The search for the perfect pair of ski goggles needs to take in one important aspect: fog. Although most goggles on the market nowadays are treated with an anti-fog coating, there are instances where your goggle lenses can become foggy. Understanding why your goggles are fogging up will help to prevent it from happening more often. Below we offer a few tips and some problem-solving techniques which may shine a light on your foggy goggle disaster. Yes, goggle defects do occur but user error is the most common culprit.
What Makes Goggles Fog Up?
We all know that there’s nothing worse than getting ready to drop into the glades and realizing your goggles are all fogged up and you can’t see. Your goggles are brand new, fresh out of the box, so why are they fogging up? The answer is the air temperature. The condensation on the inside of your goggles is caused by a difference in the air temperature on the outside of your lens coming into contact with the air temperature around your face.
How Can I Avoid Foggy Goggles?
Goggle brands are constantly coming up with new technologies and features to ensure the best performance for their products. One of these main focuses when developing new goggles is the lens and lens performance. While it’s something all brands strive for, foggy goggles cannot be 100% avoided. Having said that, knowing what causes it and how to prevent it, you’re that much closer to having pristine goggles 100% of the time.
Below are some tips to help you get fog-free goggles out on the slopes.
Do Not Tuck Your Face Mask Under Your Goggles
Although you may just be trying to stay as warm as you possibly can on a frigid day on the slopes, one of the most common reasons for foggy goggles is tucking you neck mask or balaclava under them. When you do this, your warm breathe is redirected straight into your goggles which can have your lenses fogged up in a matter of seconds. This is similar if you are wearing glasses and a jacket with a tall collar. As you snuggle your face into your tall collar for warmth, your glasses quickly become fogged up leaving you semi-blind until the condensation has dissipated.
So how do you stay warm and bundled up without ending up with foggy goggles? Simple! You can wear a neck gaiter or balaclava but just keep it below your goggle frame. You can still stay cozy and warm and avoid foggy lenses. Brands such as Anon sell goggles that are neck gaiter compatible and will have integrated magnets which hold the gaiter in place.
Dress According to the Temperatures
Although it may seem silly, overdressing can be the perpetrator for fogged up goggles. Too many layers can cause your body to overheat which results in your face being warmer and a big difference in air temperature between the inside of your goggles and the air outside. The best way to avoid this is by checking the temperatures before you head out skiing or snowboarding and dressing accordingly. You want to be wearing enough layers so that you are comfortable and warm as opposed overlaying and sweating while you stand in the lift lineup.
This is a great example of where pit zips on underarm ventilation is handy. If you’re standing in the lift line up after an epic descent, releasing some hot air by unzipping your vents is a great way to regulate your body temperature.
Avoiding sweat and hot air will avoid foggy goggles. If you are headed out touring or splitboarding or you know you are in for a hike at the beginning of your day, bring a pair of sunglasses. Wearing goggles during a climb is asking for foggy lenses and condensation so save them for the descent. It’s also best to store your goggles in a pack where they can remain dry and away from sweat. If you are carrying your goggles in a pocket while hiking, your body heat will most likely make them fog up.
During the day, try to avoid resting your goggles on top of your head or helmet as all the hot air leaving your body will go up into your goggles.
Standing still can quickly have your goggles fogging up so stay in motion as often as you can. Obviously, that’s difficult to do on the chairlift, but if your goggles are well ventilated and you’re geared up efficiently, you shouldn’t have a problem. Your goggles may seem fogged up when you first get off the lift but as you start moving, the fog should go away.
It is important to note that on a powder day if you’ve gone down and are flailing in the snow trying to get up, you are making yourself vulnerable to fogged up goggles. When you’re trying to get up from a slopeside powder nap, take your time and keep in mind that the more you struggle, the more of a chance your goggles are going to get fogged up.
Do Not Wipe the Inside of Your Lens
As tempting as it may be, do not wipe the inside of your goggle lens as this can easily damage the anti-fog coating. If ever you notice a build-up of moisture on the inside of your goggles, it is best to let them air out. When you stop for lunch, take your goggles off and let them air out on the table. If there are hand dryers, you can dry your goggles under a hand dryer but don’t put them so close that they melt. Another option is to use some toilet paper to dab away the droplets without wiping. Keeping your goggles on your head is not ideal as your body heat will fog them up.
After a night of shredding, instead of putting your goggles directly back into their goggle sock where moisture can build up, leave them out to dry for a few minutes. This can be as simple as resting them carefully on the dashboard as you make your way home. This allows any water droplets to evaporate and for the foam which may have become damp form resting next to your skin to be air dried. Once your goggles are dry, you can store them how you usually would until your next day on the slopes.
Bring an Extra Pair
If you’ve got more than one pair of goggles, you can always bring a back-up pair in case your first pair gets foggy. This isn’t necessary for a short day on the slopes but if you are in for an all-day epic or a weekend on the slopes, a back-up could be a wise idea.
At the end of the day, foggy goggles are inevitable and it’s most often not a goggle defect but a user error. The best way to avoid it is by being aware when you are wearing your goggles and following these few tips mentioned in this article.
And don’t forget to round things out up top with the right helmet!