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The Science of Ski Goggles

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

 I just wrapped up a two-part article on the science behind ski goggles (VLT and tints mostly, didn't really cover fog issues) that you might find interesting. http://tinyurl.com/ot453f

 

I learned a lot researching it. One thing I learned is there isn't a consensus out there. Depending on which manufacturer you talk with you can hear completely opposite viewpoints!

 

 

post #2 of 18

Wags FYI, linked to site is being blocked as a spyware site by my anti-spywear software.

 

Can you post the article here?  I'm interested.

 

STE

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hmmm it just worked for me. Maybe it's the tinyurl thing that's tripping it somehow

 

Try the actual link

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-4364-Skiing-Examiner~y2009m5d15-Ski-Goggle-Science-Part-1-Light-my-way

 

or my home page

http://www.examiner.com/x-4364-Skiing-Examiner 

post #4 of 18

Thanks, the "actual link" worked just fine.

 

Nice article, very thorough.  I have the Smith Sensor Mirror lenses and like them.  Also have some older Scott "night" lenses with a blue tint and I like them as well.  I believe the Oakley hi-yellow and the Sensor Mirror are the most frequently recommended low/flat light lenses on these forums.

 

One thing you might consider delving into a bit more deeply (part3??) is the anti-fog properties of various goggle designs and coatings.  For example, are the "integrated" helmet and goggle systems effective at reducing fogging?  I'm interested because my goggles (regardless of maker) tend to fog up to such an extent that I often have to ditch my helmet in order to improve air circulation to keep my goggles fog-free.

 

Thanks for posting your article, very informative.

 

STE

post #5 of 18

Wags, excellent writeup!  Thanks.

post #6 of 18

will read the second one right after I wipe the moisture off my glasses.  Darned fogging

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

will read the second one right after I wipe the moisture off my glasses.  Darned fogging

 

Tackling the science around anti-fogging is my task at some point. I'm sure there's a bunch involved with that, but I'm kind of scienced out for now.

 

One thing I do know according to my doctor friend who I often ski with (who btw, I discovered a while after we met at church, that we had actually communicated on here years earlier)-- anyway he said that each individual affects it as far as the amount of heat and perspiration different people produce around their face. Fortunately, I must have a stone cold face because I'm lucky in that I generally don't have fogging issues.


Edited by Wags - 5/21/2009 at 12:59 am GMT
post #8 of 18

Since the look today  is to have no gap over the goggle to the helmet, no circulation is going to occur in that area unless the helmet accommodates it.The Smith integrated helmet-goggle concept is to use vents at the brim of the helmet to pull stagnant moist air away from the top foam vent of the goggle. Works in most conditions for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post

..... 

One thing you might consider delving into a bit more deeply (part3??) is the anti-fog properties of various goggle designs and coatings.  For example, are the "integrated" helmet and goggle systems effective at reducing fogging?  I'm interested because my goggles (regardless of maker) tend to fog up to such an extent that I often have to ditch my helmet in order to improve air circulation to keep my goggles fog-free.

 

Thanks for posting your article, very informative.

 

STE



 

post #9 of 18

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wags View Post

 

 

Tackling the science around anti-fogging is my task at some point. I sure there's a bunch involved with that, but I'm kind of scienced out for now.

 

One thing I do know according to my doctor friend who I often ski with (who btw, I discovered a while after we met at church, that we had actually communicated on here years earlier)-- anyway he said that each individual affects it as far as the amount of heat and perspiration different people produce around their face. Fortunately, I must have a stone cold face because I'm lucky in that I generally don't have fogging issues.

 

Wags, excellent article! Thanks for doing all that research!

 

Do let us know when you get to the fog part of the goggle mystery. I recently had a really bad experience in a storm at Snowbird due to fog freezing in my goggles, so I'd love to know what was bad about my goggles' design that allowed them to create such a problem!

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Since the look today  is to have no gap over the goggle to the helmet, no circulation is going to occur in that area unless the helmet accommodates it.The Smith integrated helmet-goggle concept is to use vents at the brim of the helmet to pull stagnant moist air away from the top foam vent of the goggle. Works in most conditions for me.



 


Good point. Wouldn't that be ironic if gaper gap is really a good thing!  We could reverse an entire fashion maxim!

post #11 of 18

Anything on scratch resistance? This is my big problem with goggles. I totally baby them - without fail. I get to the lodge, I take them out of their special soft bag and put them on. At the end of the day, I take them off my helmet and put them back in their special bag and replace them carefully in the top of my ski pack (not under anything) inside my helmet. That is where they stay until the next time I go skiing. Yet inevitably after just a few outings the lenses look like I've dragged them over a sandy hunk of asphalt. My current goggles are Scott Storm OTGs, but I have had the same experience with every other pair I've ever owned.

 

The part I don't understand is that I have had mountain biking glasses - for example, not to mention my regular prescription glasses - that get far more frequent use and indescribably more ABUSE - crashes, branches, flying mud and pebbles, you name it - that still are reasonably okay. So it seems obvious to me that ski goggle lens material must be very much inferior. Is there some absolute reason why that has to be, or have I just not discovered the brands or models that have quality lens material?

 

I have asked this question on ski forums before, but have never gotten a convincing answer. Usually I get something like "you need to be more careful with how you treat them," or "[shrug] never happened to me." In the former case, the person didn't read my post, and in the latter case... either I'm living in an alternate universe or else I'm just exceptionally fussy. If it's the latter, I'm hoping there are some more fussy folks out there who have the key!

 

Thanks in advance.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Anything on scratch resistance? This is my big problem with goggles. I totally baby them - without fail.

Most lenses are made of polycarbonate which unlike glass is not really naturally scratch resistant. Therefore, the manufacturers apply a scratch-resistant film-- to varying degrees of sucess as you've found. I've never used them but Anon brand brags about their trademarked "Shield Technology" which is a scratch-resistant film. Whether or not it's really better than the others or just more prominently marketed, I don't know. I'll add scratch-resistance to my list and give Anon a call when I do the next ski goggle science installment, probably in the fall.

 

Julbo uses a proprietary material called NXT rather than polycarbonate. I don't know that it's necessarily more scratch-resistant per se, because I know they warn about scratches in their literature. I'll put them on my list to ask about that also.

post #13 of 18

Wags -- fascinating articles. Thanks.

 

Everyone else on Epic -- what's worked (and not worked) for you?

      Polarized?

      Photochromic?

      Swapping lenses in one frame?

      Taking two goggles with you -- one for big sun and one for low light?  (i.e., keep the second one in your room/condo/car/backpack and swap as needed)

 

Thanks! 

post #14 of 18

I'm a big fan of swapping lenses.  I carry two lenses -- one for low/flat light, and another multipurpose, and swap on the fly as needed. 

post #15 of 18

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Wags -- fascinating articles. Thanks.

 

Everyone else on Epic -- what's worked (and not worked) for you?

      Polarized?

      Photochromic?

      Swapping lenses in one frame?

      Taking two goggles with you -- one for big sun and one for low light?  (i.e., keep the second one in your room/condo/car/backpack and swap as needed)

 

Thanks! 


Polarized - never tried them on goggles.  I used my Smith/Action Optics polarized glasses for skiing.  They worked better than my non-polarized glasses by filtering out extra glare.
Photochromic - never tried them on goggles.

Swapping lenses in one frame - it's a time waster.  Get an extra pair of goggles with a different tint.

Multiple goggles with different tints- best way to go.  It's very convenient.  One can get by with two goggles (flat and bright light conditions).

 

Dennis

post #16 of 18

219 and Denny  -- thanks!  I had neglected to check this thread for a couple weeks and didn't realize that I had gotten responses.  But, uh, no consensus, it appears.  

 

How/where do you guys keep/store your second lense or second goggle until you need it?  That's the main problem, I think, with either option -- it seems that you would either: (a) have to carry it on you (e.g., in the pocket of your ski jacket next to the Clif bar or chapstick); (b) carry a backpack; or (c) stuff the backpack in a cubbie at the base (or mid-mountain) lodge and hope no one takes it.  Yes, you could say that any of these options is better than diminished vision when the light changes.  Photochromic lense goggles don't have this problem, but I am wary as to whether they work as well as claimed.

 

219, when you're carrying the extra lense, is there a chance of it cracking, since it's not in the frame? 

 

Further thoughts welcome.  Thanks.  

post #17 of 18

Last season I carried a second pair of Oakley A-frames in my camelbak. I'm trying to get away from having anything on my back while skiing, and I'm disenchanted with the A-frames after they fogged and froze and put me in a dangerous situation during a storm, so next season I'm going to grab a pair of the Smith I/O goggles and carry the extra lens in my jacket. It has a nice inner pocket made especially for goggles and lenses that follows the contour of your ribs (think of the Napoleon Bonaparte portrait with his hand in his jacket)

 

I am a little worried about cracking the lens in a fall, but I guess if the lens is going to be cracked, so are my ribs. I keep the lens in its microcloth bag and wrap that in a balaclava that I have in case it gets too cold, and so far that's worked pretty well. I'll let you know how my experiment with changing to the I/O goggles goes!

post #18 of 18

For fogging, the best goggle seems to be the Smith Knowledge turbofan OTG model.   Let me clarify - for fogging of glasses inside the goggles.  That seems to be the main problem.  I rarely get fogging anymore (post-LASIK) on the inside of the goggle.

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