My best ski buddy, Jason Brooks, curses more than anyone I know. And in our decade of friendship, I've seen him aim some of his most profane lines at his ski goggles.
See, it’s not the goggles themselves, but rather his glasses inside the goggles that get him so riled up. They require a literal, built-in fan to keep from fogging up. But goggles with such built-in fans have puny batteries that often run out of juice, spurring another round of expletives. Not only that, wearing glasses under goggles is incredibly uncomfortable. His only other option is to simply not wear his glasses, which "is terrifying in low light," he says.
“There has to be a better way,” is a constant refrain among Brooks and my other contact-shunning, glasses-wearing friends. (I'm not a trained psychologist, so I can't technically diagnose it as a phobia, but he has never been able to bring himself to touch his eyeballs. “If you can’t touch your eye, you can’t wear contacts," Brooks says.) So when I heard about Sport RX—prescription inserts that can fit into pretty much any ski goggle—I thought I'd found Brooks's answer.
He's been testing a pair since November, and for the first time in his 40 years of skiing, he was able to pick the exact goggles he wanted and match his lenses to them. Sport RX isn't the only brand to make goggle inserts, but what makes it stand out is its selection. If there's a goggle out there, the San Diego-based brand almost surely makes an insert for it.
"The technology is really simple,” Brooks says. They're essentially plastic, oversize glasses frames with lenses to match your prescription that attach to the inside of the goggles, giving you the freedom to leave your real glasses in their case. Each insert costs $90, but they're unobtrusive and comfortable, though if they're not quite in line with the goggle lenses, it can result in some funky focus issues. But best of all, they allow Brooks to use whichever goggles he wants.
His choice: Oakley's Flight Deck goggles ($170), which he absolutely loves for the crystal clear Prizm optics and comfort. "I can finally wear a goggle the way the manufacturer intended it,” Brooks says.
So, after a few months of use, will I have to hear less cursing on the mountain? “Yes, absolutely," Brooks says.