Originally Posted by hama Thanks everybody. The glasses you mention ($400) are just a couple of Banjamins away from buying new boots (before fitting). I am not sure I can spend that kind of money, especially if I need a couple of pairs for different lightening conditions. Anyways, I will check out these glasses.Uilleann made several very good points. Initially I wanted to get some polarized glasses. However, after some further research I realized there is a big debate about this, especially about not being able to see ice patches. It seems to me that this could be a major issue especially coming down a steep hill not seeing that icy area. From my research, the next best thing to see the contours is mirror coating. That produces some glare, hence the requirement for antireflective coating on the back of the lens. Now that's what I read from several websites but I have no practical experience with this, hence my question here.On another note, I plan to use contact lenses for skiing and my eye doctor told me the cold and dry weather could be an issue with contacts. That means I probably need some glasses that don't let a lot of air in on the side. On the other hand, from the comments I understand that the 'glacier glasses' with flaps on the side can cause fogging (not good). On top of that, I am concerned that those glasses don't give me a wide vision.In case it matters, I usually don't ski very fast and never leap of cliffs. Instead I prefer steep hills, powder, moguls, etc. I definitely need to see the nuances in the terrain.
Excellent info – thanks for the extra insight into what you’re after. Now, I will say that what you seem to be after visually, and further given that you’re in contacts when you ski (I assume this is a new thing for you??) that your absolute best vision, best comfort with contacts, and greatest flexibility at the lowest cost will come from…a ski goggle. I know, that’s not what you wanted to hear.
There are a few things however, to bear in mind here. First of all, there isn’t a sunglass made anywhere that will give you expansive visual range (top to bottom & side to side), AND keep wind out of your eyes so they don’t dry out, AND not fog. They’re just not constructed to do that realistically. You might get two of the three things here, but not all together. Though with a quality goggle, you’re likely to find all your needs met. In particular, when skiing with contacts – which I do myself as well – a good goggle will allow enough air flow to keep the lens fog free in almost all conditions, while not blowing your eyes off as a sunglass frame will tend to feel like.
As far as polarization goes, there are myths and there are facts. I’ll try to stick to the latter. Using a very simple explanation, light is inherently non-polarized. This simply means that all those little photons are mixed up and moving in every direction possible (imagine the little ping pong balls blowing around inside of a lotto machine…yeah, it’s kinda like that.) However, when sunlight strikes a flat surface, some of those photons all end up bouncing and moving in the same direction. They have become aligned in a horizontal plane and are now moving in a coherent side to side motion.
Our eyes perceive this as reflected glare, and it can be quite intense under the right conditions. A polarized sun filter comes into play by blocking that one very particular and singular direction of light. (There are other types of polarizers as well, but they aren’t used in our application so I’ll stick to this description. It is important to note that there is no perfectly efficient filter, meaning there is no way to completely eliminate all polarized glare. Remember too that the surface we ski on is far from perfectly flat, and that even the best polar goggle or sunglass will never remove the sheen from ice entirely – it simply isn’t possible.
In my own direct personal experience, I have never found myself in a lighting condition where I was unable to see ice when wearing a polar lens. In fact, I prefer the enhanced colors, and shadow definition I perceive when wearing them. I would suggest that you try as many options as possible before you decide on a purchase, if at all possible, and perhaps take a polar and non polar sun with you on your next outing and try them both to see what you personally prefer.
I still believe that a good goggle will solve all of your visual needs with the least amount of compromise. I would suggest looking at either the Smith I/O series or perhaps the Anon M1 / M2 (not sure if the M2 is on shelves just yet, but will be soon if not). Both offer excellent optics, easily interchangeable lenses for variable light, and will fall in the $175 - $220 range approximately. They may not be your final choice, and I certainly respect that, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest them based on your current needs.
I may be somewhat off track here, though I do hope this offers some useful advice. Remember, for what we pay to outfit the rest of our ski ensemble...our eyes are often overlooked and almost always undervalued. You may be able to ski in a bad boot, or with crap boards...but just try skiing one day without your eyes. It's hard Man!
Take the time to do it right, and don't be afraid to spend a little on treating them right. You'll never be sorry you did!