Snow goggles aren’t just one of those accessories that make you look cool on the slopes. First of all, they’re made to keep your vision safe from the refracting UV rays that the snow makes 10x brighter than usual and they also keep your eyes safe from ice particles, small branches and twigs. Having the right pair of snow goggles can also prevent blurry vision caused by the cold mountain wind. Now that we’ve gone over why it so important to have a pair on, let’s go about how to find goggles that will both fit you size-wise and the environment you’ll mostly be in.
The shape of the lenses comes in two different types: cylindrical and spherical. The cylindrical-shaped lenses are curved from the left to the right with the vertical surface being flat – between nose and forehead. While cylindrical lenses are cheaper and provide less peripheral vision together with more glare coming through. Snowboard goggles with spherical lenses may be on the higher end of the price spectrum but they reduce glare way more, as they are also curved vertically which gives a better peripheral vision too.
Lens Colour (Tint)
Although there are clear lenses too, coloured ones are recommended unless you are going to hit the slopes at night. Light coloured lenses that are made with a higher VLT (Visible Light Transmission) are used on cloudy or foggy days. Yellow, amber, gold. rose, green and blue lenses offer a high VLT percentage which usually ranges from 60% to 90%. Darker lenses come in a brown, copper or grey colour with their VLT percentage ranging from 5% to 20%. There are also lenses that are in the middle of the VLT range which can be used in most weather conditions but won’t provide the best experience.
There are quite a few options when it comes to choosing the best type of ventilation. First, you have goggles with double-layered lenses which help create a thermal barrier that makes fogging to happen at a slower rate than in a single-layered lens. All mid-range and high-end goggles come with an anti-fog coating which can be put on older goggles as well.
Vents are what makes controlling fogging even easier but as a consequence, your face may freeze, especially in very cold weather. There is a small number of high-tech snowboard goggles that make use of fans so they can keep moisture away which come with multiple settings for different scenarios – riding the gondola, going down a slope or standing in a lift line.
Frame & Fit
The frames should be made to fit your helmet and not the other way around and while most goggles are helmet-compatible you should try different ones to make sure you get the most comfortable fit. Talking about comfort, the padding on your goggles should be soft enough so it doesn’t make them fog and thick enough si it can cushion your face.
The majority of goggles come with a single clip for adjustment but there are also goggles with an open/ close buckle that has sliding clips on both sides. For those of you who wear prescription glasses, it is recommended that you go with OTG (over-the-glass) frames as these won’t press your face since they won’t come into contact with the nosepiece and the temples.