What do you wear on your eyes when you hit the slopes? Snow stings at high speeds, and the bright sun reflecting off the ice can strain your vision. You need some sort of protection, but which is best? Should you wear sunglasses or goggles when you go skiing or snowboarding?
In Most Cases, Go with Goggles.
Generally speaking, goggles are the smarter choice. Compared to sunglasses, they offer:
- A wider field of vision. Where sunglasses shield just a section of your face, goggles wrap give you a full panoramic view.
- More coverage. Goggles protect more of your face, blocking cold air, snow, and ice particles from pelting you near your eyes.
- A snug fit. Most goggles have an adjustable strap to keep them tight against your face, and most can fit over a helmet. Sunglasses are easier to lose or break when you’re zooming down the mountain.
- Less fog. You’re gonna deal with foggy lenses, whether you wear sunglasses or goggles. As you go down the hill, air hits your chest and instantly shoots upward, passing in front of your lenses, along with your breath, fogging up your lenses. However, you’ll deal with less fog if you go with goggles, since the airflow is restricted. Most goggles have vents that allow some air to pass between your eyes and the lenses.
- More protection. Sturdier and stronger than sunglasses, goggles are more likely to survive falls and crashes (and your eyes will thank you!)
What Kind of Goggles Should I Get?
You’ve got a few things to consider before you buy yourself a new pair of skiing or snowboarding goggles.
Lens Color. You’ve probably seen goggles that have a variety of lens colors, but it’s about more than coordinating the perfect ski outfit. Darker lenses or mirrored lenses block lots of light, making them ideal for bright, sunny days. Alternatively, if you’re carving up the slopes on a cloudy or foggy day, yellow, green or pink lenses would work better, since they let in more light.
For night owls hitting the slopes after dark, go with clear lenses.
Lens Type. There are two main options here: cylindrical and spherical.
Cylindrical lenses are more common. They curve around your head, horizontally, and they’re flat vertically.
Spherical lenses are curved both vertically and horizontally, giving you a wider field of view and less distortion compared to cylindrical lenses (which usually cost less than spherical).
Fancy Extras. To reduce fog, you can find goggles with an anti-fog treatment and double-layer lenses. Plus, you can find glasses with a tiny fans to dispel fog as it builds up!
What a time to be alive.
Should I Get Polarized Lenses for Skiing and Snowboarding?
Polarized lenses might seem like a great idea at first. After all, they reduce the bright glare you get when the sun bounces off an extra shiny slick of ice.
Unfortunately, this could create a safety hazard. Since polarized lenses make harder to see those icy patches, it could lead an injury or accident.
And if you wear polarized lenses on darker days, they will further darken your vision and make it harder to see the slope.
Polarized sunglasses for snowboarding may be a good idea on an extra bright day… just keep in mind they may hide potential dangers from you.
When Should I Wear Sunglasses While Skiing or Snowboarding?
While goggles are generally a better, safer choice for skiing and snowboarding, sunglasses are probably fine on warmer, clearer days, or if you have other activities in mind after hitting the slopes.
Sunglasses are lighter, and less bulky, and they can be fitted with your prescription.
You can always get the best of both worlds with over the glasses goggles, or OTG goggles. These models let you wear your prescription glasses underneath goggles, so you can see every breath-taking detail of the mountain while keeping your eyes safe.
What do you think? Do you stick to sunglasses or goggles when you go skiing or snowboarding?