If youâ€™re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, investing in a good pair of ski goggles is a definite must. Ski goggles are much more than a fashion statement; goggles protect your eyes from damaging UV light, shade your eyes from the sunâ€™s intense reflection off the snow, and keep your eyes safe from branches, twigs, and ice chunks when sailing through the trees,
Goggles also prevent your eyes from tearing keeping your vision from blurring so you can see the terrain. Skiing without goggles can be dangerous since your vision can easily be obstructed making you less aware of mountain hazards.
The price of goggles varies hugely from as little as $25 to well over $200 and like most gear items, the price of goggles goes up with quality and number of features.
Most importantly, make sure that your goggles offer 100% UV protection. Complete UV protection seems to be the standard these days, but lower priced goggles may not protect your eyes from UVA, UVB, and UVS rays leading to sunburned eyes and eye fatigue with all those UV rays reflecting off the snow.
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Second, choose the correct lens tint for the conditions you will be skiing in. Serious skiers will want at least two pair of goggles – one for lower light and cloudy days and another polarized pair for sunny bluebird days. I prefer goggles with interchangeable lenses so I can easily change the lens type to fit the conditions.
You will also want to make sure that the goggles are compatible with your helmet, are easy to adjust (even with gloves on), and have plenty of padding so they donâ€™t sit uncomfortably on your face. The best ski goggles will have ample ventilation to keep from fogging up. Choose goggles with double lenses and anti-fog coatings to keep fogging at bay.
Hereâ€™s a rundown on some of the best ski goggles out on the market:
- Bolle Nova Polarized Ski Goggles â€“ These great sunny day goggles block 100% of the sunâ€™s harmful UV rays and the polarized lenses enhance contrast and clarity helping you be more aware of terrain features and icy patches.
- Bolle Scream Goggles – Bolleâ€™s top of the line model that wonâ€™t fog in any condition. The venting in these goggles makes it doubly-protected against fogging and their super soft fleece is the only thing touching your face.
- Bolle Fathom Goggles – With polycarbonate spherical lens, the Bolle Fathom creates an optimal field of view with distortion-free and fog-free vision.
- Smith Phenom Ski Goggles â€“ The Smith spherical series lenses allows for a wider field of vision and extra volume to maximize ventilation making fogging a thing of the past. Not to mention superior optics and a great fit.
- Smith I/OS Interchangeable Ski Goggles â€“ Smith created the I/OS goggles with a quick-release lens system so switching out lenses becomes a breeze. The pre-installed Ignitor Mirror lens is great for all conditions and the included Sensor Mirror lens increases depth perception and acuity in flat light conditions.
- Smith Transit Regulator Series – If you have problems with foggy lenses, these Smith goggles may be great for you. The ventilation system regulates air exchange and makes sure that your goggles are never foggy.
- Oakley A Frame – These goggles have “Ram-Air surge ports” that encourage air flow and prevent fogging and are specially designed to give you the widest-range of vision.
- Dragon Rogue Jet Polarized – With excellent clarity provided by the polarization for full sun skiing plus a comfortable fit, the Dragon Rogue Jet Polarized goggles make you forget youâ€™re wearing goggles.
- UVEX Magic Goggles – With a double lens that uses state-of-the-art liquid crystal technology, the â€œmagicâ€ goggles that allow you to change the tint depending on the light conditions.
Photo by Rionda on flickr