You would be forgiven for wondering what eyewear retainers are.
Once you learn the answer to that question (that little oft-elastic band attached to the end of the “arms” or “temples” of your glasses), you might well wonder how there can be so much variety between them.
They’re “just” that “stretchy part” that keeps glasses in place while you’re working outside, motorbiking, or are a senior in need of making sure that your glasses stay put.
Even so, the fact remains there is a wide variety of eyewear retainer styles.
From major manufacturers such as Croakies and Chums to other glasses straps, there are plenty of options to consider – and we have some of the best listed here for your consideration.
What to Look for in Eyewear Retainers
The most important aspect of a retainer is, of course, that it helps keep your glasses in place. To do this, different retainers employ different band styles, each of which has its own pros and cons.
Chains, for example, are typically made from metallic materials. They are the least flexible of the options, but that’s also the point, as their metallic nature makes them highly durable.
On the flip side, you have Cords, which are usually made from cloth and are thus far more stretchy.
The soft fabric from which most Cords are manufactured also typically costs less than the metal that makes up Chain glasses straps.
Straps strike a middle note, being more durable than Cords but less than Chains while being more flexible than the latter but not always as stretchable as the former.
That said, these are by far the most sports-friendly and are indeed often sold in sports stores.
That’s something else you need to consider when looking at glasses straps – the purpose for which you’re purchasing them in the first place.
Retainers designed for youthful fashionable book lovers are going to be different than those oriented toward the elderly, which are likewise going to be quite different from sports glasses straps.
Other Important Considerations For Choosing The Right Eyewear Retainers For You Include:
One of the most important questions to consider when choosing from the straps listed below (or any others, for that matter) is how you’re going to use them. As mentioned above, retainers can be used for everything from a light read to intense sports, and the best models can be used for all of that and everything in between.
Anyone who has ever worn any glasses of any kind can tell you that there are few things more annoying than the sensation of them slipping down the bridge of their nose. This can be especially frustrating if you are trying to work or are engaged in an athletic activity.
Retainers are thus essential for keeping everything from glasses to work and sports goggles in places while engaged in these activities.
That means making sure that the strap can withstand the elements, won’t slip around itself as your skin gets oily and sweaty, and can be firm enough to keep your glasses in place without being so firm as to pinch the sides of your head.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the best retainers on the market today.
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Best 10 Eyewear Retainer for 2020
Our Winner After 35+ Hours Of Research
#1. Ukes Premium Sunglass Strap – Durable & Soft Eyewear Retainer
The straps themselves are made from neoprene, which is highly durable and wears very well, so you don’t have to worry about these retainers wearing out. What’s more, they are also pretty soft, waterproof, and resistant to stains.
As noted, these straps are meant for sunglasses, and thus sunnier climates, which is why it’s good these straps can handle hotter temperatures well, too.
This is another pair that can be awkward to get used to at first, but once you do, you may wonder how you ever lived without them.
#2. ONME Adjustable Eyewear Retainer
As with the Chums model mentioned above, these eyewear retainers are not a good option for those with larger frames.
That being said, like the Chums option above, that is the main strike against them, and most every other aspect of these eyewear retainers are fantastic.
You don’t want those straps to start to feel wet, oily, and uncomfortable, and you certainly don’t want them to smell. ONME’s straps prevent all of that.
This means these retainers are ideal for use in a number of physical activities. That is especially true given the fact these straps are pretty sturdy and last for a long time without wearing out.
If you are looking for a strap that can keep your work or sports goggles in place, for example, these could be a good option. Check this out here on Amazon.com.
#3. Chums Original Cotton Eyewear Retainer
One of the biggest names on the market, Chums are a fixture among those looking for eyewear retainers. This particular model comes in dozens of colors, so they can fit with a wide range of different style and aesthetic choices.
That said, these cotton retainers are hardly just for show. On the contrary, for cotton retainers, these straps are actually pretty durable and can be worn in all manner of different weather conditions. Rain, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter – these eyewear retainers are a solid option.
Even better, these retainers fit most frames’ arms. They are also quite easy to adjust, so you’re almost certain to be able to find the fit that’s perfect for you.
These eyewear retainers are made from 100% cotton, making them pretty soft to the touch. They can keep your glasses from slipping, as can all of these retainers, but what helps this option, in particular, is that you can tighten or loosen it with ease, which helps with that immensely.
If there is any drawback, it’s the fact that these retainers do not always fit with larger frames.
That said, whether you’re reading or on the go, these straps are a good choice. Grab yours from Chums here on Amazon.com.
#4. Peeper Keepers Eyewear Retainer
These retainers come in a three-pack, so you’re getting a bit of a bargain right away. What’s more, they come in different colors, which is always a welcome feature from a style perspective.
In terms of performance, these straps do a good job of combining strength and comfort, with the bands being soft to the touch and quite stretchy while still being sturdy enough to not snap or wear out easily.
What’s more, the soft material used means that these straps are not likely to irritate the side of your skin, which can be a major frustration with other options.
All of these factors make these straps another good choice if you are engaging in strenuous activities where you are likely to work up a sweat.
The perks don’t stop there. These straps actually feature a unique grip that helps keep these straps from slipping, ticking another box on our checklist of the most important features to look in when searching for eyewear retainers.
That said, while the unique design of these straps clearly has a lot to offer in terms of keeping the straps in place and offering a blend of comfort and durability, they do feature exposed rubber ends that can crack a bit too easily.
Still, that’s a minor setback compared to all the other positives. As long as you’re careful with those rubber ends, this could be one of the best options on this list for use with sports in particular. You can grab this eyewear retainer from Peeper Keepers here on Amazon.com
#5. Pilotfish No Tail Adjustable Eyewear Retainer
Once again we have a strap option that is quite adjustable. It is hard to overstate just how big of a boost this is for those who wear retainers. No one likes feeling like their straps are so loose they’re dangling and flapping about or so tight that they’re pinching the side of their head. The best eyewear retainer can be adjusted to fit so perfectly that you even forget they’re there – and that’s the case with these.
They are also quite versatile, making these yet other options that can be used with watersports, hiking, skiing, and other intense outdoor activities. The adjustable nature of these straps also means that they can stay in place without slipping.
Part of the reason these straps are so good for watersports, in particular, is that they are waterproof, so if that’s your biggest interest when browsing for eyewear retainers, these may be the option for you.
They can be a bit stiff and in need of breaking in at first, but once you do that, these eyewear retainers can work wonders for you. Grab yours from Pilotfish here on Amazon.com
#6. Attmu Sports Eyewear Retainer Strap
Oddly enough, the biggest issue with this retainer is its, well, “smell,” albeit not for long. There’s just something about how it’s packed or stored that gives it a bit of an odor right out of the box, but it’s nothing a brief spell of airing out can’t solve.
Once you’ve dealt with that, there’s a lot to like about this model. It can fit a wide range of different types of glasses and it is easy to adjust. What’s more, the overall aesthetic of these retainers is among the most modern on this list. This combined with their versatility make these a chic option for sure. And you can get this eyewear retainer here on Amazon.com
#7. Holdie Eyeglass Retainer Chain
With their sleek leather straps, these are easily among the most stylish options on this list. They are technically a Chain model, though again, they’re made from leather rather than metal.
The length of the straps leave a little to be desired, but there’s still a lot to love about this choice, not the least of which is the fact that the leather used is actually surprisingly flexible. What’s more, there are no tough plastic or rubber edges that may accidentally rub up against and scuff your glasses. They are also quite lightweight.
As long as you’re fine with the strap length, these reader-chic retainers are fantastic.
#8. Chums 5mm Universal Fit Eyewear Retainer
Once again we have a model that’s a bit stiff and hard to get used to at first, but once you get past that, it’s likely smooth sailing from there. Its patented molded tips can fit most eyewear options.
They are also designed so as to prevent slipping and come with an adjustable bead, enabling you to find the right fit for you with ease.
#9. Relentless Tactical Eyewear Retainer
As with a few others, these options can be a bit stiff at first, but once you break them in, they can be quite comfy to wear.
These straps are quite strong, durable, and can withstand a wide range of rain, sleet, snow, heat, and anything else nature throws your way.
What’s more, this is another model that scores highly in terms of not soaking up sweat.
All in all, a “tactical” choice indeed.
#10. Leyaron Universal Eyewear Retainer
This model is easy to use and attach, and thus definitely wins points in the accessibility category. It also scores high for the style, being quite streamlined and coming in several colors.
The fabric is soft but deceptively sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about these straps wearing. What’s more, these also do a good job of not soaking up sweat.
All of this allows you to use these eyewear retainers in a wide range of settings, indoors and out.
By reviewing each of these straps you can find the right one to allow you to live the kind of lifestyle you want to lead with the glasses you want to wear.