Everything You Need To Know About Ski Goggles

Everything You Need To Know About Ski Goggles

Skiing is one of the most enjoyable winter activities in which you can partake. Along with snowboarding, it is a winter activity which involves quite a bit of action. With that measure of action also comes a good deal of risk, so you should ensure that your equipment is up to the task.

Today, we are going to be telling you everything that you have to know about one of these pieces of equipment which can be put to use while you are skiing. We are going to look at ski goggles. Before we get into the details, we are going to make sure that all of our readers are on the same page.

What Are Ski Goggles

As you may have guessed from the name, ski goggles are goggles which are meant to be used while you are skiing. They are designed to cope with the environment better than other types of goggles, as skiing can be a pretty rigorous activity. Believe it or not, ski goggles are necessary for more than just looking good.

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

We are going to take a look at all of the different applications of ski goggles in the coming section, but for now, we are just going to be looking at them in the sense of a general overview. You will find that ski goggles feature a design which ensures that they can offer sufficient UV protection to protect your eyes from the sun reflecting off of the snow.

These goggles come in a variety of different shapes and sizes so they can fit each wearer in the best way possible. You will find that it is crucial to get a proper, comfortable fit, as it will be harder to ski unless your ski goggles fit you as ideally as possible, some goggles may even be custom-fitted to your face.

There are also different lens types that you will come across, which may seem similar to goggle shapes, but this is a distinct aspect which should be considered with just as much care. These lenses will also be available in a variety of different colors and tints, so you can rest assured that your goggles are ideal for the conditions in which you ski.

Some lenses will come equipped with a number of lenses that can be swapped out so you can ski with ease in certain conditions. There are even some lenses that are designed to have unique functions and work better than conventional lenses in certain situations, but they may not be for everyone.

Why Wear Ski Goggles

The main reason for wearing ski goggles is to protect your eyes from damage. It has long been known that sunlight reflecting off of snow can damage your eyes or even blind you. For example, the Inuit people long ago developed goggles with small slits in them to protect their eyes from these reflections.

The reason for which these snow reflections are so dangerous is twofold. First, you will find that the white snow will reflect sunlight very brightly due to the color since white absorbs no light and bounces every wavelength of the visible spectrum back towards your eyes. But these reflections don't stop with the visible spectrum.

Electric EG2 Ski Goggles

Along with every different color that we can see, you will find that snow also reflects the colors that we can’t see. This means that there is UV light bouncing off of the snow and into your eyes. Since UV light increases in intensity the higher you go, you will find that skiers are particularly vulnerable to it.

Snow blindness is a condition which is caused by excessive exposure to UV light in your eyes, and you will want to avoid it as much as possible. While it is usually not permanent, it can sometimes last for extended periods of time, so you may wish to avoid it as much as possible.

Beyond the protection from UV light, there are also a few more simple reasons to wear ski goggles. For example, it can get cold up on the mountaintop, so you will find that a good pair of ski goggles will be able to keep your face and your eyes warm without compromising your vision.

It is also crucial to wear ski goggles so you can stop snow and blowing winds from getting in your face and disrupting your vision. You will find that these two conditions will get worse as you go faster downhill, so if you are a more advanced skier, it will be more important to protect your eyes.

If you have ever been in a car on the highway with the windows rolled down, you know how annoying the high-speed wind can get when it hits your face. The impact of the wind can end up diminishing your vision as it batters your eyelashes, and this can be quite dangerous when skiing.

Types Of Ski Goggles

Here's some types of ski goggles:

Men’s Ski Goggles

As you may have guessed by the name, men’s ski goggles are meant to be worn by men. This is because men and women tend to have different facial shapes, and it is important to ensure that you get the best fit possible out of your ski goggles. If your goggles are improperly fitted, you will have some issues on the mountain.

Smith Optics I/OX Goggle

For example, poorly fitted ski goggles will end up letting wind and snow get behind them, which is almost as bad as wearing no ski goggles at all.

These goggles often feature a broader design and more space for the nose to allow for larger wearers. Keep in mind that there is nothing stopping women from wearing these goggles if they prefer them.

Women’s Ski Goggles

Women’s ski goggle models are meant to have a closer fit to the face, they allow for a tighter fit for those with smaller faces, so they are also less wide. The cutout for the nose will typically be a little smaller, so it will be harder for the elements to get through your ski goggles because of a reduced chance of a poor fit.

Similarly to the men's models, if you are male and you find that these ski goggles fit better for you, nothing is stopping you from wearing them. The most important thing to ensure is that you are comfortable and safe while you are skiing, and your ski goggles are an essential part of that.

Kid’s Ski Goggles

Of course, there must also be ski goggles which are designed for younger skiers. You will find that children's ski goggles do not differ substantially from the ski goggles which adults wear in any way except for size. They are quite simply smaller models of adult ski masks, but there is usually little or no gender distinction apart from color.

Kid’s Ski Goggles

While kids’ goggles will be smaller, they also tend to be simpler. This helps cut back on production costs since children will typically not need advanced goggles unless they have very well-honed skills. Of course, there are more advanced children’s models available for the better young skiers.

Unisex Ski Goggles

Unisex goggles are another option for skiers, and they are designed to fit men and women with just as much ease. They tend to have a more neutral design that allows them to fit a broad range of people. The back of these goggles also tends to be a bit more flexible, to allow for fitting to different faces.

Unisex ski goggles are an excellent choice if you prefer more versatile goggles. If you buy a pair of these, you can always loan them out to a friend without having to worry too much about whether or not they will fit properly. After all, why should your friends have to buy a pair of ski goggles if they may only go once?

Lens Types

Here are the most popular lenses:

Interchangeable Lenses

These lenses can be swapped out and replaced with the best possible lenses for the situation. Ski goggles which feature these lenses can typically be used in a wide range of conditions. This will prevent you from having to buy multiple sets of ski goggles so you can get the best possible performance.

Interchangeable Lenses

The process for replacing lenses depends on the ski goggles that you purchase. Some of them may require tools to replace the lenses, so you will either have to carry your tools with you or swap out your lenses at home before going on your ski trip. Other models will allow you to switch out your lenses on the fly.

Photochromic Lenses

If you have ever heard of Transitions lenses, then you know that these lenses do. Photochromic lenses feature special molecules in the glass which changes their tint depending on the amount of sunlight that they come into contact with. This makes them highly useful for skiing since you will always have the ideal tint.

Every skier has had to deal with the issue of their lenses either being too dark or not sufficiently tinted to allow for optimal lighting conditions. Most models which feature these lenses will always be at the ideal brightness, but keep in mind that the lenses must be of sufficient quality to allow for the proper brightness.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses are the same type of lenses that you will find on many types of sunglasses, and they are the most common lenses that you see on ski goggles. They are what is responsible for the characteristic reflections that you see emanating from the surface of ski goggles.

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Polarization also tends to give off a reflection that is tinted in a particular color, if you are looking for more visual hints that ski goggle lenses are polarized. The reason that most ski goggles are polarized is that the polarization process makes lenses more resistant to UV light reflecting off of surfaces.

Lens Shape

Here are the most common lens shape:

Cylindrical Lens

Cylindrical lenses are the most traditional style of lens that you will find available on ski goggles. They are typically only curved along one axis, namely, the vertical one. This makes these goggles fit on your face comfortably and with ease and it also greatly simplifies the manufacturing process for them.

The design of cylindrical lenses means that they are more readily available as well as more affordable than spherical lenses. Cylindrical ski goggles will also often feature a more prominent frame than spherical models since there is more room for one and it is easier to attach a frame to them.

Spherical Lenses

Spherical lenses are not only curved in the vertical sense, but they are also curved horizontally, which is where their nomenclature comes from. When you look at these lenses, they almost look like giant, iridescent eyes, somewhat reminiscent of bug eyes without the various panels.

This resemblance to eyes is no coincidence. You will find that the shape of these goggles allows for optimal light transmission as they feature a similar curvature to the human eye. Keep in mind that, unlike your eyes, these lenses are fashioned out of one piece of polycarbonate which is not divided in the middle.

Lens Tints And Conditions

Different levels of tinting make for more useful ski goggles in various conditions. Lens brightness goes from category four to category zero, in which zero is the lightest and four is the darkest. This provides a good selection of lenses for all atmospheric conditions, so you can ensure that your eyes are protected.

Goggle lens

If you are skiing in conditions where there is not much light, such as in near-blizzard conditions in which the sun is blocked out, you will want to be able to see as much as possible. This means that you will have to opt for category one lenses to ensure that you can see as clearly as possible since there is not much light to be blocked out.

If you are looking for the most versatile lens types, you will want to opt for either category two or category three lenses, as they are ideal for most situations. You will want to purchase category two lenses if you find that the day is a little cloudy, which will allow you to see even if the sun slips behind a cloud.

Category three lenses, on the other hand, are highly versatile, but they are optimized for brighter conditions. If you do not expect to encounter many clouds, you may wish to go with these lenses, but you will find that they are a little harder to use when things get darker.

The darkest lenses, category four, are designed to block as much light as possible, which makes them the ideal choice for those who plan to ski on the brightest of days. Keep in mind that these lenses will not be as versatile as the other options (barring category one), so they are a little more specialized.

Specs

Read out for more information of the important spec of the goggles:

Fit Size

One of the most important parts of buying the right ski goggles is ensuring that they fit you properly. There is no point in buying a pair of goggles if they will not fit you, so you will have to check the sizing chart and measure your head to ensure that they fit you as ideally as possible.

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Another way to ensure that your ski goggles will fit ideally is to try them on in person at an alpine sporting goods retailer. There is no better way to make sure that something will fit than trying it on. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your local retailer will stock the ski goggles that you are looking for.

Lens Shape

You should also figure out which lens shape you prefer before going ahead and making a purchase. Some skiers swear by spherical lenses, but you would be surprised by the number of skiers who instead prefer cylindrical models. You will typically prefer the type of ski goggles which you first started off with.

Since the vast majority of older skiers had only cylindrical goggles at their disposal when they first started, you will find that spherical goggles are not too popular amongst them. Younger skiers, on the other hand, may have first learned how to ski using spherical goggles, which makes them more amenable towards them.

UV Protection

Almost every pair of ski goggles offers sufficient UV protection to ensure that you are not struck by snow blindness. This is one of the main reasons for wearing ski goggles, so you can rest assured that there will be few issues in the domain of UV protection, but different models will have different levels.

UV Protection

If you want the most UV protection possible, you will have to opt for models that are highly polarized and typically darker. This allows less of the UV light to pass through, but it will also allow less visible light to pass through. The higher the altitude that you will be skiing at, the higher the UV protection must be.

Anti-Fog

Have you ever been out in the cold and your glasses fogged up? Imagine how dangerous it would be if that occurred while you were speeding down a hill on skis. Most goggles makers have accounted for this possibility. There is a way to ensure that your goggles don't fog up when you are on the mountain.

Ski goggles which are designed to be resistant to fog feature two distinct lenses that are in perfect alignment with each other, but are separated by a layer of foam along the edges. This layer of foam keeps the lenses from coming into contact with each other, and this stops the goggles from fogging up.

Anti-Scratch Lens Coating

A coating which resists scratching ensures that you will have few troubles with physical damage to your ski goggles’ lenses unless they end up flat-out breaking.

Smith Optics I/OX Goggle

Most of the damage that ski goggles will sustain over the course of a skiing trip will be little worse than minor scratches, so this negates most of the issues with durability that you will deal with.

Different types of ski goggles have different types of coatings, so products which are made to higher standards will often have an anti-scratch coating which will last longer. If this coating ends up wearing off, you will find that your ski goggles will once more be susceptible to scuffs and scratches.

Manufacturers

In this part of article you will find out who are the most popular manufacturers:

Oakley

Oakley is a sporting eyewear maker that is based in California. You will find that their products feature relatively high quality, but you will have to pay for this quality. If you are looking for some of the best ski goggles around, you will find few better options than a pair of Oakley goggles.

Oakley logo.

Smith Optics

Smith Optics is a company which specializes in the manufacture of skiing goods, including ski goggles. In fact, they were one of the first dedicated makers of ski goggles, so you can rest assured that they are one of the best companies to buy your goggles from. The company first started in Idaho, in the USA.

Smith Optics

Dragon Alliance

Dragon Alliance is a company that was founded in 1993 in California. You will find that they are one of the world's best makers of sports sunglasses which feature sufficient durability for use by athletes. These skills have translated well to the making of ski goggles, as you may find out by looking at their quality products.

Dragon Alliance logo

ELECTRIC

ELECTRIC is a company which specializes in the making of premium eyewear including sunglasses and goggles for both skiing and snowboarding. They are an independent company that prides themselves on making some of the more stylish ski goggles that you will come across.

logo.

Bolle

Bolle is a French company which has been making glasses for over one hundred years. Their first foray into the ski goggles market was in 1960, and they have been making some of the best ski goggles that you will come across ever since. They make products which are particularly resilient compared to other companies.

Bolle.

Maintenance And Cleaning

When you choose to clean your ski goggles, you should thoroughly read the instructions that came packaged with them to ensure that you don’t end up damaging the lenses or the coating. Different goggles have different materials which are used in their construction, so you will find that it is a case-by-case basis.

Conclusion

As you can see, ski goggles are a little more complicated than simple sporting eyewear. We hope that we have been able to provide enough information for your needs. Feel free to move on to our buying guide, in which we will examine some of the best ski goggles around.

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