Ski Goggles In Detail
Dual Layer Lenses
A must for ski goggles, this technology was developed by Dr Bob Smith back in the sixties. Dr Bob's Smith Optics brand is still going strong, and the technology has now been adopted across the board. All ski goggles at RxSport feature this technology.
The basic premise is that by bonding two lenses together with spacer foam you create a thermal barrier. As a result, the inner goggle lens is kept warm and dry, but most importantly fog free.
Another weapon against lens fogging, good quality goggles will allow ventilation through both the lens and the frame/foam. By allowing directional air flow across the inner surface of the lens you reduce the potential for moisture to build up, and keep your vision crystal clear.
Whatever sci-fi name the manufacturer has come up with, a good quality anti fog coating is a must. The coating is applied to the inner lens surface, and helps to disperse water molecules across the surface.
Layered face foam
The one part of the goggle that actually touches your face, premium foam serves two key purposes. It needs to be comfortable enough to wear all day, and not make you the laughing stock in the bar at the end of the day. Arguably of more importance though, good quality foam wicks moisture away from your face to minimise moisture in the goggle chamber – so helping in the battle against fog.
Varying densities of foam are layered to help in this fight, and generally finished with a fleece layer against the face for the ultimate in comfort.
With ski helmet popularity exploding in recent seasons, goggle manufacturers have had to adapt their designs to maintain a comfortable fit. The increased circumference when fitting the strap outside a helmet can lead to strain on the goggle. This can lead to gaps, an uncomfortable fit and a negative impact on goggle lens optics.
The use of outriggers mean that the strain is taken by these mounts to evenly distribute pressure across the goggle. The rest of the goggle maintains its intended position, allowing you to concentrate on your riding.
The best outriggers allow a degree of movement, so that the fit is perfect no matter which ski helmet you wear.
Whilst many people only focus on the artwork, strap design can have a big effect on goggle feel. Once more, the rise of ski helmet use has brought about changes in design.
Silicon strips have been added to keep the goggles in place when worn outside the helmet. This is by far the most popular approach in premium goggles, but some goggle straps feature a clip for easy fitting. For those who prefer to wear their goggles under the helmet, park straps have started to feature in recent seasons. Rather than the classic buckle size adjustment, these use a velcro system, which minimise the bulk that could cause discomfort within a helmet.
Greater goggle chamber volume is combined with sculpted face foam to allow spectacle wearers to keep their glasses on when skiing.
Every manufacturer has their own weird and wonderful names for their tints, but they can be broken down into fairly basic groups:
Low light: Yellow or orange
Medium Light: Amber, rose, vermilion and red-based tints.
Bright light: Bronze, brown or grey tints.
The key thing with ski goggle lens is contrast enhancement. This allows you spot all of the variations and undulations in the terrain, before they come out and bite you! This has to be coupled with the ability to keep out the extreme brightness you can encounter on the slopes.
Often worn for fashion, mirror coatings perform a vital role on the slopes. They reduce glare and eye fatigue, and so improve day long comfort. By attacking brightness, they allow contrast enhancing tints to get on with their job, without having to be too dark.
Light adjusting lenses that darken as the day gets brighter. Historically, the ski environment was problematic for old-fashioned photochromic lenses – they would either change to quickly or not enough. Manufacturers in recent years, however, have been pushing the technology so that the lenses work exactly as you require. The result is highly flexible lens tints that can be worn all day everyday. Look out for contrast enhancing rose and amber tints for the most effective results, often couple with a slight mirror finish.
Is it necessary? In all honesty, it is not as crucial as it is for certain sunglass applications – for example use on water. That being said, in certain light conditions and environments, the unbeatable glare reduction offered by polarised lenses is a massive bonus. Especially useful for those who feel they are susceptible to glare.
As conditions can change so much throughout the day, the optimum lens tint will also vary. Leading manufacturers are now designing their goggles with interchangeable capability built in. Locking features and magnetic fixings are making it easier to switch, even at the top of a mountain!
Some goggles come with two lenses included, whilst others allow extra lenses to be bought to make complementary package.
All of the goggles we offer block 100% of UVA and UVB.