Winter's here, and that means one thing — it's time to pack your poles and embark on your next ski trip. If you do, you're not alone: more Brits are taking ski trips every winter, frequenting not just UK slopes in the Cairngorms and Glencoe but also American resorts in states like Colorado and New Hampshire.
Once you hit the slopes, though, you won't want to mar your potentially amazing experiences by running into eye injuries. Skiing makes you especially vulnerable to snow blindness, a temporary yet painful condition that the College of Optometrists notes occurs when an excessive amount of the sun's glare bounces off snow and into your eyes. For this reason, it's recommended you wear protective snow goggles while skiing.
However, cheap ones won't cut it. You need to consider a lot of factors to ensure your goggles both do their job and suit your specific needs and preferences. To help you along, here's a quick guide on picking the best pair for your next winter outing.
Three key features to check for in snow goggle lenses are UV and glare protection, shape, and tint. 100% UV protection labels are essential to deter the long-term development of conditions like cataracts, while polarised lenses block horizontal light to cut glare and prevent snow blindness. The lens shape will determine the extent of your field of vision. Be sure to pick goggles with a spherical rather than cylindrical shape to ensure more effective glare reduction and better peripheral vision. If you'd like to invest in goggles so you can wear them for multiple winter seasons to come, consider paying extra to pick a lens tint that will improve visibility in specific skiing conditions. Light colours like gold and rose will work best on cloudy days, while darker shades like brown are ideal for when it's sunnier. Oakley ski goggles like the Flight Deck and Fall Line exemplify the kind of visual acuity you can achieve if you pick your lenses carefully. They come in varying tints depending on what you need, and both use spherical lens shapes for extreme peripheral vision. Meanwhile, their polarised lenses use Oakley's trademark PRIZM technology to ensure both glare reduction and improved colour and contrast. Be sure to pick goggles with lenses like these to guarantee clear vision on the slopes.
Frames and fit
It's crucial to ensure your snow goggles are comfortable to wear for long periods, are durable enough to withstand cold temperatures, and fit in with the rest of your winter attire. First, ensure they fit your face securely. Goggles brands often offer different sizes for men, women, kids, and even different ethnicities, with "Asian fits" designed to fit users with shallower nose bridges. Take advantage of this and try on as many pairs as possible to ensure a snug fit that doesn't sit uncomfortably tight on your face. When it comes to frame materials, look for a polyurethane composition that's flexible enough to last in cold weather. And if you're using a helmet, check if your goggles are compatible with them. The best way to ensure this is by buying both items from the same brand, with companies like Julbo Eyewear offering helmet-goggle bundles for your convenience. There are also some additional features you may want to ensure a better fit. That includes adjustable straps, over-the-glass frames that accommodate prescription glasses, and foam inserts that ensure outside elements don't enter the goggles.
In our post "Top tips for skiing with the family this winter," we noted ventilation as being extremely important in snow goggles. After all, fogging inside the goggles can be uncomfortable. It can also diminish your vision, putting you at risk of accidents on your outing. That said, be sure to check the edges of the goggles you want to buy. Manufacturers usually place venting holes here to ensure airflow and prevent fogging. Fancier goggles come with built-in fans to prevent moisture buildup inside the frames. However, you'll do just fine with snow goggles from Sungod. Its POW23 model, part of the brand's collaboration with Protect Our Winters, offers more than just a sustainable product: it comes with active anti-fog vents that are wider than the industry standard. By comparing snow goggles models, you can pinpoint unique features like this to get the best ventilation possible in the pair you buy.
If you're embarking on exciting winter outings this season, packing the proper eyewear will ensure eye injuries won't get in the way of your experience. Keep the above guidelines in mind to pick the best snow goggles for your needs.