I once had a professor in college who said the best way not to lose things is to buy an expensive version of them. Pens, umbrellas, sunglasses, and so on. We’re ostensibly more inclined to keep track of and protect our items if they hold a high value.

Time and time again, I have proven this theory to be utter bunk. Know how many pairs of Ray Bans I’ve left in dive bars? Two. Know how many pairs I’ve left in the Kips Bay AMC movie theater? One. That is simply too many and I can no longer be trusted with nice things.

Maybe you’re more responsible than me and don’t instantly lose your helpful, expensive possessions all the time. Maybe the build quality and two-year warranty of Ray Bans truly works for you. That’s great, but I’m here to tell you that, while a $200 pair of sunglasses and a $10 pair have their differences, the gap between the two is nowhere near as vast as Big Sunglass would have you believe.

Luxury glasses manufacturers like to use words like “crafted” and “polarized” to make it seem like they’re pulling out some extra stops to justify their prices, but the truth is most normal folks won’t recognize a stark difference looking out of a two-figure pair compared to a three-figure one.

Polarization is perhaps the biggest point of contention. Polarized lenses reduce glare and allow for great color accuracy, but you might have a tough time using your LCD smartphone with them on. Ray-Ban charges anything from $20 to $50 more just to upgrade a pair from regular lenses to polarized ones. Or, you could spend that $50 on five pairs of MERRY’S, which are polarized and enjoy a 4.5 rating on Amazon from over 1,500 reviews.

Elsewhere, GAMMA RAY is an Inverse favorite and best seller among our audience. More than 1,300 people agree on a four-star rating for their “Cheaters” glasses, which, as you might assume, look just like the classic Wayfarers from Ray-Ban.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with having nice things. But, if you’re easily forgettable, or just want a reliable backup for your fancy glasses, there’s every reason to get yourself a good, cheap pair of sunglasses ahead of the summer.

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