Goggle Buyers Guide
Try goggles on to make sure there are no gaps between the frame & your skin. Even small openings will let air flow through giving you a cold face & teary eyes. Look to the side to check if the frame is too narrow & blocks your peripheral vision. Pressure on your face should be evenly distributed.
Frames should be forgiving enough to withstand average abuse (stretching over helmets, getting wacked with ski poles) and conform to your face without having the lens pop out. They shouldn't bend out of shape during normal wear or feel too rigid & uncomfortable.
Stands for "Over the Glasses". If you wear prescription glasses & don't plan on ordering RX lenses, an OTG style allows enough room to accommodate eyeglasses underneath. Ex: Oakley O Frame, Bolle Boost OTG, Spy Omega
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Alternative Fit -
Certain styles are available with frame modifications & extra padding in the bridge of the nose to better fit most Asian faces.
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Open areas in a goggle's foam padding and lens allow for air ventilation. Multiple vents encourage constant airflow to prevent fogging & certain vents can be opened & closed as needed.
a tiny electronic fan is built into the frame of some goggles to ensure your vision stays clear in extreme conditions. The battery-powered device can be switched on to increase airflow & dissipate moisture in seconds. Ex: Smith Optics Turbo Fan, Scott NoFog Fan
While wearing your goggles, apply some pressure to the frames to make sure there aren't any painful areas. The padding should comfortably cushion your face if you fall, not dig into it. Foam also needs to be waterproof & warm-look for soft polar fleece trim. If you have any skin sensitivity be sure to check that the padding materials are hypoallergenic.
If you'll be wearing a helmet it's a good idea to bring it along when shopping for goggles. Frames and lenses shouldn't bend or rest on the helmet instead of your face-- look for "helmet compatibility" on the manufacturer packaging. Most brands have integrated helmet/goggle designs for an optimized fit (Ex: Anon goggles + RED helmets, Giro helmets + goggles, Smith)
Goggle straps should be easily adjustable and long enough to fit over your helmet/beanie without pulling frames & causing them to dig into your face. Look for styles with rubberized or textured areas for better grip on beanies and less tendency to slide & loosen.
Goggle straps with a clip closure are often found in youth styles. A clip makes it easy to fasten around a helmet and prevent/correct twisting.
Lenses are typically made from polycarbonate plastic for superior durability and visibility. Lens tint should be chosen according to your usual riding conditions so if they're inconsistent or you travel frequently, interchangeable lenses can be a great feature.
Double/ Dual Lens -
2 lenses are sealed with a gap I between to provide extra protection from moisture & cold air. The outside lens takes on the elements while the middle space serves as a thermal shield to ward off fogging.
Lens Coating -
Chemical finishes can be applied to the lens to improve performance. Look for anti-scratch, hydrophilic coatings on the exterior and anti-fog treatments on the interior.
UVA/UVB/UVC Protection -
even on low-light days, it's crucial to have a lens that protects from harmful rays. In addition to the sun overhead, light reflecting off the snow puts eyes at even more of a risk.
Cylindrical Lens -
a standard lens made from a flat sheet of polycarbonate
Spherical Lens -
a rounded lens that reduces vision distortion. The curved design allows light to travel directly to the eye from any direction; the angles created by a flat lens cause inconsistent light refraction that strains eyes & skews perception.
Tints & Conditions
very overcast, stormy conditions or night skiing/riding
brighten overcast conditions
most versatile; increase contrast in moderately overcast - sunny conditions
gives added glare protection
will mildly adjust to current conditions
increase contrast on sunny days
Polarized Lens -
cuts glare from the sun, snow or ice and improves overall clarity. Contrast is enhanced for better depth perception and more vibrant colors.
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The difference in outside temperature and your body temperature creates fog (think of condensation from a glass of ice water on a summer day). Scratches on your lens give more places for the moisture to cling to, so keep goggles protected when you're not wearing them.
Also try to remove them as little as possible throughout the day. Once they're away from the warmth of your face, the drastic temperature change will make them fog up.
Disposable anti-fog wipes can be easily stored in jacket pockets for emergencies. These tiny wipes are coated with an anti-fog solution that'll restore clarity without doing damage to lens coatings.
When goggle lenses are cold & wet, they're much more susceptible to scratching so try not to wipe them until they've dried. Use only a soft, microfiber cloth & water to polish away any smudges on the outside of the lens; other solvents or cleansers can damage anti-fog or mirrored coatings. Don't wipe the inside of your lenses at all: it'll ruin the anti-fog coating. Shake out any snow or water and let the remaining moisture evaporate through the vents.