No one wants to be the squinty friend right? That’s why it’s important that your snow goggle lens help you to see in all conditions.
Lenses are good for lots of things:
- keeping the snow out your face when you bail
- stopping your eyes from streaming when you’re bombing down the hill, hiding your eyes whilst you stealthily check out the hotties (come on we know that’s why we all love a chrome lens)
- but mostly, they’re great for helping you see where you’re going no matter the conditions – IF you choose the right lens that is!
So this is why you need to read on, because LENSES MATTER!
You know those folk who cruise around all week in the cheap goggles, feeling their way down the slopes when they can’t see anything in flat light? Or whipping their goggles off at apres to reveal eyes stuck squinting from a day of bright sunshine laughing its way through their low light lens? You do not want to be that person!
Let’s paint a much nicer picture! Imagine shredding the hill, sending every hit, carving all the corduroy, stylishly navigating all the lumps and bumps no matter the conditions! These are the smart, happy, fun, and infinitely cool peeps who rock Melon lenses (if we do say so ourselves).
So here’s the what you need to know to make the right lens choice:
If it’s sunny you need a different lens than if it’s snowy!
Lenses are categorised as either S0, S1, S2 or S3
S0 = Very low light conditions, imagine snowy days and white outs, these lenses appear to brighten up the scene.
S1 = Low light, snowy days, white outs and overcast, these lenses also brighten up the scene.
S2 = A good all rounder, offering a tint that works in low light conditions but also helps keep things from being too blinding when the sun starts shining.
S3 = For when the sun has got its hat on and the skies are beautifully blue! Not shocking when the cloud comes in, but if it’s very low light you may want something with a lighter tint
(To discover your perfect lens take a look at our goggle customiser)
Not all lenses are created equal – SONAR!
Oh man are we obsessed with this lens tech! We’d hang our hat on saying that these are the best lenses out there, really they are just that great! Why? Well here’s a quick explanation but for a better understanding watch the vid below.
SONAR lenses were developed my some very clever people at Carl Zeiss who have been making lenses for cameras, glasses and goggles, for over one hundred years.
These people did a hell of a lot of experiments over the years to really understand how light works in different conditions. What they found is that blue light can be broken down into – in basic terms – “good” and “bad”.
A lot of low light lenses just block ALL the blue light as they consider it bad, but Zeiss worked out that they could split the blue light allowing in the good but filtering out the bad – bingo! Here’s a lens that performs amazingly! SONAR lenses are INCREDIBLE at picking out contrast, which means you can see all the features of the snow much more clearly.
When you become goggle obsessed like we are you tend to carry around another lens in anticipation of a change in condition, but if we were more normal humans and had to pick any lens that could do a little bit of it all we’d say go for a Category 2 SONAR lens, you won’t be disappointed!
MTB lenses are NOT made for snowy conditions!
Look, you could use them now and then but you’ll definitely not be giving yourself the best experience. Plus do you want to be that dude that rides with tear off pins on? You could hang your mitts off them I guess.
MTB lenses for one are single layer, so are not designed to keep out the cold conditions making them more prone to fogging. They also haven’t been developed to work in such bright conditions, such as when you have snowy slopes that intensely reflect the sun. We’re just trying to look after your eyes guys!
If you treat your lenses nice they will love you and so will we!
SO this goes for EVERY (decent) goggle brand out there – DO NOT WIPE THE INSIDE OF YOUR LENS!
Going to say that one again – DO NOT WIPE THE INSIDE OF YOUR LENS!
This makes us burn inside every time we see it! All good lenses will be treated with an anti fog coating designed to, shock horror as it sounds, help reduce fogging. IF you wipe the inside of your lens you will very likely smear this coating creating a horrible blurry mark that you will not be able to fix. This means bye bye expensive lens and bye bye ability to see clearly until you buy a new one!
Our tip for drying a wet or fogged lens (most likely due to some catastrophic bail right?) is to get air moving through the lens. The best solution is to take a break grab a hot wine/beer/hot chocolate and dry them off using a hand drier or near a radiator. You can also be that person frantically wafting them around or holding them off the side of the chairlift to get maximum air flow!
In recap lenses matter! You are now armed with the knowledge to go forth and choose the best lenses for your trip as well as make your lenses last for longer. And if you see anyone going to town on wiping the inside of their lens you have our blessing to wrestle them to the floor, snatch their poorly treated goggles from them, and direct them to this article so they can be duly educated in the love of the lens!