Orange goggles are quite popular.
Red, blue, pink, orange…ski goggles come in pretty much every color of the rainbow. Not every color is ideal for every rider, so you’ll want to spend time considering which color is right–and not just which color you think looks best on your face. Getting the optimal lens tint will give you the best visibility. Better visibility is better skiing.
The most important factor in determining lens color is the weather and light conditions that you’ll be experiencing. That’s really why there are so many lens colors on the market today. Conditions vary greatly by geographic area and resort as well as by day; some resorts naturally experience more sunshine during the winter.
Think about the last season that you spent skiing or snowboarding and consider whether days were typically bright and sunny or dark and snowy. If you’ve never skied, ask some of your friends or locals at the areas where you’ll be skiing. Also, think about your preferences. Do you only go skiing when it’s dumping snow or do you prefer the day after, when the storm clouds have given way to sunny skies?
Choose a Lens Color
With a better grasp of typical light conditions, you can choose the optimal lens color. If conditions are particularly bright, get darker lenses that offer a low-visibility light transmission (VLT). Black and brown lenses are good. For overcast conditions, you’ll want a lighter lens that increases visual contrast in the snow. Yellow, rose and amber lenses are good at maximizing visibility in low-light conditions. If you’ll be doing a lot of night skiing or boarding, consider purchasing goggles with a clear lens, which will deliver the best visibility in dark, artificially lit conditions.
Take a look around a ski resort on any busy weekend, and you’ll probably see many people with orange goggles. These have long been a standard in the industry, as they’re a versatile lens that delivers good visibility in a range of conditions. They’re best in low to medium conditions, providing good protection for variable days or trips. If you can only afford a single lens, consider getting orange lenses, which could be considered the best all-around lens.
Carry Multiple Tints
The truth is there is no magic bullet when it comes to the “best” goggle lens. It really depends upon the conditions of the day, and even if you get the best lens for the majority of the season, there will be days when it will be less than optimal. The best way to prepare is to have multiple tints.
Photochromic lenses are an intuitive option that change colors automatically based on light conditions. In brighter conditions, they darken to let less light, in and in darker conditions, they lighten to let more light in.
The more traditional option is buying multiple goggles or multiple lenses. The latter option is particularly good because you can carry the extra lenses in your jacket to prepare for fast-moving mountain weather. Frameless goggles allow for quick, easy lens swapping.