How To Shop For Ski And Snowboard Goggles
A blanket of fresh powder on the slopes is like music to a skier or snowboarder's ears. However, this large span of snow, which reflects dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays and a harsh glare, is exceedingly hazardous without the proper ski and snowboard goggles. Snow, sleet and strong winds can also hit and harm your eye area, particularly when it is left uncovered and vulnerable.
Before you make the trek up a snow-covered mountain with sports equipment in hand, protect your eyes and face with the right pair of goggles. Shop smart with the following considerations in mind:
1. The Fit Of Your Goggles
Goggles generally come in two sizes: adult and junior/children. Once this general size is decided, adjust your goggles’ straps and buckles to ensure a proper fit.
For Both Hat Or Helmet Wear: When worn, goggles should feel snug, soft and comfortable around your head. The goggle outline’s padding, usually made out of a foam lining, should consistently rest around your face without any painful pressure points. At the same time, the goggles should form a seal. Gaps will allow too much air to flow through and damage your eyes, defeating the initial purpose of wearing goggles.
If You Prefer A Helmet Over A Hat: Try on your goggles with the helmet on. For helmet wearers, goggles should feel secure without excessive strain. The band and strap should be large enough to fit easily around the back of the helmet (not the back of your head inside the helmet) and not force any stretching and bending. Furthermore, the top of your goggles should form a tight seal against the brim of your helmet. This prevents a “brain freeze” sensation when your forehead is exposed to the cold and wind, as well as an unstylish “Gaper Gap,” a slang term coined by frequent snowboarders and skiers.
If You Wear Glasses: Try on your goggles with your glasses on. The right goggles should provide sufficient space for your goggles to fit comfortably. There are specially designed goggles for this consideration.
If You Have A Shallow Nose Bridge And/Or High Cheekbones: Ask about a pair of goggles that has been deemed the “Asian fit.” These goggles are produced by manufacturers for both narrow and wide faces.
2. The Lens Features Of Your Goggles
Look For A Wide Field Of View: You will want a wide field of view while on the slopes, at least 180 degrees from your left to right side. Besides a clear view of what’s ahead, a peripheral view is vital to know where others are in proximity to avoid run-ins and tumbles. For better peripheral vision, choose a spherical lens shape over a flat lens shape. Spherical lens do run higher in price, though.
Look For Fog Resistance: Double lenses offer anti-fogging features, discouraging any warm air from becoming concentrated in the goggles and consequently obscuring your vision. They also utilize a thermal layer for additional warmth. Other must-have features include air vents to permit adequate air flow and anti-fog coating to help further clear out any condensation.
3. The Types Of Lenses Of Your Goggles
Lens Color: The lens color works to filter colors in your vision. The best choice may vary according to your needs, weather condition and time of day.
- Yellow, Gold And Amber: The most popular choice and best for stormy conditions and overcast, foggy days; increases contrast and depth perception
- Light Rose And Rose Copper: Also good for stormy conditions and overcast, foggy days; increases depth perception
- Dark Brown, Gray Or Green: Good for brighter conditions; increases contrast
- Clear: Best in stormy or snowy conditions and during sunset or night; allows in the most light
Mirrored Lenses: Mirrored lenses are also known as “chrome” or “flash” lenses. Besides being reflective on the outside, the coating increases the efficiency of tinted lenses and blocks out additional sunlight. By reflecting more light than a normal lens, it also reduces glare. This type of lens is not recommended for overcast days because of the decreased light penetration and less visibility.
Polarized Lenses: If glare is a problem, polarized lenses significantly cut glare reflections from snow and ice and offer better UV protection. But unlike mirrored lenses, polarized lenses still provide plenty of visibility in lower light conditions.
Photochromic Lenses: Photochromic lenses automatically lighten or darken on exposure to light, especially UV rays. This type guarantees visibility as it adjusts while still protecting your eyes. Photochromic lenses are becoming the most sought-after option due to their usefulness.
4. The Proper Care Of Your Goggles
- Look for scratch resistant coating before making your purchase
- Shake off excess snow before cleaning
- Clean (blot, do not wipe!) only the outside of your goggles with a recommended cleaner or fresh water and a soft cloth
- Store goggles in protective bag
With the right goggles and safety measures, enjoy your day on the slopes snowboarding or skiing to its full potential.