Coming from the stable of snowboard heroes Burton, Anon ski and snowboard goggles are massively popular around the world for their strong looks and even stronger performance. There’s a superb selection of Anon goggles to choose from, and with replacement lenses available for each model, you can be sure to find something that’ll provide great protection, clarity and detail in virtually any possible weather condition.
If you’re considering an Anon goggle and you’re not sure which lens or combination of lenses is right for you, then you’ve come to the right place. Our lens guide will help to explain the range available and the technology that goes into them, so you can make an informed choice. We’ll explain what makes each Anon goggle lens unique, which conditions they suit, and the amount of light they’ll transmit to your eye.
The Technical Bit
The Lowdown on Lenses
Although your goggles will usually come with a single lens, it’s unlikely that they’ll work to the highest level in all weather conditions and light levels. While there are some good all-rounder lenses out there, generally you’ll benefit from a couple of different specialist lenses to prepare you for anything that the mountain can throw at you.
Anon lenses come in three shapes – Spheric, Toric and Cylindrical. They’ve put a handy video together to explain each…
Talking About Transmission
Each lens will be tinted to absorb certain wavelengths and intensities of light. What the lens doesn’t absorb it lets through to your eye. We describe the amount of light that can pass through the lens as Visible Light Transmission (VLT).
It’s usually described as a percentage, the higher the percentage, the more light is allowed through to your eye. Generally, you’ll want a higher VLT percentage for lower light conditions so you can see well, and a lower VLT for brighter conditions to protect your eyes against the sun and glare.
Fine Tuning Colour
You might find that some lenses aimed at lower light conditions actually allow less light through to your eyes than others. This is because you don’t always use the whole spectrum of visual light to see clearly.
Certain high-end lenses can enhance the colours of light that help you to see in certain conditions, by tuning out and absorbing the wavelengths of light that you don’t need. So while you’re getting less light overall, you’re getting plenty of the wavelengths that you need to see clearly.
Contrast, Detail and Depth Perception
Anon uses a combination of different base tints and coatings to tune lenses for different conditions, but whatever the conditions, you can be sure they’ll be trying to retain as much clarity of vision and detail as possible.
Detail is key for depth perception – those subtle differences in shadow, light and dark can make a huge difference to your ability to see and avoid obstacles when you’re flying down a mountain. That’s why so much of Anon’s goggle lens technology goes into preserving and enhancing that all-important visual contrast.
Special base lenses, mirrored coatings and polarisation all play a part in reducing glare from snow, boosting contrast and rinsing as much detail as possible from the light that’s available to your eye.
Gradients and Variable VLT
In an effort to create solutions that work in a wide variety of light conditions, Anon have developed a number of models that use a tint gradient across the lens. The idea being that generally, most bright light comes from above, so the lens will be darker at the top to protect your eye from the sun’s strongest rays. The lower part of the lens will then have a clearer tint with a higher VLT rating, so that you can see more of the fine detail that you need to judge depth and assess terrain.
This solution can really help to improve a lens’ versatility, but it’s worth remembering that in very bright conditions, you’ll experience a lot of glare and light bouncing up from the snow below, which may reduce the effectiveness of a gradient lens.
One of the best features of Anon’s goggle and lens range is their Magna-Tech system. Models equipped with Magna-Tech use a system of magnets to fix the lens in place in the goggle. That means when conditions change and you need to try a different lens, you can snap your spares on and off with ease.
It’s a far quicker and easier system than many of Anon’s competitors offer and it’s surprisingly solid too, so you needn’t worry about losing your latest lens to a strong gust of wind or a bad fall.
Anon X Zeiss Sonar Lens Technology
When you’re looking through our Anon Goggles line-up, you’ll spot a few lenses listed with ‘Sonar’ in the name. This means that lens features Anon’s Sonar Lens tech – created with sports optics specialists, Zeiss. Sonar lenses manipulate haze-causing wave lengths of blue light to enhance both definition and clarity, so you can read the snow better – especially handy when visisbility isn’t at its best.
A Few of Our Favourites For 2019
When It’s Bright and Bluebird: Sonar Smoke
We’re a fan of the stealthy look of the Sonar Smoke and with an 7% VLT rating it’s ideal for protecting your eyes on those bright sunny days. Anon’s Sonar technology means the Sonar Smoke lens has a pinkish tint to enhance colour contrast and definition, though once it’s on and you’re riding, you won’t notice this top-tech working it’s tinted magic. If you prefer a neutral tint but still want that blacked-out style, the Dark Smoke lens has a neutral tint so you see colours as they are, both have added glare reduction and increased contrast that comes from top notch polarisation.
When It’s a Whiteout: Sonar Infrared
The whiteout king, for when it’s flatter than a pancake out there, is Anon’s Sonar Sonar Infrared Lens. With a 57% VLT, it’s only going to give you protection in the most overcast conditions, but it’ll squeeze every last ounce of detail out of whatever light you can muster on those flat light days.
For Everything In Between: Sonar Pink
The Sonar Pink uses a tint formula that’s unique to Anon to give great low light performance while only allowing a relatively small amount of visual light to be transmitted to the eye. That lower VLT will also mean that if things do brighten up, you’ll get much more protection and reduced eye fatigue than you’d get with other lenses aimed at low light situations. This lens uses its clever formula to deliver unreal levels of detail in a huge variety of conditions from overcast days, to broken cloudy spells and bright sunlight.
|Lens Name||Ideal Conditions||Light Level||VLT||Description||Available with|
|Amber||Snowy, overcast, broken cloud||Low to medium light||55%||An outstanding multi-purpose lens tint that filters blue light for superior contrast, shadow definition and depth perception.||Helix 2.0, Insight Women’s, M2, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, Tracker Youth|
|Blue Amber||Broken cloud, slightly sunny||Medium to bright light||50%||Amber base lens tint with a multi-layer blue mirror coating for medium to bright days.||Youth Tracker|
|Clear||Night||Low light||85%||Clear lens with minimal tint for maximum light transmission with neutral colour perception and true vision.||M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Dark Smoke||Bright sunshine||Very bright light||8%||A neutral dark grey base tint that’s designed to protect the eye and retain detail in very bright conditions without distorting colours.||Deringer Women’s, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Green Solex||Sunny||Bright light||18%||Dark bronze base lens tint with a multi-layer Green Mirror cuts glare and reduces eye fatigue in super sunny conditions.||Insight Women’s|
|Red Solex||Sunshine||Bright light||18%||The red solex, like it’s blue brother, uses a dark bronze base with added mirror coating to reduce eye fatigue and glare while maintaining detail and clarity.||Helix 2.0|
|Silver Amber||Partly cloudy||Medium light||35%||Amber base lens with a Silver Mirror for the best all around lens from low, flat to brighter light.||Helix 2.0, Insight Women’s|
|Sonar Blue||Partly cloudy||Medium light||46%||An upgraded blue lagoon; Ideal for riding trees on gray bird days as it brightens up the terrain without washing it out.||Helix 2.0, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Bronze||Sunny and overcast||Medium to bright||19%||Bronze base reduces glare, whilst enhancing contrast across a range of conditions.||Deringer Women’s, Helix 2.0, Insight Women’s, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Green||Sunny||Bright light||23%||The most versatile Sonar lens. Perfect for partly cloudy days when the shadows are constantly changing light.||Circuit, Deringer Women’s, Helix 2.0, Insight Women’s, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Infrared||Cloudy||Low light||57%||Best for grey bird days or when it is snowing a lot! Provides crisp and clear snow definition in flat light.||M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Infrared Blue||Overcast and sunny||Medium light||39%||Ideal for grey morings and then bright afternoons. Provides clarity when it’s overcast, without washing out the terrain when the sun pops out.||M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric|
|Sonar Night||Night||Low light||77%||Low-light base lens with a red mirror to flush out depth perception under night pipe lights and fine-tune contrast enhancement.||M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s|
|Sonar Pink||Overcast and snowy||Low light||39%||Pink tints inctease definition and contrast when you’re struggling for light.||Insight Women’s, M2, M3, M4 Cylinder, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Red||Sunny||Bright light||14%||Ideal for blue bird days at higher elevation due to the increased glare reduction.||Deringer Women’s, Helix 2.0, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|
|Sonar Silver||Sunny||Bright light||6%||As dark as Dark Smoke, but with much better contrast. Depth perception increased on the brightest days.||Circuit, Helix 2.0, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse|
|Sonar Smoke||Bluebird||Bright light||7%||Contrast-boosting base tint designed for use in very bright light conditions on the snow.||Deringer Women’s, Helix 2.0, Insight Women’s, M2, M3, M4 Cylindrical, M4 Toric, Mig, Relapse, Tempest Women’s, WM1 Women’s|