Cylindrical vs. Spherical Lenses
There are two different types of lenses – Cylindrical & Spherical. Cylindrical lenses are vertically flat whilst curved horizontally. These kinds of lenses are an extremely cost effective entry into the lens market, and depending on the color/use of the lens will still produce very effective performance.
Spherical lenses are curved both horizontally and vertically, meaning you will not experience any distortion around the edges of the lens at all – essentially they mimic the lens of the human eye. Although a little more expensive, they also provide more peripheral vision as they are inherently larger than cylindrical lenses. There is also slightly more depth between your face and the lens. This gives you more insulation and air-flow through the vents at the top of the goggle, helping to reduce the chance of fogging.
Lens Tints and their Functions
There are so many different lens tints and colors available, that choosing the right one for the conditions can sometimes become a little overwhelming! Firstly, you need to decipher what kind of conditions you’ll be skiing/riding in the most; whether it’s sunny only, overcast/cloudy, or somewhere in between. Secondly, although one lens color might match your frame or helmet better, each lens tint has distinct advantages in differing conditions.
Some lenses are designed to perform better in low light conditions, allowing more Visible Light Transmission (VLT) through the lens. Low Light lenses will allow somewhere between 60-90% VLT and generally will be Rose, Yellow or Blue tints. Clear lenses are excellent for night time skiing/riding, but do not add enough extra contrast through the lens for day time overcast days.
Some lenses are far better for sunny conditions too – allowing less VLT through the lens and cutting out glare. These may range from 5-20% VLT and often come in Dark Grey, Black or Gold and will usually have a mirrored finish. Obviously, there’s a huge middle range in between these highlight and lowlight lenses and that’s where a good all round lens comes in.