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How to Choose The Right Snow Goggle Lens



Choosing The Right Snow Goggle Lens


Arguably, goggle lenses are the most important thing when it comes to choosing goggles . Not only do they keep the elements out and your eyes clear, but they also do this magical thing where they can actually make you see clearer through a range of different conditions. Lenses are also the biggest factor in differentiating between goggles. Thankfully, there are so many different lenses on the market now that allow you to see and perform at your best no matter what mother-nature throws at you.

All Lenses Are Not Created Equally

Cylindrical vs. Spherical Lenses

Cylindrical Lenses

There are two different types of lenses – Cylindrical & Spherical. Cylindrical lenses are vertically flat while curved horizontally. These kinds of lenses are an extremely cost-effective entry into the lens market, and depending on the colour/use of the lens, they will still produce very effective performance.

Spherical Lenses

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 airflow 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 overwhelming! Firstly, you need to decide 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 colour 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.

What is Visible Light Transmission (VLT)?

The percentage VLT is the amount of light being let through by the lens. The lower the VLT percentage equates to less light coming through – perfect for bright conditions. The higher the VLT percentage is, the more light the lens allows through, enhancing your clarity in low light or variable conditions.

Low Light lenses will allow somewhere between 60-90% VLT and generally will be Rose, Yellow or Blue tints. These colour lenses are for those whiteout days as they have the highest VLT percentages.

Clear lenses are excellent for night-time skiing/riding but do not add enough extra contrast through the lens for daytime overcast days. Variable tints are extremely versatile and can be worn in any weather condition. They will allow for around 20-40% VLT through the lens, perfect if you are unsure of what the weather conditions will be on the slopes.

Some lenses are far better for sunny conditions, allowing less VLT through the lens and cutting out glare. These may range from 5-20% VLT and often come in dark grey, black, red or gold and will usually have a mirrored finish. There's a huge middle range between these highlight and lowlight lenses, and that's where a good all-around lens comes in.

 


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Specialised Lens

Polarized Lens

Polarized lenses are made to block out harsh glares and reflections from the snow that can occur on sunny days. When light is reflected off particular surfaces, it can become quite intense. That's where polarized lenses come into play as they act as a filter of vertical rays, reducing the glare much more than a standard mirrored lens. Most snow goggles come with 50% polarized lenses to help you spot ice while blocking out the snow's harsh glare, ideal for bright, sunny conditions.

Transitional Lens

A transitional lens is an adaptive lens that can change when it comes into contact with UV light. Ideal for snowboarders and skiers who don't want to change their lens on the slopes but can still have the versatility of two different lenses. The VLT can adjust anywhere between 16-76%.

Quick Lens Change Systems

"I know what you’re thinking – what happens if the conditions change suddenly? We’re in Australia"

I know what you're thinking – what happens if the conditions change suddenly? We're in Australia – you never know what you might get in 5 minutes' time! Luckily, almost every goggle on the market has the ability to change the lens. Often high-end goggles will also come with two different kinds of lenses. Although a little more expensive straight away, they're generally cheaper than ordering in a spare/secondary lens later on down the track.

Some of the best goggles on the market now have Quick Lens Changing systems. This allows for the lens to be switched over within just a couple of minutes – easy enough to do at the top of the chair lift while you're waiting for your buddies to strap in!

The Anon M3 is a great example of a goggle with a magnetic quick change lens system where you can change the lens colour while the frame is still on your face.

Each goggle will interchange differently, so it's super important always to read the instructions available with your goggle to see how to change the lenses appropriately. A good rule of thumb is always to hold the lens on the rim – this will reduce the amount of contact you have to film and reduce the chance of damage. Keep in mind, though, they're pretty hardy and are made to be used. Don't be scared!

In 2021 Anon have upped their game with the new Anon Perceive lens range; an absolute game changer when it comes to the constant changing conditions on the mountains. Check out our blog 2021 Anon Perceive Lens guide for everything you need to know.

The all new WM3 Goggle that dropped for the 2021 snow season, that includes the above-mentioned Perceive Lens, it is performance-designed for women with magnetic lens-change versatility.

Finding the perfect goggle lens is extremely important to have clear vision out on the slopes. There are dozens of ski and snowboard goggle lens colors to choose from, from different brands online at Auski.

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