7 Best Ski Goggles (2021)

Best Ski Goggles

Nothing compares to the thrill that comes with skiing down a mountain. It’s the closest thing to flying, without ever having to jump off a plane. Nonetheless, without the right gear, an adrenaline-filled adventure can quickly turn into a never-ending nightmare. Central to this is having the right ski goggles.

At high altitudes, the sun’s reflection against the snow is several times brighter, not to mention the increased intensity of UV rays as a result of the thin air. There’s also the risk of branches, twigs, and ice particles getting into your eyes as you glide down at ultra-high speeds.

With that in mind, we’ve tested and reviewed 7 of the best ski goggles on the market to keep your eyes safe from all those hazards.


Best Ski Goggles – Winners

Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:


Best Overall Ski Goggles

1. Smith I/O MAG Snow Goggles

  • Frame size: Medium
  • Number of lenses included: 2
  • Lens shape: Spherical
  • Pros: ChromaPop technology, interchangeable ski goggle lens, responsive fit design
  • Cons: The lens change system is a little slow

Top on our list is no doubt the Smith I/O MAG. Everything about this ski goggle is built for high performance. It features an interchangeable magnetic lens system with a quick lock detachment for added convenience when you need to change them out.

The changing lens system includes low light and bright light spherical, carbonic-x performance lenses that you can switch to depending on the lighting conditions. The inner lens has a 5X anti fog coating to give you crystal clear lens vision as you glide down the slopes, without fogging up in the process.

The ski goggle lens is built with ChromaPop technology for optical clarity and enhanced HD views. The color definition is mind-blowing. These medium-fit goggles have a highly responsive frame setup and come with a proprietary QuickFit strap adjustment system to guarantee the perfect fit.

All in all, the Smith I/O MAG is a solid choice for any avid skier.

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Also Available on Amazon


Best Budget Ski Goggles

2. Smith Range Snow Goggle

  • Frame size: Large
  • Number of lenses included: 1
  • Lens shape: Cylindrical
  • Pros: Affordable price point, compatible with any helmet, responsive fit design
  • Cons: Slight view distortion along the goggle lens edges

Ski goggles don’t come cheap – especially the spherical variety. If you’re looking for an affordable and effective option, you can’t go wrong with the Smith Range of classic snow goggles.

For starters, they’re not bulbous-looking, so they give you a nice, sleek appearance. We also like the Airflow lens technology they’re built with for active ventilation to ensure the snowboard goggle lens remains fog-free even in the worst conditions.

As far as vision goes, the Smith Range snow goggle comes with carbonic-x lenses with an anti-fog coating on the inner side and TLT technology to give you a crystal clear view of your surroundings. The frame design of the goggles has a responsive fit thanks in large part to the dual-layer   face foam and the double-slide strap adjustment system.

Overall, it’s a solid choice if you’re on a tight budget.

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Also Available on Amazon


Best Interchangeable-Lens System

3. Anon M4 Toric Perceive Men’s  Goggle

  • Frame size: Medium/Large
  • Number of lenses included: 2
  • Lens shape: Toric
  • Pros: Can fit over prescription glasses, excellent ventilation, face foam for a comfortable, snug fit
  • Cons: It is a little pricey

The lens change system in many ski goggles is quite cumbersome. In some cases, you may even have to take off the goggles entirely to make the switch. The Anon M4 Toric Perceive goggle is one of the few exceptions.

It uses magnetic technology for an ultra-fast lens change and even has a lens-to-gram seal to secure it once you do. That way, you can switch from the high-light to the low-light lens and vice versa, depending on the light intensity in high and low light conditions.

We particularly like the Magnetic Face Mask Integration (MFI) feature it comes with. It uses a magnetic connection to create a tight seal between your face and the goggles. The tonic ski goggle lens is a combination of spherical and cylindrical designs to give you the best of both worlds for wide-angle, crystal-clear vision.

Everything about the Anon M4 Toric lens goggle is performance-oriented, making it ideal for beginners and pros alike. It is compatible with any helmet as well.

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Also Available on Amazon


Best Large-Frame Ski Goggles

4. Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

  • Frame size: Large
  • Number of lenses included: 1
  • Lens shape: Spherical
  • Pros: Compatible with prescription eyewear, impact-resistant, compatible with a helmet
  • Cons: It doesn’t come with a replacement lens

The ultra-wide field of view you get with the Oakley Flight Deck ski goggle is second to none. Its design is reminiscent of the helmet visors fighter pilots wear, so you can rest assured you won’t miss a thing.

Unlike the ski goggles we’ve reviewed so far, the Oakley goggle has a Prizm lens. The High Definition Optics (HDO) technology gives you a breathtaking contrast of the scenery around you regardless of the light conditions.

If you need to switch lenses, the goggles are designed with Ridgelock technology for a quick and easy interchangeable lens switch while maintaining a tight seal to keep the harsh elements out. The triple-layer face foam around the goggles guarantees all-day comfort.

All in all, as far as frame size goes, the Oakley Flight Deck ski goggle is the best on the market.

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Also Available on Amazon


For Maximum Field of View

5. Smith 4D MAG Snow Goggles

  • Frame size: Medium/Large
  • Number of lenses included: 2
  • Lens shape: BirdsEye Vision
  • Pros: Enhanced downward visibility, quick and easy lens swap, ChromaPop lens
  • Cons: It is not an over-the-glasses goggle

If you’re on the hunt for something a little more high-end, you will like what the Smith 4D MAG snow goggle brings to the table. The shape of the lens is quite different from what you might be accustomed to.

Unlike a conventional spherical or cylindrical goggle lens, the lower portion of this particular one curves inward to expand your peripheral vision. Smith has appropriately named it “BirdsEye Vision.” These goggles enhance your maximum field of view by as much as 25 percent, which is quite impressive if you think about it.

The Smith 4D MAG lens is designed with ChromaPop technology to create more contrast on the trail for a clear, HD-like clarity that you don’t get with other ski goggles. If a maximum field of vision and ski helmet compatibility is an absolute must-have for you, you can’t go wrong with these premium goggles.

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Also Available on Amazon


Most Ventilated for Backcountry Skiing

6. Julbo Shadow Snow Goggles with Photochromic REACTIV Lens

  • Frame size: Large
  • Number of lenses included: 1
  • Lens shape: Spherical
  • Pros: Polarized and photochromic lens, extremely lightweight, a massive field of vision
  • Cons: It doesn’t come with a replacement lens

The Julbo Shadow snow goggles are by far the best anti fog ski goggles on the market right now. The inner part of the double lens construction has a durable anti-fog coating, and the frame design adopts a proprietary Air Flow venting system to maximize ventilation. This prevents the lenses from fogging up even in harsh weather conditions when you’re out on the slopes.

The other outstanding feature we like is that the lens is photochromic. Depending on the light intensity, it automatically adjusts the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rate between 5% and 30%. The lenses are also REACTIVE 2-4 polarized to provide 100% UV protection, eliminate glare, and enhance contrast for an HD-like view.

The Julbo Shadow snow goggles are a solid choice and work with any helmet you might have.

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Best Ski Goggles for Kids

7. Spy Optic Ace

  • Frame size: Medium/Large
  • Number of lenses included: 2
  • Lens shape: Cylindrical
  • Pros: Provides HD-like visibility, anti-fog treated lenses work with any helmet, mirrored lens minimizes glare
  • Cons: It is not an OTG goggle (over the glasses) and would, therefore, need prescription ski goggles

If you’re thinking of getting your kids a set of ski goggles, the Spy Optic Ace Kids Goggles are a total game-changer. For starters, we’re obsessed with their retro look. There’s something about the all-black cylindrical lens that’s so spy-esque, we just can’t get enough of it. Your kids will definitely love it too.

The Spy Optic Ace kids ski goggles come with a Quick Draw lens change system, allowing them to switch between the two lenses depending on the brightness. They offer 100% UV protection and minimize glare to keep their eyes protected against the damaging effects of sunlight at high altitudes.

All in all, if you’re looking to get your kids a solid set of ski goggles, you can’t go wrong with these. It works with any helmet they might have.

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Ski Goggle Buying Advice

Ski Goggle Buying Advice

Source: Unsplash

Ski goggles may all look the same but make no mistake about it – there are specific features you need to check for beforehand. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best ski goggles.

Lens Shapes

Ski goggle lenses generally come in three designs:

Cylindrical

Cylindrically shaped goggles curve horizontally across your face while remaining vertically flat. They tend to look better overall compared to the bug-eye appearance you get with spherical goggles.

Most entry-level ski goggles have this design mainly because of the lower manufacturing costs associated with them. The downside is, they often result in more glare, a bit of distortion along the edges of the lens and decreased peripheral vision. Advances in lens technology are correcting those issues.

Spherical

Premium range ski goggles usually have a spherical lens. They curve horizontally and vertically, mimicking the shape of your eyeball. The bubble-like design of the lens gives these goggles a longer vertical profile.

Their primary advantage is the superior optics and natural field of view you get with them, particularly where peripheral vision is concerned.

While some people may not like how ski goggles with spherically shaped lenses look, you would be surprised at the world of difference pairing them with a ski helmet makes. Ultimately, it is all a matter of preference.

Toric

Toric-style ski goggles are quickly gaining traction in the world of mountain gear. Their shape is a cross between cylindrical and spherical lens types. Although they’re horizontally and vertically curved to mimic the shape of an eyeball, they aren’t as bulbous-looking as spherical goggles.

If you want to reap all the benefits that come with a spherical lens but aren’t too fond of the bug-eye look, toric-style ski goggles are a solid choice to consider.

Optical Quality

The next thing you need to think about is the optical quality of the ski goggles. The clarity of the views you get depends on the specific lens technology used to make them. Below are some keywords to look out for when choosing the best ski goggles.

ChromaPop

ChromaPop lenses stand out for two reasons: The HD-like clarity and contrast and the rich, vivid colors they deliver. The visual detail you get from the enhanced natural color is nothing short of magical.

This lens technology works by filtering two specific light wavelengths, notorious for causing color confusion: Blue-green and red-green light perception. The result: Extreme clarity, natural color, and greater definition.

Prizm

Prizm lens technology fine-tunes the light spectrum by infusing Prizm dyes that increase contrast and reduce glare in snow-covered environments. This sharpens your visual perception of your surroundings and enhances color recognition for faster reaction times.

While a pair of ski goggles fitted with Prizm lenses will do an excellent job at making details stand out, the color does tend to look slightly more artificial in certain tints compared to the visuals you get with ChromaPop. This isn’t an issue per se once you hit the slopes.

Vivid

Vivid lens technology works by optimizing contrast-enhancing blue light and blocking out destructive UV rays. This allows your eyes to process different textures of snow and terrain.

By manipulating the visual light spectrum, these lenses enhance definition and contrast to reduce strain on the eyes and improve reaction time, giving you a confidence boost when skiing down the slopes.

While the quality of Vivid lenses may not be as high as their ChromaPop and Prizm lens counterparts, they’re still a pretty solid choice if you’re looking for an effective, slightly more affordable option.

Mirrored, Polarized, and Photochromic Lenses

man wearing ski goggles

Source: Unsplash

Aside from ChromaPop, Prizm, and Vivid lens technologies, you also need to pick ski goggles with specific features designed for variable or harsh mountain conditions. For instance, if you hit the slopes on a bright, sunny day, goggles with mirrored lenses soften the glare.

Polarized lenses are quite effective in reducing eye fatigue. They filter bursts of flat light, such as what you would experience if you came across an icy patch on your way down. The price of polarized ski-goggles is slightly higher than the mirrored ones, so keep that in mind when making your purchase decision.

Photochromic ski goggle lenses adjust automatically depending on the sunlight intensity in high and low light conditions. Their VLT range is much wider compared to a mirrored or polarized lens. This makes photochromic goggles the go-to option if you don’t want to swap lenses when the lighting gets too bright.

Visible Light Transmission (VLT) and Lens Color

VLT refers to the amount of light that passes through a lens. It is measured on a scale of 0-100%. “Clear” goggles have a VLT of around 90%. These are the varieties you would use when night skiing. On overly bright sunny days, you want to get a lens with a VLT of around 10% to block out most of the light. In normal skiing conditions on snowy, overcast days, a VLT of 40-60% will suffice.

As far as choosing the best color goes, it all comes down to your preferred lens tint and the VLT. Low VLT lenses come in blue, gray, and black hues. Higher-rated VLT lenses come in green, red, and purple hues.

Ventilation and Fogging

Fogged-up goggles are completely useless on the slopes regardless of the lenses they’re made of. To avoid this issue, you want to find goggles that come with a double lens. You also need to think about frame design, specifically where the direction of ventilation is concerned.

Look for goggles that have air coming in from all directions –top, bottom, and sides. It’s also a good idea to try them against your helmet to ensure there’s no obstruction of the airways. Bonus points if the goggles come with an anti-fog coating inside the lens.


FAQ

Does the lens color matter when choosing ski goggles?

Yes, it does. Darker tinted goggles such as blue, gray, and black have a low Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rating. These block out most of the light, making them ideal for bright, sunny days on the slopes. On the other hand, green, red, and purple lenses have a higher VLT rating, making them ideal for overcast conditions since they let in more light.

What UV protection level should ski goggles have?

Ski goggles should offer 100% UV protection. That being said, the VLT rating for the goggles you pick should match the conditions you’ll be skiing in to reduce the strain on your eyes for maximum comfort. Goggles with a lower VLT rating are ideal for brighter days. Those with a higher rating are made for cloudy, overcast days.

What is the ideal lens shape for ski goggles?

It’s all a matter of preference, provided they’re compatible with your helmet. Spherical lenses offer the widest field of view with minimal distortion along the edges. Cylindrical lenses will also give you a pretty good view, but you can expect a bit of distortion and slightly more glare. Their major selling point is that they cost significantly less than their spherical cousins. Toric-style goggles are a cross between the two.


Final Thoughts

The products we’ve reviewed in this guide are by far the best ski goggles on the market right now. They are designed for performance, functionality, and comfort. You can’t go wrong with them. In the meantime, check out our top picks for the best heated gloves in 2021.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.