Everything about ski goggles you need to know
Regardless of your budget or level of experience, owning a ski goggle is a must if you need to brave a skiing adventure. This eyewear is an essential kit for the sport, giving you ample protection from the biting cold. That's not the only benefit—it can help you see better in every weather condition!
Are ski goggles a must?
Sometimes it's tempting to head to the slopes to enjoy the feel of fresh powder on your face while skiing. Before doing that, here's a question: is it okay to go without goggles for a day?
Any expert will strongly advise you to wear skiing or snowboarding goggles for your protection. The snowy slopes might look inviting, but that white stretch can hurt you as much as it can give you joy. Skiing without goggles increases your risk of snow blindness and ultraviolet (UV) damage. It also makes you vulnerable to accidents that can injure your eye and vision.
Your risk will vary based on the weather conditions. If you're wondering what would happen if you skipped the goggles, here are the safety concerns.
1. Eye sunburn. Yes, it's not only the skin that gets sunburned. Photokeratitis refers to the damaging effects of UV rays. About 50-90% of ultraviolet radiation bounces off snow and hits your body, including the eyes.
2. Snow blindness. Exposure to the bright white landscape can cause snow blindness. If you get exposed, you can lose your eyesight for about 24-48 hours. However, if you have prolonged exposure sans eye protection, you can develop cataracts and other conditions.
3. Blurred vision. Going downhill at 10 mph or more when skiing with unprotected eyes can cause it to become watery. When it happens, your vision blurs and heightens your risk for accidents on the slope.
4. Eye-circles. Moisture, fog, rain, or snow can accumulate on your eyelashes if you don't have goggles. It can cause discomfort and impair your vision, putting your safety and everyone around you in jeopardy.
How do ski goggles work?
Like any piece of eyewear, skiing goggles are straightforward: you just need to wear them to get protection for your eyes. Its main purpose is to shield your vision from harsh elements in nature. A pair of goggles does that by placing a protective barrier between your eyes and your surroundings, which are the lens.
On most goggles for skiing, there are two lenses placed together instead of the usual one lens on an eyeglass. A foam divider separates the two lenses, which creates an air gap. This design acts as insulation for your face, stopping the interior from becoming as cold as the outside.
As with other pieces of eyewear, you need to make sure that what you choose fits you perfectly. Otherwise, you might not get the maximum protection and benefits from the ski goggles you buy.
What color lens is best for skiing?
Another critical aspect to consider when purchasing goggles is the lens tint. The color of your lenses serves as a filter that can regulate how much light reaches your eyes. The amount of light passing through the lens is referred to as visible light transmission or VLT.
Lens tints with lighter shades increase VLT since it allows more light waves to pass through. Gold, yellow, amber, rose, or green-colored lenses have higher VLT and therefore suit cloudy days on the slope.
Dark-tinted lenses have decreased VLT since it blocks a lot of light waves from penetrating the material. You can wear gray, copper, and brown-colored lenses on sunny or cloudless skies.
Lastly, clear lenses are the perfect choice for night skiing.
How to buy the best ski goggles
The key to buying the best goggles for skiing or snowboarding is to not buy one on impulse. It's better to shop around a well-stocked store to have a great range of options. You must also consider the weather when you're skiing—if it's a bluebird day, dark-tinted lenses are the way to go. Otherwise, you can use light-colored eyewear to improve color definition and contrast for the bright scenery.
If you want protection from sunlight glare, you can choose polarized lenses, which are great for day skiing. You may also look for goggles with an anti-UV coating to protect yourself from photokeratitis.
Most importantly, it's ideal to choose properly fitting ski goggles. Forget about complicated and non-adjustable straps. Also, you should buy a pair that fits with or without your helmet. You should wear goggles that match your face shape. For example, if you have a square face, the soft edges of round or oval glasses will fit you best.