You got the best pair of ski goggles but can’t see through them, what can be more annoying? Yeah, your ski goggle lenses will get foggy and the worst part is, you can’t get angry and just take them off- the snowy winds will blind you.
Ski goggles play a key role in keeping us safe as we glide through the wild- experts insist on keeping them on at all times. It’s not about keeping your eyelids warm or anything, skiing without your ski goggles on can be dangerous- the mountain winds hitting your face could be carrying anything.
So, How Can We Keep Our Ski Goggles Dry and Clear?
Wear well-designed ski goggles; we recommend spherically shaped lenses. This design creates an allowance between your face and the lenses plus they have excellent ventilation. Now, all you have to do is keep the ventilation clear of snow and other obstructions. Another thing, do not tuck your balaclava in, this traps warm air in – this is what creates the fog.
The best approach for the foggy–goggles issue is prevention since taking them off for quick wipes will soon get frustrating.
In this article we’ll tell you why your goggles are fogged up, that is, the science behind it, and of course mention the most convenient and workable tips you can employ to keep them fog-free.
The Science Behind Foggy Ski Goggles
This problem stems from one process; condensation. This is the conversion of warm air into liquid droplets due to a decrease in temperature.
When the water vapor around your face condenses, the water droplets settle on the goggle lenses’ surface- this reflects light and in turn blurs your vision.
The condensation starts when the air within the lens which is usually warm due to contact with your skin hits the cold lens. This shift in temperature results in slow condensation and then, the foggy view.
How Can You Keep Your Ski Goggles From Getting Foggy?
We’ve been talking to fellow skiers and winter sports experts about this and the possible remedies; this is what we came up with.
- Get A Proper Pair Of Goggles
- Don’t Get Too Warm
- Wear Your Balaclava Right
- Do Not Rest Your Goggles On Your Bare Forehead
- Clean The Vents
- Clean Your Goggles The Right Way
- Always Have A Second Pair Of Lenses
- Get A Ski Mask With A Vent
- Keep The Goggles Dry When They Are Not In Use
- Get A Helmet With A Visor
- Consider The Foam Padding
Get A Proper Pair Of Goggles
Yeah, the type of goggles you wear has a huge bearing on the experience you can expect- get a quality pair. This will probably not sit very well with most people, especially those who recently purchased a new pair but we are going to say it anyway- if your goggles are poorly designed, the fog can only get thicker.
Most people do not know this but, ski goggles are not all made the same. If you’ve been using the fog-prone version, you’ll be surprised at just how efficient the fog-resistant pairs can be.
Some modern ski goggles brands are so well built; they keep the view clear regardless of the conditions.
If you talk to an ardent mountain skier, they’ll list an array of reasons why you should avoid low-priced brands. Well, not every cheap brand is sub-par but we can all agree; most of them lack the necessary anti-fog coating and proper ventilation.
If you are new to the sport or don’t pay much attention to development in gear designs then you’ll easily get duped into buying the wrong ski goggles and probably for the wrong price too. For you, we’d recommend that you read product reviews before adding anything to your cart.
There are also a few key product features you can look for:
Spherically shaped lenses
We recommend spherical lenses because of two reasons; first, they offer a wider view and second they sit further away from your skin- this reduces condensation and in turn, fogging.
Most low-priced ski goggles brands offer only one layer of lenses, to steer clear of fogging in all conditions, there needs to be an inner and outer layer- double lens.
The inner layer serves as an insulator that prevents the warm air from hitting the cold outer lens- the extra lens is a near-perfect anti-fog structure.
For fogging to occur, there must be warm air that will condense into the droplets that blur your view. If you can create an outlet for this warm air then the problem is half solved.
This is the role of the ventilation features; they let the warm air out thereby keeping the temperature within the goggles undisturbed.
Do you know that there are lenses with mechanisms that prevent fogging? Yeah, some are built so well, the water droplets don’t even stick, they sought of runoff. Prices for such versions will most likely be on the higher side but the benefits derived are worth every penny.
Unfortunately, not every brand with an anti-fog coating label is really anti-fog, there are numerous fake brands on the market and there is no clear way to spot them. Price can be your best guide on this one; high-end goggles are less likely to be fake.
Don’t Get Too Warm
Our bodies are always warm, especially when engaging in straining activities or sports. This warmth then comes out through the skin. This is how the air in the goggles gets warmed up before it hits the lens where it condenses.
We know that’ll be hard because the cold mountain weather calls for heavy clothing but we all know; in intense sports like skiing, that second or third layer of clothing is usually unnecessary- it only generates excess heat.
By getting just the right amount of clothing, you’ll regulate body temperature within your body as you also get to stay warm, this way there’ll be less air escaping through your face- this should curb the fogging issue.
Wear Your Balaclava Right
Balaclavas and other warmers are a perfect way to keep warm but they can be a handle if not worn right. You see, when you tuck in your neck gaiter, you create a direct channel for all the hot air to travel from your mouth to around your face and eyes.
As we said, warm air is the root cause of goggles fog.
If the temperatures get too low and you really want to keep your face warm, you can tuck in just a little amount of cloth to cover no more than your nose.
Do Not Rest Your Goggles On Your Bare Forehead
You don’t have to take them off completely; you can rest them on your helmet but never on bare skin. You don’t want them getting into contact with your warm skin, that’ll trigger the condensation process.
If you don’t mind taking them off, even better; you can put them in your side pocket or sleeve.
In your pocket, the lenses get exposed to your body heat but this time it’ll be evenly distributed on both sides- when this happens, any goggles fog built up on the lenses will clear off.
Clean The Vents
We’ve talked about the role of ventilation in keeping your lenses clear, if it gets blocked, warm air will accumulate and condense- it is important to keep the goggle vents clear- remove the snow lumps that settle on the top of the goggles.
How do the vents get clogged in the first place? Well, as you stroke, you’re likely to throw snow onto yourself, if the trip is long, some bits of it might settle on your goggles’ vents.
To clear the vents, simply shake the snow off; nod strongly or remove the goggles and clean them by hand.
Clean Your Goggles The Right Way
If for some reason, you need to clean your lenses while still out in the wild, only use a proper microfiber cloth to wipe them, your fingers might get it off but it’ll leave small bits that’ll soon condense.
Your gloves, they’re likely to be wet or snowy too, don’t use them on your lenses either.
If you clean the lenses and leave smudges, you might have to contend with foggy goggles soon after because dirt particles can trigger condensation too.
Brand new ski goggles come with a soft cloth, this is where it serves. If you shelved yours somewhere, we’d suggest you go get it and always have it in your side pocket when you hit the mountains.
And by cleaning the lens, we mean dabbing; wiping will not get it all off.
As for the cloth, keep it dry- you can’t get a dry clean using a wet cloth, it might even make things worse.
If the snow is too much, take the goggles off, shake them a bit, dab them and wait for them to dry up. If you are in the middle of your glide, take out your spare goggles. You can rest the dirty pair on your helmet’s forehead to dry.
Always Have A Second Pair Of Lenses
You probably don’t want to hear this because the first pair is already expensive enough but having a backup pair can be convenient. If getting new goggles is too hard, get the modern designs that come with interchangeable lenses that you can switch when one accumulates excess moisture.
The second pair of goggles will serve you when the other gets wet or is drying. To make it worth your while, get two lenses for different conditions- there are lenses built to serve specific weather conditions.
If you’re wondering why you would need two pairs of lenses, we’ll tell you. Different lenses block light differently; it depends on a pair’s VLT (visible light transmission).
The lower the VLT, the more light it blocks, we use such goggles for when the sun is too bright. The high VLT versions let in more light and are used when the weather is cloudy or when the sun is less bright.
Most of us use mild-range VLT goggles as they serve in almost all conditions but they are not the best approach. Skiing with lenses that match the current conditions will strain your eyes less and maybe improve your performance in the long run.
A clearer view might not be a great addition to your winning strategy but it is surely a step in the right direction.
As an addition to VLT, you can employ advanced lenses that have different tint strengths. The different tint types strengthen and weaken the appearance of different colors accordingly. This earns you a better view of your surroundings in a light that your eyes can process more easily.
Get A Ski Mask With A Vent
Even if your ski mask is not directly channeling warm air into the goggles, there is still a possibility of this hot air rising and getting into the goggles. The only way out in this case is to get a mask with a ventilation mechanism.
You can expect two types of ventilations on a ski face mask;
- A sought of air hole that acts as an outlet for excess air within the mask.
- The material itself can be made of a mesh material that lets air escape immediately after you breathe out.
Keep The Goggles Dry When They Are Not In Use
After an exciting day out on the snowy slopes, you should remember to store your gear correctly. For goggles, there’s no need for any special form of storage, just place them on a clean and dry shelf or desk.
The dry shelf will allow the goggles to dry up naturally; artificial drying like the hair dryer can damage the goggles in the long run.
On the shelf, they take longer to dry but it is better than ruining the lens with your hair dryer.
Get A Helmet With A Visor
A visor might be a small feature on your helmet but it plays a crucial role in the helmet’s overall functioning. It prevents the snow falling from the sky from reaching the lens’ inner layer.
You should however ensure that the visor is strategically placed- if it’s too close to the goggles’ upper portion, it’ll block the vents and cause other fogging issues.
Consider The Foam Padding
Keeping moisture out of your goggles is a sure way to keep them fog-free, foam padding does just that. The padding should be comfortable and should isolate the area covered by the goggles from external moisture.
Padding prevents water droplets from the sky and the trees above from sipping in, this coupled with other tricks should keep your goggle lens clear.
Give The Goggles A Break
Don’t wear your goggles all day, when you are not using them, take them off. This’ll expose them to open air which is usually cool and dry.
Contact with body heat gets the snow goggles warm and wet, the open cold air will let the lenses cool down and dry off some of the moisture on the lenses.
It might not do much for the already-settled moisture but cooling off stops any more condensation.
You Can Try Anti-Fog Products
There are chemicals you can use on your goggles to prevent goggle fogging or at least reduce it. Most of these products are availed in the form of liquid substances that you spray on the inner side of the goggles. The chemical introduces alcohol or detergent onto your lenses that acts as anti fog coatings and absorb the moisture.
Another useful product is the goggles fan that is designed and built for use on ski goggles. The fan works alongside the ventilation to keep the air flowing . You’ve probably never come across this invention because they are mainly made to serve specific brands.
How Can You Stop Fogging If You Ski With Your Glasses On?
Dealing with fog on one pair of lenses is already hard, wearing glasses with your snowboard goggles on can only be harder but it is possible to maintain a clear view even with your glasses inside the goggles.
Your glasses are more likely to get foggy because they sit close to your face and do not have any form of anti-fog mechanisms.
The trick around this problem lies in preventing hot air from entering the goggles’ area. For you, wide spherical goggles are a must; they’ll keep the air flowing and also provide space for your glasses to sit.
Another trick is using armless glasses. These pairs will work with most goggles brands and are pretty easy to use. They prevent fogging by sitting further away from your face.
Some armless glasses are wider than normal; these give you a wider and clearer view.
Getting your goggles fogged up is common among high-intensive skiers; it’s hard to maintain a clear view all day. Even though it’s hard, there are several ways you can reduce the possibility of fogging or even prevent it altogether.
The solution lies in understanding how water vapor condenses and working around it to prevent contact between the warm air in the goggles and the cold lenses.
Well, since not everyone likes science, we’ve done the hard work for you.
The article above explains how fogging occurs in goggles and how you can prevent it.