Are Polarized Sunglasses Good for Snow Conditions?
The first element to consider is whether or not to use polarized lenses. You may be asking yourself: Should I wear polarized lenses in the snow?
There has been a myth that polarized lenses should be avoided in winter conditions as they can make it harder to distinguish ice from snow and black ice on the road. However, it’s quite the opposite effect as good quality polarized lenses will remove glare and consequently add color contrast and texture, which are especially important for any conditions in which high glare is encountered. When light reflects off the snow, the light waves align in horizontal patterns and cause glare.
A quality pair of polarized lenses will remove and reduce that glare providing a sharper, more detailed and comfortable view while bringing out contrast and depth perception. Remember, not all polarized lenses are created equal so it’s important to do your research before buying any polarized lens.
What about while skiing or snowboarding? Are polarized lenses good for skiing?
Yes, wearing high quality polarized lenses while skiing or snowboarding will allow you to see far better. They will remove harsh, irritating glare while adding contrast and texture, therefore heightening detail and depth perception of the terrain you’re riding.
Once you find a pair of frames that fit you well and comfortable while riding, you may consider outfitting them with the industry’s highest quality polarized lenses to enhance your visual experience in the snow. Tajima Direct produces the best polarized lens technology for snow conditions, and they’ll custom make them to fit into your favorite frames.
One of the greatest validations on this topic was when America’s most decorated male Olympic skier Bode Miller purchased two pairs of Tajima polarized lenses for his personal use. When contacted, he confirmed he’d always been a fan of polarized lenses in the snow, especially Tajima’s lens technology for the excellent visual clarity and color saturation as well as being lightweight and impact resistant.
What are the Best Sunglass Lens Colors for Snow?
The second element in finding the best sunglass lenses for snowy conditions is determining the right lens color to go with. Choosing the best lens color for the snow conditions you’re in is imperative. We’ll lay out the basics for you below.
Best Lens Color for Bright, Sunny Snow Conditions
When it’s a bright, sunny day on the snow or in the mountains, extreme glare and brightness is magnified due to the elevation and the hi-glare environment off the white snow surface. A neutral gray tinted polarized lens with a blue mirror coating is the best choice. The blue mirror will reflect more light away from your eyes reducing the brightness of the sun while the polarization will reduce glare from the intense sunlight reflecting off the snow.
The gray tint with the blue mirror coating is a perfect match adding additional color enhancement and contrast for an incredibly sharp, crisp, and comfortable view with an ideal Visible Light Transmission (VLT) level of 10-12%. Dark enough on the bright open fields, yet not too dark when riding through shadows of trees or off piste runs. The Tajima Urethane Gray with Blue Mirror was one of Bode Miller’s lens purchases for these exact reasons noted above.
Best Lens Color for Low Light / Variable Conditions
Lens color options are important for the ever-changing light conditions when in the mountains. For variable or low light conditions when it’s more overcast causing “flat light”, or you’ll be going in and out of sunny and shaded areas in the snow, a polarized brown or copper tinted lens that both removes glare and adds greater contrast will do wonders to your depth perception and overall vision.
Brown and copper polarized lens tints will increase contrast and color saturation providing more detail with the warmer view these lens tints deliver. The benefit is that these lens colors will enhance and sharpen definition and details on the snow and various terrain that become hard to see in changing light, low light and flat light conditions. It was no wonder Bode’s second pair of Tajima Direct lenses purchased were the company’s Brown 15 with Black Mirror delivering a 12-13% VLT.
Demanding a hi-quality polarized lens will remove and reduce glare off the snow surface that is there even if it’s not a bright, sunny day. Matched with a brown or copper tint, you’ll be ready to take on a wide range of conditions from sun to shade to flat light, to morning or afternoon low light.
To select the best lenses for snow and mountain terrain, you want to consider the conditions. Regardless, a hi-quality polarized lens will deliver a sharper view with enhanced color saturation, contrast and detail definition than non-polarized lenses. For bright sunny days on the snow, consider a gray tinted blue or silver mirrored lens color that will reduce the bright intensity of the sun making it the ideal lens option. For changing or low light conditions or variable days on the snow, a brown or copper tinted lens color provides you with greater flexibility through additional color contrast and texture delivering enhanced vision in the sun, shade, or in low, flat light conditions.
To get the best polarized lenses for snow put into any pair of glasses you already have, head to Tajima Direct and order new lenses to be installed into your favorite frames.