Do You Need Ski Goggles At Night? The Quick Answer 2023

by Fraser

Few things beat the experience of riding the slopes at night. Quiet runs, fewer people and no blinding sunlight. Which should mean you don’t need eye protection, right? Or do you need ski goggles at night anyway?

You do need ski goggles at night. Ski goggles ensure that your vision remains unimpaired regardless of the time of day. Even when there is no sun, a skier’s eyes need protection from the cold air, snow, and other debris.

This of course applies to both night-skiing and night snowboarding!

In this article, I’ll go over why you need ski goggles at night, how cold air affects your vision, what type of goggles are suitable for night skiing, and why you should factor visible light transmission into your choice.

do you need ski goggles at night

 

Why You Need Ski Goggles at Night.

As agreed when discussing if you need goggles for snowboarding, ski goggles serve two main functions:

  • Protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays and the potential for snow blindness.
  • Prevent air temperature and debris from affecting your vision.

Let’s focus on the latter.

1. Cold Air Affects Your Vision.

Your eyes contain glands that produce tears and oils which constantly keep them hydrated. When the existing moisture in the air is low, it causes these tears and oils to evaporate.

According to Low Vision MD, air moisture tends to be lower when external temperatures are cold, increasing the risk of dry eyes and blurry vision. 

As you can imagine, blurry vision is not good when you’re flying down the slopes at top speed!

Wearing a good pair of ski goggles ensures that your vision remains unaffected. 

2. It Still Snows At Night! 

You need it to snow at night. Otherwise there’s no chance of fresh tracks in the morning!

One of the places most renowned for their night skiing is Japan. (Check out some of the best ski resorts in Japan – most offer night riding). 

Japan has an unreal amount of snowfall overnight. Can you imagine snowboarding or skiing in the dark whilst being pelted with snowflakes? I’m sure you’d quickly reach for the goggles!

 

Are Clear Goggles Good For Night Skiing?

Now that we’ve agreed wearing ski goggles at night is good practice, you may wonder what type performs best.

Clear goggles are good for night skiing. Goggles with a VLT of 60% or more are ideal for skiing at night. These goggles compensate for the lack of natural daylight by allowing more ambient light to reach your eyes, improving visibility in low-light areas.

Let’s go over why VLT is so essential.

 

What Is VLT In Ski Goggles? (Visible Light Transmission)

VLT is Visible light transmission, representing the amount of light that passes through an object. In this case, it’s the amount of light that can pass through your ski goggle lens. Sunglasses often have a low VLT percentage, while clear ski goggles have a high percentage.

If you’re wondering whether sunglasses or low-VLT goggles perform better, check out my article Ski Goggles Versus Sunglasses

Here’s a short video that explains VLT perfectly:

 

Summary

You’re here because you asked me a simple question… Do you need ski goggles at night?

The simple answer is yes!

Wearing an appropriate pair of high-VLT goggles will make your night-time session much more enjoyable. Here are some of the benefits of wearing goggles at night:

  • Prevents the cold air from drying out your eyes.
  • Protects your eyes from debris such as snow, ice particles, and tree branches.
  • Blocks the wind from impairing your vision.
  • Reduces glare from the floodlights. 

Now that we’ve cleared that up, why not explore some options for your next snowboarding (or skiing trip). Here are some great articles about ski destinations

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