Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Goggle Fogging

So, there I was, a brand new pair of goggles on a wet northwest ski day. The light was flat and there was a lot of fog. It was really hard to see.

The following day...? Crystal clear.

Don't let a wet day ruin your goggles!

But still, really hard to see.

At some point on the rainy ski day, water got in between the lenses of my goggles. And from that point forward, it was almost impossible to get the water out. The goggles were constantly fogging, regardless of the day's weather.

And thus began my quest to fix my new goggles.

Over the next several days, I tried a number of different fixes. Depending on the goggle brand and build, one of these may work better than another.

Let Them Dry Out in a Warm Area

The first and least consequential way of dealing with water between the lenses is to simply place the goggles in a warm dry place. For example, I left mine in the laundry room for a week between ski trips. They were not in a cold garage or left in my car.

It is possible to pop out the lens' in order to make it dry more quickly. Airflow will certainly be better. But I found that my lens'  did not go back in well. Indeed, they constantly popped out of the frame after I did this, adding insult to injury.

Note the mismatch between the lens and the frame in this picture.
This remains a problem to this day with this pair of Julbo Goggles.

The Rice Treatment

Many of you have used rice to get water out of a cellphone. The idea here is the same. Place the lens' -- sans frame -- into a bag or dried rice. Often this will suck out the moisture.

As noted above, the lens may not go back in properly once out.

The Dryer Treatment

The thing that ultimately worked the best, was to put the goggle frames into the goggle bag, then put them in the drying machine. I ran the dryer on medium heat for a half-an-hour, and when they came out, they were all fixed.

Later I did this with a different pair of goggles without taking the lens' out. It worked just fine and allowed me to avoid trying to get the lens back in.

It should be noted that many goggles are designed for multiple lens'. These models may not have the same problem with the lens going back in as those models that don't have this feature.

Non-Between-the-Lens Issue

Sometimes fogging takes place because of something a bit more common than water between the lenses.

1) It's not uncommon for people to put their goggles up on their wet helmet. Snow and water often gets into the goggles that way. This is where a lot of fogging issues start. 

2) Another common reason that goggles fog is if a face mask is tucked up under them. Your breath can fog them. This can be avoided by keeping the mask out of your goggles.

3) This should be obvious, but after you fall down, make sure to clean snow off the goggles. Often snow gets plastered on the padding, which allows them to slowly get saturated as your body heat melts the snow.

4) Occasionally water drips down from above, and enters the goggle padding. A helmet with a visor can help reduce this particular problem.

5) If you're overdressed and you get hot on your descent, sweat and body heat can contribute to goggle fogging.

6) And finally, when all else fails, it's not a bad idea to have a backup pair...

Goggle Care

There are a few rules to keep in mind that will help decrease fogging issues.

1) Avoid rubbing water out of the goggles with your fingers or anything that is rough. It's best to try to shake them out. When you rub the lens, you can inadvertently rub off the anti-fogging agent that manufacturers apply.

2) When you aren't using them, it's best to keep your goggles in a place that is warm and dry. Extreme temperatures can cause them to wear out faster. Indeed, putting cold goggles on your warm face just causes fogging...so try to keep them at room temperature before use.

3) Don't store your goggles away somewhere where they can't dry off. Wet goggles should be treated like any other gear. Dry them, then store them...

Goggles are an essential part of a skier's kit. But if you can't see through them, they're essentially worthless. Take the time to buy a quality pair of goggles and then treat them well. Pay attention to them. They're just as important as any other piece of essential equipment.

--Jason D. Martin

1 comment:

Rich Siemer said...

Any experience or recommendations on anti-fog treatments?