It’s the perfect time to head out to your favorite mountain for a winter adventure. Before you go, be sure to look at our Snow Packing List, where you can make sure you have all the gear you need. If you’re not exactly sure what to bring, look at our Snow Packing List Series, where we go in-depth into every item. That way, you can make an informed decision when packing. The last thing you want to happen is to forget something. This week, we’re going over the right goggles and helmets.
The Goggles and Helmets
There’s more to goggles and helmets than meets the eye. For example, do you know if you prefer cylindrical lenses or spherical? Or do you want vents in your helmet? Both these pieces of equipment are vital to having a great day on the mountain. The helmet is a must as it is the first and only safety equipment that protects your head. Goggles are essential as they help protect your eyes from snow and the harsh glare from the sun. The best helmet and goggle combination is one that you will use. It is best to stop on by your local shop to not only try them on but also talk to a knowledgeable associate about some of the features. We’ll dive into a closer look at each one so you’ll have an idea of what to look for.
Goggles are basically your sunglasses while on the mountain, except that they do more than allow you to see on a bright sunny day. Imagine going downhill without a pair of goggles while it is snowing or behind somebody shredding powder. The snow or spray (or even debris) can kick up into your eyes and make it tough sledding on the way down. Goggles also provide a layer of warmth for your eyes, taking that stinging wind out of the equation. When looking for your next goggles, take into consideration these factors:
- Helmet Compatibility
The best goggles are ones that you will wear. So with that in mind, choose the ones that will best fit you. Try on a couple of pairs. Most, if not all, have adjustment points to get it just right. Also, pay attention to the foam around the edges. Some models have more foam than others, which may better suit your needs. At the same time, take into consideration fit, especially if you have glasses. Some models do not accommodate glasses, while others do.
The lens are much more than a shiny shield to keep snow and debris away from your eyes. The color and shape all serve a purpose to make skiing or snowboarding easier. Let’s first start with color. Certain tinted lens help eliminate specific color lights that refract from the snow. Depending on lighting conditions, by matching it up with a specific lens, you’ll have the most optimal combination to allow you to see. Technology such as Smith’s Chromapop lens or Giro’s Vivid Lens are all examples of top-of-the-line products that help enhance your experience while skiing or snowboarding.
The next thing to consider is lens shape. A spherical lens may be best suited for those who want almost no obstruction of the view with goggles on. However, this lens may not be suitable for those with astigmatism as it can distort vision around the edges. In that case, a more traditional cylindrical lens may be a better fit. As with any of these, it is best to go into your local shop to try on a few pairs to find what works best for you.
The final piece of information you need to consider about your goggles is the helmet to goggle compatibility. Smith, Giro, and other brands have helmet models that have seamless integration between your helmet and goggles. This means that they can slide right up and make it look like your helmet and goggles have become one unit. This eliminates gaps between the two and prevents windburn. It will also help avoid an area where moisture can get between your helmet and goggle.
The helmet is a major piece of equipment whether you are skiing or snowboarding. While it is straightforward, there are plenty of features to look at when choosing the right one for you. Besides the above-mentioned helmet to goggle compatibility, you’ll need to make sure your helmet fits well. An improperly fitted helmet may not perform as needed in the event of a collision. You’ll also want to see the other features the helmet has when trying them on. This includes vents to allow you to cool down, extra padding, goggle retainers, built-in ear flaps, and even music integration.
This is just a quick overview of what to look for when choosing your next pair of goggles or your next helmet. If you have more questions, stop on by your local Sun & Ski Sports, where you can talk to a local expert about goggles, helmets, or any other item on the packing list. Or, check out our blog, where we go over plenty of topics on skiing, snowboarding, biking, running, and more!