Goggles protect your eyes from wind and sun. With most goggles it is easy to see in bright light. Different goggles have different properties in low light, fog and snow. The main factors here are lens colour and coatings. Different people swear by different colours and coatings, so it seems that there are no absolute rules - it is a question of personal preference. Some brands offer multiple lenses which can be swapped depending on conditions and preference. Many brands have interchangeable lenses, with different lenses for low light and sunlight. A bit more expensive but worth considering. If in doubt on a particular day choose the low light lens.
When you buy goggles think about compatibility with your helmet, if you wear one. Take your helmet with you when you buy goggles (and vice versa). Goggles have different shapes. Hold them up to your face without pushing. Thhe one that most closely fits your face with its natural shape is the one that is most likely to be the most comfortable.
If you wear glasses, and cannot wear contacts, most goggle manufacturers make oversize goggles that will fit over glasses. It is worth trying some ordinary goggles while wearing your glasses to see if you need the oversize goggles. If glasses fog up inside the goggles treat them with anti-fog spray.
The bane of goggles is fogging up. This occurs when moisture condenses on the inside surface of the lens. There are some tips to avoid fogging:
- Double lens goggles work. There is a layer of dead air between the two lenses that insulates your warm face from the cold outside.
- Try to keep moisture off the inside surface. Holding goggles so snow or rain falls onto the inside lens means that moisture is already there.
- Keep vents clear. The foam covered holes on the top and bottom of the frame are designed to let air circulate. Make sure they are clear so that the right amount of air circulates. This can mean occasionally clearing them of snow, and making sure beanies, scarves etc do not block them. This reduces fogging.
- If you tuck your nose into a scarf that also covers the bottom vents, any air you exhale will go straight through to behind the goggles, and condense into fog almost instantly. Avoid doing this - make sure exhaled air goes straight to the outside.
- Do not polish the inner surface. This generally has a fog reducing coating. If you use inappropriate cleaning methods the coating is damaged or removed. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. This usually involves polishing with the bag the goggles came in. Avoid using napkins or tissues.
- Do not put your goggles up onto your forehead, particularly if you are sweating. If the goggles are there you will sweat into them. Sweat is the dreaded moisture.
- If, regardless of everything else, your goggles are still fogging, higher volume goggles (bigger frames so there is more air behind the goggle lens) are less prone to fogging.
- If, regardless of regardless of everything else, you are still fogging and money is no object you can get goggles with teeny weeny electric fans that ensure the ventilation system works.