Choosing the right goggles can be tricky. You need to have good 180-degree peripheral vision on the slopes. You need to see where you’re going and where the other skiers are. When in doubt, go for functionality over style. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
LENS AND TINT COLOR
It’s very important to choose the right tint. Take into account the weather, terrain, and your activity. Anticipate the kind of lighting that you might encounter on the slope.
The tint needs to get the right balance between color definition, contrast, depth perception, and protection against eye fatigue without forgetting to ensure the right visible light transmission (VLT) for the light conditions you encounter. A high VLT means better color and light perception on low light days. Low VLT means less eye fatigue on a sunny day.
Different colors perform best in different lights. For low light conditions like dawn and dusk, or in fog, go with the golden/yellow tint. This tint tends to give you the most visibility. Light rose and rose copper are also well suited for these conditions. They help emphasize shadows in the snow
Mirror or flash coating helps to enhance the effectiveness of the tint by reflecting sunlight and thereby lowering the VLT. These goggles are a great choice for those particularly bright sunny days. Also, when dealing with bright light, dark tints such as copper, dark brown, dark gray and dark green will keep your eyes more comfortable while increasing contrast.
Photochromic lenses tend to be a good choice in bright but variable light conditions. They automatically adjust the tint depending on the intensity of the light.
QUICK RELEASE LENSES
Consider getting goggles with interchangeable lenses. With quick release lenses, you can adapt your goggles to different light conditions easily and without having to invest in an entirely different pair of goggles.
Insist on 100 percent UV protection on your goggles. UVA and UVB rays bounce off the snow. They can cause sunburns and, long-term, they can permanently damage your eyes.
You don’t want to go down a slope at 30 mph and lose visibility due to fogging goggles. Double goggles impede the formation of condensation. Also look for side vents when choosing goggles.
Consider flexibility and impact protection. If the frame and lens are flexible, the goggles are less likely to break or pop in the event of a fall. Impact protection tends to be assured by foam inserts at all probable impact points in the goggles. These are important for your safety. Also, look for rubbery earpieces and nose-pieces as these tend to be more comfortable than harder plastic.
Most types of goggles are made out of polycarbonate materials that are pretty tough. Do remember that if you have a prescription lens you need to have them made of the same material.
Your goggles need to fit your helmet. Once you put them on, the goggle strap should fit comfortably over the helmet leaving no gap between the top of the goggles and the helmet. This will avoid the dreaded brain freeze.
With the right goggles, you’ll know that the next time you say, “See you on the slopes!” you’ll mean it. Have the best time possible by using the best equipment for your needs.