What you need to know about buying ski goggles
Here are three main variables to consider when goggle shopping.
1. Lens shape: Lenses are either spherical, curving horizontally and vertically, or cylindrical, only curving horizontally. Spherical has less distortion and glare. Making cylindrical lenses is a simpler process, so they are often less expensive. They also have a distinct style and fit some face shapes better. We lean toward spherical lenses.
2. Tint: This is the colour and treatment of the lens. Most goggles come in multiple options, though your shop probably won’t carry them all. The first thing to decide is if you want interchangeable lenses or fixed. Interchangeable lenses allow you to swap between a dark and bright lens when the conditions change from sunny to snowy. However, you’ll pay a premium for the 2-in-1 package and you have to carry around the other lens for the system to work. The advantage of fixed is convenience. Though rarely ideal, a red or blue lens is almost always a good choice for the conditions.
LENS COLOUR GUIDE:
Yellow, orange: low light
Red, blue, green: versatile
Photochromic: adjusts shade to conditions, versatile
Mirrored: reduces glare, bright light, checking out other skiers without them knowing
3. Fit: Each company makes a range of goggles to fit the many faces that wear them. To find the best pair, try on a few that match your tint and lens desires. Also bring your helmet to make sure they integrate well.
FIVE TO TRY:
Bollé Nevada Signature Series: Bollé’s new Phantom lens is not only huge, it also combines three technologies: tough and clear NXT lens material, a molecular photochromic filter and low-temperature sensitivity for better light adjustment when it’s really cold out. $230; bolle.com
Giro Method: A massive spherical lens and a thin frame design creates huge field of view. These park and pipe focused goggles are customizable with replaceable strap in 11 different designs. giro.com
POC Opsin Clarity: The cylindrical lens combines mirror and dark tints to optimize definition and contrast, and high-quality materials to reduce distortion compared to most cylindrical lenses. $150; pocsports.com
Shred. Rarify: These goggles come with two lenses, one for bright and one for overcast. Both are spherical and fit on a huge frame for plenty of peripheral vision. $220; shredoptics.com
Sweet Protection Interstellar: A Gore valve adjusts pressure in the sealed gap between the lenses to prevent fogging and bending as you bomb from top to bottom. A carbon frame protects the lenses and your face. $169; sweetprotection.com