Choosing The Best Cycling Goggles For Winter

A cyclist wearing Kroop's 13-five goggles in the winter

 

Ask any cyclist what their most important protective gear is and they’ll give you the same answer: eyewear. Well, besides the helmet, that is. With the wind, dirt, and bright sunlight that could compromise a cyclist’s visibility, eye protection is not just an option but a must.

But we all know that eye protection is not something that we should only put on in the summer. In fact, it should be worn all year round - even in winter. As the cold weather is fast approaching, you’re probably making some plans to go riding for that extra challenge. Now comes the important question: should you wear glasses? Or go for goggles? We say, choose the latter.

Goggles vs. Sunglasses In Winter Cycling

On warm days, wearing sunglasses would do a great job in protecting your eyes from the elements. But on days when the temperature dips down into the 40's or below your eyes start to water when the wind hits them.  And that doesn’t make for a fun riding experience. 

When you’re wearing sunglasses, cold wind can still seep under. Cycling goggles, on the other hand, provide you with 360-degree eye protection. Plus, they keep you warmer and more comfortable. You might have heard about the concerns of cycling goggles fogging up. Back then, that could be the case.

But nowadays, there are several options in the market where you can wear cycling goggles without having to worry about fogging. Our 13-Five goggles are not only our most comfortable goggles yet, but they are also designed to prevent fogging with their ventilated holes.

Kroop’s 13-Five Cycling Goggles in grey lens tint with black strap
Kroop's 13-Five Cycling Goggles

Cycling Goggles Over Prescription Glasses

For most prescription lens wearers, buying prescription cycling sunglasses are a popular choice. However, if riding in rough or bumpy terrains are an issue, sunglasses have a tendency to fall off. And it’s very daunting, considering that you have to stop just to put your glasses back on. 

Although wrap-around sunglasses are a thing, does it mean that you can’t have the option of wearing cycling goggles over prescription glasses? Here’s the good news: you actually can. 

When choosing cycling goggles to wear over your prescription glasses, make sure to look for a design that is large enough to fit over your eyeglasses but not too large that it won’t fit on most bicycle helmets. Our VFR (OTG - Over the Glasses) goggles have become a top favorite among cyclists who are wearing prescription glasses because of its lightweight body and wide range of bicycle helmet compatibility. Keep in mind, though, that our VFR goggles do not have UV protection unless you get the tinted version.

Kroop’s VFR (OTG - Over the Glasses) Cycling Goggles in clear lens tint
Kroop's VFR (OTG - Over the Glasses) Goggles

 

Things To Look For in Cycling Goggles

When you’re looking to buy a new pair of cycling goggles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many options. While you can easily go to a store and try on as many pairs as you like, it’s important to remember that cycling goggles are more than just the perfect fit. There are also some factors that you should consider:

  • UV Protection: UV rays might be weaker in the winter, but it doesn’t mean that they are not as harmful as in the summer. You are still likely to develop eye-related diseases, especially when exposed outdoors for too long. Look for goggles that have 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.

  • Visibility: When you’re hitting the trails, an unobstructed view of your surroundings is the top priority. A spherical lens will give you a great distortion-free view with excellent peripheral vision like our 13-Five and I.K 91.

  • Weight and Comfort: Look for ultra-lightweight goggles that can be comfortably worn for long hours of cycling. Goggles with a weight of less than 34 grams are ideal. This will provide adequate eye protection but you won’t be able to notice that you’re wearing any goggles at all.

  • Adjustable headbands: Cycling goggles should come with elastic, adjustable bands so they can fit well under or over helmets. The wider the bands, the more comfortable it is on your head.

  • Interchangeable lenses: Different riding conditions call for different lens tint colors. Goggles with lenses that you can easily swap depending on the condition are perfect instead of having to buy another pair.

  • Flexibility: We all have different face shapes and sizes. It can be frustrating to finally have found the perfect pair only to realize that it doesn’t fit. Flexible cycling goggles conform to any face shape and size very well without the hassle of it falling over.

  • Durability: Safety should always be a top priority when cycling, especially in the winter. Slips, falls, and accidents can happen so it’s always best to be prepared. Goggles that are made of polycarbonate lenses are much more impact-resistant compared to regular plastic.

Lens Tint

Choosing the right lens tint based on the weather, activity, and terrain should also be taken into factor. Where will you usually ride? What is the weather usually like in the morning, afternoon, or all day? Will you be riding at night? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to help you pick the right lens tint. 

On bright days, a VLT (variable light transmission) percentage of 15% will be a good starting point as this means less eye strain. Low-light conditions would call for a VLT percentage of around 70% for better color and depth perception.

You can use the guide below to help you further pick the correct lens tint for your needs and requirements:

Kroop's 13-Five Cycling Goggles with Grey, Clear, Amber, Red lenses

  • Gold, yellow, and amber: Filters out blue light in low light and fog. These colors also help you to see shadows in the snow so you can see bumps better. They are also ideal for moderate and variable light conditions.

  • Copper, dark brown, dark gray, and dark green: Keeps your eyes comfortable in bright light. They also provide more contrast. Gray lens tints also allow you to perceive the true colors of your surroundings.

  • Light rose and rose copper: Ideal on low-light days.

  • Clear: For sunset and nighttime riding. Clear lens tints typically have the highest percentage of VLT. 

Final Thoughts

Winter cycling can be both an exciting and rewarding experience. But like all things exciting and rewarding, one should always ride with safety in mind. Besides making sure that your gears are ready to go in preparation for riding on the colder months ahead, keeping your eyes protected should also be on the list. 

Cycling goggles, for the most part, are much better at doing the job than cycling sunglasses. They keep you warm while preventing your eyes from watering. And with most cycling goggles specially designed to prevent fogging, it’s definitely a welcome choice instead of having to stop and wipe your sunglasses when you’re on the go.

Prescription lens wearers now have the option to wear cycling goggles over eyeglasses, making them a much more sensible option rather than having to buy another pair specifically for cycling.

But when shopping for your pair of goggles, don’t forget to consider other factors such as durability, weight, comfort, UV protection, and other features. Trust us, these little things matter as they could make or break your overall riding experience.