The biggest differentiator between the goggles that are available on the market today are the lenses. When choosing your new goggles for this winter season, there are basically two choices of lens types to consider:
This more traditional lens appears to be ‘flat’ but is gently curved around its vertical axis. For those of us who are buying their first set of gear, goggles with cylindrical lenses offer a good performance at a lower price point. This makes them the perfect choice for beginning snowboarders and skiers.
Modern technologies have allowed lenses to mirror the shape of your eyes and to curve along both the vertical and horizontal axis creating a so-called ‘spheric’ lens. This reduces distortion but maximises your own spherical vision. From the outside, these lenses give the goggle a bubbled look. However, beyond the look there are some significant advantages to using goggles with spherical lenses:
Peripheral vision: with a greater lens surface area, spherical goggles will allow you to see more above and below you, as well as to the sides.
Glare: many cylindrical goggles are modified to reduce glare, but no matter how clever manufacturers get these geometrically cylindrical goggles will always have more surface points where the sun’s rays hit the goggle. This creates so-called blind spots. Spherical goggles, on the other hand, have strategically placed curves to reduce glare.
Distortion: the flat edges of a cylindrical lens can cause visual distortion at certain angles, while the shape of a spherical lens allows for better optics. Manufacturers have already developed technologies to help reduce image distortion in cylindrical lenses, but spherical is still your best bet for distortion free vision.
Fogging: with a spherical lens, there is more volume between your face and the colder outside. This means better air flow and insulation, which in the end translates into a reduced chance of fogging.
Photo Courtesy: Aura Optics