Why do I need ski goggles?
You may not think you need to wear ski goggles. After all, you have a pair of sunglasses that fit you just fine. However, a good pair of ski goggles, like one of the many Giro
, or Anon
ski goggles in our lineup, offer you several benefits to your eyes and your skiing:
- Ski goggles are designed to filter UV rays and protect your eyes from sun glare off the snow
- Ski goggles contour to your face, preventing ice, snow, and wind from slipping under and around the lenses
- Ski goggles give you a wider range of vision than sunglasses. Better peripheral vision means a safer ride
- Ski goggles can protect your eyes from twigs and branches when you're dropping through the trees
- Ski goggles are far less likely to come flying off your head when you fall
- If you wear eyeglasses, you can find a good pair of OTG (Over The Glasses) goggles, so you don't have to carry both
- Some higher end Giro, Smith, and Anon goggles have lenses that can be quickly switched out to account for changing weather conditions
Why are ski goggles priced from $20 all the way to $200? What's different?
No doubt, there's a huge price range for ski goggles, from a cheap $20 pair that you'll find displayed at checkout in a mountain shop, all the way to beautiful $200 models that blow your mind. There IS A DIFFERENCE between goggles, and it mostly comes down to the quality of the lenses.
- Lens quality - Ski goggle lenses fall into three segments:
- Thermo-formed lens - This is the "cheap way" to make a lens (not that there is anything wrong with cheap - this is why there are $20 goggles available at all). Thermo-formed means they lay our a sheet of flat plastic and stamp out shapes. Then, to make the goggles, they bend the lens and insert it into the frame. The result is an inexpensive goggle, but the optical clarity isn't very good. i.e. there can be distortion in your field of view.
- Cylindrical lens - Here, the manufacturers bend the lens around a cylinder and then cut out the shape. This technique gives the goggle lens good optical clarity in your horizontal field of view (left to right). This is a decent compromise between optical clarity and manufacturing cost.
- Spherical lens - This is where the lens is manufactured on a spherical form - the shape most similar to your face. Now, the lens is actually cut in a curved shape in both the horizontal AND vertical plane. This technique, although more difficult (read expensive), gives you the best optical quality in BOTH the horizontal and vertical planes. For anyone doing work in the park, where optical clarity is critical in spotting landings, this is a must. For more casual riders/skiers, having good optical clarity all around is still a wonderful benefit of a spherical lens. And finally, spherical lens goggles is where you'll find more advanced frame and fit/finish details.
- Lens interchangeability - The more inexpensive ski goggles will have the lens attached to the frame in a way that doesn't allow for lens changes quickly, if even at all. On the higher end goggles, the lenses are designed to be swapped out to account for different weather conditions. Mid-range ski goggles will allow easy lens changes "at home," while higher-end ski goggles will offer the ability to swap out lenses "on the lift" with easy snap-in/snap-out or magnetic attachment systems.
- Frame construction and fit/finish details - On the higher end ski goggles, you'll get more attention to detail on the strap material, strap adjustment systems, frame shapes and details, etc. Although these details aren't central to the ski goggles functionality, they are attractive and can influence the look and feel of the goggles.
Based on how you feel about the differences above, you should be able to narrow down your ski goggle choices pretty quickly.
Still want to learn more?
Check our Gear Guide blog
, or our article entitled, How to Choose Ski Goggles
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Whatever your choice of ski goggles, we stand behind every product we sell. We'll help outfit you with gear that's suited for your sport and ability. Since 2004, SportsProtective has been offering something that's hard to find - a one-stop-shop that specializes in high performance safety equipment for bike and snow sports. It has made us the authoritative source for what's new and good when it comes to maximizing your time enjoying action sports like BMX, MTB, snowboarding and skiing.
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