Photo: © Mezzotint / Shutterstock. Whether the weather is sunny and clear, cloudy or snowy, everyone’s eyes need help to keep them healthy. We like to wear sunglasses in bright sunny conditions, but always wear them when it’s snowy, windy or white. Sunglasses don’t always fit helmets, and they won’t prevent snow from getting around the frame in stormy conditions or when you’ve got trees on your head! The right pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes at least as well as sunglasses in bright light, prevent snow from falling in, increase contrast in a blizzard or fog, and also help reduce any damage caused by caused by the sun. Hopefully this guide will help find the best goggles for you.
Photo: © Atomic. Well-fitted goggles allow for a wider field of view and create a seal around your face – so you won’t have tears in your eyes. They also keep you warmer than sunnies when the temperature drops. If you wear a helmet then you need to make sure your glasses fit it properly. Buy both at the same time if possible and try them at the same time at the store. Otherwise, take your old helmet with you when you go shopping. Again, sealing should be good around the face and not restrict breathing. The gap is too wide between the top of your goggles and the brim of your helmet and air will get through, causing unpleasant drafts. Goggles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there are women-specific glasses for smaller faces and for children (see below). Make sure the adjustable strap is also long enough to wrap around the outside of your helmet. The frame is made of softer, more flexible materials than before – including nylon and rubber. These materials hold their shape, don’t become brittle in cold weather, and help protect your face from injury in a fall.
Fog and Maintenance
Today, all goggles have good ventilation holes, as well as double lenses and an inner layer that keeps them from fogging. Try not to clean the inside too often as it will wear out and lead to more fog. Unfortunately, on nearly all goggles, the anti-fog coating wears off quickly. If you’re cleaning the inside of your goggles, make sure you use the sponge or cloth that came with them. Sleeves, gloves, and tissues are all quite abrasive and can scratch the lens. Only clean the lens when it is dry. If you get a head crop and goggles full of snow, let them dry, then wipe them clean even if that means skiing with some snow inside. The coating on the outside of your lens can also be damaged easily. Don’t put your goggles down on their lenses at lunchtime or when you get back to your apartment – they’ll get scratched in no time. When you’re packing or if you’re putting them in your backpack while skiing, store them in a hard case or in a soft bag, wrapped in soft clothing. The same goes for spare lenses. Remember, these are fragile kit pieces. You can damage a pair of £100+ goggles in minutes if you’re not careful.
Lens Shape and Color
Oakley spherical lens. Photo: © Ellis Brigham. There are two basic lens shapes. The traditional type that looks flat is called a cylindrical lens. Spherical lens for greater clarity, with the idea that it is shaped like an eye for less distortion and therefore better vision. There are a ton of shades all around, all for different conditions – from those suitable for bright light to those suitable for cloudy days. The lenses are graded from 0 to 4 – with the higher the number, the darker the lens. 0 is suitable for night skiing and indoor slopes. Type 1-2 are the most common, but although people wear them in bright sunlight, it’s not really recommended because they increase light. The best all-round lens is the 2-3 lens. Category 4 lenses are for the brightest conditions and very high altitudes (like glaciers) – they’re not usually necessary for skiing but can be used on the sunniest of days. Most ski brands and retailers provide light conversion charts that show how much light can pass through the lens. The higher the number – the brighter the lens. For sunny days you need a lower conversion so less light can get in. In snowy or foggy conditions, lenses that allow more light in are better.
Photo: © Dragon Alliance. Some goggles come with two or more lenses as part of the package (such as Dragon, Adidas, and Nike), allowing you to swap lenses depending on conditions. One lens will be suitable for bright sunlight and the other for flat light. Check them out before you buy so you can make sure the lenses easy to change, and always keep your replacement lenses in the hard case in your backpack when you’re skiing. Otherwise, you will return to the store to buy a new lens at the end of the day. Oakley’s Prizm lenses (see video below) work by splitting light into its different color spectrums, then enhancing those needed for clear vision and filtering out others. Skiers are left with clearer vision. The lens is made using special additives in the base lens material, and since it’s not a coating, it won’t rub off over time. The lenses are pink, but the eyes will adjust to the color shortly.
OTG or Prescription Goggles?
Photo: © Ellis Brigham. Most people who wear glasses find it extremely uncomfortable to wear them underneath standard goggles. The special OTG (Top of Glass) is a little deeper than regular glasses, allowing more space in front of the eye to prevent the glasses from being pressed against your face. They have cutouts on the sides so the arms can fit underneath and plenty of air vents to keep the glasses from getting wet. Some models even have a battery-powered fan. Prescription glasses are less likely to fog up than wearing OTG or regular glasses instead of eyeglasses. However, many skiers find the pads (the inner ‘glasses’) that clip to the goggles, flimsy, and they can fall out easily. They’re also sometimes misplaced – we’ve tested models where the insert is fixed too high – meaning you can see ahead, but not the terrain directly in front of you. Sports Eyewear Direct and RockSpex both have a variety of goggles with prescription patches. Wearing contact lenses while skiing is the obvious solution. It prevents the fog problem and means you can still see when you stop for a snack or lunch inside a (relatively) dark mountain restaurant.
The Kask helmet is designed with a panoramic visor that is anti-fog, anti-scratch. There are 11 helmet styles available, all with a choice of 10 interchangeable lenses, also suitable for those wearing glasses.
Photo: © Shutterstock. UVB is the part of sunlight that burns the skin, and in the same way, the cornea (front surface of the eye) can be damaged by unprotected exposure to the sun.
You should always wear sunglasses or goggles in bright sunlight, especially if the surface you’re on is highly reflective – as is snow. As with light coming from above, a lot of UV rays hitting the ground are reflected back, thus enhancing the light. The name “snow blind” is deceptive because other reflective surfaces, such as water, produce the same effect. You won’t know you’re going to be snow blind. Damage to the front of the eye is delayed and symptoms may not appear until six to 12 hours after exposure to UVB rays. Symptoms include tearing, pain, redness, swelling of the eyelids, headache, burning sensation in the eyes, blurred vision, and even temporary loss of vision. Severity depends on UV light intensity (higher at higher altitudes) and exposure time. Severe cases can cause corneal clots and ulceration of the cornea’s surface.
Can you really go blind?
Mild cases will clear up within a few hours, after taking pain relievers, closing your eyes, and resting in a dark room. However, in more severe cases, once the sores have developed, it can lead to scarring and permanent vision loss without emergency medical attention – especially if an infection is present. Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops should be used in these cases.
How can it be prevented?
The answer is to always wear high-quality UV-blocking glasses or goggles. They can be tinted darker for more glare-free comfort but the material used in all quality sports glasses – Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses – will block UV light even when not dyed. Another important point to remember is that clouds still allow a lot of UV light, so just wearing goggles is not enough. only on sunny days.
Best ski goggles
Smith has I/O and I/OS glasses that come with several lenses for a variety of conditions and are easy and quick to change around. Their latest goggles have an anti-fog treatment that doesn’t rely on a single layer on the inside like others, which means you can wipe them on both sides of the lens without damaging the anti-reflective surface. fog. The company’s patented micro-electronic fans in the Turbo Fan Series promote air circulation even when you’re standing still. Turn the fan on “low” when you’re up in the mountains and the system will run all day to clear moisture from inside the goggles. The ‘high’ setting can be used to quickly drain moisture under extreme conditions. The Oakley Airwave glasses take their design and technology to the next level with a built-in display with GPS and Bluetooth built in. The sensor displays your top speed and vertical meters skiing, providing you with jump distance, altitude and airtime. There are preloaded maps, playlist controls, and buddy tracking, too.
Goggles you will find in store or online:
Adidas uses aspherical lenses and has a quick lens change system. All models can be fitted with a prescription patch. Alpina is the German market leader in ski goggles and their glasses have been worn by many Olympic skiers. The collection includes children and OTG models. Melon is a protective eyewear that you design yourself in terms of lenses and frame colors. They also make sunglasses you design yourself. The SwitchFast strap and easily interchangeable lens system offer full customization, allowing you to alter your lens and strap setup to suit the conditions and look you want for the day. Nike is a new entrant to the goggles market, but their eyewear comes with some of the best technology, including Transitions optical lenses that automatically adapt to changing lighting conditions. The Scott LCG (Lens Change Slider) system features interchangeable lenses and fits to allow skiers to quickly adjust their vision. Others include Cebe, Dirty Dog, Dragon, Salice, POC, Carrera, Bloc, Giro, Bolle, Spy, uvex, and Zeal. Ellis Brigham has a wide range of goggles and stores like Decathlon and ski manufacturers like Atomic, Salomon and Rossignol also make goggles.
The best goggles for children
Photo: © Gorilla Images / Shutterstock. Most brands have models for kids as well as adults, which are less bulky and fit better. They are a bit more basic to keep them sturdy and good value for money. These include Oakley, Dragon, Salice and uvex. POC’s children’s goggles are called POCito; they are expensive for kids goggles but worth it.
What do you think?
Got any goggles you found that you’d like to tell us about? If so, let us know in the comment box below.
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