Don't ruin another day on the slopes due to foggy goggles
A two week trip through the snowiest part part of Japan’s ski season has alerted us to a problem that is very common amongst skiers. Foggy goggles. They can derail an otherwise be a perfect day on the snow, compromising your vision and making skiing a whole lot less enjoyable. It can be hard enough to see the slopes in flat light or when it’s snowing hard, let alone when your equipment is conspiring against you.
The good news is that there are a few simple ways to avoid fogged up goggles – tricks that we’ve picked up over years on the mountain.
Regulate your body temperature
You’ll have seen the same effect on your car windscreen when it’s cold outside and there’s too much heat inside the car. A foggy windscreen. One of the most important tricks to keeping your goggles fog free is to regulate your body temperature, which in turn keeps your head cool. This means wearing the appropriate clothing for the type of skiing you’re doing.
The mistake beginners often make is wrapping up in too many layers, not realising the physical demands of skiing and therefore getting far too hot.
Our tip: wear one less layer than you think you’ll need. On a cold day, a synthetic base layer, fleece (mid layer) and jacket will do the job, but if the conditions are good then you may wish to drop the mid layer entirely. Avoid heavy jackets and jumpers with lots of insulation, and instead opt for lighter layers that you can remove easily. Read our guide to what to wear when skiing for more information on this.
Keep your goggles dry
Keeping your goggles dry means minimising sweat (see our previous point), but you should also avoid getting snow inside them. The easiest way to do this is to keep them over your face. Taking your goggles on and off all the time just means increasing the likelihood of getting snow inside them, especially if it’s snowing heavily.
Don’t touch the inside of the lens
When you purchase new goggles, they often come with a very fine anti-fog film on the inside of the lens. The more you touch the inside, the faster you’ll remove the chemicals.
If you must touch the inside, do so with the cloth or soft case that is supplied with the goggles, rather than your fingers – which may spread natural oils and other contaminants.
If your goggles get wet, go inside
There are times when getting your goggles wet or snowy is unavoidable. Falling in the snow is one such example.
Rather than battling with foggy vision all day long, our suggestion is to go inside and let them dry out next to a heater – though not too close. The on-mountain cafe is usually the best place for this, with the added bonus that you can have a coffee, hot chocolate or beer while you’re waiting. 15 minutes of patience may well save you a day of frustration.
Don’t go cheap
Skiing can be an expensive sport, but goggles are not the place to skimp on a cheap pair. If we had to rank each item in the order of importance, we’d put goggles in second place – just behind ski boots, and ahead of gloves. Note that skis fall further down the list.
Cheap goggles often come with a poor quality lens and insufficient ventilation, making them especially prone to fogging. Most would agree that having good vision is an important requirement for enjoyable skiing, so keep this in mind when making your purchase.
This goes for parents too. The crying kids in ski school are quite often the ones whose googles are fogged up to the point they can no longer see (or ski). Kitting them out with a decent pair of goggles is a positive step towards ensuring they enjoy skiing as much as you do.