15 Sep 2017

Top benefits of mask lens and separate lenses sports sunglasses

AMO sunglasses has sport sunglasses models with a single lens (called a “mask lens") and also models with two individual lenses.

As a founder of a sports sunglasses company, a triathlete and ultra runner I am often asked what is the difference and which is better.

This is a difficult question as to be honest, there are advantages and disadvantages for both types of sport sunglasses and often it just comes down to the matter of personal preference and style.

Blade with Black red armsBlade with Black red arms    Shield with Black/Red temple armShield with Black/Red temple arm

The obvious advantage of mask sports sunglasses is that they offer a wider and unobstructed field of vision.

This is because the single mask lens is not obscured by the nose ridge of the double lens sports sunglasses.

This feature is useful for cyclists who often like to observe their instruments on the handlebars and also look at the road without moving their head. It is a favourite/must have for triathletes on the bike in the Tri-position.

Mask Sports sunglasses have a larger lens overall than individual lens sunglasses which means they filter more light and provide greater UV protection and protection from impact.

If you choose a mask sports sunglasse like the AMO Shield with noframe then they can be significantly lighter than a framed sunglass. This is great for comfort on long workouts/races.

In theory, the optical clarity of a mask sport sunglasses should not be as good as a double lens sports sunglasses because the lens has to be curved over a wider distance and in two planes (vertical.y and horizontally).

The production methods to develop a larger single polycarbonate sheet lens material is more difficult and therefore potentially of a lower quality.

For this reason, I would advise to never buy a cheap pair of mask sports sunglasses as the optical clarity may be poor and they may be made of defective or reused polycarbonate sheet lens material. Which good factories dump on the market and this material is then used by disreputable lens manufacturers.

Most people just don't realise the lens quality difference and optical distortion in the shop under artificial light when they by a cheap pair of sports sunglasses!

At AMO sunglasses we spent a long time choosing the manufacturer and testing the optical characteristics of a mask lens. I did the field testing myself along with other professional athletes and in the end we choose premium quality polycarbonate so that they are still extremely good.

For the AMO mask sports sunglasse lens the difference between a mask and two individual lenses is therefore not possible to spot with the naked eye.

As a result of the material and the manufacturing process the mask lens is more expensive than the two individual lenses and the price of a premium mask sports sunglass will be higher.

Separate lenses sports sunglasses

The main advantage of a two lens sports sunglasses is that for less good sunglasses the optical clarity should be better as it is more easy to manufacture a smaller polycarbonate lens. The curvature of the lenses is less resulting to a lower chance of optical distortion.

Secnondly, the two individual lenses are generally stronger particularly with regard to impact damage. This may be a useful advantage for cyclists and mountain bikers if they expect objects to hit the lenses.


Other than these factors, there is very little to choose between the two types of sports sunglasses and it is a matter of personal preference.

For AMO sunglasses the lens clarity of both types of sport sunglasses is class 1 optical clarity, the functionality is identical and therefore it becomes a matter of personal taste and style.

If you have any comments then please let me know your views.



Thank you for reading this blog and as a reward for reading this far, AMO sunglasses are offering you an additional 10% discount if you purchase a new pair of AMO sports sunglasses. Just enter discount code "BLOG1079" at the AMO Shop.


There are also similar blogs and artlcles about sports sunglasses and mutisports on the AMO Webpage at

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What athletes say...

The AMO range...

Thunderstorm series

Protection and clarity for cyclists, mountain bikers and triathletes

Firestorm (red) - pictured with mirror-finish medium-dark lens. Also available in Snowstorm (white), Twister (green)


Typhoon series

Lightweight and comfort for ultra runners, marathon runners, cyclists and triathletes

Nimbus (white) - pictured with optional NXT polarised dark lens. Also available in Cirrus (yellow), Gale (pink)


Transformer series

Strong and lightweight for multisports athletes including ultra runners, marathon runners, cyclists, mountain bikers and triathletes

Ironcatcher (black) - pictured with Revo blue lens. Also available in Prowler (white)


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