Goggles are a vital piece of equipment for those hitting the ski slopes or muddy trails this year. Our guide will give you all the information you need to find the best goggles for your needs.
What design features you should look for before buying your next pair of goggles.
The spherical style curves both vertically and horizontally offering a wider field of view with less distortion and glare compared with cylindrical style goggles. While usually more expensive than a pair of cylindrical style goggles, it is technically a superior option.
The cylindrical style only curves horizontally and as such has a flatter lens. Unfortunately, a downside to this design is that it encourages more distortion and glare compared with spherical lenses. This style of lens is usually found in lower priced goggles.
All goggles will provide a good degree of ventialtion and airflow to not only keep you cooler, but to also prevent fogging of the lenses which will ensure your vision is kept clear at all times.
Changeable weather conditions also bring changes to lighting conditions which means goggles you were wearing in the morning are no longer suitable for your afternoon session. Fortunately, many brands, including Oakley, now feature interchangeable lens systems which enables you to quickly swap lenses rather than changing to another pair of goggles.
What lenses are available and what's right for you and the conditions.
Overcast & flat light conditions
80% to 46% light transmission
Often only useful in flat light or overcast conditions where you need to enhance levels of contrast. Not recommended for sunny conditions.
45% to 18% light transmission
The most popular and versatile choice for ski goggles. They offer good levels of light restriction during sunny conditions yet let enough light through if conditions become overcast.
17% to 8% light transmission
Perhaps more popular for very sunny conditions where more glare may be expected.
Extremely bright conditions
8% to 3% light transmission
The darkest lens possible for use in extremely bright conditions (or very high altitude) only. These could prove to be too dark if conditions become slightly overcast.
Lens colouring can make all the difference under different light conditions.
Tip: Choose an iridium or mirrored finish to help boost contrast and reduce glare!
Yellow or Gold
Suitable for extremely low light conditions where enhanced detail and high contrast will be required. Generally unsuitable for brigther conditions.
Orange, Persimmon or Amber
More versatile than a yellow lens as can be used in slightly brighter conditions. Useful for boosing contrast, definition and depth perception.
A pink tint is great for lower light conditions where high contrast may be required.
General protection from the elements, however, clear lenses have no tint and are only suitable for very low light conditions.
Black or Dark Grey
Most suitable for bright to extremely bright conditions as they block out most light. True colour perception due to the neutral tint but don't really assist with contrast enhancement. Often available as a polarised lens.
Brown or Bronze
Perhaps a better choice of lens over black or dark grey as they're great for bright or partly cloudy conditions and also add a layer of contrast enhancement. Often available as a polarised lens.
Red, Rose or Vermillion
This is a perfect all round lens tint with the red hue offering increased colour perception and definition. A solid mirror finish is perfect for sunny conditions whilst flash mirror is more suitable for lower light.
Blue / Sapphire
Great for medium bright to very bright conditions especially with a mirrored or iridium coating. Blue lenses are often combined with a brown or bronze tint which provides better performance during brighter days.
Great for medium bright to very bright conditions especially with an iridium coating to help cut glare and improve contrast. The neutral lens tint provides a truer colour representation.
Prizm™ is a revolutionary lens technology, developed by Oakley labs alongside Oakley athletes, that dramatically improves contrast and visibility over a wide range of weather and light conditions. Now with the Prizm™ lens, every bump, mogul and contour is clearly visible, giving you full confidence while on the slopes. See the difference for yourself...
Unfortunately due to the design and lens surface area, it's impossible to make goggles to your prescription. Fortunately, there are 2 great options available to ensure you can see clearly.
OTG or 'over the glasses' goggles are designed to provide enough space inside the googles (normally by cutaways in the frame) for prescription glasses to be worn comfortably ensuring crystal clear vision for the wearer. Another benefit of this type of goggle is that they normally have a larger lens which ensures greater peripheral vision.
Many goggle manufacturers also provide prescription inserts/adapters, these have a frame that's similar in style to a regular pair of prescription glasses and can be glazed in a similar way. These adapters then fit snuggly inside your goggles ensuring crystal clear and corrected vision.