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?
Generally speaking, goggles are the smarter choice. Compared to sunglasses, they offer:
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.
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.
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?