The Foggy Goggles Guide For New Skiers

Skiing is a pretty active sport, and with all that exercise you’ll be getting hot and steamy... and so will your goggles.

Sliding down a slippery slope is difficult enough when you can see, so here a few things you need to know to keep those googles from fogging up.

#1 - Hot Head

Sometimes you need to lift your goggles to make eye contact with that cute ski bunny, read the menu in the day lodge, or just let your eyes breath.

When you do, avoid putting your goggles on your forehead for an extended period of time. Especially if you’ve been working hard and are wearing a toque (that’s Canadian for beanie). This is a sure fire way to fog your goggles. 

If you’re wearing a helmet it’s not quite as bad, but it does still expose the inside of your goggles to the elements, which adds potential for moisture to get in there. Then as soon as you put them back on your face, you guessed it, fog!

Ski Googles -  Don’t put them on your on forehead

#2 - Speed is Your Friend

If you’re starting to overheat and the fog is creeping in, keep sliding. Your peripheral vision is becoming impaired so you’re instincts tell you to stop or ski slower, but skiing faster will allow for better airflow around your lenses and help keep them clear. You’ll have to exercise some common sense here though, if you can‘t see at all you’re probably better to stop.

It’s often those times when you’re stuck on the chairlift or chatting in the lift line that your goggles will fog. So if it’s a warm wet day you may need to pull them off your face slightly to let a little more air through until you can get moving again.


#3 - Avoid Putting Stuff Over Your Face

Okay, so let’s just pretend I’m not writing this during Covid. For the time being you’ll have to wear a mask, but... 

A face mask that covers your nose is a sure fire way to fog your googles as your steamy hot breath gets deflected straight into them. It‘s a bit uncomfortable on those super cold days, but with a little exposure therapy you’ll have a tougher face.

A face mask will fog up your goggles

#4 - Procrastinate Putting Your Things Away

If your googles are wet and you put them away right at the end of the day, moisture will get between the lenses. This is bad! They may look nice and clear when you pull them out but next time you put them on your face they’ll fog up between the lenses and possibly be ruined for good.

To avoid forking out for a brand new set of googles every time you go skiing, make sure you let them dry out before putting them back in their bag. 


#5 - Don’t Wipe The Inside Lenses When Wet

So you just face planted and now you’re goggles are filled with snow. Naturally you’ll want to get out your goggle bag and start wiping. Just be aware, if you wipe the inside of the lense while it’s wet, you’ll ruin the anti-fog coating and render it less effective at keeping your googles nice and clear.

Sometimes it’s better to head into the day lodge and let them air dry. You can use the hand dryer in the bathroom to speed up the process (just not so close that you melt them). 

#6 - Dress Less

Being overdressed is probably the number one cause of fogging goggles. If it’s a warmer day or you know you’ll be working hard, take off a layer or open up your vents to avoid overheating.

The Goggle De-Icing Trick:

Goggles covered in rime?

Rime is that ice that forms on trees and lift towers from super cooled moisture droplets. It’s a common phenomenon in coastal mountain ranges and makes for awesome ’snow ghosts,’ but it can wreak havoc on your visibility. 

Wiping your googles vigorously is often an exercise in futility and will result catastrophic lenses scratching. Instead use a snowball to gently dab the outside of the lense. This old ski instructor trick works like a charm on all but the rimiest of rime. 

It can also be used to clear the snow or water off your goggles after you wipe out.

Backcountry Tip:

When hiking uphill your googles will likely be too hot to wear on your face and the natural tendency is to put them on your forehead. This will almost certainly lead to fogging. One method to prevent this is to put a bandanna, buff or your google wipe/bag in your goggles between your head and the lenses while their on your forehead.

Or better yet, just take them off and put them in your pack until you get to the top.

Anti-Scratch: 

This may seem obvious, but if you want your lenses to remain scratch free, never wipe them with paper products like a tissue or paper towel. Always use the goggle bag they came in and store them in there when transporting.

PS: If you’re looking for an affordable pair of googles, these Outdoor Master  Pro Goggles are great value and come with nifty magnetic lenses so it’s super easy to swap them out.

Join the Science Friction Club.

Outsmart your ski instructor and troubleshoot your own ski technique.

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