That ski trip is finally approaching and you’re wondering what is the best way to protect your precious eyes from snow, sun and wind? Depending on the winter sports you practice, your current gear, here’s our advice for choosing the right equipment.
Similar sun protection against UV rays
Whether skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing, the top priority on high mountain slopes is to protect the eyes against light and UV rays. In fact, the higher the altitude, the more intense the force of the rays. These can cause sunburn of varying severity on the skin and are extremely dangerous to the eyes. In order to benefit from optimal protection, it is important to choose quality lenses. For this, manufacturers offer ski goggles and goggles combining protection and specific filters against glare.
In fact, whether your preference is for glasses or a mask, the protection will be equivalent for the same index. The index represents the level of protection of tinted lenses, which protect the eyes by filtering out harmful rays from the sun. Depending on the degree of tint, a CE mark or standard must appear on your sunglasses, indicating their level of protection. In all cases, be sure to choose glasses that will be adapted to the climatic conditions you will be facing.
Good to know
There are 5 protection indices, ranked from 0 (the weakest in terms of percentage of protection) to 4 (the strongest). In the high mountains, of course, opt for glasses with a high index (3 to 4).
Partial or complete eyesight protection
If the lens index does not give the advantage to sunglasses or ski goggles, the difference can be in the covering aspect your protection should have. Indeed, if the solar rays pass between the glasses and the face, they are not filtered effectively and thus constitute a threat for the eyes.
As such, thanks to its panoramic shape, the ski goggles perform much better because it completely hugs the upper half of the face. It is also all the more useful against the cold, in the event of bad weather (snowfall, rain, drafts ...) or even falling in powder to keep the eyes safe and secure. dry. The foam surround of the mask is generally waterproof enough to prevent any infiltration under the lens, thus ensuring the wearer maximum protection.
If you'd rather go with mountain goggles, which have the good point of being less bulky to carry, be sure to choose a pair that covers your eyes as much as possible. However, in practice, very few glasses have the ability to cover the face as much as a mask.
Beware of the compatibility with your helmet
More and more frequent on the ski slopes, helmets offer skiers and snowboarders a significant guarantee of safety in the event of a fall or collision to protect the head. Easy to wear with ski goggles, their moderate width allows them to easily adapt to the contour of a helmet without disturbing the wearer.
In the case of the ski mask, the maneuver can be more complex due to its large size, making it less easy to adapt to the helmet. However, today's ski goggles are often designed to be one with the helmet and thus allow good ventilation from the front to the back of the head. In addition, this mask-helmet synergy makes it possible to form a real anti-cold barrier over the entire top of the face by covering the space above the eyes.
Rather soft sport or extreme sport?
In order not to be mistaken, it is above all your practice of sliding and winter sports that should guide you towards the right choice of mount. If you are a speed enthusiast and like to go down the slopes at full speed, or even if you are an extreme sports lover, then it will be a good idea to opt for a ski mask instead. It will guarantee you a higher level of comfort thanks to its waterproofing against cold, wind and snow.
On the other hand, if your alpine skiing or snowboarding practice is limited and you prefer to walk at a more moderate speed (cross-country skiing or for snowshoeing, for example), then sunglasses will be your ideal ally to appreciate alpine landscapes. They will also be much more practical for enjoying a drink and sunbathing at the altitude restaurant!
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