Temperatures are falling and excitement for the snow is rising, because, with a bit of luck, skiing and snowboarding should once again be possible this year, at least without any major restrictions. In any case, there is one thing we can already take care of to help our snow holidays run as smoothly as possible – and that’s making sure we have the right gear for when we do eventually hit the slopes. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned skier, you will need a good pair of goggles to improve your vision and protect your eyes from harsh sunlight, UV rays, wind and snow up in the mountains. But with the huge range of models on offer, how do we decide which is the best pair of ski goggles for us? Read on to discover our top tips on how to choose ski goggles.
Choosing Ski Goggles: General Features
When choosing ski goggles, there are a few general features to look out for. New models with the latest technology are constantly being released but there are a few tried-and-tested features that you should find in most models.
- All ski and snowboard goggles should already include 100% UV filter to protect your eyes from increased UV rays at high altitudes.
- A double lens and anti-fog coating is also useful and included with most goggles to prevent fogging.
- Snow goggle lenses are usually made from polycarbonate or Trivex plastic, which is impact absorbing. A scratch-resistant coating is also added to help protect this easy-to-scratch surface of this material.
- Many brands also offer exclusive vision enhancement properties, such as Oakley’s Prizm lenses or Smith Chromapop lenses.
Lens Tint: Which colour ski goggles do I need?
Depending on the time of day and conditions, you will need different lens tints and VLT (visible light transmission).
Everyday wear – If you just want one all-rounder pair of goggles for all times of day and all conditions, opt for middle ground lenses with a VLT of 20-60%. Everyday lenses are usually copper, rose or brown tinted.
Sunny – If you’re going to be out in bright sunny weather, lenses with a VLT of 5 – 20% are suitable. Blue, grey, brown or dark rose lenses are usually best for bright conditions. Polarised lenses can also be useful for sunny days as they reduce glare, improve colours and relieve the eyes. Mirrored lenses can also help to reduce glare from the snow on sunny days.
Cloudy/Evening – In low light conditions, such as on a cloudy day or in the evening, you can opt for a lighter lens tint with a VLT of 60 – 90%. Yellow, amber or light rose base lenses are the best lens colours for low light.
Night – When skiing at night, you still need goggles to protect your eyes from wind and snow, so clear lenses are an absolute must.
There are 3 main types of ski goggle lenses to choose from.
Interchangeable Lenses or Photochromic Lenses?
For the more advanced skiers and snowboarders out there, you might want to invest in a pair of goggles with interchangeable lenses. Many brands offer magnetic or mechanical quick-change lenses, such as the Red Bull SPECT Magnetron with magnetic interchangeable lenses.
Otherwise, a photochromic lens that changes tint depending on conditions is also a great option for those who want to ski from day to night, without having to change goggles.
Ski goggles for glasses wearers?
In general, there are three options when it comes to ski goggles for glasses wearers.
- Contact lenses worn with normal ski goggles – this is perhaps the easiest option for those who don’t mind wearing contact lenses all day.
- Ski goggles or sports sunglasses with prescription lenses; however, this is often fairly expensive.
- Over-the-glasses goggles, (aka OTG goggles) designed with extra space and padding to fit over glasses. Oakley’s Flight Deck, for example, fits over most glasses. This is usually much cheaper than getting custom prescription ski goggles.
How should ski goggles fit?
To make sure your ski goggles fit properly, check that the foam follows the curvature of the face without any pressure points. Pressure on eye sockets means the frame is too narrow, and gaps means they are too big. For flatter face shapes, some brands offer the so-called “asian fit” frames, with more padding on the nose bridge area.
If you’re going to be wearing a helmet, check your goggles fit over them. The strap should fit comfortably around the helmet. Medium size frames tend to fit most people, but it’s always best to try on goggles before making the final choice.
Ski sunglasses or ski goggles – which is better?
In general, snow goggles provide more coverage, keep your face warmer and have a wider field of vision than sunglasses. The strap holds them onto your face, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off while skiing. The strap also fits comfortably over your helmet so it doesn’t dig into your head. However, they can fog up easily and are more bulky to carry around
Sunglasses are lighter and can be more comfortable for some, especially in warmer weather. It can also be easier to get them fitted with prescription lenses. But it can be uncomfortable to wear sunglasses underneath your helmet – and they do not seal around the eyes as well as goggles, which puts your eyes more at risk of wind, ice and other hazards while on the slopes.
How Can You Stop Ski Goggles Fogging Up?
There are a few things you can do to stop your ski goggles fogging up.
- Once you have put your ski goggles on for the day, avoid taking them off. If you do take them off, avoid putting them on your forehead or on your sweaty hat. It’s best to put them in your warm jacket pocket.
- Make sure to brush any snow off the ventilation at the top, so the air can circulate well.
- Don’t wipe the inside of the lens because it can remove anti-fog coating.
Which ski goggles should you buy?
Oakley’s Flight Deck and Fall Line snow goggles with Prizm lenses top many lists of the best ski goggles. A few other popular brands that are also available in our shop include: Red Bull SPECT, Gloryfy, Scott, Adidas. We hope this guide will help you to choose the perfect pair of ski goggles. Now all we need is the first snow in the mountains!