The new Bausch & Lomb FogShield Sport is easy to apply...once you know the secret.
It also works well and it's more cost effective than our other anti-fog favorite.
It was about one year ago that Rick and Burn reviewed the Clarity DeFog It (review) anti-fog treatment for motorcycle helmet face shields.
Everyone here has been using it with great success, as have many webBikeWorlders and local riders I know.
But when a well-respected company like Bausch & Lomb develops a new anti-fog treatment, one takes notice.
The first question that came to mind, of course, is "Will it beat Clarity DeFog It?"
The short answer is... It's close -- very, very close. And it's cheaper. Read on...
FogShield Sport is the newest motorcycle helmet anti-fog treatment to hit the market and Bausch & Lomb has been plastering the print magazines with ads. That's the sort of thing you can do when you're a multi-mega-billion dollar corporation with equally mega marketing clout.
The product comes in a 0.5 oz. spray bottle (aka "spritzer") and includes a small microfiber cleaning and polishing cloth. FogShield Sport is also available as a one-time-use pack with a treated cloth inside. Based on our experience with the Clarity DeFog It (review) anti-fog treatment, we went for the spray bottle.
Both of these types of delivery mechanisms for anti-fog treatments have advantages and disadvantages, but it seems more economical to go with the liquid and also it seems more difficult to get an even application with the treated cloth product, due to the curvature of a motorcycle helmet face shield.
So we quickly scared up a few bottles and I volunteered to put it through the paces. I gave three of the bottles to my friends, two of which were using the Clarity DeFog It anti-fog and the other who had no experience with this type of aftermarket anti-fog treatment product.
This is the perfect winter for evaluating an anti-fog treatment, that's for sure. It's been cold and damp and finding the (very) odd day or two where the temperature gets at least above 30 F to shake the cobwebs out of the bike's engine castings is not easy -- the perfect environment for anti-fog evaluations!
Applying the FogShield Sport treatment is very easy and not dissimilar to using the Clarity DeFog It. But, there is a trick to it that I learned by trial and error.
First, of course, you must apply this product (and any anti-fog treatment) to a clean face shield. Wash it in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly and make sure all traces of soap and other residue are gone.
Remember also that many/most motorcycle helmet face shields have some type of factory anti-fog coating and this can dramatically affect the performance of any aftermarket anti-fog treatment -- for better or worse -- and usually for worse. This was described in a special webBikeWorld article entitled Methods for Evaluating Anti-fog Treatments.
We have a couple of special face shields on hand that were not treated with any coatings at the factory; they are pure polycarbonate and nothing else. This is the best way to truly evaluate and judge the performance of anti-fog treatments when comparing them to others.
The FogShield Sport sprayer bottle works well (and hasn't leaked so far). It's important to spray a fine mist all over the inside of the face shield. Not too much; not too little. Hold the sprayer vertically (repeat: vertically) a few inches away to get a fine mist, because if you get too close, you'll probably apply too much and it will run.
Next, use the supplied microfiber cloth to evenly spread and wipe the inside of the face shield. However -- and this is the trick -- only wipe or polish the surface enough so that the FogShield Sport just disappears. No more, no less.
If you wipe too vigorously or rub it too much, you will start to remove the applied FogShield Sport and the results will be poor.
We discovered this trick by accident, when the evaluators quickly informed us the product didn't work at all. That was strange, because it was working fine for us. But after investigating this issue, I found they were simply wiping the inside of the face shield too vigorously.
In fact, reading some of the initial reviews of this product online, where some users say it works great and others say it doesn't work, is a clue. I bet for sure the owners who are complaining that it doesn't work are probably wiping too hard, effectively removing the FogShield Sport treatment they just applied.
All you need to do is wipe until the FogShield Sport just starts to disappear -- in other words, you want to try and leave a micro-nano-film coating on the face shield. It's easy to apply and this all makes sense (or should) when you think about it. Just give it a few rubs -- the minimum amount needed to make the spray disappear. And try to make even swipes across the surface.
That last tip is also important. Along with ensuring that you give it just enough of a wipe to remove the liquid, we found that FogShield Sport needs to be wiped as evenly as possible.
It's not like it leaves a visible or tactile residue -- far from it. It disappears quickly and entirely into the face shield. But the product does seem a bit sensitive to how much is left on the face shield. It apparently needs only a nano-sized coat to be effective. Where the face shield isn't wiped cleanly, you may see a few streaks of fog show up, as you can see in the photo second below.
And that is the only real difference between FogShield Sport and Clarity DeFog It; the FogShield Sport is slightly more difficult to apply and to get a clean, even coat when compared to DeFog It.
You can see this effect in the photos above. But my conclusion is that the Clarity DeFog It -- when using either the liquid or the wipes -- seems to leave a more even (almost perfect) effective anti-fog surface, with no fogging streaks appearing when you're breathing inside the helmet. There is no optical distortion or anything else that we have noticed; just greatly increased resistance to fogging.
However, remember that pretty much none of these treatments will totally prevent any and all fog. What usually happens is if you breathe heavily on the back of the face shield with the helmet on and the face shield closed, a slight fog may appear on the face shield.
But it should quickly dissipate, although how quickly and how much remains is also somewhat dependent upon ambient temperature and humidity (Bausch & Lomb warns about this also in the instructions on the package). The difference is that if the face shield wasn't treated, it will very quickly become heavily fogged and it won't dissipate very fast.
Note also something else I discovered: riders wearing eyeglasses sometimes complain that anti-fog treatments never work for them. Check your glasses -- sometimes (usually) it's the glasses fogging up, not the face shield!
The Bausch & Lomb FogShield Sport anti-fog treatment worked very well in our evaluations and I can highly recommend it.
In fact, I continue to use if for two good reasons: First, it seems easier to find in a retail outlet (even my optometrist stocks it) than the Clarity DeFog It product, due to the far-reaching market clout of Bausch & Lomb.
Also, FogShield Sport is cheaper. Clarity originally sold the DeFog It in 0.5 fl. oz. bottles for $5.99 when the product was introduced, but then they went to a 5 mL bottle (0.17 oz.) for the same price, which was a bit of a sneaky trick. Don't be surprised if you see them go back to selling 0.5 fl. oz. for $5.99; they'll have to compete with Bausch & Lomb.
By the way, one other thing: it's too bad that B&L or Clarity don't provide a little plastic case or something to hold both the FogShield Sport sprayer and the cleaning cloth. You really shouldn't use the cloth for anything else and it should be kept clean and away from anything with grease or oil. I keep mine together in a ZipLoc bag.
|wBW Product Review: Bausch & Lomb FogShield Sport Anti-Fog Treatment|
|Manufacturer: Bausch & Lomb||List Price: $5.99 for 0.5 fl. oz. Buy FogShield Sport Here!|
|Sizes: 0.5 fl. oz. liquid. Wipes available.||Made in: U.S.A.|
|Review Date: February 2011||Rating:|
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From "B.A." (02/11): "Thanks for your tip on the application....I'm sure I would have buffed it completely off if I had not read your review. The product worked perfectly for me."
From "J.H." (02/11): "Right after I read your article I went to Amazon and bought it. I had already used the Clarity DeFog It (review) and thought it was ok. Just not simple to apply. I thought this might be perfect.
Well I tried it out. I left for work after I applied it. I only have a 10 minute or so ride but it was 45 degrees out so I knew it would be a good test as my face shield always fogs up in weather like this.
Results? Well a big fat failure. Shield fogged up right away. You would have bet I never even used this stuff. Anyway when I got ready to leave to go home at the end of the night I decided to re-apply it again and give it another shot. This time I put several coats on instead of the one I did earlier in the day. I didn't take the shield off the helmet this time so the application only went up about half of the shield.
The temp was 32 degrees when I left. This time I can say that there was a marked improvement. Not very much fogging at the bottom of the shield at all. In fact I did notice that the shield was beginning to fog at the top of the shield were I did not apply the spray before I left. So. Does it work? Well yes it does but you will need to apply several coats in order for it to work I think. Is it as good as Clarity? Well, maybe. At least close. And its a ton easier to apply. It is worth having in my opinion."
From "K.H." (02/11): "I have tried various anti-fog compounds and stick-on anti-fog lenses. In each case, the optical clarity of the shield decreased significantly, particularly when riding at night or with polarized sunglasses. Itís good to see how well the FogShield works, but your review doesnít include a road test. What level of distortion did you experience, if any?"
Editor's Response: Actually, the entire write-up and results are based on many road tests, over several weeks and in varying temperatures and with several riders (which I assumed was implicit in the article). In any case, we have not noticed any optical distortion with either the Clarity DeFog It or Fogshield products.
Actually, no one ever mentioned this as an issue with either of these products, so we never thought of addressing it in the review. Both are clear liquids that "disappear" into the polycarbonate -- something that is mentioned in both the Fogshield Sport and the Clarity DeFog It article.
We have noticed some distortion when using the Pinlock anti-fog insert and other anti-fog coatings and treatments, but not these two.