November 06, 2020 2 min read

Which lens should I get? | What does VLT% mean? Is there a way to defeat flat light?


Variable light conditions can really affect how much fun you’re having. When the light changes, you want to make sure you’re prepared with the appropriately tinted lenses or that you're equipped with so called "All Conditions Lenses" able to handle most weather, terrain, and conditions. Each lens has a Visual Light Transmission, or VLT, percentage unit that describes how much light the lens will allow through to your eyes. The higher the VLT percentage, the more light goes through (a high % is great for dark conditions), the lower the percentage the less light goes through (a low % is great for bright conditions). The VLT percentages can also be classified under 5 categories:

  • S0 | VLT% 80% - 100% Lenses = Night skiing or riding. None or extremely light tint. Only Clear lenses fall within this category.
  • S1 | VLT% 43% - 80% Lenses = Dark and overcast as well as Night Skiing/Riding. Everything is gray! Stormy days. Blizzards. Early morning or late afternoon. Artificial light. These lenses have a light tint.
  • S2 | VLT% 18% - 43% = Variable sun, in and out clouds. In and out shadows. All conditions. Universal. These lenses are designed to work well in any light conditions and have a medium tint. This is our most recommended lens category/VLT% range.
  • S3 | VLT% 8% - 18% = Sunny. Bright sun. Spring skiing or riding. These lenses are designed to work well in bright light conditions and have a dark tint.
  • S4 | VLT% 3% - 8% = High altitude sunny, glacier skiing or riding. Summer skiing or riding. These lenses are designed to work well in very bright light conditions and have a very dark tint.

SHRED. has been working in partnership with the MIT Sports Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to push the boundaries of lens innovation and develop Contrast Boosting Lens™ and Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 technologies, the latter debuting in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games and contributing to many breakthrough performances and medals.

...there is one way to defeat flat light on snow, it's SHRED. Contrast Boosting lens™ technology! Watch the video below!