Trying to hit a moving target with fogged-up glasses that blur your vision can severely hinder your abilities as an Airsoft player. You may have noticed that, especially when playing in colder or higher-humidity arenas, your breathing starts to create a fog that will condense your lenses. Luckily, there are several approaches that you can take to get rid of this phenomenon.
Here’s what you can do to prevent your Airsoft goggles from fogging at all:
- Get rid of any type of head covering.
- Use anti-fog sprays and wipes.
- Investing in anti-fog gear..
- Opting for a mash mask and glasses instead of goggles.
- Using external fans.
- Breathing through your mouth.
- Using magnetic fog wipers.
After this read, you will be able to choose and correctly execute a solution that will help you never get fogged-up goggles again.
1. Get Rid of Any Type of Head Covering
Creating a heat trap around your goggles is a surefire way to ensure fog creation. And this is what wearing any type of head covering, such as a helmet or protective headgear, does. Many players see the added protection that a helmet provides as reassuring and necessary. But if you’re having vision problems mid-game due to fogging, your headgear may be the main culprit.
Using a full head covering is unnecessary when playing Airsoft, as long as you’re equipped with goggles, a protective mask, and a protective layer around your skull. It can often hinder your movement and range of vision, as well as become a heat trap that not only fogs up your goggles but also cause you to overheat.
If wearing a full head-covering is absolutely necessary for you, take a look at the other options. Otherwise, removing any type of heat trap that a cover may create around your face would be the first step to ensuring that you have clear vision throughout the game.
2. Use Anti-Fog Sprays and Wipes
This may be the most commonly advised and talked about option when it comes to preventing Airsoft goggles from fogging. From professionally-made sprays and wipes to DIY options, all seem to deliver outstanding results, ensuring players have clear eyesight throughout their game. So if you take anything away from this article, know that finding an anti-fog spray that works best with your needs is a must for playing in a cold and humid arena.
The reason why this approach works so well is that condensation needs surface tension in order to build up. Rubbing your lenses with a substance that decreases the surface tension will make it harder for water molecules to cling to your goggles and cause a vision obstructing barrier.
Remember that this is not a forever solution, and you will need to reapply your chosen substance at least before every game. Any alternative that you may go for swipes off with wear, so reapplication is crucial for avoiding fog creation as much as possible.
Now that you know how and why this method works, you need to choose whether you want to go with a product made for this exact purpose or whether you want to get creative with your solutions. Purchasing a pre-made anti-fog spray or wipe is bound to give you the best results, but it can get pricey over time. They can run you anywhere from $10 to $20 for a 4 oz (113 g) product. If you’re not concerned about the added price, though, this option can be ideal for you.
After buying your product of choice, the application may vary according to the type and strength of said product. Generally, you would need to gently rub the inside of your lenses with the anti-fog substance before use. Anyways, try to err on the side of caution and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly as written.
If you don’t feel like spending a significant amount of money on a product that can be replicable with what you already have, look into your DIY options. That said, you need to keep in mind that although using alternatives and substitutions found in your home works, it may not deliver the same faultless results that using a product intended for this product would. The options you will see most often when searching for an anti-fog product substitute are:
- Shaving cream
- Dish soap
- Baby shampoo
You can try out all the options to determine their residue level and their ability to minimize condensation. If you don’t have the time, trust your intuition when it comes to which alternative would work best for you. After you’ve chosen your DIY anti-fog cream, you can apply it similarly to what I described with the store-bought version. When using more liquid alternatives such as shampoo or dish soap, be careful with the quantity, as a little goes a long way.
After gently rubbing the lenses with the substance of choice, let them dry for about 20 minutes. Afterward, it would be advisable to get rid of any unwanted excess, whether by using a microfiber cloth or giving your goggles a rinse. Always go through this process with a light hand, as rubbing or cleaning your lenses too aggressively may lead to damage.
If worse comes to worst and you’re on a pinch, you can even use your saliva to decrease surface tension in your goggles. Yes, it’s not a sanitary, or even a very effective solution, as saliva tends to dry out quicker than the other alternatives, therefore losing its abilities. Even though it’s not the perfect option, this approach may come in handy when fog blurs your vision mid-game and you have no other tools at your disposal.
3. Investing in Anti-Fog Gear
Say you don’t want to go through the trouble of applying and reapplying solutions on your lenses every single time before you play. In this case, you might want to look into investing in a pair of anti-fog goggles, such as vented or fan-equipped.
Good quality anti-fog goggles may come at an added price, but if you’re constantly purchasing sprays and solutions to get rid of condensation anyways, they might be worth a try. The vents in your gear will allow the air to circulate in order to release moisture instead of trapping it in.
These goggles often come equipped with their own solution-lined lenses to decrease the chances of condensation even further. Although manufacturers may apply this solution in a way that allows it to last longer, it still won’t be permanent, so keep that in mind when making a purchasing decision.
Nowadays, anti-fog goggles are becoming more and more qualitative at pretty reasonable price points, so you should definitely consider them if you’re often playing in condensation-prone environments.
Opening up vents in your goggles can also be DIY-ed if you don’t want to go through the trouble of purchasing a pair. Having said this, professionals don’t often recommend this approach, as trying to open air vents with a sharp tool or a drill may shatter the glasses altogether. Although it is a viable option that some swear by, I would not recommend it, as more often than not, it’s not worth going through the trouble.
If even with vented goggles, you still find condensation building up in your lenses, then you might want to search for an alternative with small fans built in them. Choosing this option would almost guarantee your desired results, as the built-in fans are way more efficient in keeping the air circulating than passive vents. They can also help keep you dry and avoid overheating, which would be a great advantage when constantly running and moving around an arena.
On the other hand, this solution comes with a massive price jump, as good quality options tend to be on average 10-20 times more expensive than regular goggles. But if the price is of no concern for you and nothing else has seemed to work so far, it would be reasonable to give them a try.
4. Opting for a Mash Mask and Glasses Instead of Goggles
If you don’t want to make an investment of this size, then try to play around with different types of gear that may not be as susceptible to condensation as traditional goggles. For example, opting for glasses instead of goggles, which don’t cover the nose, can help you immensely in avoiding fog build-up.
If the hot air you’re breathing out of your nose doesn’t go directly into the enclosed area between your face and the goggles, there’s no way for condensation to happen in the first place.
As for protecting your nose and cheeks, you can look into getting a mesh mask. Now don’t panic; this equipment will still be perfectly suited to protect you.
These masks are made of strong, high-quality mesh around the mouth area, allowing you to breathe out of your gear instead of keeping hot air enclosed. Meanwhile, the fabric around the cheeks, nose, and ears is a more traditional durable material, so you don’t have to compromise safety when using this gear.
5. Using External Fans
Buying a pair of goggles with built-in internal fans can be a significant investment that not everyone wants to make. But if you still are having problems with fog and have tried all the other options, you could opt for an external, hand-held fan instead. This solution still comes with an added cost, but it is notably more affordable than the previous alternative.
What you can do is keep a light, hand-held fan with you, and whenever you feel like the lenses are starting to get foggy, you can run the fan for a few seconds around your face, and the fog will clear up. Although this method may not be as easy, quick, or convenient as using goggles with fans built-in, it may be ideal for those on a budget.
6. Breathing Through Your Mouth
Although controlling your breathing can be difficult when running around, I thought I’d mention this as an option, as it really does help with fogged-up lenses. When you notice that condensation is building up and you can’t see clearly anymore, try focusing on breathing through your mouth for a couple of moments. Hot air will stop coming through the nose into the goggles, and the lenses should clear up quickly.
Although this is by no means the perfect option for everyone, it costs nothing to try and solve your fogging problem by yourself before investing in special sprays or expensive equipment.
This also won’t be a permanent solution for those who can’t help exhaling through their nose, but if you have better control over your breathing, I would suggest giving this method a try.
7. Using Magnetic Fog Wipers
Another affordable and effective solution would be using magnetic fog wipers. They do require some effort and time on your part and may not be as convenient as, say, goggles with internal fans built in them. But even considering this downside, they still are an excellent and budget-friendly choice.
Using the tiny magnets to wipe off the fog will allow you to gain clearer vision without moving your equipment at all. They will not abstract your view, as they are relatively insignificant in size. Another advantage they offer is the fact that their exterior is a soft, non-abrasive material.
The contact between this material and your lenses will not cause any damage or scratches. The only downside to this alternative would be the fact that small magnets are prone to getting lost when moving around constantly.
Having said that, their impressive strength for their size makes losing them harder, so I would still consider these magnets to be worth a try. Furthermore, they are accessible and inexpensive, with an average price of about $8.
The magnets are especially effective when used in combination with one of the anti-fog sprays or wipes. Using these two alternatives together may give you the effect of vented goggles for a fraction of the price.