy nylon frames and you’re good to go, be it a pickup game or a hike, though you won’t be embarrassed in the working world, either. Except for red-lined athletic pursuits, it’s hard to go wrong here.

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Fitness

The Best Luggage of 2018

Packs, duffels, and rollers that shake off abuse. (Courtesy Victorinox) Victorinox Swiss Army Lexicon Hardside Global Carry-On ($460) VSA’s 34-liter carry-on is the ultimate hard-sided, four-wheel roller. For those who value their belongings (and who doesn’t?), the 100 percent polycarbonate shell is virtually indestructible. The Lexicon is slim, so it fits easily in overhead storage, yet it doesn’t sacrifice interior space, thanks to efficiently designed handles and wheel wells. Compression straps and mesh pockets keep toiletries and other small items secure, and a waterproof divider pocket is useful for damp bathing suits and yesterday’s skivvies. The Lexicon has plenty

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Fitness

The Best Cameras and Drones of 2018

Tools to capture your most cinematic adventures. (Courtesy Sony) Sony a7r III ($3,200) Best for the pro Sony is the new tornado of the industry, tearing profes­sional photographers away from their Canons and Nikons. Astonishingly, small cameras like this one are how the company has managed it. The a7r III captures massive RAW images (up to 42.4 mega­pixels) at blistering speeds (ten frames per second)—stats never before seen in such a small package. Add niceties like 425 autofocus points, dual SD-card slots, 4K video, and days-long battery life, and you’ve got a finely tuned picture-making machine. Buy Now

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Fitness

The Best Travel Shoes of 2018

Footwear for roaming in style. (Courtesy Seavees) SeaVees Legend ($78) Want a sneaker that you can throw on for a quick errand or dress up for a night at the water’s edge? There’s no wrong way to wear this minimalist, with its stripped-down style, white piping reminiscent of eighties running shorts, and lightweight, breathable poplin-twill upper. Men's Women's (Courtesy Nisolo) Nisolo Alejandro ($178) Hand-woven in León, Mexico, this classic leather espadrille has been a staple of experienced travelers since the days when Ernest Hemingway chased toreadors through Europe. It’s snug at first but breaks in nicely and feels tailor-made after

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Fitness

The Best Hammocks of 2018

Hammocks have come a long way since that crocheted thing hung from a metal stand in your weird aunt’s backyard. These days they’re lightweight, they pack down to the size of a beer can, and you can set one up in a couple of minutes. All of which makes the humble hammock the most underrated piece of gear we own, serving as both camp chair and elevated shelter. (Courtesy Sea to Summit) Sea to Summit Ultralight XL ($100) The best designs—like the Sea to Summit Ultralight XL—offer both portability and ease of use. The XL is made with burly

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Fitness

The Best Summer Night Gear of 2018

Cool and casual warm-weather gear. (Courtesy Yeti) Yeti Hondo Base Camp Chair ($299) Nothing beats slipping into a comfy chair after a long day on the move. Made with Yeti’s typical “overbuild it!” philosophy, the Hondo has joints as thick as a car door’s and mesh fabric claimed to withstand 500 pounds. Excessive? Probably. Do we still want one? Most definitely. Buy Now (Courtesy Patagonia) Patagonia Brodeo Beanie ($35) Patagonia’s take on the classic beanie, the Brodeo is fashioned from a nylon-wool blend, making it soft, warm, and durable. We appreciate the subdued colors and easy steeze. Buy Now

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Fitness

The Best Watches of 2018

Timepieces to keep you on track. (Courtesy Orvis) Orvis Adventure Chronograph ($129) The first thing you notice is this watch’s sporty combination of blue and orange. But the mineral-crystal Adventure packs more than just good looks at a handsome price. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters, and the three-dial design lets you mark time zones, 24-hour cycles, and days of the week. Buy Now (Courtesy Bulova) Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph ($595) The Lunar Pilot re-creates a Bulova watch worn by Apollo 15 astronauts. It uses one of the most precise quartz movements available, reducing second-hand lag for more

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Fitness

The Best Men’s Travel Kit of 2018

VIP style and comfort, even in the cheap seats. (Courtesy Tucker and Bloom) Tucker and Bloom Miller Cable Organizer ($36) Your weapon against a rat’s nest of cords, this handsome pouch has a Velcro strap to keep things nicely coiled. Buy Now (Courtesy Trew) Trew Weightless NuYarn Shirt ($65) We’ve touted merino’s funk-fighting properties for years. When you’re crammed into the middle seat on an ocean-hopping flight, there’s nothing better for feeling fresh on arrival. Buy Now (Courtesy NEMO) NEMO Fillo HQ Travel Pillow ($50) The foam Fillo isn’t inflatable, so you might balk at bringing it along when

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Fitness

The Best Women’s Travel Kit of 2018

VIP style and comfort, even in the cheap seats. (Courtesy Osprey) Osprey Ultralight Travel Set ($60) One way to pack: throw all your crap in a duffel. A better way: throw it in this three-piece travel set, which keeps nice clothes nice, play clothes separate, and everything else together in one place. Includes a bag for folded apparel, plus medium and large packing cubes. Buy Now (Courtesy Vuarnet) Vuarnet Ice Sunglasses ($340) Vacation shades are for bold statements, and there’s nothing subtle about these. The lenses are big and round, the side shields are red (not glacier bound? they’re

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Fitness

The Best Travel Accessories of 2018

Survive planes, trains, and automobiles with these essentials. (Courtesy Voke) Voke Tabs ($7) Don’t have time for coffee but need a pick-me-up? These chewable tablets offer a fruity (if somewhat bitter), naturally caffeinated boost to get you through a long day of shuttling between gates and hailing rickshaws. If you find them habit forming, don’t fret: Voke offers a monthly subscription service (from $28). Buy Now (Courtesy Sea to Summit) Sea to Summit Travelling Light Eyeshade ($15) Some luxuries are worth carving out carry-on space for, especially if it means squeezing in a few more hours of sleep. This

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