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Written in conjunction with Snow Snow Simple

Thinking about buying a new pair of goggles? Not sure whether buying goggles with more than one lens is worth the money, or the hassle of changing the lenses when the weather changes? We can assure you – a good dual lens combination is essential to both your safety and your enjoyment on the mountain. Why? Well, you’re here now, so you might as well keep reading…

There’s no such thing as one perfect lens

Picture the scene: You’re out driving, and it’s a beautiful sunny day. You reach into the glovebox and pull out your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunlight, and the reflective glare of the sun from the road. You keep driving towards the tunnel at the end of the road, and once you enter the tunnel, you keep your sunglasses on. Yes, it’s much darker, but there’s some lighting in the tunnel so you can still see most of what you need to see. You’re in the tunnel for a good 5 minutes, and once you reach the end of the tunnel, the weather has taken a turn for the worse. It’s now overcast, grey and cloudy, and you can sense a storm coming on. Nevertheless, you keep your sunglasses on, because even though the conditions have changed, you’d rather keep the sunglasses on than take them off. Also, you can see the road markers, so you should be fine.

Bad decision? Yep. Unsafe? Definitely. Not much fun? Almost certainly.

So why would you apply the same logic to a pair of goggles?

While you’re up on the mountain, you will encounter the full light spectrum, from the full glaring sun reflecting off all the snow around you, to a complete white-out. Therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure you have the best possible vision at both ends of the spectrum, and in between. After all, if you re-read the scene above, but take off your sunglasses when the conditions change, you’ll be safer and happier with your level of visibility.

But I’ve read about photochromic and electric tint altering lenses, so clearly one perfect lens does exist?

They are a good attempt, but simply not yet good enough to cover the full range. Time will tell, and they could well become the norm in a few years’ time, but they certainly aren’t up to the challenge just yet. As for cost, they really are painfully expensive.

For now, the perfect balance can be struck between a polarised lens and a basic low light lens. It must be said that polarised lenses are essential for your mountain time due to their glare reduction technology. Polarised lenses do not need such a high VLT (Visible Light Transmission) level because they reduce glare, so you don’t need to block out as much sunlight. This translates to being able to use a polarised lens across a much broader light spectrum before it’s difficult to see. So, before you decide to purchase goggles with a full sun lens and a higher VLT, ask yourself – what am I going to do with these when the weather changes?

Your Own Confidence

There’s no doubt that whatever scenario you’re in, whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or simply walking around your house late at night without the lights on, is that poor visibility is extremely debilitating.

Particularly with skiing and snowboarding, poor visibility can devastate your confidence. Throwing yourself down a mountain is unnatural at the best of times, but when you can’t see where you’re going, or what’s underfoot, it’s very easy for all technique to go out the window. Then, once you can’t see where you’re going and you can’t control what you’re doing, the panic sets in.

Of course, there are some conditions that you simply will not be able to see in, regardless of the capability of the goggles you are wearing. However, by having more than one lens, you can significantly increase the spectrum of light in which you can see, and therefore, significantly reduce the likelihood of the above scenario.

Put simply – if your goggles cannot cover the light spectrum, you are not in a position to be able to ski or snowboard in all conditions. And, if you only get to ski for one week a year, wouldn’t it be a massive shame if you couldn’t go out and enjoy the day, just because you don’t have the right goggles for the conditions?

Panda Optics was founded by a former ski instructor, who used to spend hundreds of pounds on goggles and was never fully satisfied. Cut to the present day, and Panda Optics have formed partnerships with ski schools across the Alps, as the instructors who ski day in, day out all season long, really appreciate the range of light their lenses cover, without having to pay a fortune in the first place, or having to buy extra lenses.

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