Choosing the Lens Color & Tint
Wearing the wrong lens for the wrong type of weather can make skiing frustrating, but also just downright dangerous. Have you ever been blinded by the sun on a bluebird day, or practically unable to see the snow on a low light day? This means that your lens was either too light or too dark. There are tons of lens colors to choose from and each one will offer an advantage in different lighting conditions. There’s no shame in choosing a color & tint based on aesthetic (or what matches your ski clothes), as long as you account for the amount of light that is coming through the goggle lens. This is called the Visible Light Transmission (VLT).
VLT is measured as a percentage of light (0%-100%) allowed through the lens. Lenses with a high percentage of VLT allow more light through, which is best for low light days when it is storming or the light is flat. These lenses will usually be lighter and more transparent, with colors like yellow, blue, and rose and a VLT of 60-90%.
Lenses that function better on sunny days have a low VLT percentage (5-20%) and usually come in dark colors like black, grey, or mirrored tints.
There are also lenses in the middle of the spectrum that function best in changing light conditions or unpredictable weather. These lenses usually have a medium light color and are only partly transparent.
Sunny/Bright Light: Dark Lenses (Black, Grey, Mirrored)
Partly Cloudy/Medium Light: Medium Dark Lenses (Rose, Blue, Partially Transparent)
Cloudy/Low Light: Transparent Lenses (Yellow, Orange, Light Blue)
Night Skiing: Clear lenses
Choosing Multiple Lenses
Every goggle brand offers a wide array of lens options and you should definitely consider having at least two lenses for different types of weather. If you only ski on sunny bluebird days, this might be unnecessary. Consider the types of weather you ski in most frequently. It’s probably a good idea to have a lens for sunny days and a low light lens for stormy days.
You might also want to consider a goggle that has interchangeable lenses. Some brands might require you to purchase two pairs of goggles in order to have two different lens options. But there are many new options on the market where one goggle will have lenses that can quickly be swapped. This is a great option for when the weather changes drastically in the middle of the day. You can simply keep a lightweight pair of extra lenses in your jacket or backpack, saving you the bulk of a 2nd pair of goggles.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!