Ski goggles, hats, face masks, balaclavas, and beanies come in various styles, colors, and materials to protect skiers from wind chill and freezing temperatures. Neoprene ski goggles and balaclavas are popular choices, while beanies cover the head and ears and balaclavas cover the head and neck. Spandex is often added to ski goggles for more stretch.
Ski goggles and hats are available in different styles, colors and materials. Cold winds and falling snow can cause sunburn and freezing temperatures on the surface of the skin. Face masks, balaclavas and beanies come in various materials and are the most common types of ski goggles.
Neoprene face masks cover the neck area up to the top of the head at the back and the face including the nose and mouth at the front. The eye area and forehead are exposed and must be covered with ski goggles and a hat, respectively. Face-hugging neoprene ski goggles look stylish and modern, and are perfect for protecting yourself from wind chill. Some styles have racing stripes. A range of colors such as red, purple and blue are usually available alongside the basic black.
Beanies are more hats than balaclavas and are called “toques” in Canada. Beanies are usually knitted and sit on the head as well as cover the ears. Some beanies have ear flaps and ties attached to the flaps that can be secured under the chin. Some caps have a decorative tassel on the top, while others have rolled edges or bills like baseball caps.
Balaklava is located in the Crimea. The British knitted headdresses to send to British troops serving in the cold areas of Balaklava and referred to the headdresses as balaclavas. Traditionally, balaclavas were knitted with wool, but today’s versions in thermal fabrics like polyester and microfiber wick moisture and dry quickly. Balaclavas are useful for keeping your head and neck warm and can eliminate the need for a scarf.
Some balaclavas expose the entire face, but cover all areas of the neck and head. Some balaclavas cover the entire face and head with only three holes for both eyes and the mouth left uncovered. Some skiers prefer neoprene ski balaclavas as cloth balaclavas can get damp by breathing them in, while neoprene cannot.
Worn like a second skin, neoprene balaclava ski goggles usually have only the eye areas uncovered to fit over ski goggles. There are two types of neoprene: standard and floprene. Florene is more breathable than neoprene, but neoprene retains heat. Some ski goggles are made with a combination of materials such as neoprene, spandex and fleece. Spandex added to ski goggles often gives ski goggles more stretch so they are easier to put on and take off.