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21 December 2023

VLT Meaning: How It Impacts Your Goggles

Learn what VLT is and why it matters for you

Product Guides

VLT means ‘visible light transmission’. It refers to the percentage of light that passes through your sunglasses or goggle lenses, into your eyes. In simple terms, it's the darkness of your lens tint. On the mountain, it’s important to use goggles with the right VLT for the conditions, to enhance your clarity, reduce eye strain, and level up your ride every time.

Table of Contents

What Does VLT Mean?

VLT means ‘visible light transmission’ and it represents the amount of light that is let through a lens, making your surroundings appear lighter or darker depending on the VLT percentage. This makes VLT a key element to consider when choosing your next ski goggles or snowboard goggles

Different light conditions on the mountain will impact the lens you need in your snow goggles. Darker, more opaque tints have a lower VLT percentage - best for bright sunshine - while lighter, more transparent tints will have a higher VLT, best for when the weather closes in.

Is Higher or Lower VLT Better?

There's simply no right answer to this question. A higher VLT means more light is allowed through the lens of your goggles, while a lower VLT means less light gets through. So, the best ski goggles for you are the ones with a VLT that fits the conditions you usually ski or board in:

  • A higher VLT is best for a dull or low-light day - like when you're skiing in a whiteout. E.G. our Hi-Vis Pink and Hi-Vis Blue low-light lenses which both have VLTs of 38%.

  • A lower VLT is more suited to bright sunshine on the slopes. E.G. our Fire (11%) and Chrome (9%) lenses.

Goggle lenses and their VLTs are categorised from Category 0 (80-100% VLT, no or very light tint) to Category 4 (0-8% VLT, very dark tint). Category 4 sunglasses and goggles are illegal for driving in many countries. All SunGod Snow Goggles are ranked Category 2 or 3. You can find the exact VLT percentage of each SunGod goggle lens by scrolling down to the Lens Guide on any Goggle page on our website.

Do Photochromic Lenses Affect VLT?

Photochromic lenses feature intelligent technology that has changed the game in the world of sunglasses. Available in our Pace Series™ performance sunglasses, SunGod Iris™ Hi-Vis Blue and Iris™ Smoke photochromic lenses adjust their tint and VLT depending on the light conditions. This means you won’t have to swap out the lenses in your skiing sunglasses if the conditions change.

If the skies clear and the sun is beating down on the mountain, your photochromic sunglasses will darken, transitioning to a lower VLT, meaning you can see clearly even in bright light. On the other hand, if the light is flat and dull, your lenses will become clearer, with a higher VLT, offering better visibility in poor weather.

How to Choose Ski & Snowboard Goggles

When choosing ski or snowboard goggles, you should consider the VLT percentage, the size and fit, and of course, what look you're after. Here are our top tips for choosing the best goggles for your adventures:

  • Select Market-Leading Lenses - Nylon lenses are clearer, tougher and lighter than polycarbonate, which is used as standard by most of the ski industry. All SunGod ski goggles include 8KO® nylon lens options, which are precision-engineered from 2mm nylon and are chosen by the world's best skiers and snowboarders, including Freeride World Tour champion Maxime Chabloz.

  • Choose Anti-Fog Technology - Enhanced ventilation and optimised design are key to keeping lens fog at bay on the mountain. SunGod Snipers™, Vanguards™ and Ullrs™ ski goggles all feature carefully designed ventilation, paired with anti-fog lens coatings, to keep your vision crystal clear, even when you're skiing your hardest. Plus, we add triple-layer scratch-resistant coatings to all our goggle lenses to keep them in prime condition.

  • Get the Right Size and Shape - While all SunGod goggles are unisex and one-size, the fit varies from model to model. If you have a small to medium face, the SunGod Snipers™ and Ullrs™ are the right choice for you. If your head is on the bigger side, we recommend the Vanguards™ to find your perfect fit. Still not sure? Check out our Goggles Size Guide to help you choose.

  • And of course - choose the right VLT - At SunGod, we offer lenses with a wide range of VLTs for every weather condition. For bright sunny days on the mountain, choose a lens with a low (dark) VLT percentage: Fire (11%), Silver Blue (9%) or Chrome (9%). If you're typically out in low-light conditions, choose a lens from our Hi-Vis collection, which have higher VLTs: Hi-Vis Pink (38%) or Hi-Vis Blue (38%). All our lenses are interchangeable, so we recommend grabbing one low VLT and one high VLT lens so you're always prepared. And rest assered, regardless of VLT, all SunGod lenses offer 100% UV protection.

See Better with Athlete-Tested Eyewear from SunGod

At SunGod, we’re passionate about sustainability, and we’re a proud B Corp. We work with some of the world's best skiers and snowboarders, from Freeride World Tour champion Ari Tricomi to British freestyle legend James “Woodsy” Woods, to test our products. And you can rest assured your SunGods will last with our Lifetime Guarantee - if your SunGods break, or you break them, we’ll repair them free of charge. From road cycling sunglasses to trail running sunglasses, See Better with SunGod every day.