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Sunglasses or balaclava, but not both...

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Sunglasses or balaclava, but not both...

Old 01-20-16, 06:32 AM
  #1  
12strings
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Sunglasses or balaclava, but not both...

I have a neoprene Balaclava that I usually wear when it gets below freezing, and it works great, except that it make my sunglasses fog up, so very quickly I can't hardly see at all.

My general solution to this is to take off my sunglasses for rides that cold. So I just ride without any eye protection...So I have to choose which one I want to wear more, but not both.

Any solution to this?
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Old 01-20-16, 07:21 AM
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i use a no fog balaclava and ski googles !
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Old 01-20-16, 07:24 AM
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this balaclava deflects the exhaust from face to hit back at glasses and hence work ! u can use both balaclava and your eyewear and ride without fogging
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Old 01-20-16, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
I have a neoprene Balaclava that I usually wear when it gets below freezing, and it works great, except that it make my sunglasses fog up, so very quickly I can't hardly see at all.

My general solution to this is to take off my sunglasses for rides that cold. So I just ride without any eye protection...So I have to choose which one I want to wear more, but not both.

Any solution to this?
Are your eyes uncomfortable without goggles/glasses? Are you using wrap sunglasses?

I've been riding sub-zero temps for many years and suffered from fogged/frozen glasses. Typically, I'm good until I hit the first slow climb, then the glasses fog and it's all over. I ride without cover on my mouth too, so you might still fog up without the balaclava. The only thing I don't like about riding without eye cover is sunny days with the bright snow (makes it hard to see but better than frosted glasses). I ride with aviator glasses in the winter for better airflow and less fogging (wrap sunglasses fog way too fast). I've tried snowboard goggles, but the fog and freeze still happens (I've competed and coached snowboarding for years, I have good goggles).

This is highly personal, what makes you comfortable in the cold is important. If riding without glasses feels fine (you're not cold), then go with better visibility. If your eyes are cold, go without covering your mouth. And if you need both, go with the no fog balaclava (above).

This is what my glasses look like after 7 miles at -10F. I was on a rail-trail, so I left them on when I could barely see through them. I stopped to take this picture and put the glasses away when I got to a town with a lot of road crossings (needed to see better). I rode the next 18 miles without anything on my eyes and was totally happy.

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Old 01-20-16, 07:54 AM
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I use a fleece neck gaiter. The top front of it is shaped so I can pull it up to under my glasses and over my nose. I breathe straight through it.

Over my nose fogs the glasses almost all the time, unless going very fast. I tighten my glasses leash to the point where I can slide the glasses down my nose making a 1/4 inch space at the top.
Steady pedaling, road riding - nose not covered, fleece up against the bottom of my nose, and the glasses tight against the head cover, at the top. Breathing straight through the fleece neck gaiter. When stopping I either pull the glasses down on my nose, or pull the fleece down below my mouth to keep the moist warm air from fogging the glasses, sometimes both. Depends on the temperature and how hard I was riding, creating heat. Breathing while aiming all my breath down away from my face helps too. When I get going I cover up again.
Slow like MTB riding in the snow - glasses vented, mouth uncovered. MTB slow riding can fog the glasses to the point where they ice, if well below freezing. I usually take the glasses off for that kind of riding. With the glasses leash I just hang the glasses down below my neck on my chest. This way I don't have put them in a pocket or anything.
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Old 01-20-16, 08:03 AM
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I've found that how I breath is very important. I actually stick my top lip out to make sure are goes through the balaclava instead out out the top.

Ventilation around my glasses helps, too. Ski goggles over glasses actually make it worse when I'm really exerting myself.

For really cold & windy days, I have a face shield that I cut down (so it wasn't over my mouth) that I wear over my glasses. Good ventilation but it blocks the wind. Does look very good.

Edit: This is what I got, but I had to cut the bottom off so it didn't cover my mouth. I liked the glasses style so I could take it off without taking my helmet and face mask off. Not ideal, but it worked. I have a really bad prescription so I have to have some kind of corrective lens at all times.
https://raygear.com/index.php/x-shie...mbo-x3-vc.html


I also found this to help, but how I breath is important with this, too.

https://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Sno...rds=fog+evader

Last edited by chandltp; 01-20-16 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 01-20-16, 08:30 AM
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As others mentioned, glasses fogging comes from your breath being directed upward by the balaclava. My solution: don't cover my mouth and nose. Really, I find it more comfortable because my face doesn't get wet from my breath under the balaclava which makes me colder and gives me chapped areas. An uncovered face is a little chilly the first mile or two, but that's how we're supposed to dress for winter riding.

When the temps drop below zero F I'll add a scarf/neckie that I'll pull up over my mouth and cheeks for those first two miles. As soon as I feel it getting damp from the moisture of my breath I'll pull it down and finish the ride with an exposed face. My nose never gets covered no matter the temp.

Still have trouble with my glasses icing over once the temp drops below -10F after I've ridden about 6 miles. At that point I'm usually plenty warm enough to just pull my goggles off and ride with my face completely uncovered for the last two miles to work.
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Old 01-20-16, 02:29 PM
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Try a sirius neoprene face mask. The goggles seal over the top of the mask, no fogging. Has a nose vent and breathe through holes in the mask. Or one better. Use a neck gator( tube / buff) and pull up to bottom of lip. Then take a wind proof head band and cover the nose and cheeks and ears. Done right, the glasses come down to cover the top part of the headband and cheeks are warm. Bottom of nose is uncovered as well as mouth, most of face is covered.
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Old 01-20-16, 05:02 PM
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Some sunglasses made by Wiley-X come with a removable vented foam seal and head strap, allowing them to be turned into low-profile goggles. As a bonus, the glass they use is safety rated, including the prescription sunglasses from their lab.

This is my second year with a set of prescription Brick sunglasses, and they're much better than the ski goggles I was using before. As long as I'm moving at a modest pace the vents in the seal create enough airflow to keep the lenses clear even if I'm wearing a softshell balaclava over my mouth and nose. If they fog up while I'm stopped they usually clear reasonably quickly once I get moving again.

Once or twice when it has been really, really cold I've had them frost up on the inside before the condensation could clear, but wiping them out with a gloved finger fixed it.
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Old 01-20-16, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
I've found that how I breath is very important. I actually stick my top lip out to make sure are goes through the balaclava instead out out the top.

Ventilation around my glasses helps, too. Ski goggles over glasses actually make it worse when I'm really exerting myself.

For really cold & windy days, I have a face shield that I cut down (so it wasn't over my mouth) that I wear over my glasses. Good ventilation but it blocks the wind. Does look very good.

Edit: This is what I got, but I had to cut the bottom off so it didn't cover my mouth. I liked the glasses style so I could take it off without taking my helmet and face mask off. Not ideal, but it worked. I have a really bad prescription so I have to have some kind of corrective lens at all times.
https://raygear.com/index.php/x-shie...mbo-x3-vc.html


I also found this to help, but how I breath is important with this, too.

Amazon.com: Motorcycle Snowmobile Snowboard Ski Face Mask Fog Evader Black: Automotive
I do the lip thing I think of it more like an overbite. I also will breath out to the side like I am swimming. Long, long ago I experimented with a toy snorkle that would exhaust my breath down over the back of my shoulder. That worked for a ride or two but got really gross fast.
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Old 01-20-16, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Are your eyes uncomfortable without goggles/glasses? Are you using wrap sunglasses?

I've been riding sub-zero temps for many years and suffered from fogged/frozen glasses. Typically, I'm good until I hit the first slow climb, then the glasses fog and it's all over. I ride without cover on my mouth too, so you might still fog up without the balaclava. The only thing I don't like about riding without eye cover is sunny days with the bright snow (makes it hard to see but better than frosted glasses). I ride with aviator glasses in the winter for better airflow and less fogging (wrap sunglasses fog way too fast). I've tried snowboard goggles, but the fog and freeze still happens (I've competed and coached snowboarding for years, I have good goggles).

This is highly personal, what makes you comfortable in the cold is important. If riding without glasses feels fine (you're not cold), then go with better visibility. If your eyes are cold, go without covering your mouth. And if you need both, go with the no fog balaclava (above).

This is what my glasses look like after 7 miles at -10F. I was on a rail-trail, so I left them on when I could barely see through them. I stopped to take this picture and put the glasses away when I got to a town with a lot of road crossings (needed to see better). I rode the next 18 miles without anything on my eyes and was totally happy.

No, I'm usually fine with just non glasses when it's that cold....I commuted last winter that way, but have only done one fridgid ride this year due to different schedule with the kids...
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Old 01-21-16, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
No, I'm usually fine with just non glasses when it's that cold....I commuted last winter that way, but have only done one fridgid ride this year due to different schedule with the kids...
I have looked for solutions for many years, and have finally come to the point that I ride until my sunglasses frost over, put them away and then ride with no eye protection. This has never caused me any issues, and I ride temps down to -15F. So I'd say ride with the balaclava and make it easy to put your glasses away when the freeze over.
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Old 01-21-16, 10:21 AM
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As other people said the trick is you need one that keeps the air coming in and out of your mouth and nose down, rather than what usually happens which is it coming in and out around your eyes.

This one looked interesting:

NO-FOG® Mask New 2016 #AMX, #MX, #007D, #D/XL, #007DG, #DG/XL, #NFL (replaces older outdated models)
Amazon.com : NO-FOG® USA Helmet Mask : Sports & Outdoors



The Klim Men's Arctic Fleece-Lined Neoprene Balaclava looked interesting to, though with a more breathable back I'm not sure if it's meant to be worn with snowmobile helmet (though I saw commenters before saying it was very warm to wear):
https://www.amazon.com/Klim-Arctic-Fl...MCV58YY90W83ND


The 45nrth Lung Cookie has looked interesting, though it only comes in one size and has an annoying brim:
45NRTH | Unparalleled Cold Weather Performance


I ordered the Gore Bike Wear Universal Windstopper Balaclava (though unfortunately it only comes in one size), but haven't had a chance to try it yet. It has bigger holes around the mouth for breathing in and out - I probably would have tried one of the others, but this is the one I ordered before I knew about them:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o04_s00


Oh one more, the Outdoor Research Wind Stopper Gorilla Balaclava has a front piece that comes on and off with Velcro:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00


I also bought one of these, but haven't had a chance to try it with glasses yet.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 01-21-16 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 01-21-16, 03:59 PM
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I found the Gorilla Balaclava too warm for me. But I had velcro strips sewn on a regular open face balaclava and have been using the mask part for years. Going down wind or stopping I'll usually let it dangle from one side, then do it up when I turn into the wind. It would be great if the mask part or something like it could be purchased separately.

Where many other masks have failed me is the lack of ability to adjust the height or tightness of the mask at all, or allowing that adjustment but having it behind the head requiring both hands.
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Old 01-21-16, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
I found the Gorilla Balaclava too warm for me. But I had velcro strips sewn on a regular open face balaclava and have been using the mask part for years. Going down wind or stopping I'll usually let it dangle from one side, then do it up when I turn into the wind. It would be great if the mask part or something like it could be purchased separately.

Where many other masks have failed me is the lack of ability to adjust the height or tightness of the mask at all, or allowing that adjustment but having it behind the head requiring both hands.
Huh. Well these things can vary a lot from one person to another. I haven't used mine much yet, but I've used other Windstopper Balaclava's and I bought the Gorilla one partially because it covers a wider range of temps with just 1 thing - less warm with the mask part off, more warm with it on. A lot of my biking involves it being warmer one way and colder the other, and being able to handle both was a big appeal. (I have a Cannondale Windstopper balaclava they don't sell any more that's great to because the front part covering the face can be flipped to the back, except it has holes in the side to let sound in - but it's annoying because it makes it sound like I'm in a wind tunnel in my ears every time I'm biking). Windstopper is always fine for me personally for not being to warm when below about 40f.

Different people's bodies have different results for what's to warm and to cold I guess...
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Old 01-22-16, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
It would be great if the mask part or something like it could be purchased separately.


Bula makes face masks as you described, I use a Bula Predator almost every day in winter. It's enough face protection, for me at least, down to 10° F, and it works okay with glasses depending on the shape of your nose. Mine protrudes sharply at the bridge so to keep my breath off the glasses I pull the mask so it covers my entire nose and set the glasses on top of the mask. It attaches in the back with a velcro strap and can be worn easily with a hat or balaclava. I find it also does a good job covering my ears in more moderate temps. Plus, it's pretty cheap, I got mine for around $15 a couple years ago.
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Old 01-22-16, 10:28 PM
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Use a balaclava that you can pull down past your chin. When you get to breathing hard enough that your glasses start to fog, pull that bad boy down and keep pedaling.
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Old 01-27-16, 09:22 AM
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I cut a hole where my mouth is and I make a conscious effort to exhale through my mouth, especially when stopped. mostly, when stopped I take my glasses off. another trick is to slide the glasses forward a smidge to allow more air to circulate behind the lenses

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