How to buy the right Ski Goggle?

Having the right ski goggles can be the difference between having a good and great day on the mountain.

Slopezkiller Christian Begle, Slopez

#1 Which lens for which circumstances?

Slopez offers you a lens for just about every light condition. The manufacturers VLT (Visual Light Transmission) refers to how much light enters the lens. The higher the percentage the more light goes through the lens, the lower the percentage the less light filters through the lens. The higher the percentage the better that lens will be for overcast or cloudy days, the lower the percentage the better that lens will be on sunny days. The VLT Rating is shown on each individual lens for every lens we carry here at www.slopezgoggles.com, as well as an easy to read weather icon to help you shop.

3-7% VLT - Very sunny

The brightest sun, often found when you are riding on glaciers or long sunny days at the end of the season. These lenses are usually very dark or highly mirrored.

See all sunny goggles

9-17% VLT - Sunny, half cloudy

This lens is best suited for sunny days, but will still work well if a few clouds appear.

See all sunny and half cloudy goggles

18-80% VLT - Cloudy, snow

This lens allows more light through in worse weather conditions. When it snows or visibility is poor, the raised light and contrast enhancing lens can help you see. These lenses are often light and not mirrored.

See all cloudy and snowy goggles

81 - 100 % VLT - Fog or evening

Those goggles are made for rides in the evening, where you have artificial lighting. Or they are also very useful when there is heavy fog.

See all fog or evening goggles

#2 Ski goggle sizing

Fit: A top priority in making your snow goggle selection is fit. If the size is not right you will not be able to fully enjoy all of the awesome features of your goggle. Most all snow goggles are unisex and have sizes from youth to extra-large.

Triple-layer foam: Any top-of-the-line goggles will come standard with triple-layer foam. When you find the right fit, the triple layer foam around the edge of the goggle will create a full seal around your face that prevents any cold air from getting into the goggle. Be sure to find a fit where the foam provides a seal but does not pinch your nose or press to hard on your cheeks.

Helmet Compatibility: Trying your goggles on with a helmet or beanie before you hit the slopes is always a good idea. You should look for a goggle that has vents on the top so if you do choose to wear a helmet, the warmer air can flow out the top of the goggle. Most helmets are designed to continue this air flow through the brim of the helmet. Therefore, the air would flow through the vents in the top of the goggle and also through the vents in brim of the helmet. You should also look for a low-profile goggle to ensure a minimal gap between your helmet and the goggle so no cold air can sneak in.

Strap: All goggles come with an adjustable strap. Most are silicone-ribbed and can easily fit around most any helmet. Some brands also have a snap on the strap for an even easier goggle adjustment.

#3 Interchangeable lenses or one lens?

Skiers and snowboarders encounter a range of weather conditions on the mountain, and although there are versatile lenses to help adapt to different weather conditions, no single lens can optimally perform in all of them. That’s why the goggle-making geniuses have developed quick interchangeable lens systems to make changing lenses easy – even while you’re wearing gloves. Nevertheless, some slope shredders prefer one lens, while others prefer multiple lenses. Here are three types of lens options to help you adapt on the slopes:

Interchangeable Lenses: A lot of goggles nowadays are interchangeable and they generally come with two sets of lenses. The idea is you get one lens for bright conditions, and one lens for low-light conditions that you can swap out as the weather changes.

One Lens: The other school of thought is to get something in the middle that will work fine in either type of condition if you don’t want to change back and forth between lenses. It’s not exactly perfect in either bright or super overcast days, but it’s versatile enough to get you through a range of weather conditions with just one lens.

#4 Anti fog?

When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, fog has always been an enemy. Goggle technology in the last few years has come a long way and most of the newer, high-end goggles are pretty tough to fog. Ski and snowboarding goggle manufacturers have developed an arsenal of anti-fog ammunition to combat fog on the mountain. When it comes down to it, goggles are built with anti-fog technology but there are also things that you can do to keep your goggles from fogging.

Anti-Fog Coating: Most quality snow goggles on the market come equipped with an anti-fog coating on the inside of the goggle shield. An important thing to note is it’s best to avoid excessively touching the inside of the shield in order to preserve the anti-fog coating.

Vented Lenses: Some snow goggles have vents built right into the shield. Lens technology has become more advanced over the years, enabling goggle makers to be more strategic in terms of where to put the vents and how many.

Dual-pane Lenses: Most medium-to-high-end goggles have dual lens technology. It’s basically two shields molded together that help to keep the heat from your face separated from the cold outside air. It functions similar to a dual pane window in your house, keeping it insulted to help prevent fog.

#5 Over the glasses proof?

Goggles for glasses are called over the glasses goggles or OTG for short. These goggles have either small cut-outs on the side of the frame or in the foam itself to allow the frame to fit in snugly into the sides of them. This way the frame can sit comfortably on the face and not put too much pressure on the temples. OTGs also usually have a deeper depth to them to allow for the glasses to go inside of them.

Slopez, ski brillen, goggles

#6 Additional important Ski Goggle features

Dubble lenses

Think of dual lenses as behaving like insulated storm windows. The thermal barrier created between the two lenses greatly reduces fogging and can even add a little more resistance upon impacts. Most, if not all, higher end ski and snowboard goggles will have dual lenses as standard, as they are a must for cutting down fog issues.

Scratch Resistant Coatings

Exactly as it sounds, this is a special coating usually applied to the exterior surface of higher-end lenses especially mirrored lenses. If you are going to spend the extra money on mirrored or specially colored lenses, make sure the manufacturer has a solution to protect them against premature wear. There is nothing more frustrating when it comes to snow goggles than seeing your mirrored coating start to wear off weeks or even days after you purchased your goggles!

Strap Adjustment & Grip

A simple feature but again, often overlooked, is ensuring that the goggle strap has some sort of gripping feature built in. Most manufacturers create a silicon-based design for the interior of the strap to help it grip the back of your head or helmet. You may have a tough time getting your goggles to stay on your helmet without this feature especially when riding or skiing on rough terrain.

Compatibility With Helmets

You will want to make sure a new pair of goggles will fit your helmet before you commit to the purchase. Take your helmet with you when you go shop or try them on with your helmet at home before removing the tags. This will ensure the goggles fit how you want them to and are compatible with your helmet. A poorly compatible goggle and helmet combo could leave you with helmet gap or an open space between the top of the lens and bottom of your helmet opening. The not only looks a bit goofy, but will leave your forehead exposed to the elements.

Conclusion

We understand there is a lot of information above to digest and that is simply because ski and snowboard goggles are actually quite technical accessories. They are a feature rich item and knowing what options are most attractive to you can help to narrow your choice to the perfect pair. We have a few serious downhill skiers here at Slopezgoggles.com and we know a high performance, polarized goggle (preferably with an extra lens) is typically the only type of ski goggle they would ever consider.