Goggle Care 101

Mitch Reeves seeing clearly through the pow in his GIRO goggles. Photographer: Tony Harrington

Mitch Reeves seeing clearly through the pow in his GIRO goggles. Photographer: Tony Harrington


 How to see clearly most of the time

Originally published in Chillfactor’s 2021 issue.

Words: Watkin McLennan

Sometimes it feels like goggles were not designed for Australian conditions. Rain, snow, hail, fog and snow making snow all cause havoc to our vision. Modern goggles when used and cared for carefully can help you see in most conditions. By following this guide you might find that on those tough days you’ll give up before your eye protection does.

On the slopes

Never ever ever touch the inside of the lens. Most goggles are coated with an Anti-Fogging agent and touching the inside of the lens can wipe this away.

If you have a fall and powder or slush gets into your goggles don’t wipe the inside out. Tap any snow out and let them dry out by themselves tucked in your toasty jacket and then ski lodge later that night. Whip out your sunnies or better, your spare pair of goggles, do a dance to get that snow out of your pants and shred on.

Use the goggle bag to clean the outside of the lens. Be careful though, snow and ice can scratch your lens and rain can have dirt in it. Use a dabbing action rather than wiping. If it is one of those classic Aussie freezing rain days or the snow guns are firing at the chair lifts then thore out the ice before removing. You don’t want to scratch off all that shiny shine. Better still, have a spare pair. One pair for those challenging days and another pair for bluebirds. That way you’re bluebirds will stay chirping for longer.

Ski with your goggles on your face. Putting your goggles up on your helmet will risk getting moisture in them. Don’t tuck your face mask or balaclava into your goggles either or they will fog up. On those wet days sometimes it is best to do nothing and accept that you’re going to be a little drippy. Protective sleeves that fit over your goggles whilst there on your helmet like GoggleSocs can protect your goggles from scratches. But just because you have one doesn’t mean you should leave your goggles up on your helmet.

Try and get a helmet with vents on the brim of the helmet. This allows the air to circulate out of the goggle and through the helmet, avoiding fogging issues. Many goggle brands like Giro also make helmets. These brands will tend to have good helmet-goggle compatibility. If you’re buying a new pair of goggles take your helmet into the shop to test compatibility.

When out touring wear your goggles sparingly especially on multi day trips. Store them in your pack and only get them out if the weather is really howling or you plan on skiing particularly fast. Without a lodge to go back to this will help them last the entire trip.


In the lodge

When changing lenses, use the goggle bag as a glove rather than getting your greasy fingers all over your shinny lenses. Some goggle lenses are easier to change than others. Some Giro goggles for example have magnetic quick change lenses.

If your goggles need a deep clean make sure they are dry first then use a damp microfibre cloth or goggle bag to clean the outside of the lens. Wipe dry with a dry goggle bag. If the inside of your lens needs a clean hold your breath and dab, don’t wipe, but this is risky business. Any moisture will soften the anti-fog coating so the best tactic here is to prevent the inside from needing a clean.

When not in use, remove goggles from the helmet to avoid the straps and frame from stretching. Store them at room temperature. Not in your car that can get hot or cold. Let them dry fully before storing them away in a cupboard in their goggle bag. A bad day on the slopes often starts with a pair of goggles not stored properly.

Follow these simple tips and enjoy seeing clearly… most of the time.