Up until a few weeks ago I had never owned what I would define as a "serious" balaclava. I had a few cheap knock off type items I had used over the years, but they were all a bit loose fitting. They got the job done, but when I got a gift certificate over the holidays I decided to make the jump to a serious balaclava to fight off the winter chill.
I ended up getting a really nice Pearl Izumi balaclava that is extraordinarily tight. This is a great thing to keep out the cold, but it's not such a great thing if you wear glasses. Without glasses I am pretty much blind and the first time I put my glasses on after putting the balaclava on I knew I had a problem. I wear different glasses depending on the conditions.
With my sunglasses I found that if tried to put the temple part of the frame under the balaclava, this placed extraordinary pressure on my nose. And if I tried to put the frame outside of the balaclava, the smooth fabric and tight fitting nature meant the frame would not stick to anything and my glasses would fall off. I know some sunglasses have rubber covers on the temple to solve problems like this, by my glasses are sans rubber. And with my regular glasses, the balaclava pushed the frame into the sides of my head and it was quite uncomfortable.
The hack that came to me was simple, it was just the execution that I was worried about. I knew that cutting small holes in the sides of the balaclava would allow me to wear my glasses how they were meant to be worn - over my ears. However the fabric of the balaclava does not lend itself well to simply taking a razor blade and slicing a hole in each side. My fear was that the fabric would tear or unwind.
The hack for me proved somewhat simple in that I live near the fashion district. Just about every service one could possibly need is available. What I needed was a button hole machine. I took my balaclava into a shop and 3 minutes and three dollars later I had my solution.
What I got were nice holes with stitching around them which will keep the fabric from tearing or unwinding. So, if you face a similar situation I would just call around to some local dry cleaners to see if they have a button hole machine. That or you can have some Doctor point a laser in your eye. Several friends have said lasik surgery was the best decision they ever made, but I am not really the right age and not the best candidate based on my vision issue. However, after some tests by multiple doctors, I do appear to have an incurable brain disorder. Personal medical history is normally a private issue, but I am willing to share this disorder with BikeHacks readers: