The right snow goggle lens for every weather type
There are so many snow goggles on the market with so many options that it's not so weird to lose track of it's purpose. Snow goggles are designed for a specific weather type and that is not always told on the sale page or in the stores. So how do you find that right lens for your skiing trip? We'll get into the details.
Here's a summary of our blogs content:
Which weather types are there?
There are a ton of weather types, but just a few of them are interesting for the wintersport. We will focus on the following weather types: Snowy, Cloudy, Mist, Slightly cloudy, sunny, extremely sunny and nighttime.
Snow & mist
Snow and mist are weather types where your sight is limited and harsh sunlight is eliminated. There is no lack of light due to the white snow/mist but there is a need of a contrast boosting lens for optimal sight.
Sunny & extremely sunny
Sunny and extremely sunny weather types where blinding lights are unpleasantly present. There is a overload of light that reflects on the snow, thus a good light reducing lens is optimal.
Cloudy & partly cloudy
Cloudy and partly cloudy weather types can be a difficult pick for the snow goggle lenses. As it will need a certain amount of light dimming but not too much as it will decrease your sight. This is also where contrast comes in to play.
Nighttime skiing might not be the most poplar time of the day, but it's one to keep in mind. When you are late on the slopes and the sun is going down, it might come in handy to have an extra lens for a safe return.
Which lens types are there?
We can divide lenses in a lot of categories but we will try to keep it simple. Because there are a few criteria that matter the most, these are: CE categories, Contrast boosting & comforting layers.
CE categories for snow goggles
The CE categories for snow goggles are not different from the categories of sunglasses. They have the same purpose after all, to inform you about the amount of visible light that comes through the lens. Which is often shown as % VLT (visible light transmittance).
The CE categories for snow goggles and their best applied weather condition:
Best applied weather conditions
|CE 0 (80-100% VLT)||
Midnight, snowy & cloudy weather
|CE 1 (43-80% VLT)||
Misty, snowy & cloudy weather
|CE 2 (18-43% VLT)||
Cloudy, partly cloudy & slightly sunny
|CE 3 (8-18% VLT)||Partly cloudy & sunny weather|
|CE 4 (3-8% VLT)||Sunny & extremely sunny weather|
Every snow goggle or lens sold should have a CE mark of 0 to 4. This is an example of the dimming applied by each CE category:
A contrast boost is when a lens will accentuate and highlight color changes. For example on a white slope it's hard to spot edges, holes because everything is white and there is a lot of light. With a right contrast boosting lens with the right CE categorie for the weather type, these edges and holes will be better visible.
The base color of the lens and best applied weather conditions:
|Base color of lens||
Best applied weather conditions
Midnight & cloudy weather
Misty, snowy & cloudy weather
Cloudy, partly cloudy & sunny weather
|Grey||Cloudy, partly cloudy & sunny weather|
|Green||Cloudy, partly cloudy & sunny weather|
|Purple or Blue||Cloudy, partly cloudy & sunny weather|
|Black or Brown||Sunny & extremely sunny weather|
Comforting layers are coatings that can be applied on the lens and ease the work your eyes have to do on the slopes. Examples of comforting layers are: Polarizing, UV400, anti-fog, anti-scratch.
Polarization is the effect of light becoming intensely bundled due to reflection on glass, snow or other reflecting surfaces. What the polarized layer does, is undo this effect by scrambling the light that comes through the lens. This will result in a more peaceful light for the eyes and less chance of being blinded.
UV400 coatings prevent the not visible and harmful light to enter the eye and is mandatory on the slopes. As these lights can damage your eyes and in long term cause blindness. Always check for a snow goggle to be UV400 protective.
Anti-fog is extremely useful while exercise as it prevents your lens from fogging up. Fog reduces your vision and is therefore an important issue to prevent. Most snow goggles are treated with some sort of anti-fog coating. A double layer lens with anti-fog will do the job great, as the temperature gap will be reduced.
This is not a mandatory coating, but it will increase the durability of the snow goggles. Scratches are ugly and annoying, therefore pick a snow goggle with anti-scratch coating so that you can go with it for a while.
The benefit of exchangeable lenses
There are no one-lens-all-weather lenses in the market for a fairly simple reason, it's not possible. Therefore exchangeable lenses are a great solution for having a pair of lenses for any weather type. There are exchangeable lenses with a clicking mechanism, disassemble and assamble system and magnetic system.
Magnetic exchangeable lenses
Magnetic exchangeable lenses are the best of both worlds, easy to change and with the right design they are super sturdy. On the downside, they are a bit more expensive than the click systems, but the ease magnetic lenses bring will be a huge difference.
Clickable lenses will be a cheaper variation of magnetic exchangeable lenses. Changing will take a bit longer and the clicking system might worsen over time. It simply does not have an unlimiter lifetime, which magnetic exchangeable lenses do have. The magnets won't lose their power, but the clicking system will.
Weather lens chart & cheatsheet
We have created a lens chart for our own lenses so that our customers can find their perfect lens more easily. Together with all the info supplied above, you are sure to head for a fantastic skiing trip!
The infographic below shows you in which weather conditions the lenses will perform best:
If you are interested in buying a new pair of snow goggles and want one that combines all of the criteria above, be sure to check out our Slopester snow goggle collection!