Buying Guide for Women's Ski Goggles
By Steve Kopitz
Nothing can ruin a great day out on the slopes faster than a bad or poor fitting pair of womens ski goggles. Picking a pair of womens ski goggles that fits well and are suited for the type of skiing you are be doing can make all the difference when out on the slopes.
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|Proper Fitting||Goggle Lenses||Tints|
|Additional Features||New Goggle Technology||Basic Goggle Care|
Goggle sizing is simple. Most ski goggles come in either kids or adult sizes. Additionally, most adult ski goggles are unisex, but a number of companies make women’s specific ski goggles. Womens ski goggles typically are a little smalller in size, but rather more feminine in color and style.
Picking a goggle that fits your face well is extremely important. Having a good, comfortable fit with no gaps means not only that your new ski goggles will feel good on your face all day, but it also ensures that they won’t fog or cause your eyes to water. Fitting a pair of womens ski goggles properly varies depending on your choice of headwear. So before picking out your ski goggles, decide if you will be skiing in a hat or a helmet.
If you will be wearing a hat when you hit the slopes, the first step you will want to take is to check to see if the goggle fits your face. Every goggle frame has a different shape, so be sure to try a few different ones on to see which feel the most comfortable. The goggle should form a soft, snug feel around your face with no pressure points. If the goggle feels good so far, check to make sure there are no gaps in the seal. If there are, try a different pair. Gaps in the ski goggles seal against your face will allow air and moisture to leak in, causing your eyes to water and your ski goggles to fog. If there are no gaps and the goggle feels good, double check to make sure the strap closes tightly around your head. If so, then you have found a goggle with a good fit.
If you will be wearing a helmet, you will need to take the same steps to ensure proper fit as if you were wearing a hat, with a few small additions. After ensuring that the goggle fits your face, you will need to ensure that the goggle fits well when you have your helmet on. This means you will first need to check that the goggle is wide enough to be worn when wearing a helmet. Once you check that the womens ski goggles can be worn with a helmet, check to make sure that the ski goggles have a strap which will extend long enough to fit around the helmet. Finally, you will want to check that the goggle forms a good seal between the top of the goggle and the brim of the helmet. If the womens ski goggles allow a gap where your forehead is, that means that your forehead will be exposed to the elements, allowing for sunburn, frostbite, or some serious brain freeze.
If you wear glasses you may be wondering, how do I find a pair of womens ski goggles that I can wear over my glasses? Luckily, goggle manufactures have thought of this and created the over the glasses or OTG ski goggles. These ski goggles are designed to be wide and deep enough to wear over the top of your regular glasses. They look just like regular womens ski goggles, only they have a larger frame in order to accommodate the glasses underneath. However, OTG’s usually only come in one or two style and colors. However, we feel that the sacrifice in style is well worth the ability to see when you ski!
Lenses come in a number of different colors, shapes, and technologies. The buying guide below will help you pick the goggle with the perfect lens for the type of skiing you will be doing.
Flat Goggle Lenses
Goggle lenses come in two different shapes, flat and spherical. Flat lenses are usually found on less expensive and kids ski goggles because they are less expensive to make. Although they are typically less expensive, flat lenses have some disadvantages. First, flat lenses have a reduced viewing window. This means that flat lenses typically reduce your peripheral vision while skiing. Additionally, flat lenses have a tendency to distort your view. This is because the flat shape causes the light rays to bend when they hit the lens. As a result, goggle with flat lenses tends to have a view that can appear magnified or misshapen. Finally, because of the flat shape, ski goggles with flat lenses can occasionally catch sunlight at off angles, resulting in significant glare. So, if you are just looking for a basic goggle at a good price, a goggle with a flat lens is probably the right way to go.
Here is an image of a pair of womens ski goggles with a flat lens:
Spherical Goggle Lenses
Ski goggles with spherical lenses are usually found on higher end ski goggles. This is because, although they are typically more expensive, they provide some significant advantages. First, womens ski goggles with spherical lenses are much more curved and almost “wrap around” your face. As a result, womens ski goggles with spherical lenses have a much larger peripheral viewing window then those with flat lenses. This can be a very nice advantage when on the slopes in order to see trees, obstacles, and other skiers that may be coming from your far left or right. Additionally, spherical lenses reduce distortion and product a much clearer, accurate view. The reason for this is because of the lens shape. When a lens is not spherical, the light rays hit the lens at different angles on the top and bottom then in the middle. The result is a distorted viewing window. Because of the spherical lens’ curved shape, light rays pass through in a much straighter line, allowing for less distortion and a more sharp view. Finally, ski goggles with spherical lenses tend to significantly reduce glare. Light reflecting off the snow or directly from the sun tens to not catch the curved shape as well, allowing for significant glare reduction. This means those sunny ski days will be a lot less hard on your eyes.
Here is an image of a pair of womens ski goggles with a spherical lens:
Before we dive into specifics, we will begin explaining the difference between single and double lens by saying this: womens ski goggles with a double lens are far better than those with a single lens, always.
Now let us explain why.
A goggle with a single lens has one piece of polycarbonate or plastic between your eyes and the elements. It is simply designed to provide some protection from the wind and snow, and a little protection from the sun. It offers no fog reduction and is typically found on kids ski goggles and very inexpensive adult ski goggles.
Womens ski goggles with a double lens actually have two lenses in one. They have an outer lens to protect against the elements, a small gap, and an inner lens to prevent fogging. Both lenses are usually constructed from polycarbonate and are sealed together with a thin strip of foam.
The reason for the barrier of air between the two lenses is what makes them so superior to womens ski goggles with single lenses. It is this barrier that prevents the ski goggles from fogging, by creating a thermal barrier between your warm face and the cold air outside. Additionally, this helps to insulate the air around your face, making ski goggles with double lenses warmer to wear (assuming they fit properly!) Like we said earlier, ski goggles with double lenses are far superior to those with single lenses, period.
Lenses come in a wide variety of colors. Although many people think that lens colors are a style issue, each lens color is actually designed for a different light situation. Some colors perform better in sunny conditions, while others perform best in low light conditions. So think about the conditions you usually ski in, and try and pick a lens with the color that will perform the best most often.
Amber or brown lenses are the most popular lens colors. This is because they work well in most lighting conditions, but perform best in medium light. Amber lenses filter out blue light, allowing for better contrast. This means that the bumps and ruts in the snow will appear brighter and easier to see. Therefore, if you ski most often in overcast or grey conditions, an amber lens is best suited for you.
Gold and Persimmon
Gold or persimmon lenses are very similar to amber lenses, as they are best for medium and low light conditions. However, they do perform slightly better in lower light conditions than amber lenses because they provide even greater low light contrast. So if you tend to ski in very overcast or snowy conditions, a gold or persimmon lens is best suited for you.
Rose or pink lenses are designed for conditions with flat light. The pink color helps to enhance the couture of the snow aiding in depth perception and allowing features to appear sharper. If you ski in heavy weather or dark conditions where flat light is prevalent, then a rose or pink lens is best suited for you. If you ski in sunny bright conditions, stay away from a pink or rose lens, as they provide little sunlight protection.
Yellow and light yellow lenses are very similar to pink lenses in that they are designed to work best in flat light. The yellow tint also helps to enhance depth perception and sharpen features on the snow. However, lenses with yellow tints lend not to be as good as rose lenses for night skiing, as they tend to be a little too dark.
Black or Grey
Black or grey lenses are most popular with skiers in the west. This is because they are best suited for reducing sunlight and glare on those bright sunny ski days. The dark tint also tends to help filter out much of the glare from sunlight reflecting off the snow. However, because of their dark tint, in overcast or darker conditions black or gray lenses tend to filter out too much light. As a result, it can be difficult to see the small changes in terrain.
Orange lenses are suited for those skiers who ski in all conditions (or don’t yet know what conditions they plan on skiing in). Orange lenses tend to do a good job blocking glare and sunlight, but do not sacrifice as much visibility as grey lenses do. So if you need a lens suited for all conditions, try to find goggle with an orange lens.
Clear lenses are only used for conditions with very low to no sunlight. Because they are clear, these lenses filter out no light. Therefore, if you plan on skiing at night or in very overcast or dark conditions, think about getting a goggle with a clear lens.
Many womens ski goggles have the ability to switch out lenses. Therefore, if you ski in a lot of different light conditions, you may want to think about buying one or two spare lenses of different tints. That way you can be sure to have clear vision on the slopes no matter what mother nature throws at you.
Many womens ski goggles these days have a chrome or mirrored finish on the outside. Although most people purchase ski goggles with mirrored lenses simply because they look stylish, they actually offer some substantial benefits. The mirrored coating actually helps to reflect sunlight in extremely bright conditions, helping to reduce glare. However, unlike polarized lenses, mirrored lenses do not perform as well in low light conditions, as they will still reflect light, which you may need to see clearly. Almost any color lens can be mirrored, so be sure to still pay attention to what color the lens is.
Just like in sunglasses, womens ski goggles can come with polarized lenses as well. Polarized lenses help reduce glare and provide much better UV protection than non-polarized lenses. This can be especially helpful on those sunny ski days when the glare from the sun off the snow is almost blinding. Additionally, polarized lenses help glare reduction without sacrificing visibility in lower light situations, as they do not use additional tint to help reduce glare. So if you think you will spend most of your days skiing in sunshine, ski goggles with polarized lenses are a great choice.
When it comes to ski goggles, those with photochromic lenses are some of the best you can buy. This is because photochromic lenses automatically lighten or darken with the varying sunlight conditions, like Transitions Lenses for eye glasses. The more sunlight there is, the darker the lens will become and vice-versa. Therefore, because they are constantly adjusting depending on the amount of sunlight, they always provided excellent visibility and depth perception.
Fogging ski goggles can ruin any great ski day. Although there are a number of ski goggles with anti-fog technology, Smith Optics has taken it to the next level. The have created The Turbo Fan Goggles, a small fan built into the ski goggles designed to blow the hot moist air out of the goggle instantly clearing the fog. The micro fan is positioned on the top of the goggle and is powered by two AAA batteries held on a small battery pack which clips onto the goggle strap. A simple flick of a switch on the battery pack powers the micro fan up for instant fog clearing. A pair of turbo fan goggle are perfect if you ski in wet or damp conditions or wear glasses under your ski goggles.
Womens ski goggles, like sunglasses, are easily scratched and scuffed. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your goggles with look and perform great for seasons to come.
- When you are not wearing your ski goggles, be sure to keep them in a protective case or pouch. This will protect them from scrapes and scuffs when they get tossed around in you bag or car.
- If you wear a helmet, be sure to take your ski goggles off your helmet at the end of the day. Leaving them on you helmet for long periods of time can cause the strap to stretch and wear out, eventually causing them to be so loose they will not stay on your face.
- If you need to clean or wipe your ski goggles down, be sure to use a special glasses or goggle cloth, otherwise you could scratch your lenses. Many jackets have these cloths built in, and most womens ski goggles will come with one when you buy them. Also, if your ski goggles have a mirrored or chrome finish on them, be sure to be extra gentle when wiping them down. If you rub to hard, you can actually rub the finish right off the lens, essentially ruining them.
- If your womens ski goggles get extremely dirty and you need to clean them, be sure to only use water when wiping them down. Using any sort of cleaner or similar substance can actually strip the anti-fog coating of the lens.
- Do not wipe down the inside of your womens ski goggles. The inner lens actually has an anti-fog coating on it which can be stripped off if wiped. So, if you get snow or water on the inside of your ski goggles, do you best to just dab it up and let them air dry.
- Do not wipe down the inside of your womens ski goggles. The inner lens of most ski goggles has an anti-fog coating which can be stripped of if wiped. Simply dap up the moisture and let them air dry.
- Never use glass cleaners or similar product on your ski goggles. This is a sure way to strip off the anti-fog coating. Only use water to wipe your ski goggles down.
- Never use glass cleaner on your ski goggles. Glass cleaner is guaranteed to take off your anti-fog coating.
- Make sure your vents are clear. Many times womens ski goggles fog because the vents are clogged with snow, preventing the hot, moist air from escaping. If you find they are clogged, wipe or blow the excess snow out.
- Don’t put or leave your womesns ski goggles on your forehead. When you ski, you sweat. Which means your forehead is giving off hot perspiration. By leaving your ski goggles on your forehead, they fill up with this moist hot air, causing them to fog. So leave you ski goggles on your face, or put them up on your helmet or hat.