Winter glasses are a great accessory to your favorite winter outfit. But sunglasses offer more than just style, they offer protection from the environment when enjoying your favorite winter activities - sleighing, skiing, skating or snowboarding.
Shop before you start your winter activities
Before you step out on the slopes you’ll want to choose the best protection for your eyes and vision. Whether you choose sunglasses or goggles they offer you cold weather eye protection that causes dry eyes in winter and cold weather eyes watering which impairs your vision and potentially damages your eyes.
Take your time and try on as many goggles as you can
You want to try on as many goggles as you can to see how they feel and perform. Choosing the wrong equipment can ruin your day on the slopes and along the trails. They come in a variety of sizes so you’ll want to be sure they fit perfectly so that you can find the best goggles for small faces and if you're wearing glasses with ski goggles you want to make sure they are a comfortable fit.
Choose the right lens tint
Ski goggle lens color is extremely important to your comfort and protection. The weather, terrain and activity play an essential role in the tint that you choose. These conditions can be bright sun in the morning, the afternoon or all day, but they can also be overcast part of the day. Your goal is to have the correct tint to provide a good combination of color definition, contrast, depth perception and eye fatigue protection, but also have the right visible light transmission or VLT for the current lighting conditions.
Understanding VLT is essential. A low VLT number such as 15 percent suggests less eye fatigue on sunny days. Whereas a high VLT number such as 60 percent suggests better color and depth perception on low-light days.
Clear goggles for night skiing are your best options to prevent changing the lighting of the night sky. Yellow lenses are among the best color tint for snow-related activities. Orange tinted sunglasses will increase contrast in foggy, hazy, or low-light conditions making them another great option for skiing or snowboarding. Choosing ski goggles interchangeable lenses frames allows you to have two different lens tints for different lighting conditions - transforming them into low light lens ski goggles and bright light ski goggles.
Choose goggles with sun glare protection
Sun glare is a big concern when skiing or snowboarding. The sun's reflection off of the snow and ice can temporarily impair your vision and put you at risk of injury. Polarized lenses are probably among the best when it comes to filtering out light coming into the eye at certain angles. It will effectively block out snow reflections and reduce glare for optimal visibility.
Ski goggles reflection or mirrored lens are excellent at reflecting light and reducing glare in bright conditions.
Ask for goggles with ultraviolet light protection
Protection against UVA and UVB rays are the most important things to take into consideration. Too much exposure even on a short-term basis can cause damage to your eyes and even cause sunburn on your eyes. This is called photokeratitis. And long-term exposure can cause permanent damage to your eyes such as cataracts and other eye diseases. Be sure that the goggles and sunglasses you choose will block 99% to 100% of these rays.
Look for good peripheral vision
Choosing the correct goggles doesn’t always mean that they will look cool. Goggles can provide good peripheral vision. Ultimately you want to be able to see 180 degrees from side to side. This will help you avoid skiers and riders and keep you out of dangerous situations that come from impaired vision on the slopes.
The two types of lens shapes and they are important to peripheral vision as well. You have two choices: spherical vs cylindrical goggles. Cylindrical lenses are flatter and have a lower profile than spherical lenses. They are often referred to as 'flat' lenses, and you'll likely experience more glare and vision will be more distorted than spherical designs.
Make sure the goggles fit
You’ll want to take the time to ensure that the goggles fit and you want to make sure that they fit with and without a helmet. This is true even if you don’t use a helmet. You don’t want to have to buy a new pair of goggles if you decide to use a helmet.
Ski goggle sizes are usually available in small, medium and large sizes. As a general rule, small frame ski goggles are for kids and youth, but can also be for small faces. Medium is for 12+ riders, and also for females or men with medium size faces. And large sizes are for normal to large male faces. You can look at a ski goggle size chart to get a better perspective of their sizes.
If you have a face with lower nose bridges you should consider looking at Asian Fit goggles, also known low bridge fit ski goggles. They provide an extra layer of foam lining to perfectly fit faces with lower nose bridges.
To ensure they fit, start with adjusting the strap to properly fit your head. If the strap isn’t easy to adjust, or if the buckle doesn't stay in adjustment, they aren’t the right pair for you.
You’ll find that some styles have softer, more rubbery buckles. These are more comfortable as they won't dig into your scalp. Wider bands are also more comfortable than narrower ones.
Some considerations you’ll need to think about if you wear glasses, is making sure that the goggles will fit over them. You’ll find many goggles that are specifically designed for glasses. Many of the wrap-style ski goggles aren’t able to fit over your glasses; they don’t provide an adequate amount of space for comfort. The glasses will be pushed on the bridge of your nose.
The foam in the helmet is also an important consideration when choosing your googles. The foam inserts help to keep the wind, ice and dirt out. The foam should be thick enough to provide cushion to your face if you fall, but not too dense that it will cause fogging.
Look for anti-fogging features
Double lens ski goggles are a great option as they discourage condensation from forming. Fogging happens when the warm air of your breath makes contact with the cold lens. The anti-fog coating inside the goggles helps, as well as the vents along the sides, top and bottom. These defog ski goggles keep the warm air from being trapped inside of the goggles.
The wider the vents the better for preventing fogging making them some of the best anti fog snowboard goggles, however this will allow cold air in on your face. Many vents on goggles tend to be narrow vents or tiny vent holes.
Make safety a priority
For the most part goggles are designed with fast-moving action in mind. This is why many of them are made with polycarbonate lenses. This material is impact-resistant and much safer than regular plastic. You'll definitely want to choose this type of lens if you are wearing glasses under your goggles. They are more flexible, and less likely to break and or pop out if you fall.
Understand the warranty and return policy
Make sure wherever you purchase from you understand the warranty and return policy. Will the store take returns for undamaged goggles? Check with the manufacturers to see what type of warranty they have when it comes to replacing your lenses there might be a fee.
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