While you might be able to ski successfully in sunglasses for one day in your week long holiday, you’re going to need a pair of goggles for the other five days to protect your eyes from the snow and make sure you can see your way down the mountain in all kinds of conditions.
When I started skiing a few years ago I admit that I purchased the cheapest smallest pair of goggles I could find. I didn’t really want a pair, I hated them – they felt huge on my face and I found them uncomfortable. I spent around a tenner just a couple of days before I went on my first ski holiday, for the simple reason that I needed them. But since then I’ve realised the importance of my goggles and when Ski & Trek offered to treat me to a brand new pair from their new range from Dirty Dog ready for my holiday to Austria, I jumped at the chance to try them out.
Shot taken using our new Drift Stealth 2 action camera, attached to LincsGeek’s helmet at the time.
The Dirty Dog Afterburner ski goggles are said to be strong, flexible, and durable. They have open cell face foam, and are designed to be comfortable to wear all day. They are not the biggest available, but the wide lens provides a decent field of vision. They are easily adjustable, have a good wide strap with “non-slip” dots along it, and look pretty good I think you’ll agree.
I think they are massive on my small head, but after just a few hours of wear I was so pleased I’d packed these instead of my old ones. I reckon I looked pretty good in them, too! The shape fitted inside my Salomon helmet perfectly and sat on my nose comfortably. The wide strap stayed put and I was very happy wearing them for hours at a time – I didn’t feel the need to remove them at every opportunity like that old cheap pair I’ve been using.
I chose the red fusion mirrored lens as these are supposed to be excellent in low light, conditions which I find especially difficult for skiing (I don’t think I’m unusual there). These goggles are also available with grey lenses. I definitely made the right choice. For a start, something that seems so simple but is absolutely vital, I could easily tell the difference between the blue, red and black piste markers – they all look the same in my old yellow lenses. The fusion lens combining colours meant that the goggles were perfectly suitable in bright sunshine as well as when the snow was falling. The mirrored lens meant I didn’t wear my sunglasses even on the bright day. A really decent all-round lens, nice one Dirty Dog.
Don’t make my mistake and turn your nose up at ski goggles. Having a decent pair made so much difference this time, I am hereby blaming any poor skiing over the last four years on my lack of research and wrong choice. Okay, I skied poorly this time, too, but at least I could see properly! These tips might help if you’re thinking about a new pair for yourself:
- Big goggles provide great visibility – the wider the better to help with your peripheral vision.
- Try your goggles on with your ski helmet to make sure they line up just right. You don’t want a forehead gap (brain freeze!!) and you definitely don’t want them overlapping your helmet.
- Make sure the foam touches your face all the way around the goggle. This is what keeps the goggles comfortable and the snow from getting on the inside.
- Check the strap adjusts to give you a really nice and comfortable fit. Wide straps generally stay put better and sit more comfortably around your head.
- Check for fogging (condensation). Some lenses come with an anti-fog coating, or you can apply an after market layer to them if you are having trouble. I’ll feature our choice – Fog Tech – another time.
- Choose the right lens colour for the most common type of skiing you’re going to be doing. There are lots of resources online to help match the colour with the light level so do a bit of research. Very generally speaking, go for yellow/red for low light, brown/grey/green for bright light. Mirrored lenses will reflect more sunlight. Red or orange with a mirrored finish offers a pretty decent all-round choice.
A pause before heading down to the Feskkoglbahn in Obergurgl, Austria.
The Dirty Dog Afterburner ski goggles with “red fusion” mirrored lens ticked all the boxes for me in Austria and I definitely recommend them as a decent goggle for any skier or snowboarder. With a £44.95 price tag they are a pretty good value choice, too. Check them out at Ski & Trek > Dirty Dog Afterburner Ski Goggles with Red Fusion Mirrored Lens.
Thank you to Ski & Trek for gifting me this pair of goggles to help me have fun on the slopes. They should last a good few seasons and I’m already planning where to take them next!