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Goggles/Glasses fogging

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Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby powhound » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:00 am

On the most brutal days, when the wind chill is "cover every square inch of skin" cold, I have a problem with both my goggles and glasses fogging. Especially when I am breathing hard, while hiking uphill. The combo of eyeglasses under goggles, with a full facemask doesn't work well, and causes me to perform this awkward (and skin freezing) ritual, every minute or so, of shifting the mask down... or goggles up...to allow some cold air in to de-fog things.

Now when I ski I don't have this problem, because I wear contact lenses under my goggles. However, I don't want to wear contacts into the backcountry because on occasion, I will have an issue with them. Ex: blowing out of my eye in strong winds...sudden unexplained irritation, etc. At a ski area these problems are easy to deal with by going into the nearest on mountain facility, and using the heated bathroom with a mirror. Another reason is because it is difficult for me to read small print (map/compass) when wearing my contacts.

I have tried both a standard balaclava and a Serius neoprene facemask...the kind that is designed with an opening under your nose and small holes over your mouth. It seems there is always a gap near the bridge of my nose that allows warm air to flow up causing the glasses and/or goggles to fog.

The only thing I can think of, would be to purchase prescription goggles, thus eliminating the need to wear glasses underneath. I just Googled that, and they start about $200. So... before I shell out the money, I just wanted to see if maybe I am missing something obvious...and if any of you out there, with the same situation, have an inexpensive solution.

Any comments are appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby geojed » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:07 am

Maybe athletic tape across the top of the balaclava to seal it? Might lose it stickiness after awhile.
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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby I Man » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:07 am

I don't wear glasses, and I still have this problem with Goggles fogging. In fact, I don't know anyone who doesn't have this problem. I have tried many, many different combinations without any luck.
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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby Scott P » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:12 am

I don't wear glasses, and I still have this problem with Goggles fogging. In fact, I don't know anyone who doesn't have this problem. I have tried many, many different combinations without any luck.


I have a pair of anti-fog glasses that work when it's really cold, but whenever it is warm enough to sweat a little, they fog and mist on the inside. My glacier goggles fog when it's cold, but are OK when it's not really cold. I bring both and switch off between the two depending on the temperature. It's the only thing that seems to work all the time.

The cat crap stuff often works pretty good, for a while, but not always.
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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby DaveSwink » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:23 am

powhound wrote:On the most brutal days, when the wind chill is "cover every square inch of skin" cold, I have a problem with both my goggles and glasses fogging.

I have tried both a standard balaclava and a Serius neoprene facemask...the kind that is designed with an opening under your nose and small holes over your mouth. It seems there is always a gap near the bridge of my nose that allows warm air to flow up causing the glasses and/or goggles to fog.


As you noted, the problem is warm expelled breath being pushed up your mask or buff and under your googles. I have modified my face mask by enlarging the mouth opening to match my mouth in full, hard-breathing mode (wide open). Note the mouth opening is now fully open, not the pattern of small holes were in the mask originally. My breath is allowed out without any misdirection into my goggles. This also makes climbing that last summit ridge much less demanding on my cardio system. :-D

My nostrils are also exposed now, but I hot glued on a small neoprene overhang that protects my nose from direct wind. In the winter, I carry vaseline lip balm in the squeeze tube rather than chap stick. When gearing up with my shell and face mask, I will apply a thick layer on my lips and the exposed area around my nostrils to provide some wind protection. This system has worked very well for me in the last three seasons.

Edit: Another refinement I came to after a couple years of experimentation was to use a face mask of very thin material, comparable to a thin baselayer. I found that most face masks are made of material that overheated me when I was wearing my baselayer and shell hoods too.

Picture of modified face mask:
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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby nyker » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:43 pm

One thought, I often have the same problem - not sure if this would work - has anyone tried using something like a snorkel tube to exhale out of thereby routing your exhaled breath away from the glasses?

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby DaveSwink » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:02 pm

nyker wrote:One thought, I often have the same problem - not sure if this would work - has anyone tried using something like a snorkel tube to exhale out of thereby routing your exhaled breath away from the glasses?


Imagine jogging five miles breathing through a snorkel. :wft:

This might have some of the functionality you are describing: http://workingperson.com/workwear-1/headwear/winter-face-masks/cold-avenger-masks-pro-classic-fleece-black-high-performance-mask-cac-reg-blk.html

An aside; my mask got twisted while climbing the final ridge up Torreys last winter so my mouth was covered and I was breathing through the thin nylon material of the mask. In the flying snow driven by high winds, I did not notice but charged on up the ridge. The rest of the team quickly left me behind and I started feeling uncharacteristic chest pain and throbbing temples. I got very scared that I was having a heart attack all alone on a 14er in the winter! :shock: Imagine my relief when I twisted my mask around and could breathe again. #-o

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby TallGrass » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:09 pm

I encounter this on the motorcycle and have used
Double-pane window effect via Pinlock: http://www.pinlock.nl/en/
Anti-Fog compound Cat Crap (off-plastic smell): http://ekusa.com/cat-crap

Also recommended is a snowmobile breath box/deflector (they can be worn independent of a helmet). Same idea as a scuba snorkel but better executed. There are even heated-visors but don't know if they have any stand alone ones though I'm sure you could rig up a 12v battery pack as their draw would be low. Riding across I-80 last February in 14F weather (well, actually that's as low as the cycle computer will indicate for temp won't read over 114F either) I hit fog near Rawlins, WY or such that would instantly frost anything it contacted making the shield useless. Only a heated visor would work in that situation.

If you use disposable contacts, I would go with those but pack your glasses as a back up. Use ones toward the end of their cycle so if you have to ditch them, no worries, or just carry a lense case to toss them in if you have to switch.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby dsunwall » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:12 pm

I tried something similar to dswink's setup, it does help. Once your face starts sweating however they will fog even if your breath does not get to the lens, seems that way to me anyway. I'm seriously thinking of Smith's Turbofan goggles, they do get good reviews.

http://adventuretravel.about.com/od/adventuretravelbasics/gr/SmithTurboFan.htm

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby SikYou » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:53 pm

I bought a pair of Julbo Explorer Glacier Glass and had a lot of hope that they would not fog but unfortunately they fog worse than anything that I have worn to date. I contacted Julbo regarding the fogging issue and their official recommendation was to use Cat Crap; I'm going to pick some up this weekend and head out for a snowshoe trip on Monday. I sure hope that it works, I couldn't even hike 30 seconds without these damn glasses fogging up!
"Is it an up hill hike all the way to the summit?" Brian L.

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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby Scotzman » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:21 am

I have used cat-crap in the past, and actually today and it works reasonably well, you just have to keep applying it, pretty much each trip; not too big of a deal.
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Re: Goggles/Glasses fogging

Postby SikYou » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:25 am

Looks like Fogtech is pretty decent per reviews on REI, maybe I'll give that a try.
"Is it an up hill hike all the way to the summit?" Brian L.

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