Travel and Leisure

Why Are Polarized Ski Goggles Not Recommended?

What are Polarized Lenses? 

Polarized light is the light that is scattered and then reflected from a flat surface lying parallel to the floor. The light coming to your vision after getting reflected from snow, ice, and water is polarized. Polarized light makes it hard for you to look at things right in front of you.

To reduce the impact of polarized light on the eyes, polarized lenses were introduced to the masses. The polarized lenses are coated by a chemical that works by lowering the filtering of horizontal light aka polarized light. The chemical filter has its molecules aligned in such a manner that the only light that passes through is the light that hits from vertical angles. Any light that comes from horizontal angles is blocked out.

Polarized Ski Goggles are Not Recommended, But Why? 

Effect on Visibility in Low Light Situations 


ski goggles

If you want to buy polarized ski goggles then you need to know the best conditions for them to work. The polarized ski goggles will work best when it is sunny outside. The sunnier it is, the clearer you will see the different surface discrepancies on the slope.

However, once it turns cloudy, you need to change your lenses. You will be unable to view what’s in front of you. The polarized lenses are coated with a dark tint that limits your ability to see things in low-light conditions. With polarized lenses, glare reduction is an advantage only on sunny days. The light dims down as it filters via the polarized lenses. On a sunny day these goggles will work fantastically but on a cloudy day when the light is already dim, imagine how much further the light will dim down because of the lenses.

Impossible to View Clear Surfaces (Ice!)

When you use non-polarized ski goggles, you are easily able to view the highly shiny (reflective) ice patches in between the snowy slopes.

Why is watching out for icy patches important? You will be able to avoid getting injured by slipping on the ice patch. With non-polarized ski goggles, you can easily avoid the ice patches because you can view them.

When you use polarized ski goggles, you are simply unable to view the ice on the snowy landscape. The inability of these ski goggles to view ice comes from their ability to block out the light i.e. reducing glare.

Depth Perception Gets Impacted

This is the ability of the brain to calculate the distance between different objects and the capacity to view the objects in three dimensions.

The eyes get light rays/visuals from different angles to make a single unified vision for the brain to understand the different things around them. It is for this reason that people who have a problem in one eye do not see depth properly.

Now when we consider that the polarized lenses are blocking out the horizontal rays of light, we can imagine that the light from the horizontal plane as reflected by snow and ice will get blocked off. This blocking of different light can distort the ability to perceive depth on the snowy landscape.  

Lack of Ability to View LCDs

You are out there on the slopes, skiing, and having the best time of your life. Want to record those moments with your smartphone device? Well, you can’t do that if you are wearing polarized ski goggles. Polarized ski goggles are unable to view the LCD.

Often the screen becomes too dark for the polarized ski goggles to view. While on other instances the users have seen that light from different sources starts reflecting on the device. Both of the mentioned scenarios make it hard for you to use your smartphone device. So if you are planning to use your smartphone device while you’re wearing polarized ski goggles, we would like to caution you against doing so.

The Cost of Polarized Lenses

ski goggles

The only suggestion that comes for people who want to buy polarized ski goggles is that they should get really good ski goggles. Bad-quality polarized ski goggles are going to cause irreversible damage to your eyes. UV exposure due to bad tinting can cause damage to the eyes.

Hence when you go to buy good quality polarized ski goggles, you see a very steep rise in the cost. Good polarized ski goggle with just the perfect amount of tinting to allow optimum visuals can cost you anywhere from around $100 to $300.

What are Some Good Alternatives to Polarized Ski Goggles? 

We are not telling you to ignore all the polarized ski goggle out there. Some good polarized ski goggles are available in the market like Outdoor Master’s Eco-friendly Snow Goggles that come with a yellow tint lens that helps you see better.

The non-polarized ski goggles you can go for are Classic Snow Goggles and ULTRA Snow Goggles. Both of these ski goggle have excellent high-contrast visuals with protection against UV rays. The clarity of the visuals is not reduced even with the absence of the polarized tint. 

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