/ Photochromatic Ski Goggles

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Xharlie on 09 Jan 2017
Do they work?

I see Salomon have some that are priced a bit more than their regular counterparts (+40€) - even the deals with two lenses for different light levels. It has been my experience, in the past, that swapping lenses is a real pain in the arse and not worth the bother but I have often felt like my goggles were either way too dim when the weather rolled in or useless in the sunshine.

I had some Oakley goggles with a spare lense a few years back. When a really thick, low cloud covered the mountain I was on, I hoped I would get a chance to try out the low-light lens. Unfortunately, it was in the valley, back at our diggs while I was in the thick of it at the top of the mountain. It turns out, it wouldn't have helped anyway - when I tried to change the lenses later that night, long after the change would have been useful, the frame was discovered to be defective! Two lenses and one defective frame went back for a refund which was granted without quibble.
HeMa on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

Well, photochromatic lenses are certainly a lot better than swappin' lenses.

That said, I generally have a few different goggles (get good ones, when they're real bargains). And some even have more low-light/vis. lenses. At least generally where I ski, I know what kind of conditions are expected (so I pick the suitable goggle).
LastBoyScout on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

Yes, they work, in so far as the lenses will change colour, but they change according to the amount of UV light, not visible light, so can still be dark at altitude in otherwise dim conditions - I've got photochromic cycling glasses that I've had to take off at altitude in the Pyrenees, even though it was pissing down.

I tend to wear goggles for most conditions/off piste and carry a pair of Cat 4 sunglasses for when it's really bright on pistes.
Xharlie on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to HeMa:

My idea when I bought the Oakley goggles was that I could swap lenses in the valley based on a prediction of conditions on the mountain. This didn't work, in practice... although that was mostly because the frames were defective so I didn't keep them for long enough to see. I'm looking for a replacement for those (have been borrowing goggles for the last few years) and I am trying to decide whether I should go with swappable lenses, multiple pairs of goggles or photochromatic - hence the question.

I didn't actually know you could get photochromatic lenses until yesterday, when I was browsing gear reviews.

Salomon claim that the lenses also get lighter with colder temperatures. Could they have incorporated that feature to solve the UV problem?

Unfortunately, finding gear reviews of these things is next to impossible through Google - all you get are aggregate sites with meaningless star ratings, listing sellers and prices and discounts and replicating the manufacturer's blurb. All these sites try to LOOK like review sites for SEO purposes but not a one of them features a proper review by a person who actually used the product.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:
Quite tempted by these

Interchangeable, but it seems the alternate lens is magnetic so snaps on over the base (yellow) lens

I've given up on interchangeable lenses for cycling as it's just too much hassle. And not that impressed with photochromatic either - not enough range. I suppose I could try spending more money, but I'm terrible at losing or breaking them.
Post edited at 10:23
blurty - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

I've got some posh Julbo ones. Work well except in very low/ flat light - not as good as dedicated flat light goggles I think.
HeMa on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> I suppose I could try spending more money, but I'm terrible at losing or breaking them.

Which is why you get them fancy (& spendy) ones from spring bargains sales... 30 to 40 Eur for 120+ Eur goggles.

I tend to get a year or two, if skiing a lot, from a goggle, before they end up gettin' quite scratched. That said, I do like skiing tight trees and that might affect the durability a bit ;).

My current crop of goggles (3 or 4 pairs) is still OK, though after 4+ years. But I've skied a lot less during the same time...

Jayhigh - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

I too have a Julbo pair - Cat 2 to 4 I think.

I like them - better than multiple pairs/changing lenses in the field.
Hooo - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

I have a cheap (ish) and simple solution.
A pair of close fitting wrap around sunglasses, and a pair of light orange tinted goggles.
For warm bright conditions I wear the sunnies. For cold and dim I wear the goggles. For cold and bright I wear the goggles over the glasses. I can see well in all conditions and it takes seconds to switch when I go from bright sun to deep shade. On easy runs I don't even stop to do it.
Goggles and glasses are both Oakley, I swear by their lenses.

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