When you go on your first group skiing holiday, chances are you’ll do one of two things when preparing – either forget to buy a number of important things you need or go out and spend a fortune on things you don’t actually require.
It’s only as you start to ski more regularly that you begin to realise exactly what it is you need as an individual to get the most out of your skiing experience and with this comes an understanding of how to buy items that are perfectly suited to you.
Having this understanding can take years of trial and error, however and what we want to do today is essentially round all that knowledge up into one blog post to help you buy something that if you’re a beginner skier, are unlikely to realise just how complicated they can be to buy – ski goggles.
A staple part of every skier’s outfit (but possibly the one thing that most new skiers forget – so don’t worry, you’re not alone!), there are a number of key points to know and understand to ensure you buy the best ski goggles possible.
Arguably the most important to note is that ski goggles are more than just a fashion accessory – they’re there to keep you protected. Whilst they’ll obviously protect your eyes (acting like sunglasses, they mean you don’t have to squint in the bright light), it’s not just your eyes that will benefit from them.
Imagine you’re skiing down a run and all of a sudden the sun breaks out. If you’re not wearing your goggles, you could very easily be instantly blinded. Knocking you off course, the chances of you being involved in an accident are minimal, but the risk is there – if you can’t see where you’re going because the sun is shining in your eyes, how do you know what to avoid?
What’s also worthwhile mentioning here is if you’re a prescription glasses wearer, you should really only be looking at OTG – Over The Glasses – goggles. Sitting comfortably over your glasses, whilst prescription lenses for ski goggles are available, it’s going to be much easier – and cheaper – to just buy OTGs.
Size and fit
Looking at the actual technicalities of ski goggles, the size and fit of them must be your first priority, as problems here will make your entire skiing experience less enjoyable – and potentially less safe – than it should be.
Ski goggles shouldn’t be overly tight on the face, nor should they be so loose that you constantly feel like you’re adjusting them. They shouldn’t pinch down on the top of your nose and they should fully cover your entire eye socket.
You also need to consider the amount of give or elasticity in the strap at this point, as if you wear a ski helmet, chances are you’re going to be lifting your goggles up onto your helmet at some point throughout the day.
Of all the things to consider when buying ski goggles, the lenses within them are likely to be something you skim over at first – that is, until you realise just how much variety there is.
As we said above, OTG goggles are best for those wearing glasses, but you can most definitely buy goggles with interchangeable prescription lenses. However, you can also buy goggles with interchangeable lenses for a variety of other reasons, along with regular goggles with a range of different lenses.
The reason behind this is there are generally five different types of standard lenses. Going from category 0 to category 4, the first has 0 to 20% light transmission (meaning they’re ideal for night skiing) and the fifth has 92 to 97% light transmission (making them perfect for extreme sunshine).
If you’re regularly skiing in a variety of different conditions, goggles with interchangeable lenses are going to be the way forward. As they do cost more, however, if you can work out when you’ll be skiing most, you should be able to gauge which type of goggles you’ll mainly need, meaning they’ll be perfect to wear for the majority of the time.
The final point we want to mention is one that you may not find elsewhere. Like a helmet, safety should always come before style with goggles, but let’s be honest about it, if the goggles are ugly, you’re not going to wear them, in which case they’ll offer zero protection.
We’re not saying to pick goggles on their style over fit or lenses, but we’d definitely advise you take how the goggles look into consideration. Remember, you’re going to have them on for several hours every day, so you need to want to wear them and feel good doing so!
Whilst we’ve provided a fair amount of information on buying ski goggles, some would say we’ve only touched the surface (and in many ways, we have). If this piece has done anything, however, it’s hopefully shown that if you’re heading out on a group skiing holiday, you really do need to pay more attention than you’re likely to have first thought when it comes to buying ski goggles.