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Indirect vs. Direct Ventilation Safety Goggles – When To Use Each

Indirect vs.Direct Ventilation Safety Gogglesindirect vs direct safety goggles

Safety Goggles come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, safety goggles are only one variety of Safety Eyewear. Today, there is such a wide variety of safety goggles available it can be tough to decide which ones are right for you. One of the driving factors taken into consideration is the type of ventilation. Safety goggles are designed to seal around your eyes and provide splash protection, but these non-vented goggles tend to fog up making it more difficult to see. So what type of goggles do you need?

Indirect Ventilation Goggles

What Are Indirect Vented Safety Goggles?


Safety goggles with indirect ventilation have a venting system that does not allow for direct contact of particles to the interior of the goggles. This is achieved by adding angled vents which face away from the front lens that the wearer looks through.
The vents on indirect vented goggles are normally adjustable so they can be turned to fit the user’s needs. Indirectly vented safety goggles are the ideal choice for dealing with chemicals where chance of splash is possible. Due to their reverse facing vents, it will be significantly harder for the material to reach the wearer’s eyes during use. One of the only cons of indirectly vented safety goggles is that due to the angle that air must flow through to reach the eyes, these goggles are not as well ventilated as direct vent safety goggles.

indirect vent

Benefits of Indirect Vent Safety Goggles:
  • Angled vents to protect eyes from splashes and particles
  • Made of malleable rubber to absorb impacts
  • Venting system prevents glasses from fogging over
A Good Pair Of Indirectly Vented Safety Goggles Will Also Have The Following Qualities:
  • Adjustable elastic strap
  • Fits over glasses
  • Scratch resistant lens

Direct Ventilation Goggles

What Are Direct Vented Safety Goggles?

Safety goggles with direct ventilation are goggles that have ventilation holes directly through the frame of the goggles to the inside environment. These ventilation holes are generally very small and placed around the top and/or sides of the goggles. They are excellent for professional and general purpose DIY-ers applications to prevent flying particles from reaching the eyes.
Direct vented goggles are great when there is a large amount of fine debris floating around in the air of the work area. Sure, a pair of safety glasses will protect your eyes from larger debris, but safety goggles add the benefit of forming to your face around the eyes which creates a better seal. So, unless the debris is to come through the very small ventilation holes, the internal environment is safer than when using safety glasses instead of goggles. Direct vent safety goggles are a great choice unless working with chemicals, liquids or extremely fine particle materials.

direct vent holes

Benefits of Direct Vent Safety Goggles
  • Perforated vents to provide smooth airflow while working
  • Made of malleable rubber to absorb impacts
  • Venting system prevents glasses from fogging over
A Good Pair Of Directly Vented Safety Goggles Will Also Have The Following Qualities:
  • Adjustable elastic strap
  • Fits over glasses
  • Scratch resistant lens

Which Should You Choose?

To make this decision easier look at the chart below. Which pair of goggles fit your needs?

Indirect Vent Direct Vent
  • Indirect Air Flow
  • Works With: Dry Particle and Liquid Chemical Materials*
  • Durable Impact Absorbing Material
  • Scratch Resistant Lens
  • Direct Air Flow
  • Works With: Dry Large Particle Materials
  • Durable Impact Absorbing Material
  • Scratch Resistant Lens

*Indirect Safety Goggles are a great choice for most liquid applications. However, dealing with large amounts of reactive chemicals may still have potential to cause damage by getting into the indirect vents. Always make sure safety goggles are compliant with the standards of the work environment.

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