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Goggles Buyer's Guide

Finde die passende Goggle für jede Wetterlage!



Snowboard Goggles – Protect your eyes the stylish way!

Oakley goggles
Oakley Goggles

Imagine the scene - your perfect day on the mountain. Heavy snowfall or a perfectly groomed park. All of your friends are with you. You’ve waxed your snowboard and your outerwear look is on point.

You’re about to drop in and you realise – I can see everything! Every little detail. The rollers in the powder, cliff drops and every tree stump in your line. In the park, you can see your takeoff and landing. The halfpipe is crystal clear and the light shimmers playfully off the snow.

The reason for all this? The right goggles. Having the right snowboard goggles can be the difference between having a good and great day on the mountain.

Lenses  – allow you to see clearly

The lens is the most important part of the goggle. The right lens is tailored to increase contrast in the right conditions. However, not every lens is for every situation.

At Blue-Tomato we distinguish between lenses for the amount of visible light (VLT) they allow

  • 3-8 % VLT – Very sunny. The brightest son, often found when you’re riding on glaciers or long sunny days at the end of the season. These lenses are usually very dark or heavily mirrored.
  • 9-18 % VLT – Sunny, partly cloudy. A more general bright light lens. This lens is best suited to sunny days but will still work well if a few clouds appear.
  • 19-43 % VLT – Changeable. The most common versatile lens. Engineered to work both in sunshine and clouds.
  • 44-80 % VLT - Overcast, snowing. This lens allows more light through in bad light conditions. When its snowing or the light is flat the increased light and contrast boosting tint will help you see. These goggles are often less heavily or non-mirrored.
  • 81-100 % VLT – Fog, night time. This lens is for the lowest light conditions. Used for riding under artificial light and in the thickest fog.
Goggle manufacturers such as Electric and Spy have carefully tailored lenses to help you on the mountain. Take note of the conditions you most frequently snowboard in and pick a lens accordingly.

‘What if I don’t know which conditions I will be riding in?’

A great question. Thankfully goggle manufacturers are always two steps ahead. There are two options for you.

  1. A goggle with two sets of lenses
  2. Photochromatic lens or a lens which has very broad VLT range for your goggles
Depending on which option you choose, you will be ready to take on any challenge on your snowboard.

Bonus lens – Double the Fun

Spherical goggle
Goggles with spherical lens

With such variety of conditions which you can find on the mountain, the demands on your goggles can be entirely different. For this reason, goggle companies have released goggles with multiple sets of lenses. When the conditions change, just swap out the lenses. For an even quicker transition, we have goggles with quick-change systems.

One lens to rule them all!

Lens technology has developed far since the 1970s when Smith and Oakley were developing the first ski goggles. Now there are lenses which change the amount of the light they let through. Photochromatic lenses darken in brighter light, doing you eye’s work for them.

Another recent development is lenses which work well across a broader spectrum of light. Oakley pioneered PRIZM through a comprehensive study of light. PRIZM lenses filter out blue light and work to enhance contrast boosting colours. PRIZM goggles work across broader light conditions than traditional lenses.

Oakley is not the only company working on light science to improve your day. Smith released their ChromaPop™ goggles, Dragon has its Lumalens® and Anon has worked with ZEISS optics to develop Sonar lenses for their goggles.

Spherical vs Cylindrical - Which way do you bend?

Framless, Spherical and cylindrical goggles
Spherical, cylindrical and frameless goggles

There are two types of lens which we have at Blue Tomato.

  1. Spherical – Curved on two axes for the most precise vision. As the lens more closely matches the curvature of the eye, there is less optical distortion. Spherical goggles are often the premium models which demand the top clarity, peripheral vision and no distortion.
  2. Cylindrical – Only curved on one axis, with a more flat look. These goggles are often a little cheaper and have a stylish retro style. A cylindrical goggle brings the lens closer to the face resulting in increased peripherals. A mild taper to the lens can also help with optical distortion.

A way to frame your vision

The frame holds everything together. So let’s have a better look at it. High-quality frames are rigid enough to keep the lens in place but still comfortable. A triple-density face foam prevents pressure points from forming.

If you wear glasses, it is important to find a pair of goggles with a frame which accommodates your eyewear. OTG goggles fit over the glasses with discreet notches at the temples and an oversized fit.

For an even broader field of vision, you can try a frameless style goggle. These models have a lens which is either attached to the front of the frame or the frame stripped back to its very minimum.

Anon, not content with making kick-ass snowboard goggles have found new ways to innovate. By attaching magnets to the frame, they have continued their Magne-Tech® to facemasks. With specific models, there is a matching magnetic facemask included!

Rest assured, you can find every type of snowboard goggles here at Blue Tomato.