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  1. #1
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    Balaclava + eyeglasses == fog. Any suggestions?

    I was out for my first real winter ride today, first time wearing a balaclava... and it was basically unusable because I couldn't keep my eyeglasses from fogging over. I need the glasses to be able to see and can't do contacts.

    I didn't really futz around with it much today because I was actually too hot in the balaclava anyway and took it off a few minutes into the ride, but is this a common problem? Are there any good solutions?

  2. #2
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    I use a neck gator, adjustable, tested to -10F. Rarely use the goggles though.. needs to be real cold or blowing snow.

    greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Balaclava + eyeglasses == fog.  Any suggestions?-headshot.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Balaclava + eyeglasses == fog. Any suggestions?

    Keep your nose out, it helps. But it just is going to happen.


    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"

  4. #4
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    I've used Rain X Anti-fog (not the same stuff as the normal Rain X wind shield coating) with some success.

  5. #5
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    A few years back when I first started riding in the winter I bought an Outdoor Research Gorilla Balaclava. It proved to be MUCH MUCH too warm for cycling, but it has a face mask with a breathing hole that attaches with velcro. So I had two strips of velcro sewn onto an open face poly balaclava. I can quickly attach / detach one side of the mask as necessary to prevent fogging, like when I come to a stop or get a tailwind. It has a nose vent, but it still causes fogging if you don't breathe out your mouth.

    It would be great if someone sold a mask like this separately.

    For very cold and windy days where having no exposed skin is an option I use a painting respirator.

    Balaclava + eyeglasses == fog.  Any suggestions?-img_1212.jpg

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  6. #6
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    Last winter I started using a 'buff' for my facial protection and it seems just right. Nice and warm yet very easy to fold down when you get hot. Eye protection wise I've just bought some ess advancer v12 surplus goggles. They are ex military issue and come with clear, yellow and smoked lenses like some if the glasses already available. The extra benefit to these seems to be a ventilation system for the lenses to help stop them getting fogged up. I'll let you know how these go. N

  7. #7
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    The guys riding and skiing in Antarctica attach a face shield to the actual goggles. You could wear your glasses under the goggles. The face shield provides protection from direct wind but allows you to breathe easier without impingement.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
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    I agree with what has been said already, and would like to add that my experience has been that this happens less with the thinner spandex balaclavas, than the thicker fleece ones.

    The system that works best for me is to wear a mountaineering shell with a hood designed to fit over helmets. The hood can easily come up or down as conditions demand.

    Another option might be to go lighter on the head gear, but carry something heavier for when you actually need it. You might find that you can get by with much less.

  9. #9
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    there is a product called Cat Crap, and you rub it on and then off your lenses, and it stops fog

  10. #10
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    paynetc, you need advice from prescription eyeglass wearers. The problem really isn't the same otherwise.

    If you need a balaclava, then use a good one. I have a bin full of ones I've tried and the best has been the Klim Arctic. It has a large skirt that stays tucked under your jacket preventing wind/cold from entering. It is made to be worn under a helmet if you are one of those who do that. It has a large unrestricted opening for air exchange that totally protects from the cold. It is made for use with goggles and the fabric is form fitting around the eyes. The next step is that before my eye surgery the best thing I found for winter sports when the weather was bad, was prescription goggles. Yes, good Prescription Goggles are the best way to go.



    The top isn't extremely warm because it is made for inside a helmet so without a helmet, I use another windstop hat on top. Some of us live in places that can be challenging to ride comfortably, this picture was taken in May of this year and I wasn't too warm.

  11. #11
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    Try a thin layer of Dawn or Vasoline inside the lenses and I think that moisterizing eye drops smeared inside would work.
    Last edited by puchcobra; 11-17-2013 at 12:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have the same issue. In my experience none of the smear on solutions work very well in the cold when my glasses are below freezing and a balaclava or neoprene face mask directs my exhaled breath directly onto the lens. What does work mostly is a neoprene facemask that looks a lot like the one in post 5 but it has a bendable strip that wraps around the top of the nose, sort of like a reverse breatherite. This strip makes a seal between the top of the facemask and my nose. No more hot air directed at the glasses. I purchased it at a snowmachine (snowmobile, snowgo) shop, they knew exactly what I was asking about.
    Latitude 61

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the suggestions!

  14. #14
    will rant for food
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    I use stuff called Fog Tech on my lenses. Same idea as Cat Crap, but works slightly better.

    Unfortunately, both can have effects where, if you're breathing heavily on them, you won't get fog, but you will get a clear layer of ice. It blurs everything but you can still see color and shape.

    I want something like storm troopers have in Star Wars...

    The problem I've had with duck bill type balaclavas is, when breathing really hard, unintentionally sucking the bill into my mouth. Grr. Otherwise they work pretty well for diverting exhales.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  15. #15
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    Has anyone seen or tried this below (link) I think it would be good but then what about drinking water while riding.
    ColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out LongerColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out Longer

  16. #16
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by idinomac View Post
    Has anyone seen or tried this below (link) I think it would be good but then what about drinking water while riding.
    ColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out LongerColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out Longer
    I've heard of a guy who uses it to keep his asthma symptoms at bay. But yeah - six of one, half dozen of the other...
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  17. #17
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by idinomac View Post
    Has anyone seen or tried this below (link) I think it would be good but then what about drinking water while riding.
    ColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out LongerColdAvenger | Cold weather face masks. Stay Out Longer
    I think this mask is the pits (trying to be kind).

    First off, it is VERY pricey. One can buy at least two good balaclavas for the price of one of these.

    The rubber piece that covers the mouth doesn't allow enough air exchange even with the cheap adjustable vent on the most open setting.
    The rubber mouth piece is bulky and isn't very contoured for wearing masks or glasses and pushes up on either one.
    The worst part (possibly) is that the rubber mouth cover fills with moisture condensation to the point where one could possibly skip a water bottle and just drink the condensation (suppose to be hyperbole but it isn't far from the truth).

    If I go pull it out of the bin, I could probably come up with a couple more reasons not to spend money on this overpriced piece of junk.

  18. #18
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    I'm actually a big fan of the Coldavenger. I use the balaclava which has a separate removable facemask portion and the separate fleece facemask. I have excercise induced asthma, so I can't ride well in the cold without a mask of some sort.

    First off, I threw away the adjustable vent piece. Next, I punched one extra vent hole in the bottom of the mask to get a little more airflow (a leather hole punch did the trick, more like a hollow tube to core the hole, not just puncture the rubber). It does get humid in the mask, but that's part of the trick for me. I need that humidity to stop my lungs from drying out in the winter and it helps retain the heat of your exhaled breath.

    However, you're forced to wear goggles no matter what to avoid fogging. My choice was oakley o-frame mx goggles with clear dual paned lenses (with vents in the lens). They breathe well when moving to keep your face cooler and work well with my bell super helmet and the mask.

    Personally, I find the fleece face mask the most comfortable. The softshell mask wasn't as flexible, so it got uncomfortable. I like the balaclava, but it's kind of a pain to remove the face mask versus a standalone mask, but since it was the first one I bought, I still use it. Often I use it just for the balaclava part since it's really warm and works well to keep my ears and bald head warm. I just use the fleece mask with the balaclava and goggles for most cold days.

    It's summertime now, so if you follow cold avenger on social media, you'll often find steep sales in the off season if you really want to pick one up.

  19. #19
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    This thread is an oldie but a goodie!

    Returned my Cold Avenger to Amazon. Not worth the price and didn't work at all.

    I am a mouth breather. I have found that I must keep my mouth partially uncovered. I sometimes use the thin neoprene face shields but I pull the nose hole down over my mouth. Air is directed down thru the hole and away when breathing hard. Yes, now my nose is out in the cold.
    The balaclavas that have a hinged section (like under armour) work the best for me. Combine a balaclava with the neoprene face shield and I am good to single digits. I usually use just sunglasses instead of ski goggles, although I do have ski goggles with a fan built in for super humid conditions.

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