What is VLT in ski goggles

You often hear the term VLT while purchasing a ski goggle. While it’s about your eye safety, having random goggles is not enough. You have to ensure quality, durability as well as eye comfort. Here comes the term VLT which refers to the amount of light that can enter your eyes through the goggles. So, let’s know what is VLT in ski goggles, what is the standard VLT value for different goggles, and which one to choose for you.

What is VLT in ski goggles

What is VLT in ski goggles?

In simple terms, VLT or Visible Light Transmission is the light amount that your eyes get through the lenses. Here are different types of lenses with different VLT for standard user purposes.

Light lens tints- good for rainy days

You will get higher VLT in light lens tints as more light gets to pass through this lenses-for instance, gold, green, rose, yellow, and amber have increased VLT. Eventually, you will get a better vision on rainy or cloudy days.

Dark tints- good for sunny weather

A dark tint with low VLT helps less light pass through these lenses. Whether it’s gray, brown, or copper lenses, they have lower VLT. So, you will be more comfortable using them on bright sunny days or cloudless weather.

Clear lens- best for night

The clear lens is best for skiing at night. As they have high VLT, it is not standard for daytime use.

What is the standard VLT percentage in ski goggles?

In ski goggles, VLT ratings come in a percentage form. In most cases, the VLT ratings start from 5%. These come in handy when the sun shines very bright, so you can easily use them for snowboarding and skiing. Eventually, the percentage could move up to 100%. If the weather is dark or overcast, skiers prefer to use ski goggles with more VLT rating, like 90%.

Which VLT rating is the best?

The answer is quite debatable when considering which VLT rating is the best in snowboarding or skiing. However, the VLT rating usually depends on weather conditions. When the weather is dark, you should choose a high VLT rating like 90%. In such cases, more light can pass, providing better vision. On the other hand, you need to choose a low VLT rating, like 10%, when the weather is bright and shiny. There are different variations of ski goggles with varying ratings of VLT in stores.

VLT percentages chart with uses in different weather conditions

Here are a few VLT percentages that might help you:

CategoryVLT percentageWeather conditionsTint typeLens type
S080% – 100%Night riding or skiingExtremely light or no tintClear lenses
S143% – 80%Overcast, dark, stormy weather. Night riding or skiing. Late afternoon or early morningArtificial lightA lens with a light tint
S218% – 43%Variable weather with in/out clouds In/out shadows Any conditionMedium tint with any type of light condition.Comes with different lens type
S38% – 18% Bright and sunny weather Spring riding or skiingDark tint 
S43% – 8% Higher altitude Sunny riding or skiingVery dark tint 

VLT rating in different conditions or occasions

When you get a generic VLT rating, it is a normal ski goggle with a 20% VLT rating. However, you should know that there’s no proper VLT rating for all weather conditions. If you’re riding the trail and jumping off it, your VLT rating should be around 30% to 40%. On the other hand, the VLT rating should be around 60% to 100% in case the weather is dark or overcast. Therefore, with different ratings, lenses, or weather, you should carefully choose the perfect VLT rating for ski goggles.

Can different color conditions affect VLT?

Most people are confused about whether the different color conditions affect VLT ratings. However, different brands use these colors for the VLT in their lenses. Additionally, different coatings can work differently in different light conditions. So, you should check all the categories properly while buying ski goggles. However, You can’t spend hours focusing on the colors rather than VLT ratings. These points below can help you get the perfect goggles:

  • Low VLT with high light: Silver mirror, blue, black, or green
  • Mid VLT with mild light: Rose or red
  • High VLT with low light: Pink, clear, yellow, or brown.

Pro tip: Keep spare lenses to adjust VLT

Yes, it is very important to get spare lenses. The necessity for an extra lens increases as you need different lenses for different weather conditions. For example, think about when you are skiing where there are fewer trees and more light. In such cases, your VLT rating should be around 40%. However, you will get maximum vision when your ski goggles have a VLT rating of 10% to 20%. In such cases, a spare lens can be useful and make you worry-free!

Final verdict

Skiing is fun but comes with several precautions to take. While you know what is VLT in ski goggles means, it can be very helpful to choose the perfect one and take care of your eyes. Though VLT rating is very important, choose a goggle that fits you properly. You don’t want your goggles to slide down continuously when you’re having fun.

Happy skiing.