Beside your helmet and your snowboarding wear, your snowboard goggles are an essential piece of gear which is often underestimated. Good goggles protect you from the following:
Sun & Ultraviolet rays - The combination of high altitude and the reflection of the Snow causes sun's rays to hit you much harder during snowboarding or skiing than during other extreme sports. UV rays can damage your eyes and cause snow blindness.
Snow and Ice - During highspeed descends, you will want to prevent Snow and Ice particles from getting into your eyes and blinding you.
Twigs - Those who go off piste or into the backcountry will want to protect their eyes from twigs hitting their face as they descend through the trees.
How many Lenses should I choose?
Many goggles have multiple layers of lenses. Goggles with multiple lenses do not fog as fast as goggles with single lenses. In general, it is always better to buy goggles with multiple lenses.
What other factors can reduce fogging?
Multiple lenses will help reduce fogging. Also, check that the lenses have been treated with anti- fogging chemicals. Another way of preventing fogging is venting. Many goggles feature vents at the top and bottom of the lenses, allowing fresh air circulation which will reduce fogging and provide fresh air for your eyes. The bigger the holes, the better the venting will be. However, bigger holes will cause more cold.
What Lens Colour should I choose?
Lenses come in many colours with specific colours for specific light conditions:
Black/Polarized - reduces glare without distorting colours making them suitable for bright sunny conditions, though they might be too dark at the end of the day.
Green/Silver - Enhances contrast making them suitable for most brighter conditions.
Yellow/Amber/Gold Lenses - Filters out blue light and brings out shadows, making them suitable for most conditions and especially in low to moderate light.
Purple/Rose - Best used for low-light conditions as it brings out shadows and contours.
Clear Lenses - Is best used for dark conditions such as sunset or cloudy conditions.
How much UV protection should I get?
If you are going to use your goggles in sunny or bright conditions, make sure to have at least 95% UV rays protection.
What if I wear Glasses?
If you wear glasses, you will want to make sure that the goggles fit well over your regular glasses. A better solution would be to buy goggles with lenses that correspond with your regular glasses. Your optician will be able to tell you which goggle frames can be fit with prescription lenses.
What shape and built characteristics should I look for?
Goggles come in many shapes and sizes. Make sure to check for the following:
Peripheral Vision - Make sure that when you buy goggles, you have a good degree of peripheral vision. You will want to make sure you have enough vision to see other Snowboarders and Skiers ahead of time.
Fit with your Helmet - Make sure that your goggles work well with your helmet and that both systems are compatible. You do not want to buy expensive goggles just to find out that they just will not fit with your helmet.
Fit and Strap - Make sure the goggles fit well and have straps that easily allow you to adjust the fit. Make sure the straps are padded and do not irritate your skin or stick to your hair.
Padded for Protection - The inside part of the goggles must be padded so that when you crash on top of them, they will not press too hard or even cut into your face.
Snug fit - Make sure you can adjust your goggles to a tight fit. Likewise, it must fit well on your nose and other features of your face. Bad fitting goggles will flip or lift off your face when you hit bumps.