Best Goggles for Flat Light?
February 27, 2008
Any opinions out there? I wear glasses so that is a factor. I have a pair of Smith pinkish tinted goggles...as soon as it clouds up I am as blind as a bat as far as the terrain is concerned. 'fraid I am going to hurt myself.
My goggles have an amber colored lens that does a good job at keeping out the bright sun but also does a good job of illuminating everything on a real cloudy day. As for night skiing I usually stick to a pair of clear goggles.
sensor mirror lenses have a good rep for flat light. Also, yellow lenses are good for flat light and for night skiing.
Im using Carrera Kimerik OTG goggles with polarized yellow lenses, they work real good in low/overcast light with clear glasses. When the sun comes out I use a set of polarized prescription sun glasses under them. I always carry either the sun glasses or clear glasses in a hard case in my ski jacket, as one never knows when light conditions will change.
Polarized lenses make visibility worse for skiing in general -- they end up filtering the light reflected off moguls, terrain features, etc. Generally, you would choose polarized lenses when you want to filter out reflected light and keep only the direct light. For skiing, we tend to want a mix of direct and reflected light to read terrain, even more so in flat lighting conditions when the reflected light is hard to come by.
Thanks all for the advice...it is much appreciated. I am going to order a pair of yellow/amber replacement lenses and give them a whirl.
Make sure they are UV filtering. With yellow or clear lenses, you can do some damage to your eyes. Even in cloudy days, the UV spectrum can be significant
Ibotta...thats pretty important, thanks!
Here is what I ordered:
Y 68 - Yellow (VLT) 68%: A vibrant lens tint that increases visual acuity in extremely flat and low light conditions. 100% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Hoping there is no UVC...etc. Made by Smith.
I decided to do my own testing today in the midst of a dreary, foggy day at the top of Snowshoe. Over the years, I've accumulated no less than 20 different goggles from different manufacturers and with different lenses. The lowest price I paid for a goggle was about $50. Lower pricing, I thought, was a compromise on UV filtering or style. I got some because of their advertised purpose, some because I was on a ski trip and forgot to bring one, and others because they matched the outfit I was wearing. Let's face it... I like to have a good excuse to shop...
So this morning I headed off to the slopes with a backpack containing my 7 favorite goggles. As I said before, the weather was variable fog that ranged from quarter mile vis to literally zero-zero. Totally flat light. Down in the base of the mountain, however, the vis was unlimited but with dark, overcast skies.
Here's my take:
Oakley Wisdom goggles: I have four, and tried skiing with each. Results:
- Black iridium lens: Only for sun. Period. Back to its case.
- Yellow lens: Outstanding. Better visibility than with either the naked eye or with clear UV filtering lenses. My favorite on a dark, cloudy day. Cut through fog like a knife.
- Polarized gray: Back on the case. Couldn't see in the fog. Made everything darker at the base. Still I'd like to do the same test in the brigth sun next week...
- Pink Iridium: Too dark with clouds, excellent with flat light in the fog.
- Scott Witness with Bronze lens: Great fit but bronze was not my favorite in fog or low light. Back to the case.
- Smith Anthem with gold mirror: Awesome. My second fav after the Wisdom high-intensity yellow.
- Smith Phenon with mirror, Ignitor (I believe) Back to the case. Not good in either flat light or fog
This is unscientific, but after reading a bunch about the different lenses, I decided to do my own test. For what is worth.
Your test is more honest and better than most we read in the ski mags. I often wonder how honest the manufacturer's claims are relative to reality.
So this morning I headed off to the slopes with a backpack containing my 7 favorite goggles.
I would have liked to have seen that... I sure bet it would be funny to watch a guy analyzing goggles, then sticking them back into his pack, only to pull out another pair, then another pair, and another.....
Wow...that is a heck of test. Its funny but some of the lenses that went back in the bag claim to be good in all light conditions especially "poor" light conditions. Nice to have a real world test from an experienced skier.
I will do my own mini-test this week. I got my new bright yellow Scott Lenses for my OTG Knowledge goggles. And I mean bright yellow. I can compare them to the previous fleshy pink ones that I have. I do know my daughter has a pair of Bolle's with red lenses and she never feels the need to take them off.
Yellow lenses were excellent today in mixed conditions, sun, clouds and blowing snow. First time I have worn my googles all day without having to take them off to see.