Motocross goggles: Protecting your vision

Motocross goggles are an absolute essential part of your face when you race. When you're ripping up that dirt trail on your (most likely Japanese) bike, scrambling for all you're worth to get to the finish line ahead of the competition, the last thing you probably want to do is stop and get a speck out of your eye – it's generally not in keeping with the 'mood of the moto', if you get the drift. But seriously, motocross is not a sport where you want to be on the track without every kind of protection you can think of. The more of your body you can cover, the better your chances are of walking away from a tumble without a scratch on you. Unarguably the most important part of your body you want to keep scratch-free is your eyes, and that's where motocross goggles do their thing.

Buying motocross goggles: Taking the easy trailMotocross Goggles

There are several top brands of motocross goggles on the market, and that actually makes it more difficult to get the right pair. Trademark technology; copyright contours; unique usability; aggressive advertising – they're all over the place, making your decision harder than it need be. However, if you can cut through all that commercialism and get to the core essential features, there's nothing simpler than picking up a pair that perfectly personify your purpose. That's the intention of this article, if you would momentarily permit some presumptuousness.

Elemental protection with motocross goggles: Comfort, Ventilation and Fit

Keeping the elements from your eyes is the first job of a "good" pair of motocross goggles. Not only wind and dust, but water, mud, bugs, bikes and other riders; in fact, everything that doesn't belong behind your eyelids should be kept that way. The complementary features of that function are comfort, ventilation and fit.

Comfort is embodied by foam padding and size – the right kind of padding provides an excellent seal to keep out those "unwanteds" while the right size makes sure that your brain isn't getting squeezed the whole time just to provide a good seal. Comfort also means wicking, which means the padding automatically absorbs sweat as it forms, keeping the surface dry, and your eyes free to do their job.

Ventilation is the next essential quality. Most of the better goggles will have one-way protected air vents that keep a steady stream of fresh air flowing over the eyes without causing them to tear up. Ventilation also means less sweat, and less sweat means it doesn't get in your eyes, causing burning and blurred vision. That only means you can concentrate on that next whoop a lot better, which means your goggles are doing what they do best.

Fit is critical; if the size isn't right for you, you'll be facing hours of discomfort and nothing else about your motocross goggles will matter. Too big and you lose the seal and the stability; too tight and your brain is going to do a "William Wallace" and cry "freedom". The right fit is something you feel as soon as you put on the goggles so you'll know it when it happens.

The visibility factor: Crucial functions of motocross goggles

Apart from keeping the elements away, visibility is a key factor to consider when you buy a pair of motocross goggles. That brings the frame design and the lens into the picture. The frame needs to be of the kind that gives you the widest field of vision possible without being oversized. Lenses should actually form a topic that deserves an entire article because they're so important. You'll want to invest in scratch resistant lenses like polycarbonates that keep the weight down as well. To protect your lenses further, try using laminated tear-offs – they'll cost you about $14 a set but they'll probably save you quite a bit more in terms of scratched or cracked lenses.

Good luck with your purchase!

As long as you check to see that the motocross goggles you buy are able to fulfil all of these requirements, it doesn't matter what brand you buy or at what price. Naturally, the more expensive ones (in the $100 to $150 range) will have more features but even basic models should be able fit the bill. With these simple tips, buying a pair of motocross goggles should be as easy as pie.