Goggle solutions for specs wearers

17th February 2020, by Dave Watts

Dave in his Giro Zone helmet (£180) and helmet-compatible Giro Axis (£180) goggles which his specs fit easily underneath

Dave in his Giro Zone helmet (£180) and helmet-compatible Giro Axis (£180) goggles which his specs fit easily underneath

So far this season, I’ve been on three ski trips. Most of the time visibility has been pretty poor and goggles rather than sunglasses have been essential.

Regular readers of WTSS will know that I wear specs, can’t see much without them and can’t get on with contact lenses. I’ve tried everything bar laser surgery for a hassle-free way of seeing while skiing. Fine days and cold snowy days are trouble-free. It’s those warmer days when it’s misty or wet snow is falling that are the problem – and there have been plenty of those this season.

Until a few years ago, I hadn’t found a satisfactory solution. Put the goggles over the specs and pretty soon the spec lenses fog up. For years, I relied on Smith Turbo goggles with a battery operated fan – the fan keeps the air circulating and is supposed to keep the lenses fog-free; but it didn’t work effectively all the time.

Dave with his Sportviz goggles – only £84.95 including prescription inserts

Now I’ve found two alternative and better solutions.

A couple of years back I needed a new helmet. I get very warm while skiing and have found that only Giro helmets have enough venting to stop me overheating. So I got a Giro Zone helmet, complete with MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) Brain Protection System, designed to add extra protection for the brain in the event of an angled impact to the head.

So far, thank goodness, I haven’t had to test the MIPS. But I have loved the fit and venting of the helmet – and the magnetic ‘Fidlock’ fastening for the buckle.

At the same time I got a pair of Giro Axis OTG (over the glasses) goggles. This was the first time I’d had a pair of goggles specifically designed to go with the helmet I was wearing. These have done me proud in this season’s bad weather and come with two lenses (including one specifically designed for low light use) which are easy to change using a magnetic fitting system.

I also have a pair of remarkably good value Sportviz goggles with a prescription lens insert built in. These also work well in bad visibility despite now being seven years old and the anti-fog treatment they came with only expected to last ‘for at least 12 months’. I see that the latest version now comes with a jar of Sportviz fog-free wax, cleaning cloth and hardshell case and look forward to trying that.

Dave with his highly valued goggles protected by one of the new Gogglesocs (£12)

For the last few years, I have been using an anti-fog treatment on my specs called Cat Crap (yes really!) that I first came across in Colorado but is now available in the UK. It comes in spray-on liquid or rub-on wax form and works amazingly well.

Because I value both my Giro and Sportviz goggles so highly, I keep them in hard cases to protect them while travelling and while in my backpack on the slopes.
Until now, I have also been putting them in their cases to prevent them from damage while having lunch or a drink on the mountain. But this year I came across Gogglesocs, handy, attractive, eco-friendly covers that protect your goggle lens while you relax. They work really well and are very easy to put on and remove.

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