The best eyewear retainer
If you spend big bucks on sunglasses or prescription eyewear, then you appreciate the importance of making sure they stay put during activities. To keep them safe and damage-free, invest in eyewear retainers. If you're active, you'll love how they hold glasses in place and minimize shifting. Also, lenses can be damaged from hair products when pushed back like a headband, and if you simply place them inside pockets, they can end up crushed. Instead, eyewear retainers attach to glasses and let them hang from your neck -- keeping them free and clear from damage.
Extend the life of your glasses by investing in eyewear retainers. Our favorite is the Chums Original Cotton Eyewear Retainer. This adjustable style is lightweight, washable, and incredibly soft for long-term wear around your neck.
Considerations when choosing eyewear retainers
Eyewear retainers designed for use during sports and activities offer a snug fit around your head. They're easy to adjust, and tubing is designed to be totally slip-free once adjusted. However, sporty retainers can end up costing more than others, especially if you'd like them to have premium features like buoyancy.
Many individuals use eyewear retainers for work to promote safety while working with patients or heavy machinery. These retainers also have a snug fit and ensure your glasses won't injure someone -- or yourself -- as they drop no farther than a few inches from your chin.
Eyewear retainers are convenient for everyday and travel use, as they're a hands-free, damage-free way to carry glasses. After all, if you're traveling light or on the go, the last thing you need is a bulky eyewear case to shove inside your purse or pocket.
Eyewear retainers feature tubing to secure glasses, which tighten once they're pulled or shifted. Keep in mind that not all eyewear retainers are designed for all thicknesses of temples, the long skinny sides of glasses. Some manufacturers provide compatibility charts, though, so you're able to find one that will best fit your eyewear.
Eyewear retainers are designed with adjustable lengths. One is the traditional tubing size, and others will use a sliding bead mechanism. In terms of appearance, tubing designs will wrap around your head, and those with sliding mechanisms end up with long, wispy tails which some people find bothersome or distracting.
Most eyewear retainers are made from neoprene or cotton. Neoprene is lightweight and repels water, making them popular among those who enjoy water sports. Cotton is well-liked for being breathable and is preferred by those with sensitive skin.
If you're someone who enjoys fishing, kayaking, or other water sports, you'll probably need eyewear retainers with buoyancy. These are equipped with foam or air pockets -- which means if they fall into the water, they'll bob around long enough for you to retrieve them.
Colors and designs
You can keep it simple with a plain black or solid color for your eyewear retainer, but if you'd like a touch of style, it's worth exploring those with designs. You'll find everything from florals and tribal prints to geometric designs and even the American flag. Even if you're not sold on a loud color or print, they're worth considering since they're easier to spot if misplaced.
Budget-friendly eyewear retainers cost around $5, though they might not last for more than a couple seasons. Those with better construction and more color or design options cost approximately $10. If you'd like a value pack of two or more, or want premium sport retainers, expect to spend $15 to $25.
Q. What kind of detergent can I use to wash my eyewear retainer?
A. It's best to use a mild detergent that doesn't have bleach. Mild detergents are always recommended for neoprene, as they're less likely to deteriorate synthetic materials than those with heavy chemicals.
Q. Will eyewear retainers dent my hair style?
A. Most likely, yes. They're intended to be snug, which means you'll probably end up with an indentation around the back of your hair. If you have long hair, you may wish to put your hair in a higher ponytail or bun so that the impressions will be hidden beneath it.
Eyewear retainers we recommend
Best of the best: Chums' Original Cotton Eyewear Retainer
Our take: Soft cotton design is well-liked for its simplicity and reliability.
What we like: Easy to adjust and comfortable to wear. Totally seamless to minimize friction on sensitive skin.
What we dislike: Fits some eyewear better than others.
Best bang for your buck: Croakies' Kids' Eyewear Retainer
Our take: Flexible, kid-friendly retainers that hold up through extreme wear.
What we like: Made from high-quality neoprene. Adjustable tightness. Soft material won't dig into skin.
What we dislike: Must refer to the official frame fit chart, otherwise fit will be less than ideal.
Choice 3: Ukes' Premium Eyewear Retainer
Our take: Enjoy a touch of style with these retainers available in more than 24 designs.
What we like: Neoprene will float in water. Simply slide to adjust. Vibrant and kid-friendly.
What we dislike: A bit more expensive than other options, but worth the design assortment.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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