Goggles are one piece of kit you shouldn't be skiing or snowboarding without. Goggles protect your eyes from the suns radiation on those bluebird days, and gives you the contrast needed on the snow in varying light conditions. For those of you out there who love your sunglasses, they are great for bright light but it is always an idea to carry a pair of goggles with you as the weather in the mountains can change very quickly.
Goggle companies are also designing their products to be helmet compatible and it can be a good idea to buy goggles from the same brand that your helmet is made by or vice versa. This ensures the gap between the goggles and helmet is very minimal stopping that annoying head freeze you can experience. It will also ensure that the goggle sit on your face with the least amount of pressure. More companies like Anon and Oakley are making huge changes to how easy it is to change the lens on their goggles with interchangeable lenses, easy enough to do whilst on the hill with your gloves still on.
Where to start? Finding the right colour lens for those changing weather conditions will give you the confidence on the slopes. Certain brands come with interchangeable lenses where you will get a lens for bright light and a lens for low light conditions. Light Sensitive is a term you may come across from Scott, which alters the amount of light let through the lens depending on the light outside, this refers to the percentage of light a lens allows to come through.
LensesEach brand has different names for colours of lenses, but simply broken down your main types are:
Yellow/Rose: Yellow or light tinted lenses are great for flat light or those whiteout days. Yellow lenses let in just the right amount of light to help pick out definition in the snow when the light is bad.
Universal lenses: Generally an orange tinted lenses are a great all-round lens to have blocking out sun when needed, but allowing you to see if the clouds do come over.
Mirrored lens: Great for full sun days, mirrored lenses protect your eyes from the full sun by reflecting those bright rays.Can be used in low light but it is harder to pick out definition on the snow.
Spherical lenses are becoming more popular, giving you a more natural view without distortion. They tend to be more expensive, but they increase your peripheral vision. Flat lenses are still very common and are less expensive to produce so provide a good value.
The face foam around the goggle is there is protect your face from the elements, and wicks away moisture from the skin.
Over the glasses (or OTG) are goggles made to fit over your prescription eyewear. These goggles are created with an piece of foam cut out on either side for comfortable placement of the glasses arms, and are slightly deeper set to provide clearance for you glasses and a wide field of vision.
All of the goggles we stock (besides the children's goggles) are constructed with a double lens. This double lens creates a space between the two lenses, and aids in keeping the goggles fog free whilst you ski or board. Goggles also come with an anti-fog coating on the inside- a bit more technology allowing you to see all day. Smith have come out with a Turbo Fan goggle - a super fog fighter, extracting the warm moist air away from the goggle interior to keep vision clear using an battery powered fan.
Let's admit it, goggles are also about style- coloured or patterned frames and bands, bling on the frame and rimless goggles. There are ladies specific goggles for a smaller face, and even those with a wider peripheral for larger faces.