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Ski Goggles and Masks: What to Look For and What to Avoid

Ski Masks and Goggles for Eye Protection When you're planning a ski trip, you should make sure in advance that you have all of the equipment that you could possibly need for a fun, exciting and safe time. One of the first things you should check for is your ski goggles or ski mask. If you wait until you get to the lodge, you will not only pay a hefty price for protective eyewear, you will also find a fairly limited selection in most cases. If you need to get new goggles or a ski mask. Try looking at:

Finding the right pair (or pairs)
Just like you should try on several pairs of ski boots before you make a decision, you should also try on several pairs of ski goggles before buying. You want to make sure that you find a great fitting pair for fit that is appropriate for the conditions you'll be seeing on the mountain. In addition, you should consider having more than one pair, especially if you will be skiing in different situations and lighting conditions.

For instance, you may want a clear pair for low light or night skiing and polarized lenses for bright light conditions. If you are going to be doing a lot of night skiing, ask to test the goggles or mask in low light so that you can see if there is any distortion in your vision. Dark tints, especially the green tints, are good for sunny days but will likely be too dark for late afternoon or early evening use. Being able to switch eye wear means that you can enjoy skiing in a variety of circumstances without endangering yourself or your eye health in any way. Popular lens options include:

  • Yellow, gold or amber tint: filter out blue light and are great for low light and foggy conditions. These also emphasize shadows in the snow for safer skiing.
  • Rose tinted lenses: use in low light or cloudy, gray days.
  • Green, dark gray and other dark tints: perfect for very bright days.
  • Polarized, regardless of color: cuts down on reflected glare, great for very bright days. (Note: polarized lenses can make it more difficult to see and avoid icy patches on the trail, so they are not appropriate for everyone)

Vision correction options
If you need to wear eyeglasses for vision correction, you will need a ski mask or ski goggles that can fit around them. However, this is not always possible, so there might be a better solution: have optical inserts made for the goggles. Another solution that is having prescription ski goggles custom made for you by a sports vision specialist.

Must haves
Whether you are a pro skier or a beginner, there are several things that are must haves for your ski goggles or ski masks. First, they must have UVA/ UVB protection. Exposure to the sun's UV rays increases your risk of developing cataracts and other eye diseases. Your eyewear also must have good peripheral vision, allowing 180 degrees of side to side view so that you are not endangering yourself on the trail. Foam inserts along the edges of the frame will help keep wind, ice and dirt out of your eyes, further protecting them from harm. They should have an easy to use, adjustable buckled strap so that you can customize the fit each and every time. The strap should be soft, snag free and slightly wide so that it does not hurt the back of the head.

Things to watch out for
You can do without the hassle of flimsy or hard to work buckles- the only thing worse than a buckle you have to fumble and mess with is skiing down the mountain only to have the buckle snap and break. A very thin strap is also likely to break and will likely put way more pressure on your head than you will be comfortable with. You should also avoid lenses that are not rated for skiing or snowboarding specifically because they may not take the impact if you should fall.

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