When it comes to equipment for skiing and snowboarding, goggles are essential for protecting your precious eyes from the elements. And, they tend to need to be replaced more than other gear you need as you head up to the slopes.
Why? Even the most durable lens can be scratched if not taken care of properly and the best face foam will event eventually become brittle and crumble over time.
So, if you’re goggle shopping out of necessity, or simply because you want to look as well as you see, here’s a checklist of things to make sure you consider before you make your purchase.
- Fog-Free Lenses: Dual lenses with an anti-fog coating is standard on most brands. But be careful, some discount brands use a single lens design that is much more susceptible to fogging up.
- Quick Change Or Fixed Lens System: Many premium goggles come with a spare lens for lower light and overcast conditions. If you go to a mountain where the light conditions can vary drastically throughout the weekend, or even the season, consider going with a goggle that has a quick-change system. It may cost a little more, but it can pay off in terms of less frustration.
- Spherical Versus Cylindrical: Spherical lenses curve horizontally and vertically, whereas cylindrical lenses wrap across the frame. The big difference is a spherical design doesn’t distort your vision as much as cylindrical lenses do, but they tend to cost more.
- Don’t Judge A Lens By Its Cover: Reflective coatings are what’s in right now, but besides hiding your eyes, they hide the true tint of the goggle. Read the description and try them on to make sure the tint is right for you.
Frame And Foam
Get Fitted Or Fog Up: Goggles come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important that they fit right, or you run the risk of them fogging up. People with smaller heads may want to look at goggles made for children, while those of Asian descent may opt for goggles labeled as having an alternative fit, which are better for people with flatter faces.
- Helmet Compatible: If you wear a helmet, you’ll want to make sure that the goggle strap is long enough to go around it, and at the same time, has a silicone band on the inside for added grip.
- Wide Enough: Some people dislike wearing goggles because they feel their peripheral vision is hindered. If you fall into that category, look for frames that boast an oversized, spherical lens design for the widest field of view.
- Foam Focus: The interior foam of the goggle, the part that touches your face, is something many overlook when making their purchase, but it’s very important. When goggle shopping, look for a goggle that has a fleece backing for extra comfort and durability.
Goggle Shopping For Prescription Eyeglass and Contact Lens Wearers
If you need to wear glasses or contacts, goggles can present a real challenge – which is why many avid skiers and snowboarders opt for a laser vision correction procedure, like LASIK. Having great vision means you don’t have to compromise with your choice of goggles, that said there are a few options:
- Over The Glass (OTG): If you prefer to wear prescription glasses under your goggles, your choices have greatly expanded compared to a few years ago. Ask to see models that are OTG compatible for the best fit.
- Prescription Inserts: Some contact lens wearers find that their eyes dry out while on the mountain, and many people’s prescription eyeglasses may not stay in place under their goggles. If that’s the case, look for a goggle that can be outfitted with a prescription insert that will snap into place behind the lens, but expect to pay a premium.
When you are goggle shopping, invest in the best pair of goggles that meets your needs, because they have an important job to do – protecting your eyes and vision. This winter, put one more equipment check on your list of to-dos and see your ophthalmologist for an eye exam, you want to make sure they are ready to advantage of the snow this season.