Jump to content

Notice: Effective July 1, 2024, Vertical Forums will be officially shut down. As a result, all forum activity will be permanently removed. We understand that this news may come as a disappointment, but we would like to thank everyone for being a part of our community for so many years.

If you are interested in taking over this Forum, please contact us prior to July 1.

Best Color Lenses For Heliskiing?

Recommended Posts

Dear All,


I will be flying my first season of heliskiing this winter and need some advise on eyewear. I've rarely flown in snow and have just been wearing my prescription glasses under my helmet and using the dark visor over them when it's sunny out. Another pilot told me that I should get some amber lenses to help see contrast in the snow, so I ordered an amber visor for my helmet. Before I could install it, someone else told me orange was much better for snow ops and that amber didn't do much for contrast and was only really useful under low-light conditions. I called Gibson and Barnes, but they don't make orange visors. They do however have a visor called 'high contrast' which I know nothing about.


Does anyone have an opinion on the best color for snow ops? I can't wear anything like a pair of Smith sunglasses under my helmet, since I am already wearing my prescription glasses and any type of glasses with a thicker temple (sunglasses) really digs into my skull after awhile.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I have amber and dark as I was also told amber was the way to go. The "happy goggles" when the weather is less than ideal, are okay. I have come to use the dark visor almost exclusively while skiing. I find it gives more definition while the amber seems to make it brighter, especially with any amount of filtered sunlight. My opinion is to take what you have and try it out yourself for your own opinion. Hopefully your first few days are bluer than white!


Have fun, it's a great way to spend the winter!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a perfect world you would have a two visor helmet, and then use the dark or amber lens depending on whether it is sunny or flat light.

This means you may need to alternate lenses during a climb, just because you will be flying from bright sun into very deep shade behind a peak etc etc.

It sounds like a hassle, but it actually becomes very easy and works really well.

(some single visor helmets can be refitted with the dual visor kit.....but it ain't cheap).


The amber is actually yellow and is very good for finding contrast in flat light.......but it is still flat light so be careful. Learning when to say "No" will be a big part of your first ski season........(actually it's a huge part of any ski-season).


If you only have one visor, I would suggest amber during Dec/Jan, and then put the dark one in for the spring when the sun gets higher, and the snow reflection is brighter.


Also, have some sunglasses made to your prescription. Ask your optometrist for a "drivers" lens (or slightly darker). This is a medium dark rose/brown colour like a Serengeti.

(By law, you are supposed to have a second set of corrective lenses on board anyway).


I think you will really like to wear these all day, (unless it is really puking snow) and they will work well with either visor.

Do NOT get polarised lenses, otherwise you won't be able to read several of your radios and gauges with polarised glass in them.


Make sure you get thin frames so that your ear-cups fit closely over them to prevent excess sound creeping in. Take your helmet to the optometrist's office to try some on.......you'll look really cool and impress the chicks.

Tell them you are a heli-ski pilot now......they'll just melt, you big stud !!!


Hoo-wee, the lodge girls are gonna' love you........mmmmm, fresh meat!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Gallet helmet with both yellow and gray visors. I find I use the gray 90% of the time, even when the light is kinda flat. (Most of my days are in snow or overcast) Even on a gray day there is still a bit of glare. That said on a really crappy low overcast day, the yellow is quite effective. So it is nice to have both available. The yellow takes a bit to get used to when you first drop it...but after a few minutes everything adjusts and the world seems a little more friendly! I have tried the orange...and know that some people prefer them, my money is on the yellow though if I need a high def visor.




Stay away from the "night vision" too! If it is that lousy out...you would be better off to stay in and cuddle up with a lodge girl! (if you are single that is, or dating the said girl)


As previously stated though it is a personal preference, everyone has their favourites. Try a few out and see what works. Best of luck!!




Try this test!


Enlarge the attached pic, put your helmet on and try your different visors...the one that helps you see the palm trees on the horizon is the one you should use!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case you have no "low vis eyewear" available and are faced with a situation similar to the one depicted in Plinko's photo, cover your eyes with both hands, click your heels together and repeat out loud three times "There's no place like the warm lodge."


All kidding aside, my preference is a dual visor set up with dark and amber(yellow) lenses. Being able to switch between them in a climb or descent into different light conditions is a real plus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...