There is nothing more dangerous than having a cloudy vision on a powder day or being blinded by the sun when the sky is blue. There are dozens of lens colours to choose from that vary in design from brand to brand. Although one certain colour might match your jacket better, each colour will filter the light differently and offers unique advantages in certain weather conditions.

Goggle lenses have set limitations for the amount of light allowed to pass through in relation to the weather conditions outside around you. This limitation is also known as the ‘Visible Light Transmission’ (VLT), which is conveyed as a percentage indicating the amount of light able to pass through and falls somewhere between 0% and 100%.

Lenses on the higher end of the spectrum are designed for the more cloudy days, as their main goal is to let as much light in as possible. The brighter the light gets the darker the lens colour needs to be. Of course, there are also lenses available that perform fairly well in all conditions, which are great if you experience changing light conditions during the day. Each goggle and lens manufacturer produces a wide range of lens colours for cloudy days, bright days and everything in between.

Lens colours for bright conditions
A dark lens with a solid mirror.
Goggle buying guide

For those of us who like to hit the slopes on bright blue days, a darker lens will be your best companion to keep the constant glare out of your eyes. These lenses typically have a lower VLT between 5% and 20%, and therefore allow less light to pass through. The best lenses for those bright conditions on the mountain have either a plain dark grey colour, a dark brown or a rose lens combined with a heavy mirror. While the grey, brown or rose colour provide added contrast, the solid mirror will help to deflect glare. This is important for defining object when you are in the snow heading in and out of shadows.

Lens colours for medium conditions
Medium copper rose or brown lens with a light mirror.

Goggle buying guide

For the all-weather snowboard / skier who prefers not to worry about constantly changing lenses, we would advise going for a universal lens featuring a medium amount of VLT. This allows the goggle lenses to perform fairly well in all conditions. These types of lenses typically have a medium copper, rose or brown colour with a little to no mirror. The colour tints will give you some contrast vision for the overcast conditions, while still providing some protection for the brighter days.

Lens colours for low light conditions
Yellow to an amber lens with little to no mirror.

Goggle buying guide

When you are facing low light conditions, you are better of with goggle lenses that feature a yellow, amber or light rose colour. They will provide the highest VLT, ranging from 60% to 90%, which will allow the lens to let in as much light as possible and provide you with better contrast through the darker days. Since there won’t be any glare to reflect a mirror coating isn’t necessary. However, this won’t hinder your snowboarding or skiing performance.

Photo Courtesy: SportRx