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Sunglasses are one of the essential elements practicing snow sports because they protect our eyes from the Ultraviolet Rays and are a great fashion complement. The variety is immense but we have to consider some factors to choose the one that fits us.



We all enjoy a wonderful skiing sunny day with newly fallen snow. But perhaps we are not aware of the risks that may entail for our view if we don´t protect our eyes with sunglasses that have suitable lenses. Sun position is lower in the winter months and come to us with a greater inclination. In addition we have to count with the mighty snow multiplier power, which makes the reflection of the Ultraviolet Rays (UV) is multiply up to eight.

UV Rays have most impact as we turned up in height, around 12% each 1,000 meters, and the snow´s mirror effect makes radiation increase to almost 90%. You should know that the UV Rays cross the clouds and have greater incidence at noon, so even if the day is cloudy, only sunlight is filtered and a large part of the UV Rays reach Earth’s surface. We shouldn´t think that, by being the first hour of the day or a cloudy day, there are not necessary sunglasses. Consequences for the eyes can be disastrous and exposure to solar radiation can lead into eye problems such as irritation, temporary loss of vision (the call “skier´s blindness”) or get up into irreversible burns in the corneas.

On this basis and its importance will be necessary to elect sunglasses depending on the most suited to our comfort and needs: sports-conventional or googles or blizzard mask. It is also important that sunglasses meet ISO standards of protection and that have the CE marking, which shows that meet the European safety standards.

If we choose the traditional sunglasses we should notice that:

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  • There is to minimize the risk for the eyes at falls and frames should be made of plastic and with organic lenses (better than if you break the glass and the lenses are minerals).
  • It is recommended lens should be equipped with some anti-reflective treatment (polarized, coating of iridium…).
  • If sunglasses are closed by the sides and completely closed with the face we avoid the air and snow splashes in the descents, as well as UV Rays reflections entering laterally.

Googles or blizzard mask have another features:

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  •  Give greater protection and safety in falling case by its mouldable plastic housing.
  • Great adaptation and holding and can be used with helmet.
  • Provide a wider vision field, increasing performance.
  • Count with technical developments as anti-mist treatments and ventilation systems, foam coating to don´t allow access humidity, sweat or air …
  • Allow specific lenses for each snow condition: dark for sunny days, orange for cloudy days and with low visibility and yellow or pink to highlight the ground when there´s no practically light.

Once seen the types of sunglasses we can choose, it comes the most important thing to choose, the lens. A good lens filter 100% of harmful UV Rays. By means of colour filters will reduce the percentage of light that receives the eye. As darker is the lens, a lower percentage of transmitted light. This is the index of lens protection.

[table align=”left right center justify” header_color=”” header_back_color=””][thead][th colspan=”” rowspan=””]Category or Index of Protection[/th][th colspan=”” rowspan=””]Transmission of visible light Index[/th][th colspan=”” rowspan=””]Recommended Use[/th][/thead][tbody][tr][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]0[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]80 % to 100 %[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]Cloudy days and external environments with low lights[/td][/tr][tr][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]1[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]43 % to 80 %[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””] Medium brightness days. Recommended for use in city[/td][/tr][tr][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]2[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]18 % to 43 %[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]Sunny days (except in summer). Very used in cycling, athletics…[/td][/tr][tr][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]3[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]8 % to 18 %[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]Very sunny days (summer). It is the most common protection[/td][/tr][tr][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]4[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]3% to 8%[/td][td colspan=”” rowspan=””]High mountain, skiing, water sports… are not suitable for driving[/td][/tr][/tbody][/table]

In addition to this, in the last few years have been emerging technological advances in the lenses to give an additional protection and special features that might come fantastic to our type of eyes or the use we are thinking for sunglasses:

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  • Photo-chromatic lenses: adapt their tone to the ambient light and darken more or less depending on the amount of light.
  • Polarized lenses: removes the horizontal reflections, only allowing the passage of vertical light. Ideal for driving and the practice of skiing and water sports
  • Mirrored lenses: reflect many of the light impeding arrive to the eye.
  • LST filters: stabilisation technology through various contrast filters (Adidas exclusive).
  • Great curvature lenses: reduce the amount of side and rear beams that penetrate into the lens.

Because of all of this, when you go to buy your snow sunglasses, look for the model you like most by its style and for best suits to your facial features, but mainly, think about what type of lens is the best to the use that you are going to give them. Since SKIBACK we recommend to count with the help of view professionals and don´t mind to spend money on health.

We hope this guide has been useful. See you next week.

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