Any avid skier knows that ski goggles are an essential part of the gear used. They help skiers with visibility and protect their eyes against flying snow and ice particles as well as glare from the snow.
But ski goggles are not cheap, so anyone who is into skiing would like for them to last as long as possible. The durability of ski goggles depends on how they are manufactured and how the users care for them.
The average lifespan of a high-quality and properly cared-for pair of ski goggles can be two to three years, sometimes more.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the quality and usage factors that affect how long ski goggles last and tips to make your goggles last longer. I’ll talk about when you should replace them.
Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of Ski Goggles
As with every other manufactured good, ski goggles are susceptible to wear and tear. Frames lose their flexibility and strength over time. The straps lose their elasticity. The lenses get foggy and scratched.
Plus, accidental falls that happen when skiing as well as improper handling and maintenance by the user can also result in broken, cracked, and scratched frames and lenses.
It is the overall quality of the material used and the design in general together with the proper handling and care by the user that determines the durability of ski goggles.
Let’s take a look at these in more detail:
In the meantime if you are not a 100% percent convinced you need goggles, check out our quick guide on do you need goggles to ski where I covered the importance of them,
Usage And Maintenance
No matter what the quality of any ski goggles is, how a skier uses and cares for them is detrimental to their durability too.
The more frequent and for longer they are put to use, the shorter their lifespan will be. Improper handling, storing and cleaning will reduce their lifespan too.
A frame made of stronger and more malleable material will last longer than a frame made of more rigid and less strong material.
The foam that creates a seal between the user’s eye and the lens of the goggle can be categorized as single-density, double-density, and triple-density, with the difference between the three being the number of layers of material with varying density the foam consists of.
Triple-density foam has a better moisture-wicking ability. This allows for less fogging of the lenses, reducing the need to clean them, therefore reducing the risk of scratching them.
Triple-density foam also doesn’t compress as much, so it allows the frame and lens to keep their shapes better, thus improving the durability of the goggles.
Some lenses can withstand physical damage like being dropped or scratched better than others and some lenses are treated with anti-scratch and, or, anti-fog coatings as they are manufactured.
Dual-layer lenses have sealed air in between the layers, allowing for better regulation of temperature and less condensation of sweat, thus minimizing the fogging and the need to clean, and the risk of scratching.
Ski goggles with lenses permanently fixed have to be discarded if even one lens is scratched, fogged, or otherwise damaged but a skier can opt to just change the lens in similar circumstances if the goggle is lens compatible.
Depending on the quality of the material it is made of, the elasticity of the strap that fits and holds the ski goggle on the skier’s face will last varyingly.
The durability of mechanisms that adjust the length of the strap and lock it in place will depend on their respective designs and materials too.
Fogging of ski goggle lenses due to condensation of sweat reduces their lifespan. Ski goggles that are better designed to minimize fogging will likely have longer lifespans because less fogging means less cleaning, and in that return, means less scratching.
Read more about how to keep ski goggles from fogging here.
How To Increase The Lifespan Of Ski Goggles
The lifespan of ski goggles doesn’t depend solely on their manufacturing quality and design. It also depends on how the users handle, store and clean them.
Following are some do’s and don’ts in relevance to their durability.
Choose A Compatible Helmet
Make sure your helmet fits on you in a way that the top of your goggles is right below the bottom of the helmet. The helmet should never press on your goggles.
Choose The Perfect Fit
The size of your ski goggles must be so that they fit snugly on your face, not too tight or loose, so that there wouldn’t be too much strain on the foam or the frame.
Read more about goggle tightening here.
Handle Them With Care
Be careful not to drop your goggles. Do not tap them against something to shake any foreign body particles off them. Never grip them too hard or twist them. Never store them somewhere other than a ski goggle carrying case and never store anything else on top of ski goggles.
When Should You Replace Ski Goggles?
No matter what quality of Ski goggles you have or how well you care for them, they don’t last forever. It is useful to know when to replace them for your safety and the continued enjoyment of skiing.
Fogging, Scratching, Or Breaking Of Lenses
If the lenses continue to fog, their anti-fogging coating may be damaged and they might need to be replaced. There is no going back for lenses from being scratched or broken either.
A fogged-up or scratched lens can never provide the skier with the intended visibility or eye protection.
Foam Being Worn Out
A worn-out foam can not make a good seal between the face and the lens or wick the moisture out properly.
There are instances where it is possible to replace just the foam, but it’s best to buy new goggles.
The Strap Losing Elasticity
Skiing with loose-fitting goggles is dangerous. So when your ski goggles’ strap loses its elasticity, replace it with a new one or buy a new pair of goggles if that’s not an option.
Frame Cracked Or Broken
Never try to mend a cracked or broken ski goggles frame. You never want to have your ski goggles falling off of you during a run so, go for a new one.
How long do ski goggles last depends entirely on the quality of the goggles and how you use and store them. But by following a few tips, you can easily extend their lifespan.
Now that you know how to make an educated guess about the durability of a particular pair of ski goggles it could be easier for you to get your money’s worth when it comes to choosing one.
So go out and buy a pair within your budget that is likely to last the longest. Be safe and enjoy skiing.