Those of you that have spent some time on the slopes know that a great pair of goggles can make your skiing or snowboarding experience that much more enjoyable. Constant fogging, uncontrolled glare from the sparkling sunlight bouncing off the pure white snow or an ill fit that requires constant tightening can put a damper on the best of snow days. There are several factors to consider when picking out a new set of goggles, including polarization; lens design for the right skiing conditions; anti-fog properties, such as good ventilation; and a solid fit.
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Oakley made the top ski goggle list in both Galt Tech’s buying guide and from the editors of "Freeskier" magazine. They're known for extreme comfort and a wide lens, which makes for great peripheral vision. Oakley goggles provide a triple-layer foam gasket for comfort and well-placed ventilation holes for anti-fog control. They also protect your eyesight and reduce glare with their Plutonite lens material, which filters out 100 percent of all UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
Smith goggles made the “best list” by both "Freeskier" and "Ski" magazines. They come with two interchangeable lenses and sport a quick changing lens system. You can start with a lens for flat, overcast days and, as the sun begins to peak through, switch to a mirror lens. They also come with a patented Vaporator lens technology to prevent fogging. In addition, their smaller frame makes them compatible with helmets.
Anon is another brand that offers interchangeable lenses, a definite plus in the always varying ski and snowboarding conditions, where the weather and lighting can change quickly. Their system features 12 magnets that hold the lens in place at six contact points and allow for easy swapping. They offer the full range of lens tints which cover the visible light-transmission spectrum and include tints designed for bluebird days, partly cloudy days and gray, overcast days. They also offer full perimeter channel venting and chemically etched anti-fog treatment to keep your vision crystal clear.
If you’re looking to film your death-defying jumps or just capture a beautiful spring day on the slopes, Zeal boasts a goggle with a built in HD camera that offers both video and photo capability. Their anti-fog, polarized, 170-degree lens allows for a wide focus and clear vision with 100 percent UV protection. The small view finder is at the bottom right of your goggle, and you get about three hours of camera time on a full charge. It will be slightly larger than your typical goggle, but if a high-tech, hands-free camera is what you’re looking for, the extra bulk may just be worth it.