by April Sanders
A good pair of ski goggles will protect your eyes in many ways. Ski goggles block ultraviolet light, which can be stronger at high elevations than at near sea level. Sunlight also tends to be brighter when you're skiing because the light reflects off the snow. Ski and snowboard goggles will also protect your eyes by keeping wind and snow out better than sunglasses, and you won't have to worry about your goggles falling off or breaking as easily as sunglasses. And if you enjoy tree skiing, goggles are going to help protect your face and eyes from small branches.
Lenses: Decide what type of lenses you want. Dark or polarized lenses work well to cut back on sun glare, while orange or yellow lenses cut through foggy conditions. Rose-colored lenses are great on dark, gloomy days. Some goggles come with interchangeable lenses, allowing you to switch them out depending on the conditions. Photochromic lenses adjust to varying light conditions. Photochromic lenses cost more but can allow you to only have one pair of goggles for every sort of light condition you might encounter. Otherwise, choose the lenses that best match the type of skiing you do and the typical mountain conditions.
Comfort and fit: The foam inserts around the lenses are designed to provide comfort and protect on impact. Some goggles use different foam materials, such as hypoallergenic, and others use two or three layers of foam to give extra cushioning. If you wear glasses, choose ski goggles that are made to fit over your glasses, which are appropriately called "over-the-glasses" or "OTG" goggles. Size the goggles properly. First, look for goggles made specifically for the age of the skier. Many goggles are made for "juniors" (ages 7-18) or "children" (ages 2-7). Most adult goggles are unisex and adjust to fit anyone. Almost all goggles are made to fit over helmets.
Other features: Ski goggles with anti-fog coating and vents are extremely helpful. It is difficult to remove your goggles in order to de-fog them, especially with ski gloves on. Rubber nose pieces are generally more comfortable than plastic, and they are flexible as well, allowing a better fit. Some ski goggles are made with a scratch-resistant material.