Today’s reader question:
Are polarized goggles lenses worth the extra money? I’m buying new goggles and the polarized lenses are a big jump in price from the regular lenses.
In almost all cases, no, polarized goggle lenses are not worth the extra money. Let’s break this down to see why.
How do polarized lenses work?
Without going to sciencey on this, polarized lenses work by blocking reflections.
So if you were on water, it helps to block the light reflections on the water and if you are driving it helps to block reflections off other cars that hurt your visibility. This is why polarized lenses are so popular in sunglasses.
Why you don’t need polarized lenses when snowboarding:
Polarized lenses actually work great in sunny weather snowboarding, but overall the difference isn’t any huge improvement vs. a good mirrored sunny day lens and there’s one big downside… they block reflections from ice.
This means it can actually make it harder to see patches of ice in the snow and ultimately in anything but sunny day situations the polarized lens can start to work against you.
It’s for this reason that most owners of polarized goggle lenses don’t use them on flat light days or cloudy/overcast weather.
The bottom line
So are polarized goggle lenses worth the extra money? Nope, almost never unless you have a ton of money and just want to buy a goggle lens that you’ll only ever use on sunny days.
In every other case your standard lens does the job just fine or even better than that high priced polarized lens.