March 26, 2021 9 min read
Often a second thought, ski and Snowboard goggles are an essential item in the snow. Alpine environments are often highly bright, windy and dry, which can be harsh on the eyes. You must cover your eyes with a high-quality lens to block harmful rays and protect your eyes/face from the elements. Thankfully, Anon specialise in snow goggles and make some of the best in the business. But with so many frame styles, lens shapes, lens tints and colourways, it can all get a little confusing. To help you decide on your next set of Anon goggles, we have rounded up some helpful information below.
The big news for this season is the new PERCEIVE lens technology. Exclusive to Anon, the new lenses offer excellent clarity/contrast and come in a tint to suit light conditions from the brightest of days to whiteouts. We discuss VLTs and categorise lens tints, making it easier for you to decide which combination of lenses suit your riding conditions. Also, we discuss frame style so you tailor the look you want this winter.
New for this season, Anon has introduced their exclusive PERCEIVE lens technology. PERCEIVE lenses offer exceptional clarity, depth perception, and true contrast vision in all light conditions, allowing you to see colours better and reduce eye fatigue. Their new lenses come with two protective coatings on the exterior for clear optics and easy cleaning. An oleophobic coating protects your lens from smudged fingerprints and oily skin residue, whilst a hydrophobic coating helps repel water and moisture for an unobstructed view. However, we recommend avoiding contacting your lens and always using the microfiber cloth/bag that came with your goggles for cleaning/wiping. Anon set the benchmark for anti-fog coatings, and they claim the anti-fog coating on the inner lens is five times greater than any other goggle on the market. This is achieved by chemically etching anti-fog technology directly on the lens, eliminating the need for you to touch or wipe the inside of your lens. PERCEIVE lenses come in a wide range of tints for all light conditions, which we cover in detail below.
Anon has a wide range of lens tints to suit all light conditions. From the brightest high-alpine days to riding at night under lights, you'll find a lens perfect for any situation. Whilst their PERCEIVE lenses offer excellent contrast and clarity, allowing for extraordinary vision in a wide range of light conditions, sometimes when the light conditions change, it's best you use a different lens tint. The good news is many of Anon's goggles already come with a second lens that covers other light conditions. Several of their lenses come with quick-release lens technology allowing you to swap lenses on the go.
Before selecting a goggle, you should consider the different riding conditions you will be expecting. Are you the type of rider that only goes out when it's sunny and clear? Or do you still go out when it's blizzarding? Will you be riding between the trees in a climate with regular snowfall and cloudy conditions? Or are you expecting lots of bluebird days above the treeline? Consider these factors (and many more) when choosing the best combination of lenses for your next snow adventure. Below we breakdown the PERCEIVE lens tints into a few categories to help you decide, but first, a quick word on understanding lens tint numbers.
Anon lenses are divided into three categories based on their VLT. Visible light transmission (VLT) refers to the amount of light that passes through the lens. So, the lower the VLT percentage, the better the lens will be for brighter conditions. Conversely, a lens with a higher VLT percentage is better for low-light conditions. Some lower price point goggles don't have a PERCEIVE lens as standard, or the second lens might not be PERCEIVE. However, now that you know about VLTs, you can compare the VLT of any lens to the list below to ensure you're wearing the correct lens for the lighting conditions. Alternatively, you can identify the optimal lighting conditions via the "S" number. S1 for low light/snowy conditions, S2 for variable conditions and S3/S4 for sunny/bright light conditions.
These lenses have the lowest VLT's and thus the darkest tints. These lenses are best for bright sunny days, particularly when you're high above the treeline in the brightest conditions. Alpine environments can be very harsh on your eyes; all that white stuff reflects many harmful rays into your eyes, hence the term "snow blind". So it's essential to protect your eyes when in the mountains, and these sunny tints have you covered in the brightest days.
Variable tints are versatile enough to work in a wide range of weather conditions. If you're the type of rider that wants one lens to cover variable light conditions throughout the day, this is a great option. If you're looking for a versatile lens, the Variable Green (S2/VLT: 22%) is a popular choice. It's dark enough to protect your eyes when it's moderately bright whilst offering enough contrast in flat light conditions to keep you riding.
If you expect low light/snowy conditions, these tints will have you covered. For the days you're expecting whiteout conditions, optimised lens filters provide high contrast vision in flat light conditions. You'll notice a "night" lens in this category and might be asking yourself ", wouldn't a clear lens or no goggles be better for riding under lights at night or in whiteout conditions?" the short answer is no. Good quality lenses are designed to filter specific wavelengths from the visible light spectrum, enhancing contrast and allowing you to see definition in the terrain around you.
The range of Anon goggles come with a few different lens shapes. The lens shape you get depends on the model. In the early days, goggles had a cylindrical lens shape (radial curve in the vertical direction only). This was probably due to manufacturing constraints as it was easier to curve a lens around one axis. However, as demand for goggles grew and lens manufacturing techniques developed, many companies began introducing spherical lenses (equal radius curve in both horizontal and vertical directions). The idea behind spherical lenses was that the lens's curvature mimicked the human eye's natural curvature and reduced distortion.
Depending on the goggle model, Anon offers three lens shapes cylindrical, spherical (see above) and Toric. Toric lenses are curved in both directions, but the vertical curve is flatter, and the horizontal curve is tighter. Much like spherical lenses, the curvature mimics the curvature of the eye. However, it allows a larger/wider goggle to fit closer to your face. Thankfully in these modern times, high tech manufacturing means that you can expect a distortion-free, precise optical experience with all of Anon's lens shapes (don't expect this with cheaper goggles). Key points for each type are below:
Many Anon goggles are compatible with their MFI® technology (Magnetic Face Mask Integration), and many models come with a facemask included in the bundle. MFI® technology uses a magnetic connection between the mask and goggle, allowing for a gapless seal, maintaining ventilation for a fog-free ride. You can buy a range of Anon MFI® facemasks in different thickness and colours so you can change the face mask depending on the conditions.
The Anon M4 snow goggle is an excellent goggle and available in a wide range of colours and lens tints. This is an oversized style goggle with excel peripheral vision, and some standout features, including:
The M4 is perfect for the rider wanting a "large" looking goggle offering unmatched peripheral vision and a precise optical experience.
The Anon M3 snow goggle offers a smaller traditional look than the M4. It still has magnetic fit lens technology and includes a spare lens for easy lens swapping on the go. It is available in packages with or without an MFI® face mask. Available in a range of frame colours and lens tints, the M3 is the perfect goggle if you don't want the "large" look and prefer a retro moto influenced style.
The Sync Snow goggle is probably the best value goggles in the Anon lineup. It is larger than the M3 but not quite as big as the M4. M-Fusion lens replacement technology combines magnets with a simple latch for easy lens replacement/swapping but keeps costs down. This cylindrical goggle offers a classic look in a range of colours and tints with a bonus lens included.
The Anon Relapse snow goggle is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious rider. You don't get the simplicity of the magnetic lens changing, but you still get the leading optics of PERCEIVE lenses. With/without a spare lens and with/without an MFI® face mask, this is available in various colours. The Relapse is one great value high performing goggle.
With a women's specific design, this goggle is perfect for slightly smaller faces. MAGNA-TECH® lens change technology allows for quick lens swapping on the go, and the bonus lens will keep your eyes protected in a wide range of conditions. The included MFI® face mask will keep you toasty warm without all the fog. The WM3 has a cylindrical lens for a timeless look and comes in various colours to suit any style.
With all the features and value of the men's/unisex Sync, the Anon Sync Women's Goggle is available in a few women-specific colourways and prints, perfect for a fashionable look on the slopes.
The Anon Tempest Women's Goggle has a spherical PERCEIVE lens for precise optics. To help keep the price low, you don't get the bonus lens or bonus MFI® face mask, but it retains MFI® compatibility so that you can add your style and warmth with an optional Anon MFI® face mask.
The women's Deringer snow goggles are the perfect choice for riders on a budget. It is available in packages with/without a bonus lens and with/without the MFI® face mask. You don't get the magnetic lens changing's simplicity, but the primary lens still has the leading PERCEIVE optics for high contrast vision. If you're on a budget but still want leading lens technology, this is a great choice.
It's always a good idea to ensure goggles fit correctly before using them. Different styles might sit slightly differently on your face, so you should consider trying a few pairs to get the best fit for your face shape. You can browse our range of snow goggles to find the style and shape that best suits you or check out our Anon page for all their goggles and helmets.
If you wear a helmet (and you should be), make sure your goggles are compatible with your helmet by trying them on together. You don't want an excessive gap between your goggles and helmet; there shouldn't really be any gap. Conversely, your helmet shouldn't be pushing down on your goggles. Anon makes helmets too, and they are an excellent match for your Anon goggles.
Goggles should be comfortably in contact with your face, and there shouldn't be any gaps between the goggles and your skin nor any areas where the pressure feels excessive. Check that the goggle bridge fits nicely around your nose and doesn't restrict airflow in your nostrils. Many Anon styles are also available in an Asian fit, so try those if they suit your needs. Finally, most of the Anon range have an "Over the Glass compatible frame designed to accommodate prescription eyewear underneath the goggles."
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