What Anti-fog Remedies exist? What are the pros and cons?
Remedies for defogging goggles can be broken down into a few different main categories. This information will help you select the appropriate antifog remedy for your particular situation as it relates to goggles, or safety eyewear.
Antifog Remedy #1: Compounds and Rubs
By compounds, we are referring to items that you would rub or apply directly to the lens itself, creating a smooth finish on the inside of the lens. This finish will break up the water particles, making it difficult for the lens to fog in some cases. This would include home remedies such as your own spit, dish soap, or toothpaste, and would also include compounds sold that are specific to antifog. Examples of top compounds would be Cat-crap, and Sea Gold. What other compounds have worked well for you?
Cons: Your lenses must be clean, you must have a clean applicator and often a separate clean rag, they are not permanent and you often may need to re-apply. You need to wash the lens first usually, then apply the rub. Can be fairly inconvenient.
Pros: Low cost, especially home remedies and can be used in conjunction with permanent remedies, such as the ExFog, Antifog system.
We also have a full list of pros and cons regarding antifog compounds.
Antifog Remedy #2: Built-In Fans
Built in fans are fans that are built-into the goggle itself. They are battery powered, and generally have a fan in the center of the goggle. They come in a variety of sizes and prices, and can certainly help to defog goggles. Be careful, however, as often times, these can be very costly, often averaging over $170 each, and good sets exceeding $350 each.
Be careful with these anti-fog remedies also if you have glasses, as often they may push enough air movement to clear the goggle, but not both. They also may not fit.
Pros: Good sets work well for removing fog, and can have a long battery life. Military grade are also available from some manufacturers.
Cons: Price can be very high, they often don’t fit over prescription lenses, and there are no low-profile solutions for those that wear regular safety glasses. You damage either the fan, or the goggles, both are ruined. Can’t use them for other purposes, such as work, construction, etc…They can also be quite loud.
I have a more detailed list of pros and cons of built-in fans available.
Antifog Remedy #3: External Defog Devices
External devices affix to either the goggle itself (“Direct Mount”) or outside of it (“External Mount”) with a path for routing air into the goggle.
- A direct mount anti-fog device is type of fan that is mounted directly onto, or inside, a large face-mask. This is seen sometimes in large paintball masks. This antifog remedy typically needs room to attach directly to a mask on the inside. It requires either a mask designed for it, or it may also require some modification to the mask, with risk of damage or loss of warranty.
- An External Mount device then, would be any device that is mounted outside of the lens and doesn’t require direct attachment. These devices can be placed on any active person, such as a hat, helmet, cap, boonie, and more. The ExFog, antifog device fits into this category. Currently available devices, except for the ExFog anti-fog remedy, are basically an exposed fan, exposed wiring, and a battery pack. The Patent-pending ExFog, on the other hand is completely self contained, and designed to take a beating.
Pros: External devices are typically the best value when looking for a permanent solution to fog if compounds do not work for you. You don’t need to constantly clean, rub compounds, take solvents and rubs with you, have access to dry and clean rags, etc.
Cons: Except for the ExFog, external devices have exposed wiring which gets damaged, exposed battery pack, and exposed fan blades. They are damaged easily in active environments, such as paintball, airsoft, hiking, etc. Weather can also cause issues with the exposed parts. The direct mount devices can block vision because they are often placed in the goggles, or require goggle modification to work correctly. Direct mount devices generally won’t work with glasses due to space restrictions.
We also have a full evaluation comparing these items.
We are certainly partial to the ExFog and readily admit that. It is because I designed it out of these needs and issues that people face every day. I encourage anyone to comment, and look forward to your input!
I hope you found this information useful, and good luck in getting rid of your fog issues!