What Does VLT Mean In Ski Goggles? (Explained)

If you’re looking for a pair of ski goggles, there are several important factors to consider. You might assume that the most expensive and highest-rated goggles should be your best bet, but that’s not always the case. 

For example, a pair of $50 goggles may have lenses that block out more UV light than $100 goggles with inferior lenses. 

A better way to choose is by knowing what all those VLTs mean they can tell you everything from how much sun protection your eyes will get on the mountain to how well your goggle fits over your helmet in an emergency situation.

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Ski goggles have a measurement called VLT (Visible Light Transmission) that determines the amount of light that passes through the lenses.
VLT ranges are expressed in percentages and indicate the amount of light allowed through the lenses.
Higher VLT values (e.g., 40-50%) are suitable for low-light conditions, while lower values (e.g., 10-20%) are better for bright sunny days.
The choice of VLT range depends on the lighting conditions you expect to encounter while skiing.
Some ski goggles offer interchangeable lenses, allowing you to adjust the VLT based on the weather conditions.

What Does VLT Mean In Ski Goggles?

VLT stands for “violet light transmission,” and it’s a measurement of how much UV radiation passes through your lens. The higher the VLT factor, the greater amount of UV radiation is blocked by your lens.

You’ll often see this measurement listed on ski goggles and sunglasses as a percentage; for example, 100% VLT means that all ultraviolet radiation has been blocked entirely by the material used to make up your eyeshield.

Other considerations includes…

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Amount Of Uv Protection

UV protection is measured in a number of UV units. The higher the number, the more UV protection your goggles will provide.

For example: A pair of goggles with a 20-unit rating provides more UV protection than a pair with a 10-unit rating.

Size Of The Lens

The lens of your goggles should be large enough to fit over your glasses, if you wear them. It’s inconvenient and potentially dangerous to have to take off your glasses every time you want to put on or take off your goggles. 

You may think that a smaller lens would be better because it would provide less wind resistance and make for better vision, but the opposite is actually true: larger lenses provide more protection from the wind and glare.

Goggles should also protect your eyes from wind because it can cause irritation, which can lead to eye infections or even blindness if left unchecked.

BrandLens Size (mm)
Brand A50
Brand B55
Brand C60
Brand D65
Brand E70

Anti-Fog Coating

To get the full benefit of your anti-fog coating, you need to make sure that you’re taking steps to avoid fogging in the first place. The easiest way to do this is by letting your goggles warm up before skiing or snowboarding.

If you’re cold and just want to hit the slopes right away, try putting on another layer of clothing before putting your goggles on so that they can warm up while exposed to body heat and moisture.

If your lens does fog up despite all this preventative action, there are a few easy ways for you to deal with it:

  • Push down gently on both sides of the lens (wherever it’s fogging) until the fog dissipates
  • Take off your goggles if possible and wipe away any remaining condensation with a clean cloth

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Weight is an important factor to consider when purchasing ski goggles. A lighter pair of goggles will be more comfortable to wear, and you’ll have less fatigue when skiing.

However, the weight you’re willing to tolerate depends on the type of skiing you do. For example, if you’re doing downhill racing, it’s important that your ski goggles are as light as possible so they don’t hold back your performance in any way. 

On the other hand, if you’re just out for a day on the slopes with friends or family members who can’t keep up with your level of athleticism anyway (sorry about that), then it might not matter quite as much how heavy your ski goggles are as long as they fit well without giving too much pressure on your face area (or whatever part of your body has contact with said object).

BrandWeight (grams)
Brand A100
Brand B120
Brand C90
Brand D110
Brand E105

Helmet Compatibility

  • Helmet compatibility is a must-have feature for ski goggles, especially if you’re looking to get the most out of your time on the mountain.
  • Many skiers wear helmets with their goggles, since it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • However, not all ski goggle brands make them compatible with helmets. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be worth checking out a different brand or model before purchasing any goggles.

Lens Curvature

The curvature of a lens can also play a role in how well your goggles fit your face. You want to make sure that there is plenty of room for airflow between the inner part of the goggle and your skin so that they don’t fog up when you’re skiing.

If you’re looking for a pair of ski goggles with curved lenses, make sure they have an anti-fog coating (more on this later). This will help prevent fogging from occurring inside your goggles as you’re skiing through different weather conditions.

If glare is an issue for you when you’re out on the slopes, then flat lenses may be better suited for your needs as they generally produce less glare than curved ones do.

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Airflow And Venting For Temperature Control

Venting is an important part of temperature control. Ideally, you should be able to feel a difference between wearing goggles with no vents and goggles with vents. 

While it’s true that you need to breathe through your nose when skiing, the best skiers tend to breathe through their mouths while they’re on the lift heading up the mountain. 

If you don’t get enough air flowing through your goggles, they’ll fog up quickly and that’s not good for anyone!

The best way to ventilate your ski goggles is by using vents in the frame; however, if these aren’t available or if you want more airflow than what comes standard, then lens ventilation will work as well (just be careful not to scratch up your lenses).

Spherical Or Cylindrical Design?

When it comes to ski goggles, one of the most important things you’ll need to know is whether they have spherical or cylindrical lenses. The answer depends on what kind of skier you are and how much money you want to spend.

Cylindrical lenses are more common in lower-cost models. They weigh less and have a wider field of view than spherical lenses, but they don’t offer as good optical quality and can be harder for some people to use because of distortion at their edges (although this is often less noticeable after a few days’ use). 

Spherical lenses tend to be more expensive but offer better optical quality and comfort, especially for users with narrow faces who may find it difficult to wear other types of ski goggles comfortably.

Lens Type And Color

There are many different types of lenses available in ski goggles. Lenses are made from a variety of materials and coatings, and they can be shaped in several ways to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays or cold air.

The most common type of lens is the polarized lens, which reduces glare by filtering out UV rays. These lenses come in standard colors such as yellow, grey, rose and brown.

Other lenses include mirrored polarized lenses that offer a mirror-like finish to reduce glare on flat surfaces like water or snow while still blocking out harmful UV rays. 

Anti-fog/scratch/impact coatings can also be added to basic shades for extra protection against scratches or fogging up when you’re skiing through wet weather conditions (or even snowflakes).

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How Much To Spend On Ski Goggles?

Ski goggles are a long-term investment, so it’s important that you get something that fits your budget and won’t break the bank. 

The price range for ski goggles varies widely, but generally speaking you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 – $300 for a pair of decent quality goggles.

What do you need from your ski goggles? If you’re looking for something durable, waterproof and versatile enough to be used in all types of weather then your money is better spent on buying an expensive option with lots of features than buying multiple cheaper pairs over time. 

For example, if you have a tight budget but want something that will last more than one season then it might be worth investing in some high quality sunglasses from Oakley or Smith Optics rather than buying cheap pairs every couple months as they wear out or lose their anti-fog properties after prolonged use in wet conditions (or both).

Style Or Color

The style of a ski goggle can be just as important as its features. Ski goggles come in a variety of styles, from the classic teardrop shape to aviator-inspired designs and more. 

The color is also an important factor when it comes to choosing your ski goggles. While some people choose their ski goggles for the color alone, others may consider other factors such as visibility or fashionability when making their choice.

In general, there are many benefits associated with purchasing high-quality ski goggles regardless of whether you’re buying them for yourself or someone else:

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BrandStyle or Color
Brand ARed
Brand BBlack
Brand CBlue
Brand DWhite
Brand EGreen

Darker Isn’t Always Better When It Comes To Lenses

You may have heard the term “VLT” thrown around when you’re shopping for ski goggles, and it can be confusing. Is VLT a constant? And does it mean something different for every product?

The short answer is no: VLT only means one thing in ski goggles, and that’s how much light passes through the lens. 

The higher the value of VLT (the lower number), the more light gets through; the lower the number (the higher value), less light gets through. 

So if your lenses have a low value on their VLT scale, they are better suited to overcast days—but they may not protect you as well from bright sunshine!

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So, if you are looking for a pair of ski goggles with a high VLT rating, make sure that the rest of their features match your needs. 

It’s important to consider what type of lens curvature you want (spherical or cylindrical), and whether or not they will fit under your helmet. 

Also, keep in mind that darker lenses don’t always mean better protection from UV rays: it depends on how comfortable they feel on your face and whether or not they offer other features like anti-fog coating or airflow vents.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic of VLT (Visible Light Transmission) in ski goggles:


What does VLT stand for in ski goggles?

VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission, which refers to the amount of light that passes through the lenses of ski goggles.

How does VLT affect vision while skiing?

The VLT level of ski goggles determines the amount of light that reaches your eyes. Higher VLT values allow more light to pass through, providing better visibility in low-light conditions, while lower VLT values are ideal for bright sunny days.

What are the different VLT ranges available for ski goggles?

Ski goggles typically come with a range of VLT options, such as 0-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, etc. Each range corresponds to different lighting conditions, from bright sunlight to overcast or low-light conditions.

How do I choose the right VLT range for my ski goggles?

The choice of VLT range depends on the specific lighting conditions you expect to encounter while skiing. Opt for lower VLT values (e.g., 0-10%) for sunny days and higher VLT values (e.g., 20-30%) for low-light or cloudy conditions.

Can I use ski goggles with interchangeable lenses to adjust the VLT?

Yes, some ski goggles come with interchangeable lenses that allow you to adjust the VLT based on the lighting conditions. This flexibility enables you to adapt to changing weather and optimize your vision on the slopes.