Sticktite Stick-On Reading Lenses: The Ultimate Guide to Bifocal Ski Goggles
Updated: Feb 9
Skiing with Readers -- the Problem
Once you're over about 45 or 50 you'll start to notice that reading small print close-to becomes harder. Congratulations -- you need reading glasses!
One activity that can be particularly challenging at this age is skiing (or snowboarding). Not the skiing itself of course -- hopefully you're still pretty active and with many years of skiing behind you. Rather, it is reading the trail map (which these days may well be on a smartphone app) to find your way around an unfamiliar mountain or keeping in touch with family members -- who by now likely include adventurous teenagers who don't want to be tethered to Mom and Dad all day.
So now you're on the lift and need to read the latest text messages from the family (or - God forbid -- check your work email -- this is family time, remember!). Trouble is, you can't read your phone without your reading glasses, and your reading glasses are buried inside your ski jacket and that means taking off goggles, gloves, and...you get the idea.
Skiing with Readers -- Bifocal Ski Goggles
This is where Sticktite Stick-On Reader lenses come to the rescue. Sticktite's patented adhesion technology allows you to apply reading lenses to the inside of your goggles and hey presto: Bifocal ski goggles! Since Sticktite lenses are super flexible you'll find that they stick well regardless of the curvature of you goggles. Now you can read your phone on the lift without fumbling for reading glasses and without removing your goggles.
The "I can't see my feet" problem
With sunglasses, placing your Sticktite stick-on bifocal lenses is relatively straight forward: towards the bottom and towards the inner edge of each lens.
For some people this same approach works well with ski goggles but others can find it disconcerting. All bifocal solutions suffer to some extent from the "I can't see me feet" problem: when you glance down at your feet you're looking through the magnifying lens and objects further away (like your feet!) may be out of focus. This is not much of a problem when walking on a flat surface but downhill or down steps it can take some getting used to.
I can't see my skis!
If you place your Sticktite lenses as you would in your sunglasses you may find that you can't see your skis very well.
OK, OK, I know -- you're not supposed to be looking at your feet when you ski -- "look where you want to go" and all that. But we're not all as talented and confident as we'd like to be, right?
Some folks who have experienced this problem have experimented with different positions for their Sticktite Lenses. For example:
As Low as they Go: Put the the lenses right against the lower frame of your goggles -- this creates more "real estate" above the lenses and means you should be able to see your ski tips, if not perhaps your toes. Though we don't really recommend it, we know of some Sticktite customers who trim their Sticktite lenses to get them even lower -- if you're going to do that trim them from the curved edge, and don't trim off more than a millimeter or two.
A little bit higher -- this is what I do, for what it's worth. Leave a notable gap between the bottom of the lenses and the goggles' frame. This allows you to see your feet through the gap when you need to but it does mean that the lenses invade some of the real estate higher up the goggles. It works for me!
Cyclops: Just fit one lens. It's not like you're trying to read "War and Peace" on the lift so many find that reading one-eyed can be "good enough". You'll find that that makes seeing your feet/skis pretty easy
High and away: Weird but some like it. Put the lenses quite high up in your goggles. Then to read, tip your head down and look through the top of the goggles. This pose will feel familiar to those who wear glasses for near-sightedness -- sometimes to read something close we tuck our chin down and look over the top of the our regular glasses
I'm actually a snowboarder -- I made the switch when I was 40 and I've never looked back -- that's 17 seasons as a "gray on a tray"! Many of the same challenges exist but I find that when I'm riding the edge, like I'm supposed to do (as opposed to terrified side-slipping down a black run) I'm looking over my left shoulder and through the left hand half of my goggles (I'm regular, if you're goofy it'll be your right shoulder, obviously). My Sticktites are therefore out of the line of sight and I find it works pretty well. Fiddling with my bindings after getting off the lift can cause problems but see my comment on placement above -- I leave a gap at the bottom through which I can see my feet.
Some Sticktite Stick-On lens users find that their lenses fog up before their goggles. Unfortunately, there is some truth to this -- you high-end ski goggles probably have a hygroscopic anti-fog coating. These work by absorbing the water vapor before it can condense on the surface or your lens. Your Sticktite lenses don't have that coating so under the wrong conditions you may find they fog up a bit even while the rest of your goggles are clear. Experiment with how you wear your goggles (super tight, not so tight, higher or lower on your face) -- I've found that just a little bit of ventilation around the bottom of my goggles solves this problem
Sticktite stick-on reader lenses can really enhance your experience skiing. I've had my own Sticktite lenses installed on my goggles for 3 seasons now and they are still secure despite a good deal of punishment. I keep my goggles attached to my helmet and I stuff my gloves and. neck warmer in my helmet at the end of each day -- but despite this they're still in position and working just like new. Just be prepared to experiment with positioning until you figure out what works for best for you.
Here's hoping the current great snow season continues!