This past Christmas, I was speaking with my cousin, who is preparing to go on her first-ever ski trip. As such, she is in apparel-and-gear-purchasing mode. Her main dilemma, when I spoke to her, was choosing between two types of ski goggles she had bought: one with transition lenses and the other without.
I may never have been skiing before, but I could only imagine the benefits of having transition lenses when outside and on the slopes all day, so I gave that pair my vote. After all, who wants to take time out of skiing to fuss with changing out lenses or putting on sunglasses when you can just leave your goggles on?
The same mentality transitions into motorcycling eyewear. Regardless of whether it is goggles, helmets or padded sunglasses, visibility is key, and any properties they have to reduce eye strain or low-visibility conditions is a boon.
For instance, that same photochromic effect (meaning that the tint of the lenses lightens as sunlight fades) is available for padded motorcycle sunglasses. Not only will these glasses protect riders’ eyes from UV rays, but they will also be shatterproof (unlike regular sunglasses) and comfortable to wear for long durations of time. For example, many padded sunglasses have rubber ear pads as well as thick, vented foam around the eye sockets that serve as both a cushion against the skin and a way to wick up sweat to keep it from getting in riders’ eyes.
Now, the problem that does come up for riders with prescription lenses is that they cannot use these types of padded sunglasses. Another option for riders is to find a helmet that is glasses friendly, like HJC Helmets, which are designed to accomodater glasses wearers. Some riders choose to select goggles to go over their glasses to dually protect their eyes while on the road.
When it comes to goggles and helmet shields, mirroring and polarization are also important, but anti-fogging properties too are critical. There are two types of anti-fogging treatments on the market. Most goggles will come with an anti-fogging coating. As for face shields, while some may come with a coating, it is better to stock pinlock-ready face shields that accept a fog-eliminating pinlock insert lens, since coatings will wear away over time and need to be reapplied.
Now, fogging occurs when air on the outside of the shield or lens is colder than the air on the inside (i.e. your warm breath). So, the way these fog-eliminating inserts work is that they have a silicone bead around the edge of one side of the lens. This side gets pressed against the inside of the face shield so that it traps air between the lens and the shield when locked in place. The pocket of air created between the lens and face shield will keep the temperature regulated, preventing fogging on the inside of the helmet.
This article is sponsored by Joe Rocket.