November 06, 2020 4 min read

Goggle Lenses VLT%: What is and What Isn't? 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 will go through the lens as measured in a lab test. The higher the VLT percentage, the more light goes through (a high % is usually ideal for dark conditions), the lower the percentage the less light goes through (a low % is usually ideal for bright conditions). The VLT percentages can also be classified under 5 categories:

Beyond VLT%: Pictured is the Gratify model featuring SHRED.'s Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0, transcending traditional light transmission metrics for unparalleled clarity and mastering flat light across conditions.

  • 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 and most of the so called "All Conditions Lenses" fall in this category.
  • 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.

At SHRED., we understand that the human eye perceives light differently from these laboratory measurements. That's why we've partnered with the MIT Sports Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop our Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 technology. This lens provides unmatched performance in an unparalleled range of light conditions, from flat light to bright sun. It'sthe first ever lens to truly and uniquely expand the range of light conditions far beyond its lab tested VLT%. It debuted in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games and contributed to many breakthrough performances and medals under dramatically different and ever changing weather and light conditions.

Flat light sucks, but there is one way to defeat it. It's SHRED. Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 ICE technology. The only true any weather and any snow condition performance enhancing lenses.

Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 ICE is designed to offer a never seen before effective level of performance in by far the widest range of light conditions. Its unique and specifically formulated contrast enhancing dye makes it perfect for flat light and low light conditions with an augmented vision of the bumps and the overall shape and terrain of the snow covered surface. Its polarizing filter takes away the glare enhancing the contrast and the detail in any conditions while also providing effective protection in sunny, bright sun, spring skiing/riding conditions which eliminates the need of additional bright sun specific lens.

"Performance enhancing lenses, how are these legal?" - Mike S.


How does the Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 ICE technology specifically alter or improve the VLT% for different light conditions? Is it dynamically adjustable or is there a specific VLT% range it targets?

The VLT% (Visual Light Transmission percentage) for SHRED. Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 does not directly correlate with human perception of brightness and contrast due to its advanced technology. Unlike standard lenses measured by machines, SHRED. lenses incorporate a special dye and polarizing filter. This unique combination boosts vision, contrast, and definition in low light conditions while effectively cutting glare in sunny conditions. Therefore, the perceived experience when wearing these lenses can be significantly different and more enhanced compared to what a standard VLT% measurement might imply.

Are there any specific conditions or environments where the Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 ICE technology may not perform as effectively as traditional VLT% categorized lenses?

In extremely bright conditions, such as high-altitude glacier or summer/spring skiing/riding, the lens glare cutting properties designed for winter conditions are not enough and we recommend users to opt for a lens with a lower VLT% for extra comfort. The specifically developed Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 GLACIER lens provides the same contrast enhancement and noise cutting performance of ICE in this extreme use case. Conversely, in very dark or nighttime conditions, a lens with a higher VLT% could be preferable. For this extreme use case, we have developed Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 NIGHTTIME to provide contrast enhancement and to eliminate all the annoying reflections that are common in traditional clear lenses when used under the lights.

Can the Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 technology be integrated into any SHRED. goggle model, or is it limited to specific models? If limited, which models are compatible with this technology?

The Contrast Boosting Lens™ 2.0 is incorporated in all "molded lens" SHRED. goggle models, featuring a premium lens that minimizes optical distortion and is therefore designed to maximize the benefits of this technology. Models like Gratify, Simplify, Amazify, Rarify, and Exemplify feature this lens, each tailored to different fits and preferences. The ICE variant of the lens stands out as an all-condition revolution, offering an unparalleled experience in defeating flat light. The lens is akin to noise-canceling headphones for your eyes, making it a one-lens solution for a diverse range of winter conditions, eliminating the hassle of frequently switching lenses.