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Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

Since the advent of the internet and the proliferation of smartphones, hikers and campers worldwide have taken advantage of the multitude of features offered by their internet-connected devices.  From downloading maps for offline GPS use, to identifying mountain ranges, to even identifying proper prayer times.

And as wearable technology becomes more popular, the use of smart glasses has become more and more attractive while hiking and camping.  Below, we’re going to review the best smart glasses for hiking and camping and provide you with a complete rundown of all their features, uses, and capabilities.


Please note, we here at Ball Are Life are affiliated with the Amazon Associates Program.  This means we may receive a small commission from any purchases made via our links below.  This is at no additional cost to you.  While we appreciate the additional commission, we would never recommend a product or service which does not align with our core values nor any product which we would not use ourselves.

What Are Smart Glasses?

For hundreds of years, the primary purpose of glasses has been to improve our vision to a full 20/20.  However, as technological advances are made, the simple glasses have been transformed to make them smarter, connected, and more useful.

Smart glasses, to put it simply, are glasses which connect via Bluetooth to a user’s smartphone.  This pairing allows wireless connectivity and imaging directly into the frames.  By doing so, a user no longer needs to reach for their smartphone or glance at their smartwatch for the latest information, news, or messages.

Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

How do Smart Glasses Work?

The idea of smart glasses is not new.  In fact, in 2013 Google launched their own line of smart glasses, dubbed Google Glass.  However, the glasses were deemed too bulky, expensive, and uncomfortable.  While widely heralded as the “next big thing”, Google Glass never received the critical mass expected.

Fast forward to the current climate, smart glasses have begun to reemerge as a viable, sensible, and practical solution to receiving timely information and notifications.

Smart glasses work by housing the central processing unit, or CPU, directly within the arm of one of the ear rests.  This CPU handles all the processing power needed to ensure the smart glasses function as described and as needed.

In addition, many smart glasses contain both speakers and an included mic.  This allows for both listening to music, podcasts, and phone calls, as well as the ability to speak to participants on the phone.

Similarly, many smart glasses also contain built-in cameras.  In this age of selfie taking and picture sharing, smart glasses allow the wearer to snap and take pictures easily and quickly and without the need to remove your phone from your pocket. 

Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

Should You Take Smart Glasses Hiking or Camping?

Purchasing and taking smart glasses with you on a hike or camping trip can be a great way to explore nature and the great outdoors without the need to constantly reach for your phone to take pictures, send messages, take calls, and listen to music.

With a built-in camera, speaker, and mic, smart glasses offer users an easy and efficient method to maintain contact, send and receive messages, and snap a quick picture.

For these reasons, we wholeheartedly recommend smart glasses for both hiking and camping.  The sheer ease of use, practicality, and efficiency alone make smart glasses a worthwhile investment. 

Coupled with the fact that, while hiking, you may have your hands full with hiking poles or other necessary items, smart glasses offer wearers a means to maintain contact, listen to music, and snap a quick picture without the need to reach into their pocket for their phone.

In addition, many smart glasses come with polarized lenses.  Polarized lenses reduce light glare and eyestrain.  For these reasons, they can improve both vision and eye safety while in the sun.  Unless you are hiking overnight, polarized lenses can help you during your hike by reducing overall strain on your eyes.

However, smart glasses do run on a battery.  This means that if you are planning on a long-term hike or a thru-hike, you will need to ensure you have a portable battery charger to charge your glasses.  While there are a plethora of options available, it is a consideration that needs to be taken into account before you embark on your hike or camp.

Similarly, bringing along a pair of smart glasses with you on a hike or camping trip will be one additional item you will need to keep track of.  While lightweight and easy to carry, you will need to ensure that you do not leave them behind or accidentally break them.  Though many smart glasses are built to be scratch-resistant, an accidental drop can break the glasses.

Best Smart Glasses for Hiking and Camping

Our Top Picks for the Best Smart Glasses for Hiking or Camping

  • Echo Frames – our editor’s top pick for the best smart glasses for hiking and camping goes to none other than the Echo Frames by Amazon.  Available in a variety of colors, sizes, and with polarized lenses, the Echo Frames are also prescription ready, meaning that any eyewear professional can add prescription lenses to these frames.
    • What we like about the Echo Frames – the Echo Frames by Amazon are a fashionable, inconspicuous, and stylish smart glass by a well-known and reputable company.  With built-in Alexa, you are able to make calls, set reminders, get the news, and listen to music and your favorite podcast by simply asking Alexa.  And with an open-ear audio design, you can listen to sound directly while minimizing what others around you can hear.
    • What we don’t like about the Echo Frames – unfortunately, the Echo Frames do not include a built-in camera.  While more stylish without, the lack of a built-in camera minimizes the overall utility of these frames.
  • Bose Frames – if you are looking for superior sound from your smart glasses, then look no further than the Bose Frames.  Bose, famed for their sound quality, offers smart glasses which are perfect for listening to music and podcasts and taking calls in a minimalist design.
    • What we like about the Bose Frames – these frames offer superior sound quality.  They are minimalist in design and look great while wearing them.  And with an inconspicuous design, you can comfortably wear them all-day.
    • What we don’t like about the Bose Frames – unfortunately, similar to the Echo Frames, the Bose Frames don’t have a built-in camera.  And without a built-in smart AI system, such-as Alexa, Google, or Siri, you will have to control these glasses via your phone.
  • Ray-Ban Stories – if you are looking for a smart glass which offers the ability to listen to music, take calls, and take pictures and videos, then the Ray-Ban Stories are the perfect pair for you.  With a built-in camera that uploads all your pictures to a private Facebook album, these glasses are perfect for camping and hiking through the great outdoors and all the natural majesty it has to offer.
    • What we like about the Ray-Ban Stories – the Ray-Ban Stories are a great alternative to both the Echo Frame and Bose Frames.  And with a built-in camera, you will be able to take high-quality, high-definition photos and videos with ease.  And with both touch and voice control, through the “Hey Facebook” wake word, you can hike with ease.
    • What we don’t like about the Ray-Ban Stories – if you’re not a fan or user of Facebook, then these smart glasses won’t work without an active account.  Unfortunately, the Ray-Ban Stories require an active Facebook account and will essentially be useless without one.
  • Spectacles 2 by Snapchat – if you’re a fan of Snapchat, then these smart glasses are the perfect choice for you.  The Spectacles 2 by Snapchat are a great and easy way to capture photos and videos directly from your glasses.  And with waterproof technology, you won’t have to worry about dropping these into the water, or even taking a quick dive.
    • What we like about the Spectacles 2 by Snapchat – the Spectacles 2 by Snapchat offer superior photo and video quality.  You can take up to 70 videos on a single charge and both the photos and videos will be saved to a private album on Snapchat.  And with an included charging case, you can charge your Spectacles four times before needing to recharge the case.
    • What we don’t like about the Spectacles 2 by Snapchat – unfortunately, the Spectacles 2 do not offer audio capabilities.  That means you will be unable to listen to music or take calls from these glasses.  Similarly, these glasses are only compatible with the Snapchat app, meaning to get the best use from the glasses, you will need to have an active Snapchat account.