Ski & Snowboard Goggles Buying Guide

Goggles

The hardest part of buying a new pair of goggles, or anything in that matter, is that you always seem to be asking yourself what is the best quality? What brand do I buy? What are you actually looking at? Throughout the world all snow companies are trying is be the best in their field with the most up to date technologies. These technologies could be simple things for example the fogging up of the goggle or being able to provide the best visibility is the worst conditions. But how do you make the right choice?

Here are a few things to consider when looking into purchasing a new pair of goggles to make sure that you get the right one for you;

The ‘Fit’

Ever noticed that there is an abundant of different goggles on the market with all different sized frames? The frame size it a vital part of any goggle choice and for many different reasons. For example, you wouldn’t see an adult in a kids’ goggle or a kid in an adults’ goggle because that would just be crazy. To start with it would be either way to big and just fall off or it would only cover one eye and you’d be nicknamed ‘Patchy The Pirate’. A goggle that fits right will pretty much have two major components. That will be that it will fit comfortably on the face and that it will keep the lens in place.

Frames Sizes

A good thing for adults is that adults can usually fit into multiple different size frames comfortably but if you want to make sure that you have the best fit possible here are some guidelines to follow. Think about the size of your head and if you can’t imagine what size your head might be try to base it on your helmet size. For example, if you need to buy a small helmet then you should be looking for a small goggle frame and the same again with medium, large to extra-large.

Small Frames

These sort of goggles will fit anywhere between adults who have smaller faces, youth or even kids. The good thing with these sort of goggle is for the youths is that hopefully they can get some more years out of them rather than just one or two years.

Medium Frame

Over the Glasses Goggles (OTG)
Scott Habit OTG Goggles

Medium framed goggles will fit a wide variety of adult faces as these are the most generic frames that have the most broadest fit.

Large Frames

These frames are the biggest of all. They are a great fit for those who have a larger type of head and those who also sweat a lot more than the common man or lady. The larger framed goggles have a wider view that helps when you are trying to see where you are going.

Goggles for Glasses

Goggles for glasses are called over the glasses or OTG for short. These goggles have either a small cut outs on the side of the frame or in the foam its self to allow the frame to fit in snugly into the sides of them. This way the frame can sit comfortable on the face and not put to much pressure on the temples. OTG’s also usually have a deeper depth to them to allow for the glasses to go inside of them.

Lens

Having a good type of lens is critical to being able to see on the slopes. Having a terrible lens is like having sunglasses on in the middle of the night while trying to star gaze. Ever tired it? It’s rather hard, trust me. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when it comes to looking at lenses:

Lens Shape

Cylindrical

These types of lenses are usually found on the lower to mid priced goggle range. They usually consist of a flatter lens that curves from side to side. These are a great goggle as they usually aren’t too overpriced however they do sometimes distort your vision slightly. These would be a great option for those who don’t go every year but still want a lens that is going to make it great on the hill.

Spherical

These lens types are usually found on the more expensive goggles. These lenses are a curved lenses that curves from thee top to the bottom then side to side providing the best vision possible. As the goggle lens is more rounded it reduces the glare from the sun, so there is not as much of a flat surface for the light to reflect onto, ie less glary.

Lens Colours

Do not be afraid of trying out different lenses. In a store there is a different type of light and it is good to see what the lens will look like in a real light conditions. If you are in a store ask the sales person if you can go outside and see what it will look like. It wont be much different but it may look a little different. Here is a quick reference for the colour of the lenses from a night type of lens to a bight and sunny blue bird lens.

Polarized Lens Types
Polarized Lens Types

Visual Light Transmission

Although this sounds pretty fancy and high tech, it’s really not and it is actually fairly basic. All Visual Light Transmission, or VLT, really is the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the goggle lens its self. As VLT is based on a percentage, the lower the VLT percentage range would work better on a brighter days where as the higher the percentage the better it would work on overcast days.

Specialized Lenses

Transitional Lens

Transitional lens are a new technology that has only come around in snow goggle in the last few years. The transitional lens is an adaptive lens that is able to change with when it comes into contact with UV light. The lens are a few benefits that include, protection from harmful UV rays, colour optimization, clean and comfortable vision all day long and self-adjusting tint.

These lens are a great option for someone who is wanting to have the versatility of two lenses with the added benefit of not having to actually change the lens. The transitional lens adjusts it visual light transmission from anywhere between 16% – 76%.

Polarized Lens

Polarized lens are something that have been out and about for years. They are in both our sunglasses and also some snow goggles. What this means is that the lens will have a special filter that will the cut out some of the glare as to provide more comfortable goggles and so that you can see better.

Goggle Features

Foam and Venting

The foam on any goggle always comes with a life expectancy. Depending on how you treat your goggle will depend on the life of the foam. We find that the first thing usually to go in any sort of goggle is usually the form, so its important to take just as much care of the foam just as much as you would the rest. The foam on any goggle can be made up of a single layer of foam or several. This will mainly provide more comfort as it then becomes more squishy.

Vents however will allow the air to circulate freely throughout the goggle and prevent fogging. On higher quality goggles there is usually more venting for example they will have a lot over vents over the top, sides and around the sides of the goggle.

Anti Fogging

anti-fogging goggles
Foggy Goggles

All goggle bands are trying to do their own sort of anti fogging however there is only so much that they can do then it’s in your hands. Here are some tips to avoid fogging and keep it to a minimum and the viability to a max!

  • Avoid buying a goggle that is too small for your face. If the goggle is too small for your face then the air in goggle won’t have enough room to circulate inside the goggle and will eventually fog up.
  • Avoid putting your goggles on your forehead. Unfortunately they will fog up.
  • Avoid having your neckwarmer to high up your face. Your warm breath will go straight up into your goggles and fog them up
  • If you get water on the inside of the goggle its important to not try and rub the moisture out. It is best to shake the goggle upside down and get as much of it out as possible then locate a hand dryer and dry the goggle the rest of the way.
  • It is important to keep the snow off all the vents of the goggle. If the vents are clear the goggle will fog as no air can get out. So remember to keep them clear.

Strap

All goggles should come with a strap to make sure that it is secure on your head. These straps usually go on the outside of the helmet if you are wearing one or over your head. The strap its self makes sure that the goggle stays in place on your face and doesn’t start sliding around like an untrained seal. Most straps are made out of a stretchy material that is able to stretch over your head. Some types of goggles even come with straps that have a silicone/rubber on them to make sure that the goggles don’t go for an extra slide around.

Helmet Compatibility

Google and Helmet
Gaper Gap

If you do wear a helmet, which here at Snowcentral we always recommend wearing one, you need to make sure that the goggles fits with the helmet. What this means that there are a few things to be cautious of when purchasing new goggles.

Firstly, make sure that the helmet is sitting comfortable and where it would normally be if you were skiing/snowboarding. If your helmet is positioned wrong on your head to begin with, then you may not get the full feature and comfort of the goggle. Once the helmet is correctly positioned then try the goggles on that tickles your fancy. Make sure that there isn’t a gaping gap from the top of the goggle to the bottom of the helmet lip. We call this the ‘Gaper Gap’, you’ll end up with a hectic sun burn or wind burn line.

From there make sure that the goggle isn’t pushing down on your nose to much that makes it harder to breath through your nose but not a gap just above your nose. You want the goggle to fit securely around your whole face. If you feel like the goggle is pushing to much on your cheek bones that try loosening it a little bit and seeing if that helps.

If there is no gaper gap, pressure on your cheek bones or either a gaping gap or firm pressure on your nose then it looks like you’ve found a winner! Good work.

Goggle Options

Here at Snowcentral we have a wide variety of snow goggles for a wide range of budgets and faces. However these are just a few of the bigger brands that we carry both in store and online.

Smith

Smith goggles have come to great lengths over the years to be able to provide the biggest and best in the industry. Smith has created their own anti-fog system, they have put fans in some goggles, quick release lens and dual-axis outriggers.

Anti-Foging System – smith has designed an anti-foging technology that allows them to etch their anti-fog into the lens its self.

Turbo Fan – Provides air to circulate more freely to allow for better air circulation.

Quick Release Lens – For a quick lens change from bright and sunny to overcast will be a breeze.

Dual-Axis Outriggers – Pivot points on the strap that connect to the frame which allows them to sit perfectly on the face even with a helmet on.

Dragon

Dragon hasn’t been around for a lone time but since they have been around they have defiantly sored to one of the top snow goggles brands.  They have bought to the table the transitions lens, swiftlock lens change system, armoured frame ventilation and an injection moulded polycarbonate lens.

Transition Lens – Changes with the UV light to provide a quick lens for both a sunny day and a overcast day.

Swiftlock Lens Change System – For a quick and easy change of any lens.

Armoured Frame Ventilation – There is a protection over some of the goggles the vents to make sure that the foam last as long as possible and doesn’t get filled with snow.

Injection Moulded Polycarbonate Lens

Goggle Comfort

Have you ever put on a pair of goggles and they just don’t feel exactly right. Here’s a list of the issues that might arise and the solutions to them;

If you have pushing on the bridge of your nose or even slightly over the airways of your nose, try loosening the strap a little or try a different goggle with a wider nose sections. You can actually get some goggles that have an adjustable nose sections so these types of goggles are awesome for people with continuous issue with pressure on the nose.

You’ve decided that you need to get a helmet as well as the goggles and you’ve found what you think is the perfect goggle but once you put the helmet on it doesn’t feel right. Try adjusting the strap that is on the side. Sometimes there is silicone or rubber on the strap of the goggle and it sometimes grips wrong when pulled into place. Once the strap is sorted make sure that there isn’t a huge gap between the top of the goggle and the bottom lip of the helmet. Also be aware of the pressure of the nose here as well this might occur from the helmet pushing the goggle down. If these two things happen make sure that the helmet is in the right position, so not to far forward or not to far back, and make sure that it is also the correct size.

Your glasses that you wear don’t exactly quite fit the over the glasses goggles. Firstly check the width of the frame on the arm of the glasses and make sure that they fit in the cut outs of the goggle and that they aren’t too wide. If you feel the glasses being pushed onto your face the depth of the goggle may need to be bigger.

If you are getting a headache from wearing the goggles check the width of the band. If it is on the smaller size you may want to think about getting a thicker band. A thin band will push into the head and may cause headaches where as a wider band will distribute the pressure over a wider space and not cause as many problems.

How Do You Look After Your Goggles

When You Are Away

Goggle Care
Storing Your Goggles

When you’re on the slopes and while your are out there you have a big fall so your giggles get full of snow. Try and shake as much snow as you can out of them but don’t try and scratch the snow out in case you accidently remove the anti-fog that is on the inside of the goggle. If you can’t get all the snow out head to a rest room and try and blow dry the water out. Once you get home from being on the slopes all day it is really important to make sure that your goggle dry out really well. So take them off and leave them on the counter to dry over night, be sure not to put them into the dry room. Make sure not to leave the goggle face down on the bench or any surface as this could scratch the lens.

At Home

It is really important to make sure that you store your goggles in a cool space, so not the garage and not in the shed. I find the best place for them is in your bedroom at the bottom of cupboard. I find this is the coolest part of the house. Once they have been stored correctly make sure that they are wrapped with a micro fibber material or the bag that they come with. Be sure that they aren’t wrapped in plastic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do they last?

A: Goggles can last up to several years however it all depends on how you look after them. Click this link for how to look after them

Q:  Can I buy replacement lenses for my goggle?

A: You can usually purchase new lenses if you need. The best way to do this is to contact a shop and see if they can get them in store if they don’t already have any in stock. When contacting a shop it is good to know what sort of goggle it is that you are wanting to get a replacement lens in.

Q: What should I use to clean my goggles?

A: When cleaning the goggle, the micro fibber bag that most goggles come with is a perfect example of what to use. Only use it on the outside and if you rub the side you may rub out the anti fog.

So now you know what to look for in a goggle. Make sure that you follow the guide lines to make sure you get the right fit and comfort. Let’s see what you’ve learned!


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