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Author Topic: Foggy Glasses  (Read 3210 times)

Offline Rob

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Foggy Glasses
« on: December 07, 2008, 06:54:41 pm »
How do you deal with foggy glasses? When I start going hard my glasses almost always fog up, Any tips or tricks out there to deal with this issue?
Colder is better

Offline HOOP

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Re: Foggy Glasses
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 08:30:41 pm »
Hi Rob,

Fogging glasses is one of the monumental problems us glasses wearers have when winter trekking.   Its not an easy fix.  The colder it is, the harder it is to clear the glasses.  This is another addition we should add to our Clothing section, which does have a subsection on eyewear.

There are two problem areas: 
1)  Fogging when using just your glasses;
2)  Fogging when using ski goggles over your glasses, like in extreme cold and wind events.

I will relate what I know:

1)  Obviously the trick is to not work up alot of steam, and that relates directly to your clothing system and head gear.  That is something we cover in some detail in our clothing sub sections.   You need to stay on the edge of cold all the time, but not be cold.  That way you minimize sweating and stay dry, and there is not a lot of moisture venting from your face and up from your neck.  Easier said than done.  My system is to always be active.   I eat lunch in 5 minute snacks, then get going again.  No long lunch breaks, so I can keep the layers minimal.  All layers must breathe - no nylon.    My favourite Crown Cap 4 layer toque can be rolled up high, or pulled low to regulate warmth on my head and face.  Its is remarkable how much heat is vented from the forehead and neck simply by rolling up the edges of the toque.   Also, zip-open collars on fleece or wool jackets allow for lots of variation for releasing steam.   No sitting around, so I can keep the heat pump going without excess layers.   Only when sitting ice fishing am I layering on the heavy insulation.

However I sometimes still get fogging.  I keep a bandana handy to wipe the glasses.

Wearing a neoprene face mask sends moisture up the inside of the mask and onto the glasses.  I cut the mouth opening out of the neoprene masks to increase the steam venting (see the pic in our Head Gear & Eye Wear sub-section).  When I have to wear a face mask in extreme cold and wind, then I have to make do without my glasses.  I wear my ski goggles, and have to keep the steam down.   I have had some days where the ski goggles get fogged and iced too, and then I simply keep rubbing bare fingers on the inside of the goggles to clear them.   If anyone knows a good anti-fog liquid rub, let me know.

This weekend I was out in the bush at -18, with a close to -30 windchill.  I was wearing my balaclava and toque, and had to keep pulling the balaclava up to warm my nose.   My glasses fogged each time, then I would pull it down for a while.  Up, down all day, but that's just the way it is.   One of the reasons you want gauntlet gloves or mitts for the constant in-out of the hand wear.

2)  When wearing ski goggles in extreme cold and wind, my glasses almost always fog and freeze, no matter what anti-fog I rub on them.   So I go without glasses.  Luckily I can see fairly well without them.  I use yellow hue goggle lenses which seem to increase the contrast nicely, which helps.

I am saving my pennies for the ultimate solution for fogging ski goggles:   Smith's Turbo-fan goggles.  There is a battery operated fan in the goggles.   Its not a gimmick - it actually works well, and they are well reviewed in the back country ski gear reviews that I have read.  Here's the product link:

Vision is so important, I think I am going to order a pair of Turbo Fans that are sized for over glasses.   If anyone knows a Canadian supplier, let me know. 

In our "Clothing - Head Gear & Eye Wear" sub-section, there is a piece on glacier glasses.   There are pics of mine which are prescription lenses, using "Transition" lenses, which serve as my UV protection sunglasses as well.  I cannot say enough good things about them.  With the leather eye cups, they work like goggles in moderate winds, but vent far better, and so I can avoid the ski goggles for most of the time, and so I have prescription lens vision for longer without the fogging problem of ski goggles. 

Keep us posted Rob on your solution to the problem.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 09:03:50 pm by HOOP »
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Offline Scott

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Re: Foggy Glasses
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 09:04:46 pm »
I don't have any great tips for ski googles, no matter what I try they always seem to fog up.  As for regular glasses - I ended up getting contacts!   ;D 

I still wear glasses at times on a trip and of course I wear sunglasses.  In these cases the biggest thing I do is make a concerted effort to breathe in through the mouth and exhale through the nose, this usually solves most of it...but it's hard to do all the time, especially when you get working hard like cutting wood.   


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Re: Foggy Glasses
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 04:54:15 pm »
well on binoculars it helps when I rub tobacco on the lens. Don't try it on your glassses without an extra pair though.

Offline Ted

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smith turbo goggles
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 08:50:29 pm »
I just tracked down the smith turbo goggles to a store here in Ottawa.
Hope to get over there this week to check them out.
Will report back about price, optics and workmanship.

Cheers Ted
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Re: Foggy Glasses
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 08:52:43 pm »
How do you deal with foggy glasses? When I start going hard my glasses almost always fog up, Any tips or tricks out there to deal with this issue?
Laser eye surgery, it worked for me! ;D

There's no bad weather, just bad clothing.