Night skiing is a wonderful experience, but it requires the right eye protection. I cannot wear the same pair of ski goggles that I use during the day when night skiing.
This is because night skiing has different requirements compared to during the day. One distinguishing factor that I’ve noted is that one needs goggles that allow enough light penetration.
However, choosing the best color for night skiing can be quite daunting. But the main factor I look into when choosing goggles for night skiing is light penetration.
Different colors have distinct abilities to allow penetration of light. In this article, I will explain all one needs to know about the best goggle lens for night skiing, transmission capabilities, and visibility benefits.
What To Look for in Night Skiing Goggles?
Here’s what to look for when selecting night skiing goggles:
This is the most crucial parameter I consider when looking for night skiing goggles. During the day, one can even wear dark-tinted goggles as there is enough light.
But when night skiing, it’s recommended to choose a color that allows maximum light penetration. This will help one to have a clear vision, especially for the tiny details.
Rather than having two pairs of goggles, I prefer having one where I can swap the lenses. It allows one to have lighter packing, and I can switch from one lens to another.
Ventilation is a vital factor when choosing night skiing goggles as it enhances temperature regulation. Goggles with ventilation allow cool air to flow in and warm air to come out.
Rather than temperature regulation, ventilation is also imperative in minimizing fogging. Double-layered lenses are less prone to fogging compared to single-layered ones. This is because they have a thermal barrier that is less susceptible to fogging.
Recent technological advancements have also enhanced the production of goggles. Nowadays, some goggles are fitted with fans which help in dispersing moisture. These fans are battery-operated, and they have numerous settings that suit the owner’s skiing needs.
Some high-end goggles have anti-fog coatings that are vital when skiing in areas that have intense fog. Another key feature is vents. They are positioned on the upper, lower, and sides of the goggles, and they are best for enhancing better airflow.
Visible Light Transmission
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is the amount of visible light that passes through the goggle’s lenses. It is measured as a percentage, and the higher the number, the lighter the lens. When choosing a lens for night skiing, I prefer the ones with a higher VLT.
This is because they allow maximum light penetration than ones with a lower percentage. In addition, a higher VLT is intended for usage in cloudy, dark, and overcast conditions.
VLT ratings range between 0 to 100 percent and one can choose based on their preference. They also come in various colors and designs. Another option that one has to choose is whether they are polarized on non-polarized. I prefer using the polarized ones as they block out glare.
What Is the Best VLT Rating?
Although the VLT rating is all about personal preference, skiing conditions determine the kind of lenses to use. For instance, I had a rough time navigating the slopes when using lenses with low VLT ratings at night.
This is because the amount of light reaching the eyes is very small. The best lenses for night conditions are ones with a high VLT rating. Some lenses are designed to handle a wide array of light conditions.
This allows one to ski in different lighting conditions without worrying about light penetration. On the other hand, one can also have several types of goggles. One will use goggles with low VLT in bright conditions and those with high VLT during the night or in overcast conditions.
The Best Color for Night Skiing
In this section, I will be elaborating on the color options that one can use when night skiing and how they will impact the experience.
Yellow lenses are the preferred color for night skiing as they allow one to have a vision for small details. This option is ideal for uneven and rough terrain. In addition, yellow lenses are one of the best for night skiing as they help one to see shadows, bumps, and other factors that can affect skiing performance.
As the name suggests, clear lenses do not hinder any light penetration as they are completely translucent. Thus, they are ideal for use in low light conditions.
Black or Brown Lenses
This option works best under extremely bright light conditions as they block a substantial amount of light when used during the night. Black lenses are also preferred during bright light conditions as they elevate depth perception when skiing.
Gray lenses are best for handling different kinds of lighting conditions. One can use them when skiing during the day or at night.
Green or Blue Lenses
These options are best when used in higher lighting conditions. They are best at reducing glare, boosting vision, and creating contrast when skiing. This allows one to have better navigation of the jumps and moguls.
Red or Orange Lenses
Red and orange lenses are best for low to moderate lighting conditions. This is because they allow the transmission of a fair amount of light. In this regard, they are not best for sunny and bright occasions.
Additional Lens Features
Here are additional lens features to consider:
Polarized lenses have a special filter that helps in reducing glare from light and snow. This chemical filter helps in filtering horizontal rays, which are imperative in reducing light hitting one’s eyes.
One can only see the light that approaches vertically, which is important in minimizing glare. It also aids in making things look clearer, and one is able to see even minute objects.
Photochromic lenses are regarded as one of the best for navigating slopes and offering the utmost skiing convenience. This is because they are designed to adapt to a wide array of lighting conditions.
They become lighter in low light and darker in bright light, allowing one to ski in different lighting conditions with one lens.
Almost, if not all, goggles are made using 100% UV protection. They offer protection from three ultraviolet rays: UVB, UVA, and UVC. This is vital in ensuring that one protects their eyes when skiing and getting the necessary comfort when skiing.
Frequent exposure to harmful UV rays can result in numerous eye complications such as eye cancer and cataract, to name a few.
This option has a coating on the outer side of the lens that aids in reflecting light. Mirrored lenses are best for reducing the amount of light getting to the eyes. Nonetheless, they allow enough light for clear vision without straining.
The anti-reflective coating in mirrored lenses is also ideal for reducing glare. Mirrored lenses are also known to be durable, and some have been enhanced with scratch-resistant attributes.
As opposed to fixed lenses, interchangeable lenses allow one to switch different colored lenses based on the present lighting conditions.
One can use tinted lenses when in bright light conditions and clear ones in dark and overcast conditions. Therefore, one has a wider choice of skiing and enhances the skiing experience.
Protection is a key factor when skiing as one gets exposed to snow, barriers, and light, among other factors. However, there are still precise considerations that one has to make, such as the lens color. This is because it affects the skiing experience based on different light conditions.
The best lens color for skiing in low light conditions should be clear or yellow. This option permits maximum light transmission, enhancing clear vision in dark and overcast conditions. On the other hand, tinted or dark lenses are preferred in bright light conditions.