Polarized lenses in your sunglasses and goggles provide great benefits for your eyes while snowmobiling. Generally, people think of the need for good eye protection in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky, but as snowmobilers we all know how bright a day of riding can be out on the snow. They actually help us in both bright light and when there is a lack of contrasting light, making them ideal for the changing light conditions that snowmobilers encounter.
While simpler tinted lenses, mirrored and anti-reflective coatings have the ability to reduce glare and improve comfort, the best means of eliminating glare and increasing clarity is through a process called polarization. A polarized lens removes glare and controls the level of penetrating light, much like a Venetian blind controls sunlight through a window. Polarized light contains horizontal and vertical components, with horizontal being the most predominant and creating the most glare. A lens with a built in film of vertically oriented polarizers (blinds) is called a polarized lens which can eliminate glaring horizontal light.
Polarized lenses are well suited for snow sports where the elimination of reflected light off the snow provides significant performance advantages. Removing reflected glare allows the rider to better see dangerous obstacles, creating a safer path.
Refracted light can also be potentially dangerous and inhibit visibility, yet another reason to use a high quality polarized goggle. During early morning or early evening light, when the sun is at its most horizontal plane, its rays travel through a significant amount air particles before they reach your eye. These particles obstruct vision. A polarized lens will diminish the suns reflection on the air particles, improving one’s vision.
Polarized lenses are desirable for driving, as they reduce glare generated by the dashboard, windshield, and road surface.
So, when you go to buy your next pair of goggles or sunglasses, you will have a better understanding of what benefits a set of “polarized” lenses can do for you.