This winter, with COVID-19 continuing to spread through the country, wearing a face covering to ski has taken on new meaning. Many resorts across the country have mandated mask wearing at all times. It’s an important rule, but it has also forced many of us to confront an age-old problem: goggle fogging. If you don’t tuck your mask into your goggles, it’s apt to slip down, exposing your nose and mouth. But tucking it in creates an express lane for breath to go directly onto your lenses, where it condenses into vapor. The Anon Magnetic Face Integration (MFI) line has been a game changer.
The combination goggle-mask system has been around since 2015 but has evolved a lot since, getting lighter and sleeker with every generation. This year’s iteration features especially tight tolerances, so there’s no gap whatsoever between the kit’s two pieces. A line of magnets along the goggles’ bottom edge connects with a stiff plastic and magnetic rail at the top of the face mask, which is specially shaped to form a perfect seal. Put them near each other and they snap tight. This prevents the mask from creating an air channel into the goggles, thus eliminating fogging. I have never had fewer issues with goggle fogging while wearing a mask. I’ve worn this system on cold, foggy, single-digit mornings and on bright, warm, bluebird afternoons. I’ve blasted through pow shots and have taken some big tumbles. No snow or moisture has ever gotten in.
The goggles themselves perform well. I’ve been testing the men’s cylindrical M4 goggles, which feature extremely clear lenses—one for bright days and one for low light—and offer excellent peripheral vision. Swapping lenses is quick with the help of yet another set of magnets along the frame’s edge.
Anon makes several MFI goggles and carries a full line of compatible face masks, ranging from wool blends to synthetic fleece. Just make sure to choose one that isn’t perforated. Some masks have open holes, which boost airflow but won’t do you or other people any good in terms of safety. (In compliance with the CDC’s latest recommendations to wear two face coverings when in public, I layered a surgical mask underneath my MFI system.) You can buy them as a kit (from $270) or à la carte (from $150 for goggles and $30 for a mask). None of Anon’s current mask options were designed specifically to ward off COVID-19, but according to senior product manager Trevor Moore, the brand is “continually working on developing new coverage types, using different fabrics and treatments that could help to reduce the spread of viruses.”