Gliding through knee-deep powder on a majestic mountain is an amazing experience. You are one with nature tackling the mountain. The beauty of winter surrounds you. You don’t want anything to spoil this moment, especially faulty equipment. Your vision must always be top-notch so you can see moguls or divots before you unexpectedly collide with them. Ski goggles are a vital part of your necessary equipment. Superior goggles will allow you to see well through snow, ice and wind in both dark and light conditions. There are many factors to consider when you are searching for the best goggles to suit your needs. There are obvious factors such as size, fit and color as well as less obvious considerations such as anti-fogging treatments. The following categories are all important things to consider when you buy your first or next pair of ski goggles.
Size and Fit
The size and manner in which your goggles fit are extremely important considerations when purchasing ski goggles. You never want your goggles to be too tight or uncomfortable. If equipment is uncomfortable while you ski it lessens your enjoyment and makes for a miserable day on the slopes. Typically, adult ski goggles are available in small, medium and large sizes and are meant for people with “average” shaped heads. Teenagers usually wear adult size goggles. There are some models that are specifically intended for women. They tend to have different color options and a frame that is a little smaller and narrower. There are also children’s goggles which are for smaller, child-size heads. The lenses on children’s goggles tend to be inexpensive to help keep the price of the goggles lower. Children are constantly growing so their goggles don’t need to last as long as an adult’s. There are different boy and girl graphics and colors available for children’s goggles which make it a little more fun for the kids. OTG (over the glasses) goggles can be purchased for people who need to wear their prescription glasses underneath their goggles. The frame of the goggles on the OTG’s is bigger so the prescription glasses can comfortably fit underneath them. Finally, there is an alternative fit ski goggle that is intended for Asian facial structures that has a nose bridge which is deeper. It is a more naturally fitting goggle.
Another consideration when purchasing ski goggles is whether you will be wearing a ski helmet as well. Most goggles today are compatible with helmets. If you wear oversized goggles there are helmets available that can be adjusted for that purpose. When trying to fit your goggles to your face remember that the straps on the goggles will allow you to tighten or loosen them. You want the top of your goggle to be flush with your forehead. If there is space between your forehead and the goggle, then things such as snow and sun will enter through the gap. It would definitely lessen your ski experience. You want your goggles to fit firmly against your face, but also not be too tight to cause any discomfort or pinching.
Not only are goggles adjustable but they are also padded. Padding on ski goggles truly helps the goggles to be more comfortable for you. Higher-end ski goggles have padding that will feel like a soft pillow against your face. When it comes to the padding, price does make a difference. Basic, less expensive goggles typically have foam that is a single layer. It is less comfortable, less durable and will not fit as snugly against your face. Yet it is fine if you do not ski very often. If you do plan on doing a lot of skiing during a winter, then the multi-layer foam on the more expensive goggles is worth every penny. They are much more comfortable and durable.
The shape of goggles also varies. Goggles can be cylindrical (flat) or spherical. Flat goggles are flat vertically but curve horizontally around your face. Spherical goggles are curved both horizontally and vertically to provide you with better quality vision. Cheaper goggles tend to be flat while more expensive goggles tend to be spherical. Keep in mind that the shape of the goggles will definitely impact how comfortable they are for you. As stated earlier, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend and you aren’t going to use them very much, then the cheaper, cylindrical-shaped goggle will be fine.
Types of Lens
There are many different types of lens for ski goggles. Lens can be mirrored, polarized or photochromic. Each kind has its own special value or use. Mirrored lenses are perfect for very bright and sunny conditions. There is a coating on the outside of the mirrored lenses that is reflective. Its purpose is to block sunlight when it is very bright outside. If it is a cloudy day, mirrored goggles would not be your best bet. Yet on a sunny day they would be great. Polarized lenses are good when there is a glare emanating from the snow right into your eyes. They block horizontal light while allowing beneficial light to still come through. These lens types are not good on a cloudy day either. For the best of both worlds, you can purchase goggles with photochromic lenses that automatically adjust to the light conditions. They will lighten or darken according to the brightness of the day. You don’t have to physically switch the lens. It does all the work for you.
Another lens option that will give you the perfect visibility whether it is light or dark outside is interchangeable lenses. Numerous mid to higher priced goggles can be purchased with interchangeable lenses. Some goggles come with both a lens for sun and a lens for cloudy conditions. You simply need to snap one lens out and snap the other lens in. Some goggles have a system in place for changing lenses that is magnetic while still other lenses are frameless. There are many possibilities to choose from when trying to find what works best for you.
The color of your lens is one more important part of the goggle puzzle. Different colors have different purposes. The darker colors such as blacks and blues will block the largest amount of light. Green, purples and reds color your surroundings and are beneficial on cloudier days. Very light blue and yellow are clearer lenses that are perfect for overcast days. If you have goggles with an interchangeable lens, then you can have a darker lens for sunny days and a light lens for cloudy days. Some goggles even come with a carrying bag for your extra lens.
Six Top Goggles in 2016
The following is a list of six superior ski goggles in 2016. They can all be purchased on Amazon, but the prices may vary with time.
- Oakley Canopy Ski Goggles
- Smith Optics I/OX Goggle
- Dragon Alliance DX Snow Goggles
- Bolle Nova Snow Goggles
- Burton Anon Men’s Relapse Goggles
- Burton Anon Women’s Wm1 Goggles
Oakley Canopy Ski Goggles
Oakley Canopy Ski Goggles are made for comfort. They have a triple layer of face foam with a fleece lining that wicks moisture away. The lens is made of Platonized material that completely filters all UVC, UVB and UVA light. The lens has an F3 anti-fog coating on it combined with dual vents to help prevent fogging. A greater lens volume allows you to see everything around you including places with your downward and peripheral vision. The goggles are made with O-Flow Arch technology that makes breathing a little easier for you. The Canopy is helmet compatible as well as compatible with the majority of frames for prescription eyewear. There are over 25 different color options to choose from for these awesome goggles.
Smith Optics I/OX Goggle
The Smith Optics I/OX Goggle is indeed an amazing goggle for downhill skiing. The lenses are interchangeable and the goggles come with two lenses. You can use the Blue Sensor-VLT lens for overcast or cloudy days, and the Gold Sol-X-VLT for a sunny day if that they are the colors you purchase. Included with the price of the goggles is a goggle bag made of microfiber that contains a sleeve for your replacement lens. The goggles are both eyewear and helmet compatible. They have a floating foam membrane which alleviates pressure on your temples from eyeglasses. The lens area is very large, so you have great visibility. The goggles area also equipped with advanced fog prevention. These goggles have over 25 different color options.
Dragon Alliance DX2 Ski Goggles
Dragon Alliance DX2 Ski Goggles are a less expensive goggle with a cylindrical (flat) lens. They are helmet compatible and are made to fit a medium size head. The lens is double layered and coated with Super Anti Fog which will help to keep your vision clear. The goggles also have a double layer of face foam for extra comfort. The lining is made of a micro fleece that is hypo-allergenic. The lenses are ionized and offer 100% UV protection. Choose from 12 different colors.
Bolle Nova Snow Goggles
Bolle Nova Snow Goggles are made for medium and large size faces. They are designed to fit with any helmet and will work with prescription eyewear as well. The goggles are created with venting ports that control air flow in order to help prevent fogging. The lenses block both UVA and UVB rays to 400 nanometers. The goggles have a double lens design. Five different color options are available for the goggles.
Burton Anon Men’s Relapse Goggles
The Burton Anon Men’s Relapse Goggles provide men with a wide unobstructed view. These lenses are OTG compatible and are cylindrical in shape. The goggle frame is made of a lightweight Thermoplastic Polyurethane. The full perimeter of the frame has channel venting which in addition to the Integral Clarity Technology anti-fog treatment provides you with crystal clear vision. The goggles have a triple layer of face foam for extra comfort. Included with your purchase is a spare Graybird lens along with a goggle bag made of microfiber. The Burton Anon Men’s Relapse Goggles are available in six different colors but only in one size.
Burton Anon Women’s Wm1 Goggles
The Burton Anon Women’s Wm1 Goggles have a spherical lens that gets rid of optical distortion. An Integral Clarity anti-fog coating makes sure that your vision will always be clear. The goggles achieve maximum airflow with channel venting on the full perimeter. There are three layers of foam on the goggles assuring comfort and a seal that is tight. The face fleece is Outlast Fog Management. These goggles use a quick lens change technology called “Magna-Tech” and come with a spare Graybird lens. Also included with your purchase is a goggle bag made of micro-fiber and a nylon compression molded goggle case. Choose from four different color options. As with the above men’s goggles, the women’s goggles are only available in one size.
No matter where or when you ski, it is important to always wear a good pair of goggles for your adventure. Remember that the fit of your goggles is very important. You don’t want to be uncomfortable all day, but they must be snug. The shape and size of the goggles as well as the color and type of lens are all important considerations when making your purchase. You want goggles that are durable, comfortable and will provide you with clear vision. Not just any goggle will do. You certainly do not want your goggles to keep fogging up on you. Consider the factors above and purchase the goggles of your dreams.