The average snowmobile speed is around 100 miles per hour. When you’re traveling that quickly, you need to protect your eyes from snow and other flying debris. Yet your goggles always tend to fog up when you ride, which is a dangerous situation. Are antifog goggles the solution you need?
Antifog goggles or glasses are a smart pick for optimal visibility when snowmobiling. Keep in mind though that over time, the antifog protection, if it’s a spray or coating, can come off. You’d need to reapply the treatment so your goggles don’t start fogging up on you again.
In this article, we’ll explain the science behind antifog goggles, then delve into how effective they are and if the goggles help when snowmobiling. We’ll even recommend a few antifog goggles to consider, so make sure you keep reading!
What Are Antifog Goggles?
To explain how antifog goggles work, we first need to go over why lenses get foggy in the first place.
Why Do Goggles and Glasses Fog?
If you wear prescription glasses, then you’ve probably found yourself in this scenario more than once. It’s wintertime, so you’re bundled up to your nose. The moment you step outside, your face tucked into your scarf, your glasses begin fogging.
Or perhaps it’s a very hot summer day and you’re blasting the AC in your car. You reach your destination, get out, and the heat makes your glasses fog right up.
In both those instances, the reason your glasses fogged was because of the temperature differential. In other words, the temperature on the inner surface of your glasses lenses is warmer than the outer surface. Water vapor or moisture condenses on your glasses, leaving the lenses foggy.
When you wear goggles, which create a seal around your face, the temperature differential is even more pronounced. That’s why your snowmobile trips could be marred by foggy goggles.
Other sources of water vapor can also contribute to fogging, such as ambient humidity, your breath (especially when you’re breathing heavily), and perspiration.
Antifog Goggles 101
Goggle fogging is not a problem only snowmobilers have to deal with. Any other physical activity that requires the use of a mask or goggles can lead to this issue as well, such as scuba diving. The need for antifog technology was certainly there, and it was NASA themselves who answered the call.
Project Gemini was a spaceflight program from the 1960s, only the second such program to involve humans. To prevent the helmet visors from fogging in space, NASA created an antifogging agent. It worked, and more astronauts began using the antifog solution.
Today, antifog technology is available in many forms. Titanium dioxide is one such antifog agent, since when it’s exposed to UV light, it pulls in water molecules. Hydrogels and polymers such as beeswax and gelatin can prevent water vapor from sticking to the lens. These too are considered hydrophilic like titanium dioxide.
There are even DIY antifog solutions. Divers and snowmobilers alike have found that by using certain detergents and surfactants that they had good results against fog. These surfactants include shaving cream, soap, and shampoo. The trick is to add the surfactant to the goggle lens, wipe it away, but don’t use water to clean it off.
Even spitting works in a pinch. You take some of your own saliva, wipe it around the lens, and then put your goggles on. It’s gross but effective at resisting fog.
Do I Need Antifog Goggles for Snowmobiling?
There are a few reasons we’d encourage you to strongly consider antifog goggles as a worthwhile addition to your snowmobile gear. Remember, fog can develop on goggles or glasses in a variety of ways, many of which you’re prone to when sledding.
Due to the high speeds you’re traveling, your snowmobiling glasses or goggles must fit tightly on your face. Otherwise, this headgear would fly right off. A wraparound strap at the sides or back of the goggles provides a secure fit, but that security also allows for moisture to form on the inner surface of your lenses.
Secondly, despite that sledding is a cold-weather activity, it’s not like you’re just sitting idly and letting the snowmobile do all the hard work. You’ll activate many muscles, among them your abs, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Anticipate that you’ll work up a sweat, which puts you at a higher likelihood of having your goggles or glasses fog up.
Third, as you navigate a snowy trail on your sled, with your physical exertion will come harder breathing. As you huff and puff, your goggles will get foggier and foggier.
With such a high chance of foggy goggles when riding your snowmobile, do you really want to wear anything but antifog glasses? You already avoid riding at night or during storms because of low visibility. When your goggles fog, it’s hard to see anything at all. Your visibility may be even worse than it is when sledding in the dark, as everything in front of you is just one big blur.
Think of all the horrible circumstances that can follow if you dangerously snowmobile without being able to see. You could crash into another sledder or hit a tree, a rock, or any other surrounding hazards. You could skid your snowmobile onto the ice or even fall off a cliff if you’re not careful. The injuries, financial impact, and possible loss of life are simply not worth it!
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The Best Antifog Goggles for Snowmobiling
You’re convinced you need antifog snowmobile goggles, but this will be your first time shopping for them. We’ve got you covered. Here are a handful of what we call the best antifog goggles, all available on Amazon.
Smith Drift Snow Goggle
Our first recommended pick is the Smith Drift Snow Goggle. These glasses feature Sol X lenses that boast the brand’s Fog-X antifog coating. The cylindrical goggles also include TLT lens technology that further enhances your view so you’ll practically forget that you’re wearing goggles in the first place.
Smith’s goggles are unisex and come in a medium size. To keep them secure on your head, the goggle strap is silicone with an ultra-wide fit. Shift the goggles fit as you need them thanks to the dual sliding adjustment system. You can even choose the lens colors, with such available options red/orange, blue/purple, blue/pink, or translucent.
HONGDAK Ski Goggles
As the top seller on Amazon for snowmobile goggles, HONGDAK’s ski goggles are certainly worth your consideration. The polycarbonate lens, which is one piece, has an antifog coating that doubles as anti-scratch protection. These goggles also feature UV400 safeguarding to reduce visual distortion.
Foam surrounds the lenses so these goggles feel more comfortable on your face. HONGDAK includes a ventilation system in their goggles as well as moisture-wicking technology so sweat is less likely to accumulate in your goggles, making them fog.
A clip locking system, which is integrated into the goggles, allows you to change out the lenses if you’d rather use a different set with these goggles. The frame, made of TPU, is designed for durability, making the goggles an ideal choice when snowmobiling and enjoying other wintry activities.
You can also choose the lens colors for your HONGDAK goggles with such options as silver, emerald green, ice blue, and blaze orange.
Zerhunt Ski Goggles
An Amazon’s Choice product, Zerhunt’s goggles could be just what you’re looking for. They feature a thermoplastic polyurethane frame with glass lenses. Zerhunt calls their antifog technology “advanced,” as the lenses are treated separately. To make these goggles even more fog-free, vent channels throughout let air travel.
The spherical panoramic view reduces interferences and opens up a wider view, as the frame of these goggles is quite streamlined. Strap the goggles on via the buckle closure around the back and you’re ready to go. Since Zerhunt’s goggles are made of glass, you do have to be extra careful to avoid bailing on your snowmobile while you’re wearing them!
Unigear Skido X1 Snow Goggles
If you need a budget pick for antifog snowmobile goggles, the Unigear Skido X1 goggles fit that bill. These goggles feature polycarbonate lenses finished with antifog technology, including a heat barrier, double lenses, and ventilation. Unigear says its antifog coating comes straight from Italy.
The cylindrical-shaped lenses are designed for restricting horizontal light that can bounce off the fallen snow and make it hard to see. UVB and UVA rays don’t stand a chance either as these goggles block both. The TPU frame is malleable yet tough, and the foam that surrounds the goggles is hypoallergenic for less face irritation.
Unigear’s goggles come in such lens hues as blue silver, rose red, Revo yellow, Revo red, and orange.
Care Tips for Antifog Goggles
Let’s wrap up by presenting some tips you can follow to maintain your snowmobiling goggles. After all, even if you bought a budget pair per our suggestions above, you still want your goggles to last a long time!
Let Snow Dry on Its Own
Rubbing at your goggles with your shirt or even your coat is a huge no-no. You could scratch the lenses and, much worse, cause the antifog coating to rub off prematurely. When ice, snow, or rain gets on your goggles, let it dry on its own. If the droplets are impeding visibility, then shake your goggles until the water disperses.
Store Your Anit-Fog Goggles When Not in Use
Some of the goggles we reviewed in the last section include their own carrying bag or case. If yours don’t, then it’s worth spending the extra bit of money for a case or bag. That makes it easier to keep your goggles safely stowed away until you’re ready to use them next.
Reapply Antifog Coating Regularly
Antifog coating is great but not designed to last forever. If you buy inexpensive snowmobiling goggles, then you might get three months of protection before the coating fades. Higher-end antifog coating lasts for a year or more.
At that point, you have a few options. You can use homemade anti-foggers like spit or shaving cream to clear your goggles. You can buy a new pair of goggles, but be aware the same thing will happen. You can also apply more antifog coating.
Optix 55 is a highly-recommended antifog treatment for anti-reflective lenses of all sorts, including goggles and even eyeglasses. You only get a few days to weeks out of this treatment before having to re-add it, so make sure you carry your bottle with you or always have it close at hand. Otherwise, you’ve got to spit on your snowmobile goggles.
Fog forms on the lenses of goggles due to temperature differentials between the inner and outer surfaces of the lenses. Sweating and hard breathing can also worsen fog, both of which happen when snowmobiling.
Now that you know the importance of antifog goggles, you can sled safely without visibility concerns!
What you wear when snowmobiling will play a big role in how well your day goes. If your clothing traps in sweat or isn’t waterproof, you’re going to get cold fast. Bulky clothing items can limit your maneuverability, impacting your ability to ride. Which cold-weather gear do you not want to go without when you ride your sled?
The day of your first snowmobile adventure has arrived! You anticipate there will be many more days like this in the future, that is, if you can navigate through today. How can you stay safe on your snowmobile? We recommend these safety tips before and when operating a snowmobile.