Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fog Tech Anti-Fog Treatment

This is the second installment of my quest to find an effective, long-lasting motorcycle visor anti-fog coating that doesn't distort my vision. In my prior review, I deemed Cat Crap Lens Cleaner & Anti-Fog unacceptable for motorcycle use.

I've now had a few opportunities to try a popular product called Fog Tech, which is sold in bottled form and in foil-packaged impregnated towelletes. Following the directions, I cleaned the inner surface of my visor well and ensured it was totally dry. The Fog Tech solution is applied by using either a towellete, or the supplied felt-like applicator if using the liquid. The user then quickly wipes the towellete or applicator across the inside of the visor until it is covered in a thin film. The tricky part is that to get it right, you must not overlap the strokes more than a tiny bit and you must not keeping wiping/rubbing while it dries. If you do, the quick-drying sticky solution will cause a mess and you must start all over again. You only get one shot at getting it correct. Fog Tech also recommends leaving about a half inch strip at the top of the visor uncoated to prevent rain water being pulled in. Keep in mind this all occurs on the inside of your visor -- not an easy task to manage if you've got a full-face helmet, without taking the visor off. So, it takes a bit of practice to get a good, even coating. The good thing (or not, as you'll read later) is that Fog Tech rinses off easily using plain ol' water, which makes starting over a bit easier. I find that the towelettes and the liquid are equally as easy, or difficult, to use.

On several dark, clear morning commutes in the low 40Fs lately, I discovered that Fog Tech was doing an excellent jog of keeping my visor clear, with only minor fogging around the edges.
The coating on the visor caused some visual distortion, but it was minimal compared to the Cat Crap. However, the fogging increasingly encroached into my field of vision as the ride went on, and by about 45 minutes down the road the anti-fog properties had diminished by about 50%. In part, this was because the Fog Tech caused a cycle wherein water droplets condensed and beaded-up on the inside of my visor, which then ran down, washing away some of the Fog Tech solution, which then caused more fogging, which resulted in more droplets, ad infinitum, and all of which added to the visual distortion.

Thus, while Fog Tech has excellent anti-fog properties, they don't last...and I imagine they'd degrade even more quickly in the rain. Plus the product is more difficult to apply than a product meant to be used frequently (and perhaps re-applied during a ride) should be. I rate Fog Tech "barely acceptable" for motorcycle use, and then only for short rides in daylight conditions. I guess I'll have to keep searching. I'm beginning to suspect that the solution will not lie with any substance that coats the helmet visor, but with barriers that prevent the fog-causing humid exhaled air from reaching the visor in the first place.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn dude, don't tell me you don't remove the visor before you apply this stuff??

November 18, 2008 at 9:09:00 AM EST  

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