If you have ever been skiing or boarding, you know that investing in a good pair of goggles is absolutely essential. While sunglasses may be trendier and look cooler, ski goggles keep the wind and snow out of your eyes, protect your face from harsh elements, shield your eyes from harmful UVA, UVB, and UVS rays, and help reduce the morning sun or afternoon glare.
While the price of goggles ranges greatly, it is important to not skimp on this purchase as a high quality and comfortable goggle will last you for years. The more you spend on goggles, the more protection your face and eyes will have. A few of our favorite brands for the 2012 season include Zeal Optics, Oakley, Uvex and Smith. Here are a few things to think about when purchasing goggles.
All Zeal Optic goggles are equipped with three essential features. They are polarized, which reduces glare, enhances visibility and removes excessive eye strain. Zeal goggles are 100% UV protected and are all made with innovative anti-fog technology that is infused into the inner lens and does not wear off over time.
Zeal Optics has three main goggle lines, the SPX, PPX and premier SPPX. The SPX has 20% more air volume, as well as a spherical curve that matches the contour of your eyes, and face delivering an accurate visual display. The PPX is the world's first photochromatic and polarized self-adjusting goggle, which allows the lens to change from light to dark and vice-versa depending on your conditions. The PPX lens is essentially two separate lens featured in one, reducing the need to own a second pair of goggles. The high-end SPPX is jam-packed with every feature you could possibly desire from the spherical lens to extreme low light protection to the unique polarized photo chromatic lens. Although these goggles are pricey, if you are an avid skier or boarder, there is really nothing better on the market. Our favorite models from each of Zeal’s lines include the Eclipse SPX, the Detonator PPX and the Eclipse SPPX.
The Oakley label is synonymous on the mountain with good looking, durable and innovative goggles. They are relatively reasonably priced, comfortable and lined with triple polartech fleece face foam keeping the wind, snow, cold and sun out of your eyes. Oakley ballistic lenses are treated with anti-fog technology and are polarized providing complete UV protection. Some Oakley models are also equipped with the innovative optically corrected dual lens.
Oakley has really set the bar with their custom goggle creation. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for, customers can now design their own goggles by choosing the frame and technology that fits the best with their face and ski conditions and then pair it with the frame color, strap color and design of their choice. Overall, our favorite Oakley snow goggles for men and women include the Crowbar, A Frame and Polarized A Frame Model with Oakley’s liquid infusion molecular bonding and polarizing filter helping to eliminate haze and reduce unnecessary visual distortion.
The Uvex brand has been around for years and is widely regarded as a leader in ski and snowboard technology. Year’s back, Uvex pushed the envelope with their spherical lens and anti-fog technology, well before their competitors. Uvex continues to create goggles with hi tech features including the ultra quiet exhaust fan system for anti-fogging, over the glasses (OTB) feature that allows skiers and riders to wear glasses underneath their goggles, as well as Supravision technology that enables a scratchproof lens from the outside and a fog-free lens from the inside. The coolest and most innovative feature that Uvex has recently introduced is the cylindrical lens with innovative LCD technology. This allows your lens to darken and lighten with the push of a button allowing you to adapt to the ever-changing weather conditions and sun position.
Our favorite Uvex models include the high-end, feature-packed Uvision Variotronic. We also love the more reasonably priced Apache Colorfusion, which is colorful, stylish and has a waterproof and windproof breathable Regulator membrane to keep moisture and snow from building up in the goggles. If you are looking for a bang for your buck, I would suggest checking out the Uvex FX goggle.
When you purchase a Smith goggle, you know that you are going to get a high quality, well-priced eco-friendly product. Smith features some of the greatest innovations on the market today including an integration system with Smith helmets that helps eliminate the gap between the bottom of the helmet and top of the goggles. Smith goggles are also designed with AirEvac ventilation, external vents and internal EPS lined channels that help generate airflow and pull fog-induced air out of the goggle. Many of the Smith goggles come with a tapered lens technology, as well as an interchangeable lens system.
If you are looking for a low priced durable goggle, look no further than the Smith Phenom. Adjustable top vents allow you to control the air flow and the easy-to-use strap adjustment can be maneuvered with a glove. These goggles are an especially great fit for people with medium sized heads, however if you do have a larger face or head, I would suggest checking out the Smith Prodigy instead. Smith also does a great job capitalizing on the female market, with their best selling Anthem goggle. Smith did their homework with the Anthem and they were able to develop a goggle that is good looking, equipped with the latest technologies and fits the female facial structure perfectly.