Anti-Fog Products for Face Shield | Ride On, Adventurous One | Gear

Anti-Fog Products Tested

By Zack Courts, Photography by Joe Neric

There are a lot of options for anti-fog products, but which ones are wheat and which ones are chaff? To find out, we asked our friends at Rockview Farms in Downey, CA, to borrow a corner of their sub-40-degree warehouse. Among the crates of icy-cool milk, cream, and seasonal eggnog we gathered a handful of anti-fog products and a pile of standard face shields (with no anti-fog coating). Our methodology was simple. Each product was applied to the left half of the shield, while the right side was left untreated. Then we donned the helmet, breathed normally for 60 seconds, and waited for the magic to happen. In most cases, results were obvious within 20-30 seconds, and after 45 seconds the control side of the shield stopped accumulating fog.

The ratings indicate how easy it is to use/apply, how clear the view before attempting to fog the screen, and how effectively each product eliminated or delayed fogging.


Clarity Defog IT Anti-Fog Cloths

The Defog It cloth wins our vote for a couple of reasons. First, its the most convenient, and second, Defog It provided the best clarity after application (other than the Fogbiter, which does not require any product to be applied to the shield), with little-to-no streaking on the face shield. Defog Its product also had a nice habit of defrosting quickly when fog finally did set in. Applying Defog It entails breathing on the shield then drying it with the cloth, which puts a little bit of a variable in the equation; we found a little extra diligence went a long way. A heavy layer of fog is needed to use the cloth properly, so plan on having it with you and using it when weather is bad, rather than applying it on a warm and dry day. Go to www.defogitworks.com to get two reusable cloths in individual, re-sealable packets for $11.99.

Convenience
4.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
4.5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3.5 out of 5 stars


Sleek Products Fogbiter

Fogbiter wins the weird award, but sometimes the strange ideas are the best. Its hard plastic mouthpiece works to blow breath out the bottom of the helmet and away from the face shield. The major loophole with the Fogbiter is that nose-breathing means there's nothing keeping the fog at bay. However, if you can be disciplined about only mouth-breathing (or you have a nasty head cold) you'll be pleasantly surprised at the functionality of the Fogbiter. No talking on headsets or Bluetooth cell phones, and never mind trying to shout to a riding buddy at a stop light. In short, a great solution for a hygienic lone wolf who's serious about shield clarity. Get it for $9.99 at www.fogbiter.com.

Convenience
1 out of 5 stars
Clarity
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars


FogtechDX Instant Anti-fog Wipes

Fogtechs new DX formula is said to last longer than prior offerings, and while these wipes aren't perfect, they're among the best we sampled. Initial fog reduction was good during the test, and the anti-fogging properties held up well during the test. Clarity is the biggest issue. There are streaks in the shield when not fogged, and they became pronounced and blurry when they began to fog. Even though the instructions advise against it, we discovered Fogtech formula works best when buffed after drying. This brings the clarity up in dry situations and only reduces the anti-fog properties minimally. Because the one-time-use packets are so convenient, we recommend carrying a few along on every ride and experimenting with applications that best suit the conditions. A 10-pack of wipes is $9 at www.motosolutions.com.

Convenience
4.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
2.5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars

EK Cat Crap Spray

With a name like this expectations were low, but EK USAs Cat Crap Spray (ewww) proved to be a good solution. (We sampled its Wax product also, but found the spray worked much better for motorcycle face shields). Simply spray the solution on and wipe it off with a soft cloth. Clarity after application was good, and though vision was slightly blurred when fogging began it did not become noticeably worse over the course of the 60-second stint. When the control side of the shield was completely fogged over the Cat Crap held its own. The product was under some duress but visibility was decidedly better on the treated side of the shield. The 1-ounce spray bottle isn't as convenient as an individually packaged wipe. Go to www.ekusa.com and pick up a bottle for $6.49.

Convenience
3.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3.5 out of 5 stars


Zooke Z-WAX

Zooke produces both a spray and wax anti-fog solution. In this case, for reasons unknown to us, the Z-WAX performed noticeably better than the spray. No instructions were provided with our product, directions can be found on the company Web site. Clarity in dry conditions was acceptable, and the provided micro-fiber cloth gave us the confidence to buff out imperfections knowing we wouldn't damage the shield. The anti-fog abilities of Zooke Z-WAX were solid, though a little underpowered. The defogging was decent but not as thorough as would be needed on a very cool or damp night. The container holding 18 oz. of wax costs $11.95 (add $4.95 for the cloth) and will fit in even the smallest pocket. Order yours at www.alpinestars.com.

Convenience
3.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2.5 out of 5 stars


Toothpaste

We tried toothpaste based on a moto-legend that its a backup anti-fog when you need it. Considering this product was made to keep teeth healthy, it performed impressively. Application is finger-lickin' good, but it takes diligence to make sure a uniform layer is left on the shield. Fogging occurred quickly, but while the treated side of the shield became blurry it did not fog up entirely. We gave it an extra star for convenience because its cheap and you're likely to have some around if you're on the road.

Convenience
4 out of 5 stars
Clarity
2.5 out of 5 stars
Performance
2.5 out of 5 stars


Speedo Anti-Fog Solution

Speedos anti-fog product is obviously not geared for motorcycling, but if a company is good enough for Michael Phelps we figure its worth a shot. The instructions call for the solution to be applied, rinsed, and left to dry, but we found that procedure left a thick and intrusive layer of product on the shield. However, once the fogging started it kept certain parts of the shield almost perfectly clear, while other sections fogged slightly. Disobeying the directions and buffing out the lumpy coating created a more consistent layer, but was still blurry to look through, and it only got worse when the fogging began. If we could figure out a way for the solution to be applied and be truly transparent, it might be the real deal. You can get a 2.5 oz. bottle for $13.99 at www.speedo.com.

Convenience
2.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars

Parker's Perfect Wipes

Parker's Perfect wipes come conveniently packaged and the solution goes on clean, providing good clarity in normal conditions. Strangely, when the fog crept in, it was almost as though there weren't enough active ingredients in the solution. It does well to keep the fog away, but vision is blurred and ultimately impaired heavily with fog on the shield. Visibility is better, but in truth is only the lesser of two evils. $13.99 gets you 100 pre-moistened towellettes in a tidy dispenser, available at www.parkersperfect.com.

Convenience
3.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars


Rain-X Interior Glass Anti-Fog Treatment

If you have ever used Rain-X's Original Glass Treatment on an automotive windshield, you've no doubt been amazed by its supernatual power to repel water. While this Rain-X Anti-Fog claims to be only for interior automotive/marine glass we figured it was worth a shot on a helmet face shield. No such luck. After only a few breaths the shield was fogging over for good. For info on where to buy a 3.5 oz. bottle, check out www.rainx.com.

Convenience
3 out of 5 stars
Clarity
3.5 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars


Quick Fact

Before buying one of these products, check to see if your helmet maker has an anti-fog or Pinlock shield option. These often outperform applied treatments.

How it works

This is all well and good, but how the heck does anti-fog work? We're not scientists, so we asked our friend Google. It turns out these solutions work by minimizing surface tension, which allows the water to spread over the contact surface in a transparent film rather than tiny droplets (fog). According to The Internet, anti-fog (like many things) was originally designed by NASA, specifically for Project Gemini in the 1960s. Oh how we would love to get our hands on some current NASA-spec anti-fog technology

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