Giro Axis Goggles Review- A look at Giro’s Lens Interchange System

Here is the high-end ski and snowboard goggle, the Axis by Giro.

A quick look at the Giro Axis Goggles before we dive in depth on their attributes.

  • Comes with 2 lenses
  • Magnetic and Pin Lens Change System
  • Cylindrical and frameless build
  • For men and women
  • Vivid by Zeiss vision technology
  • MSRP- $90-$180 on Amazon

What you get in the box

  • 2 lenses ( full sun and overcast lens of your choice)
  • Giro Axis frame and band
  • Super plush soft lens carrier (not a hard case)
  • Giro sticker

Lens Interchange System- A Mix of Magnets and Pins

The Giro Axis goggle has a unique system of changing its lenses. It involves 2 magnets in the center of the frame and lens and 4 pins located on either end of the goggle. It’s a mix of ease and stability that skiers and riders are looking for in their lens system.

Here’s how it goes down. To get one of the lenses off the frame, you find the indent on the right side of the frame and pop the lens off from right to left. It takes a little force to undo the pins, which is good, and I also didn’t get my fingerprints all over the lens.

To put your other lens in is super quick. The magnets grab the center of the goggle and line it up perfectly, then you give either side a gentle push to pop the pins back in. The pin holders are actually pretty stiff and have a pretty powerful pull on the pins themselves.

Riders and skiers are all wondering if the magnetic lens system is truly hardy enough to take the rough and tumble that a lot of us put our gear through. Giro’s system is a step above a full magnetic lens system in durability and I think it’s perfect for the average skier rider that takes average falls but wants the convenience of a quick lens change on the mountain.

Overall the goggle is mostly reliant on the pin holders to keep the lens on the frame, while the magnets serve to line the lens up for easy switcheroos. This lens changing system is definitely simple enough to do while your goggles are on your helmet or head.

Vision Technology- Vivid by Zeiss

In all of their lenses, Giro uses a technology called Vivid which is engineered by Zeiss Optics. Zeiss Optics make lens related products for many uses including binoculars, sunglasses and rifle scopes.

The Vivid technology effectively manipulates the light by letting in contrasting blue light, while blocking harmful UV light. The creates contrast in the snow allowing you to see the lines and the bumps in the snow.

The technology is very modern but what is really going to help you see out there on an overcast day is having an overcast lens on or available to put on at any time.

The combination lenses I looked at are Vivid Onyx( High Sun) and the Vivid Infrared (Overcast). You could also get a mixed cloud lens as your lowest VLT lens if you live in a particularly cloudy area.

Construction of the Goggle

The Giro Axis is frameless and has an injection molded cylindrical (flat) lens. I personally think this is a super sleek and modern look that is hard to look bad in.

The axis has triple layer face foam for your comfort and also has 2 strips of non-slip material on the goggle strap to keep the goggle in place on your helmet.

This goggle can also fit over glasses if that’s something you’re looking for.

Overall…

This goggle looks amazing, there’s no doubt about that.

Where this goggle really wins is the combination of ease and relative durability of its lens changing system. For many skiers and riders, the ability to quickly change lenses in variable conditions and see well in any condition will really help their performance.

For the price, I think this is a good value. It comes with 2 lenses and it’s one of the most economical goggles with a magnetic lens component on the market. There are a ton of different color options on Amazon.com. Just a reminder, mot of the lens colors you see online in the same category (high sun, mixed clouds, overcast), let a very similar amount of light through, so go ahead and pick a color that shows off your style!

Have more questions about the Giro Axis? Have you tried them yourself and have anything to add? Drop me a line below and I’d be happy to gear talk with you guys!

Happy Shredding!

 

Smith Optics Snowboarding Goggles- A Review of the Smith I/O Mag, Smith’s Magnetic Lens Technology.

I love goggles and I REALLY love a goggle with a quick and easy interchangeable lens system. That’s why I am so keen to review the new Smith I/O Mag, a new product in the line of Smith Optics Snowboarding Goggles.

A Quick Look at the Smith I/O Mag

  • Price- $240 on Amazon.com
  • Interchange System- Magnetic
  • Extra Lens included
  • ChromaPop Vision Technology

Interchange System

The new trend in quick interchange goggles is definitely in the form of magnetic. Yet some of us worry that with only magnets holding our lens in, we may sacrifice the security of the lens within the frame if we take a nasty spill.

The Smith IO Mag is a bit different. It features 16 strong and weatherproof N52 magnets and 2 locking mechanical engagement points. It uses a small lever lock next to the goggle strap that you gently push down on either side before you can pull the magnets apart. When I tried this on the goggle, this lens definitely wasn’t going anywhere. To replace it, pop the lens back in and it will adhere via the 8 magnetic contact points.

The other great thing is that you can definitely change this lens while it’s on your face. It’s a bit funky to figure out but after a couple tries I could change it out no problem.

Do you know what this means?! Quick changes on the lift without having to take all your headgear off and if your goggles start to fog up you can unclip the lens and let the fog dissipate much more quickly than if the lens is on your face.

What Lenses Do You Get?

  • Highlight Lens (for sunny days)
  • Lowlight Lens (for cloudy days)

When you buy the IO/ Mag you can choose your highlight lens and it will also come with the Smith StormChaser low light lens. In the highlight lens you have the option of any color you would like. They all have very similar VLT (Visible Light Transmission) so pick a highlight color you like the look of. The Stormchaser has a blueish tint to it and has 50% VLT and will be great for overcast days.

If you would like a more in depth explanation of Visible Light Transmission (VLT), why it matters, and what part it has to play in an interchangeable lens system, please read this!

Fit and Comfort

The IO Mag lens is the same size as the Smith IOs. That is to say are the medium-sized frame that Smith offers. As far as fit to the face, the medium lens is not an overlarge lens and will look good and fit most people’s face.

The goggle also has 3 layer driwix face foam for comfort and breathability.

Vision Technology

As with all Smith Optics snowboarding goggles, the IO Mag uses ChromaPop technology. Chromapop does an amazing job of creating definition in the snow in all of its lens colors. It’s pretty much a trusted technology in the snowboarding world and you can be sure that you will be able to see all the bumps and dips with each of your lenses.

Other Tech that We Love

  • Clip on the goggle strap for easier on and off
  • Spherical and frameless lenses
  • Porex filter to prevent optical distortion during elevation changes
  • Aire Evac Integration Technology
  • 5x Anti Fog- a hydrophilic chemical treatment that creates a micro-etched surface on the inner lens to absorb moisture before fog can form. Because Fog-X is a treatment that is actually burned into the lens, it can’t be wiped away like other anti-fog coatings.

Cons

  • No hard case for the extra lens, only a cloth one.
  • So not much.

All in all, skiers and riders can lose their rims and Smith’s magnetic interchangeable snow goggle system. If you’re in the market for new goggles and want quick interchange system, this goggle should definitely be a contender. You can pick these up at Amazon.com for the same price as from Smith and avoid paying for shipping.

Do you have experience with the Smith I/O Mags? Do you have any feedback for this article or any questions? Leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer any and all questions.

 

 

 

 

The Best Ski Goggles for Women-Things to Think About Before Purchasing New Goggles

Is the face foam on your ski goggles falling apart? Or have you noticed newer and better looking goggles on the ladies skiing/ riding around you? Maybe this is your first time purchasing ski/ snowboarding goggles.

Whatever category you fall into, this article is here to talk about the best ski goggles for women and how to go about making this purchase.

Proper Fit

Oakley Flightdeck XM

The first thing you’ll want to think about when buying new goggles is if they’ll fit your face properly. The last thing you want is a goggle gap or goggles that are too small or large on your face. Women typically have smaller faces than men and so it makes sense to find a frame that is not overlarge on your face. Many brands carry women’s specific lines or make a small and medium version of the same goggle.

I once bought really expensive Oakley Flightdecks that were so large on my face, and at that time I had no idea that Flightdeck XMs were available. They would have fit so much better on my face. If you have any questions about goggle sizing, don’t be afraid to drop me a line in the comments section below!

What’s Your Style?

This is all up to you. The build of goggles comes down to frame design and lens type.

Goggles can be framed or frameless. All older goggles have frames because frameless design is fairly new. Frameless goggles look very modern and look great on many women. If you go with a frameless option, then I think that whichever brand you go with they will look great. However, there are definitely still some framed goggle lines out there that look quite sporty.

Smith Squads

Goggle lenses can be cylindrical(bubbled) or spherical (flat shaped). For women specifically, one isn’t better than the other. There are some pros and cons to each though. Spherical lenses match the shape of the eye and tend to give a better field of vision in general due to the protrusion of the ‘bubbled’ lens.

Cylindrical lenses tend to be less expensive but do not give as good of field of vision due to the light bouncing off a flat surface versus a rounded surface. However, cylindrical lenses have a certain style about them that I love. I constantly rock my Smith Squads that are cylindrical.

There are really good goggles out there with all the components I just outlined. I think many options look fly as hell but it’s all about your personal style. I’m here to give you the tools you need to make an informed decision on that style.

Lens Capabilities

Anon M2 with Magnetic Lens Change System

Ladies, I’m a big fan of hedging your bets on the mountain. Meaning, some good well-thought-out gear could be the difference between crushing trees with the guys or staying on groomers because you can’t see shit. The color of your lens and whether you get an interchangeable lens system or not, should be a big factor in your decision.

I highly recommend an interchangeable lens system OR a high quality single lens. Here’s why. Your success on the mountain is directly correlated to your visibility. To see the best on a very cloudy day, you need a low VLT lens (very see through, that lets the most amount of light in but still protects your eyes. To see the best on a bluebird day, you NEED a high VLT lens to shield your eyes from the rays reflecting off the snow. Here’s the thing. Unless you have the Oakley Prizm’s, there isn’t 1 goggle lens that does it all (and still with the Prizm, it isn’t perfect, read here about the technology behind Prizm lenses). So, if you can, pick a goggle where you can have options. When push comes to shove, you’ll be glad you did.

Lens changing systems have gotten quite techy in the past few years with the innovation of quicker and quicker change systems. Usually the price of the goggle will correlate directly with the speed of the lens change.

You should also think about the color of the lens that you will get. If you pick an interchangeable lens system, you will most likely get to pick the main sunny day lens color and they will also give you a low light lens. The low light lens will usually be yellow or light blue and either of these will be great for low light days.

When picking the color of your main lens, many of the colors are aesthetically different (obviously) but have little difference in their VLT (Visible Light Transmission). The exception to this is black and brown lenses. I don’t recommend these colors for women if this will be their only pair of goggles because black and brown colored lenses are only the best lenses for a completely sunny day. A red, green, or blue highlight lens will be much more suitable to the majority of days when you have some sun and some cloud.

Price

The goggle market has loads of price points. If you’re keen to keep the price point down a bit more, pick the features that matter most to you in the goggle. If you want a frameless, spherical lenses, with a quick interchangeable lens system, that will be pricier than a cylindrical interchangeable lens system. It’s all about your priorities and your own style.

Do you have a question about how to pick out the perfect goggles for yourself or a question about any of this content? What factors do you think are important when choosing the best ski goggles for women? Please comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

 

 

Ski Helmets with MIPS- Answers to the Most Asked Questions about MIPS Technology

MIPS technology is a safety component of ski and snowboard helmets that is becoming more and more common across the industry. Ski helmets with MIPS technology are within many of your favorite brands and in this article we’ll see exactly how it works and keeps your brain safe.
1. What is MIPS?
First of all, MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. MIPS is a web-like layer between your skull and your helmet’s inner liner. When your head/helmet is subjected to an angled impact, the MIPS layer allows the helmet to slide relative to the head and reduces the rotational movement of the head by allowing the head to continue in the direction it was originally moving without transferring the rotational energies to the brain.

 

 

2. What is Rotational Movement

Rotational motion happens when your head hits a surface at an angle and stops very abruptly. This sudden stop can cause the brain to move with the skull and cerebral fluid. This movement within the skull can cause severe injuries to the brain.

3. How Does MIPS Work to Combat Rotational Motion

When you’re out skiing or riding, and you take a fall, two main forces, linear and rotational, can occur. Most accidents on the mountain are a combination of both. When you fall, the MIPS layer redirects the rotational energy around to the rest of the helmet.

4. What is the Difference between MIPS Helmets and others?

Helmets without helmets are rated solely on skull protection. This is important but does not take into account the damage the brain can sustain from rotational movements. MIPS is placed into helmets that have skull protection, making it so you have protection of blunt force and rotational movement.

5. How Much Does MIPS move?

The MIPS layer can move 10-15 mm within the helmet.

5. How Does it Affect the Way my Helmet Looks and Feels?

MIPS weighs around 15-25 grams depending on the size of the helmet. Because it is so light and thin, it is imperceptible to your comfort. Each model of helmet gets a layer that’s custom designed and engineered to fit the ventilation, shape, and other features of the helmet style. MIPS is also on the inside of your helmet where you won’t be able to see it when skiing/ riding.

Giro Crue MIPS Kids Snow Helmet

6. How do I Know if a Helmet has MIPS?

All helmets that have MIPS now have a yellow MIPS sticker that let consumers that that particular helmet is fitted with MIPS technology.

7. Is there substantial research behind MIPS?

Yes, MIPS technology was created from the research of brain surgeon, Hans von Holst and Peter Halldin whom holds a PhD in head and neck injury biomechanics. Here’s the link to their research and development papers

 

 

 

 

 

 

The In on Prizm- Oakley Prizm Lens Review


Are you considering buying Prizm lenses? Whether it’s the hype of the Oakley name or it is all just hype, here’s an Oakley Prizm Review that will give you all the details you need to make an informed decision.

Prizm TechnologyOakley Prizm Sapphire

Prizm is Oakley’s line of vision technology that they use in their eye wear. Whether it’s the hype of the Oakley name, or the fantastic quality of Prizm, you have undoubtedly seen loads of people on the hill with some form of Prizm lens.

When you’re on the mountain, you need a lens that can allows you to contrast and definition in the terrain in all that white snow. Oakley has been conducting research on color science for a very long time trying to fine tune the way light is filtered and allow skiers and riders to see the most contrast.

In a snow environment the eye is most sensitive to blue and orange light wavelengths. The Prizm lens lets certain wavelengths in that will enhance contrast, and keep the wavelengths out that decrease contrast. Using this method, rather that increasing or decreasing the amount of light in general, is what makes Prizm stand apart. Prizm fine-tunes the light wavelengths that are filtered through the goggle, so that the user’s vision is sharpened and nuances in terrain can be seen that would normally be missed by the naked eye.

Firsthand ExperienceOakley Prism

I use Oakley goggles (the sapphire flight decks), and so do pro skiers like Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin. It’s because Professionals like them and a global winter chaser such as myself really need the best technology available

For those of you who can’t be bothered to have an interchangeable lens system, this is the highest quality choice of lens that is one size fits all. I’ve never had a one size fits all lens that works so well on bluebird days as well as super stormy days. In fact, the Sapphire Prizm lens IS my low light goggle of choice, but if the clouds clear up it’s amazing in the sun as well. I am a fair eyed shredder so I can’t really wear super low light lenses for fear that the sun will come out and burn my retinas.

The Best Overall Lens Colors in the Prizm Line

There’s six total lens colors in the Prizm line. However, three of those 6 are outliers that cater to bright sun ( black iridium) and total overcast ( Rose and Hi Pink ) Yes, they still have Prizm technology, but they will not do as well in a broad spectrum of weather due to the very high or low amount of light they let in.

My recommendation is that you get one of the three that cater the largest spectrum of weather circumstances. These three lenses are the Sapphire Iridium (13% VLT), Jade Iridum (13%), Torch Iridium (17% VLT). As far as the difference between them there is not much besides the color. They all have similar VLT (Visible Light Transmission). It’s up to you to pick a color that makes you look like a baller!

Get the Right Shape and Size for You

Oakley has quite a few goggle lines out that use the Prizm lens. In this section I’ll overview the different shaped goggles so that you can decide on one that fits your style and needs.

Flight Deck– This line is rimless and has a spherical shaped lens. Spherical lens create the ‘bubbled’ look in goggles and also match the contour of the eye. The original Flight decks were quite large and to fit a growing demographic of women, and skiers/riders with smaller faces, there is also the Flight deck XM. Same goggles, just a bit smaller. Flight decks are also available in Asian fit. It is possible to change the lenses on Flight decks but it’s not a quick or easy change system, and you have to buy your spare low light lens separately.

Airbrake– This line is also spherical and has interchangeable lens capability. The interchange system is clip based (Oakley’s switchlock technology). When buying these goggles, they DO NOT come with an extra low light lens, you have to purchase that on your own. These are available in standard and in Airbrake XL.

Fall Line – This is a cylindrical, rimless, mid sized fitting goggle. The lenses are interchangeable but it does not come with s a spare lens, so if you want a low light lens option you’ll have to buy the Rose or Hi Pink lens separately. However, the interchange system is more simplified in this line versus the flight decks. The cylindrical lens is a flat lens, which does not offer AS much peripheral visibility as spherical lenses. That being said the difference is minimal and I absolutely froth cylindrical lens style.

Line Miner– This model is a framed cylindrical shaped goggle. It has an interchangeable lens system similar to the fall line, but the big new thing with this line is it is available with Inferno technology. It has a heating element inside the goggle that is powered by a small battery pack attached to the goggle strap. This technology is available with the Prizm lenses which is super cool if you have a big issue with fogging goggles.

A Frame– One of Oakley’s older style of lenses with new Prizm technology. They have quite a large rim around its spherical lens design. These goggles aren’t the cutting edge in style, but make up in cost efficiency.

Canopy– This line is rimmed and has a spherical lens design. The canopy lens has vents in the goggle lens allowing for more air circulation.

So that, my friends, is the in on Prizm!

Do you have Oakley Prizm Lenses? I would love to hear your own review on Prizm technology as well as any questions in the comment section below!

 

 

 

Why the Best Snowboarding Goggles have an Interchangeable Lens System

 

Before You Buy, Know Why

Why do you even need multiple lenses when skiing and riding? It’s because of VLT (Visible Light Transmission) and it refers to how much light is filtered through your goggles. Each color of lens will have a certain percentage of VLT that make it better or worse on certain days. Here’s a simple breakdown of the lens colors and their VLT.

Dark Lens– These have a low percentage of VLT because they allow a small amount of light to pass through. These are great for super sunny days because they reduce the glare and protect your eyes from the sun. Black, brown, and super mirrored lenses fit into this category.

Mid Lens– These have a lower percentage of VLT but still allow light to pass through. They are good for days when it is sort of cloudy and sort of sunny. Most non-interchangeable lenses have a mid range lens.

Light Lens– These have almost no VLT and allow most of the light through the lens. These lenses are usually clear or yellow and meant for the stormiest days and night skiing.

Being Able to Adapt is Awesome

Now that we know how different lenses work and what sort of days they work the best on can you see how being able to change your lens throughout the day can be such a great thing?

Scenario 1

Pictures this- You wake up and get up to the mountain. It’s a bright clear day and the sun is out. You have your trusty goggles with a mid range lens in. You’re able to see everything clearly because it’s nice and sunny out.

Lunch rolls around, you have a burger, and a storm rolls in while you were in. When you start riding there is no definition in the terrain and you’re not really certain where any of the bumps or jumps may be. You start riding slower because you don’t want to get caught off guard.

After two more runs you call it quits for the day around 2:45. The storm plus the fading light have made the visibility too low.

Scenario 2

Pictures this- You wake up and head up to the mountain. It’s a bright sunny day so you choose your blackout lens before you head out. It’s almost like having sunglasses on. You’re able to see the definition in every dip and gully of the trees that you’re thrashing.

Lunch rolls around, inside and refuel with a bacon and cheese sandwich and a Gatorade. Afterwards you look out the window and notice that dark gray clouds are moving in. You decide to change to you yellow lens to compensate for the lack of sun.

While out riding the snow starts coming down. You spot a roller that would be awesome to boost off of and there’s no one in the area. You get a little air and keep going.

As the storm moves in you keep riding. All the people are leaving because of the conditions, giving you more room to have fun. You call it at 4 pm, only because the lifts are no longer running.

Get the Picture?

Having an interchangeable lens changes the game. Being able to adapt to the conditions by changing your lens allows you to ride for longer and make better decisions while you ski.

Types of Change Systems

Not all systems are created equal. The most common are clips, pins, and magnets.

Clip Interchanging System

Clip lenses are probably the most common type of interchangeable lens system. Extruding pieces of the lens fit inside slots around the frame.

  • Pros- Very secure and affordable.
  • Cons- They can take a little longer to change than the other options.

Top Pick- Smith I/OS, $90-$170 on Amazon.com, depending on lens color option

Pin/ Magnet Interchanging System

Pin lenses are similar to clips except for they are like a peg in a hole.

  • Pros- They are really quick to change in and out.
  • Cons- They may not be as secure as clip lenses

Top PickGiro Axis, $135 on Amazon.com

Magnetic Interchanging System

Magnetic lenses are by far the most modern option of the bunch. They have magnets in the frame and the lenses that allow you to pop your lenses in and out of the frame very quickly.

  • Pros- Speed of change
  • Cons- May not be as secure and are also more costly.

Top Pick- Anon M3, $190 on Amazon.com

Whatever system of interchangeable lenses you go with, I hope you can see the value in having the best lens for the type of weather that you’re out in. Visibility on the mountain is one of the keys to being the best skier or rider you can be as a great tool to keep yourself safe.

 

 

Are You Blind on the Mountain?! Stop Ski Goggles from Fogging up NOW

Personally, there’s nothing I hate more on the mountain than my goggles fogging up! Usually it’s on an awesome powder day when there is low contrast and visibility anyways and suddenly, you can’t see even more. In this article I’ll cover how to avoid this dreaded predicament and stop your ski goggles from fogging up. All goggles will fog and the only way to not fall prey to it is to have the power of this knowledge!

Why they Fog- Heat and Moisture.

Fog creeps into your goggles because of two things happening simutaniously.

  1. You are creating a lot of body heat and it is letting out through your face.
  2. You have somehow gotten moisture onto the inside of your goggles.

THUS, the heat and moisture combine to create a foggy film that ruins your day on the mountain.

How to Decrease the Heat Element of Fogging

No, I don’t want you to be cold on the mountain, that’s not what I’m talking about. You want to be warm but not overheating so much that you are steaming out of your face.

Dress Appropriately: Look at the forcasted temperatures. Try not to overdress. Overdressing causes excess heat and sweating when you are working hard on the mountain. The heat and sweat escapes through your face and causes your goggles to fog.

If it’s above 25 fahrenheit then I wear a base layer, puff vest, and a shell. If it’s below 25 degrees then I wear a base layer, puffy, and a shell. That’s just my formula. Figure out what works for you and try not to fall into the “I might need this but probably not” trap.

Use Your Helmet Vents: Most helmets have vents that can control the air circulation through the goggles and helmets. Use those things! Increasing the amount of air into your goggles will get rid of the heat and start to decrease the fog. If your helmet has vents near the front, open those of first.

Giro uses technology called stack ventilation that makes it so if you are using their helmet and goggle lines together, the air circulation will be very efficient, minimizing the occurrence of fog. Many companies are trying to do that these days so keep your eyes out.

How to Eliminate the Moisture Element of Foggy Goggles

Stop sweating into your goggles. Sweating into your goggles creates the double whammy- heat and moisture! So stop it! I know it’s not that easy. But do try to actively regulate your body temperature using the vents in your helmet, jacket, pants, whatever. You can always zip them back up again.

On a snowy day, NEVER put your goggles up on your wet helmet or hat! This immediately puts the liner of your goggle against a sopping surface. When you start riding again the heat from your face will evaporate the moisture and it will become trapped inside your goggle in the form of fog.

The amount of people I see doing this daily (it’s very wet here in Australia where I am currently) confounds me. They ALL have foggy goggles and I feel sorry for them.

BUT I’m not here to just tell you you’re’re screwed. Here’s some solutions when you absolutely need to put your goggles up.

  • Wear your goggles underneath your helmet. When you need to put your goggles up you can push the helmet back and let your goggles rest on your DRY beanie.

This is how I wear my goggles and helmet every day because of fogging. Plus it looks really cool.

  • If you’re wearing a hat instead of a helmet…. It’s going to be really hard to put your goggles up without getting them wet on a snow day. Just keep them down or take them both off set your goggles down upside down on top of the hat. I would recommend you get a helmet.

Common Pitfalls of Foggy Goggles

There are some situations that we as skiers and riders find ourselves in that may contribute to fogging.

The Restroom Break- You’ve been riding hard and you stop in a lodge for a pee break and a tissue. If you leave all your stuff on including your goggles in a heated building, all that heat will start you sweating…right into your goggles. The solution is just take off your helmet and goggles off while you take a break.

  • This is especially true if you wear your goggles underneath your helmet. Not as relevant if you wear them over but more than likely you will put your goggles up on a wet helmet and get them wet that way.

Snowy/ Stormy Days- Isn’t it ironic that the beloved powder day can also bring along the nemesis foggy goggles. Be extra careful of your decisions on these days and how they will affect your vision throughout the day.

If it is very story during your ski/ride day, the clouds will trap the heat against the earth, creating a warmer climate. Most of us tend to also work harder to make turns in powder, this turning our body heat up. On these days, try not to overdress!

Secondly, with flat light that occurs on overcast snowy days, some of us want to put our goggles up in order to see better- even for just a second. If it’s snowing, don’t do this! Instead, wear a low light lens that allows you to see even in flat light.

Solutions Once Your Goggles Do Fog Up

If they do fog up, take your head layers off and dry your goggles out as best you can. Waving them around indoors and putting them next to hand dryers are handy solutions.

Do not wipe the inside of your goggles when they are wet! It destroys the anti fog coating on the interior.

Get an over the counter anti fogging liquid. A brand I’ve used is cat crap( haha). Another on the fly solution is.. Spit! Yes it really does work. It’s not hygienic but it does stop the fog molecules from forming.

The best solution to stop your goggles from fogging up is to keep them dry and at average temperature. Once it does, the other solutions will only last a limited amount of time, meaning probably not the whole day.

I hope this article has helped the skiers and riders of the world ride with perfect vision! If you have any questions please comment below!

 

 

 

 

Giro Ski Helmets Review- Top Picks for Men and Women

In this post we’ll cover everything you need to know about Giro Ski Helmets in terms of their safety, technology, and style options. I rate each division so that my readers can get an overall idea of how good a company is and what they can offer skiers and riders.

Up and Coming Tech

Giro has some unique and unexpected technology they in their headwear. I have to say I’m impressed with what they’ve come up with.

Giro offers standard in mold and 2 piece helmets but also has some new technology coming out with their basic construction of helmets.

Conform Fit is the technology that Giro uses to fit to its user’s head. The shell is made of two pieces and when the dial is cranked, the shell pieces slide inwards or outwards of the center to size to the rider. The tech allows for 6mm of adjustment which is quite cool. Another great thing about this technology is that the adjustment is in the shell and not the liner. You really don’t see that in many companies and it’s quite ingenious.

Softshell Technology– The name refers to the technology in the helmet’s liner and is made up of 2 types of vinyl nitrile (VN) foam that is made to absorb high and low energy impacts. It’s combined with Giro’s outer shell technology that is more flexible than traditional shell construction.

The combination of a heavyweight liner with a flexible shell creates a super durable helmet that can withstand lots of crashed and will be super durable.

My reader’s might be thinking, “why would I want a helmet with the word softshell anywhere near it?!” I get it, but the technology makes sense even if the name doesn’t.

X- Static Padding-This technology weaves in silver to the padding in the helmet to lower bacteria from sweat and skin contact. Silver has naturally occurring antibacterial properties so Giro is trying to develop a natural way of your helmet staying fresh. Pretty cool! Any natural solution that creates less work for skiers and riders is awesome in my book!

Fidlock– Giro’s magnetic helmet buckle tech. Made for easy on and off when you need it.

Safety

MIPS– The technology that allows your liner to spin independently of it’s shell. When you fall at high speeds and take on forces at an angle, MIPS technology can save your cranium. It’s pretty standard technology these days so the amount of helmets that companies employ it in says a lot about their safety standards.

MIPS Technology in Giro: Giro makes 18 helmets for men, and 13 helmets for women. 61% of the men’s helmets have MIPS while 53% of the women’s helmet’s have MIPS. I’m glad to see it’s over half at because this tech can really save your skull. The difference in product numbers for men and women is something I’ll discuss later on.

Safety Score: 4/5

Lots of Style Options!

Earpad Options

You have the option of removable earpads, attached earpads, and earpads built into the shell of the helmet. If you’re looking for the safest helmet ever (think zooming down a GS course at 60 mph), go for the race helmets with earpads built into the shell. Unfortunately they’re only available in the men’s line in the Avance MIPS, Sestriere and the Strive MIPS.

If you want some style options concerning your earpads, consider a style that has removable earpads. In the men’s department you have an option of the Discord, Ledge, or Ledge MIPS. Women riders have The Ledge, Ledge MIPS, and Discord

Shield lens attached- Can you pull it off?

Don’t like goggles? Do you think you’d like an ultra modern look? Giro has a few models helmets with visors attached. The pros are that, you don’t mess up any makeup, it won’t fog up as easily, and you only have to remember your helmet! The cons are that you’ll pay more (but hey you no longer have to buy goggles, think of it that way), and that you are basically stuck with one type of lens for all types of weather. In the women’s line take a peek at the Essence, within the Men’s the Vue.

Color Options: Giro has lots of little details in the design and coloring of their helmets. There’s something for everyone! While the aesthetics and colors always comes second to safety it never hurts to have a little (or a lot!) of style. The models Fade, Discord, and Era really got it going on! Check it out!

Aesthetic Score: 5/5. There’re heaps of options and big points for the little style options.

Gender Equivalency

Here’s the deal, the sizing parameter’s for men and women s Giro helmets is EXACTLY the same. So figure out what size your head is (using a flexible measuring tape) and browse both product line. There’s really similar models in the lines and there might be a color option that you like more in the opposite line!

The men’s line offers some race helmets as well as one full face option, while the women’s does not. Although women can DEFINITLEY wear those helmets because all the sizing is the same it makes it hard for women to find that gear. Women race, fall, and need those products too and I’d like to see Giro not stand in the way of women finding the gear they need.

GE Score: 3/5. I’m not impressed with Giro’s limiting of women’s gear in terms of race and full face helmets.

Top Picks! The Discord and the Ledge

The Discord uses Giro’s new state-of-the-art softshell technology (as discussed above) and also has a super clean look. It also has standard vents as well as stack vents on the front to keep you goggles from fogging up. MSRP- $150

Ledge MIPS uses hard shell technology and of course has MIPS installed. The ear pads are removable and it’s only $80 MSRP!

If you have a Giro helmet and have any feedback or comments about Giro helmets be sure to leave a comment below!

Review of Smith Ski Helmets- Top Picks for Men and Women

In this post we’ll cover everything you need to know about Smith Ski Helmets /Snowboard Helmets in terms of their safety technology, and style options.

Technology in Smith Ski Helmets

Smith is doing some pretty cool things with their helmets at the moment. Here is some unique technology they offer.

Construction: Offers In Mold, Injection Mold, and hybrid helmets

Aerocore Techology: Smith is using some new materials in their helmets to increase airflow around the head, face, and goggles. They have combined Koroyd(material) into the EPS in the helmet allowing more vents to be placed in the helmet without sacrificing the safety of the helmet.

AirVac Ventilation: This is what Smith calls their helmet/ goggle integration system. It is designed so that heat trapped in the goggles from the face escapes up through the helmet and is vented out.

Fitting Technology: Smith Ski Helmets offer 4 ways to adjust the helmet.

  • Boa FS360: Highest ed micro adjusting system. Has a halo design that fits all the way around the interior of the helmet and allows for lateral and forward adjustments.
  • Smith X Boa: Similar to the FS360 but the halo system goes three quarters of the way around the head and allows for vertical adjustability.
  • DFS: Dial Fit System: Uses an easy lefty-loosey and righty- tighty concept to adhust
  • LFS: Lifestyle Fit System: Elastic, self adjusting fit system. There is no manual adjustment available and is the lower end of the Smith fit systems.

Safety

MIPS Technology: Smith makes 15 helmets for men and women each, and 60% of the models have MIPS technology integrated into them. You can also order a lot of the models without MIPS and get a $30 savings. Worth it? Probably.

The make 5 kids models which none have MIPS technology integrated. Don’t kids need to be protected from multi directional impacts too?

Safety Score: 4.5/5

Comfort

Earpad Options: options available include removable earpads, extra plush liner/earpads, and standard earpads.

  • Removable Earpads- The Quantum and Gage, have removable earpads. So those of you wanting that option are very limited in this area.
  • Plush Liner/Earpads: 26% of Smith Helmets have a plush liner option.
    • NOTE: The only difference between some men’s and women’s helmets are the plush liner option. They are only available in the women’s product line. If you want that option check out the Vantage Women’s, Valence, Compass, Arrival, Allure, Vantage Women’s Asian fit, Allure Asian Fit, and Compass Asian Fit.

Ventilation: The more venting the helmet has, the more options one has to cool down. Large amounts of venting can also assist in goggles not fogging up. All smith helmets have at least 6 vents, and some has many as 23. You can be assured that you won’t get too hot between this and their Aerocore Technology

Comfort Score: 3.5/5. The plush liner is only available in the women’s line and only one model has removable earpads.

Aesthetics in Smith Ski Helmets

Color Options: Smith has a great line of colors including the normal ones like black, gray and white as well as more striking colors such as peach, teal, red, army green, magenta, dark blue, and many others.

COLOR TIP: Once you’ve decided on the helmet you want, check the opposite gender’s equivalent. The tech and sizing are the exact same and you might find a color you like better in the men’s or women’s line

Style Options: 60% of smith ski helmets have brims, while the other 30% do not. There’s something for every style preference within the line.

Aesthetic Score: 5/5. There’re tons of options, make sure you game the color system as noted in the tip.

Gender Equivalency

Smith ski helmets makes the same amount of headgear for its men and women skiers and riders. They make 15 models for each gender and use the same technologies.

The naming of helmets that Smith can be a bit confusing for consumers. Some of the same helmets in each gender product line have the same names while others go by different names. Below are the helmets that are exactly the same but go by different names depending on if they are a men’s or women’s helmet.

  • Men’s Variance = Women’s Valence
  • Men’s Camber = Women’s Compass
  • Men’s Aspect = Women’s Arrival
  • Men’s Maze = Women’s Allure

Whether you buy a men’s or a women’s helmet, the SIZING AND SAFETY TECHNOLOGY ARE THE EXACT SAME. The only differences are some names, colors, and availability of a plush and antimicrobial lining. So if you’re looking at a specific helmet, go on over to the other gender’s product line and see if there’s a color you like better!

Gender Equivalency Score: 4/5. Smith makes the same exact product for men and women but markets it differently for men and women. I don’t agree with that. Also, it limits the color options for people if they aren’t privy to this information. For example, they don’t offer a matte black helmet in the women’s valence but they do in the men’s variance, one of the higher end helmets. Women like to wear black too Smith.

Price Range

Smith definitely offers a price point for everyone and the tech included matches the price.

Top of the Line: Quantum– $165 -$300, on amazon, depending on the color.

  • Aerocore Technology, 22 vents, MIPS, FS360 Fit system, removable earpads.

Economic: Holt– $70

  • 14 vents, LFS fit system.

Smith definitely offers a price point for everyone and the tech included matches the price.

 

Top Picks

Vantage: $130-$260 on amazon, depending on color.

Between the men’s and women’s line, there are a load of color options available.It also has Aerocore, MIPS, and FS360 technology.

Vantage

If you get the women’s vantage you get the plush and antimicrobial lining included. This helmet has all the technology needed without paying absolute top dollar.

 

Aspect/ Arrival– $130: Loads of color options, brimless, available with MIPS, 14 vents, and Dial Fit System. This is a great helme

Arrival/Aspect

t with excellent technology for a reasonable price.

 

 

 

A Guide to the Best Snowboard Helmet for You.

You’re ready for a new snowboard helmet right? But you want to choose the best snowboard helmet for you. There’s a lot that goes into the decision. Your snowboard or ski helmet is your biggest protector on the mountain, as well as a statement accessory as you ride. In this article we’ll go over to some guidelines so you can pick the best brain bucket for you.

Construction of Snowboard/Ski Helmets

All helmets have some general components that are good to know about before purchasing.

Shell: The outer part of your helmet which is rigid and takes most of the brute force of impacts. It’s usually made out of ABS High Impact plastic

Inner Liner: A thick and very durable foam like material made from EPS (expanded polystyrene). When a skier/rider takes a fall the foam compresses in order to protect the user’s head.

There’s two basic forms of construction that are used in all helmets.

  • In mold helmets: These helmets combine the outer shell and the liner in one molding process. The result is a lighter helmet as well as a bit more cost effective. In mold helmets do a good job of absorbing impacts that have less force.\
  • Injection molded helmets: In this type of the construction there are two pieces and the inner liner is very firmly attached to the shell in a 2 piece construction. These types of helmets work better to protect the head from huge impacts but will be less useful against small impacts compared to in mold helmets. This is because a smaller force will not compress the thicker shell and liner.

Safety is Sexy

Your helmet’s number one job is to keep you safe. The fit of your new helmet is of the upmost importance.

Fit: Did you know that an ill-fitting snowboard helmet can be almost as unsafe as no helmet at all? If the helmet can move when you shake your head around, then it’s too big. If it starts to pinch your head, or sits slightly high on your head then it’s too small. However, as long as you measure your head correctly then you should be able to determine your correct size.

Measuring for your head: Helmets are sized according to their circumference. If you’re ordering your helmet online, use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head at it’s widest point. Then use that measurement ( in cm) against the size chart online and order whichever size your measurement falls into.

Helmets usually have a secondary fitting system that helps you dial in the fit to your head.

  • Crank or dial on the back of the helmet. This is the better type of secondary fit because you can adjust it manually to however you need.
  • Stretch fit in the back of the helmet. This will expand automatically if it needs to but you can never make it smaller.

Positioning: Make sure when you where your helmet that it comes no more than 1″above the eyebrows and that there is no gap between your goggles and your helmet.

 

MIPS: Many of the best snowboard helmets on the market also use Multi- Directional ImpactProtection, (MIPS) technology that protect your brain in a more advanced way when you take a bad fall.

The technology mimics how the skull protects the brain when it deals with the types of impacts that are most common in action sports. MIPS technology is located between the liner and the user’s head.

When you finally find the best snowboard helmet for you, spend some time adjusting it before you start shredding the gnar.

Comfort is Key

A comfortable helmet is the best snowboard helmet. If it’s not comfortable you’re not going to want to wear it.

Air Vents: The best snowboard helmet should have vents that keep you cool while riding or skiing. Different brands have varying amounts of vents. Consider where you spend most of your time on the mountain. If you spend a lot of time touring then consider a helmet with a lot of venting to keep you cool.

Any helmet that you choose should have vents near the front to provide sufficient airflow down to your goggles. This airflow will make sure your goggles don’t fog up when you start working hard on the mountain.

Ear Pads: If you’re looking for a really warm helmet then make sure you get one with ear pads. If you run hot or frequently snowboard or ski in a more mild climate then grab a model sans pads. Some models even have detachable ear pads so that you can easily remove and replace the pads depending on the temperature.

Look Good, Feel Good

Looking good on the mountain makes you ride better. Today there is a world of gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing helmets. The best snowboard helmet will make you feel like a million bucks on the mountain.

Color: Go for a solid color if you like or choose something multi- colored. There are even metallic helmet colors available

  • Consider the rest of your ski/ride outfit- Is it solid colored or wild and colored? Consider going the latter with your helmet to create a put together look.

Shape: This is up to you! It’s all personal preference.

  • Brim or Brimless.
  • Ear pads- Fully attached, detachable, or built into the shell.
  • Streamlined indents or a more rounded shape.
    • Tip: Take a look around the Internet and see what looks you like on others if you’re not sure what to pick.

Style of Wear: You’ll see skiers and riders rocking two main styles with their helmet and goggles. For simplicities’ sake, we’ll call them goggles on the outside (GOO) and goggles on the inside(GOI). Choose which one you like best and rock it! Here are some things to consider as far as aesthetics with each one.

  • Goggle retainer: If you’re going GOO then make sure your helmet has a goggle retainer to keep your goggles in place. If going GOI then no goggle retainer is needed.
  • Beanie Underneath: Many people rock a beanie underneath their helmets for added warmth. If you’re going GOI then you’ll want one so that your goggles can rest on it when they are not on your face.

Be safe out there kids

Helmets are like most other wearable products. Over time, they start to wear out and lose their efficiency. If you take any major falls then you should replace your helmet due to the compromised liner. Failing that, replace it every couple of years anyways.

You’re ready to find the best snowboard helmet for you!