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Goggle fog solutions

Anyone who has worked in a ski shop can tell you that the number one complaint about goggles is that they fog. Interestingly enough, the same goggles tend to fog more on less advanced skier’s faces than on the pros skiing in more extreme conditions. The reasons are goggle care and how you dress.


First of all, goggles are almost all treated with an antifog coating on the inside of the lens. This coating helps, but does not completely prevent goggles from fogging. Second, more expensive goggles usually come with a double lens and an advanced ventilation system, sometimes even a battery-operated fan. That might seem extreme, but if you are someone who gets extraordinarily warm while skiing, or wears eyeglasses, you might consider getting goggles with a fan.


Aside from how goggles are made, and the gizmos and gadgets you can purchase to help keep them fog-free, there are several things you should do to keep your goggles from fogging.


Dress: The most important. Even though skiing takes place in the snow and hopefully in cold weather, it is also a highly aerobic activity. Your body produces an enormous amount of heat while skiing. For anyone who has skied inbounds at a lift-accessed resort, however, you know that chairlifts can get cold. The average skier overdresses fearing the cold on the chairlift, and spends the entire way down producing sweat, steam, and heat. That heat rises and meets up with your goggles, which are cold, and fogs them. Things like neck gaiters with big openings and jacket collars funnel your body heat right up to the goggles. There are several thinner neck gaiters, such as Buff gaiters, that allow that hot air to go through them. They help keep the wind and snow off your neck, but they do funnel the air up. Face masks with breath holes in the nose and mouth are also a good option. The main thing to remember is to not overdress.


Snowy conditions: Once you put your goggles on for the day, do not take them off unless you are a) in a building, b) under a roof of some sort, even if it’s on the chairlift. Especially if it’s cold out, your goggles will most likely fog once you take them off. Look around at any ski resort and you will see at least a quarter of the skiers wandering around with their goggles hanging off the back of their helmets. Even on a snowy day. In the event that your goggles fog, or do fill up with snow, do not wipe them out. Snow crystals are sharp and will scratch your lenses. Wool, long underwear, Velcro on your jacket sleeve, are all rough materials that will scratch your lenses. First, breathe on the snow to turn it to liquid. Second invest in a <$5 micro fiber cleaning cloth (same type of thin you would use on a computer screen or camera lens). The best option, if it’s available, is to find a bathroom and dry your goggles out under the hand drier.


Anti-fog treatments: There are several anti-fog re-treatments you can use on your goggles. Check with your manufacturer to see which one they recommend. Smith makes an anti-fog cloth and cat crap makes a wax you can wipe on your goggles. The most important thing is to make sure the goggles are clean (no grit, grime, or dust on the inside or outside) before you wipe them down.


Storage and care: Any nice pair of goggles comes with a case, either hard or soft, that you can store your goggles in. Do this. Always. Leaving them hanging off the back of your helmet or stored in your scratchy wool hat will reduce the lifespan of your goggles significantly. Also, dry them out before you put them away. If you plan to use them the next day, leave them out somewhere safe to dry overnight. Once the lenses get too scratched or the foam rots, the goggles are essentially useless. Although they can be an expensive item, if you care for them properly and use them wisely, they will last through several seasons.

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