Not all skiing takes place in pristine conditions. In fact, many people brave the snow at dawn, dusk, or during snowy days. Though you can try to run through such situations with normal goggles, most of them won’t make the cut. Rather, you need models specifically made for low-light.
This article breaks down the best low-light ski goggles on the market. It then takes a deep look at each one to explain their features, analyze their specs, and breakdown why they stand out from the pack.
- The OutdoorMaster Meander makes this list because of its green lens model, which has a VLT of 80 percent. Though that number is best suited for nighttime skiing, it works wonders in low-light conditions as well. The large lenses also offer excellent visibility and great peripheral vision. As an added bonus, the anti-fog coating keeps your field of view clear in all types of weather. Though not as stylish as some other models, the Meander goggles get the job done. They can be worn with glasses and feature an adjustable head strap for maximum comfort.
- Utilizing an anti-fog coating on top of an excellent venting system, the Smith Squad ChromaPop are some of the best low-light goggles in today’s market. The pair, which can be worn with certain types of prescription eyewear, has a Porex filter to regulate the optical distortion that comes with altitude change. They also come with triple-layered DriWix face foam to increase general comfort, as well as interchangeable lenses.
- The Oakley Flight Decks are premium goggles made by a premium company. As with so much of Oakley’s eyewear, the Flight Decks come packed with features. They offer an incredible field of vision in addition to the advanced Prizm wavelength filtering technology. The lenses are big enough to fit over glasses as well. In addition, the triple-layer foam wicks away moisture to keep you dry, while the ventilation system and F3 anti-fog coating both ensure your goggles never steam up. These come in various color options as well.
Who Should Get This?
Any skier who spends their time zipping around in low-light conditions can appreciate the goggles listed in this guide. That includes night skiers, those who ski in the evening, as well as skiers who go out in the early morning. Those times can be tough to see in, so it is nice to have a bit of extra help to cut through the light.
In addition, low-light ski goggles are perfect for particularly snowy or foggy conditions. A little bit of weather should never keep you off the mountain, but in order to brave it, you need the proper gear. That is where this type of eyewear comes in handy.
Best Low Light Ski Goggles: What to Consider?
Visible Light Transmission
VLT, also known as Visible Light Transmission, is perhaps the most important aspect to pay attention to when picking out a pair of low-light goggles. The term refers to how much light the lens lets through to your eyes. Goggles with high VLT have a lighter tint that allows light through, while lower VLT eyewear is dark and blocks the sun. For low-light conditions, you want a higher VLT to let in more light. That allows you to see better when there isn’t as much sunlight.
There are many different reasons to ski in low-light conditions, but almost all of them are rougher than a peaceful day on the mountain. As such, you need goggles that can stand up to bumps, falls, snow, wind, and water. Always try to find a trusted brand, as well as premium construction that will last you year after year. Look for strong lenses, powerful frames, as well as any special proofing types.
When it comes to low-light conditions, visibility is key. As important as VLT and field of view are, you also need to ensure your goggles won’t fog up at the wrong time. It is important to purchase ski goggles with good ventilation. Choose eyewear that quickly takes away moisture in a way that prevents your goggles from fogging up on extremely cold days or during tough runs. You want a system that will hold up well in the places you like to ski.
Best Low Light Ski Goggles: Our Picks
Do not let the low price fool you, the OutdoorMaster Meander goggles are an excellent option for low-light skiers. The pair fits glasses, has an adjustable strap, and comes with an anti-fog coating. In terms of visibility, the large lenses allow for great peripheral vision and the venting system prevents the goggles from fogging up at the wrong time.
What We Like:
- Magnetic lens switching system
- Wide field of view, great peripheral vision
- Anti-fog coating
- Strong ventilation system
- Can be worn with glasses
What We Don’t Like:
- Not fully equipped for extreme environments
- Lack the premium technologies seen in more expensive models
The Smith Squad ChromaPop goggles are perfect for low-light conditions. Beyond the unique ChromaPop technology, Smith equipped the eyewear with a Porex filter, interchangeable lenses, triple-layered face foam, and an anti-fog coating. If that’s not enough, the dark design looks great and the goggles come with wide frames for better visibility.
What We Like:
- Porex filter regulates optical distortion
- Interchangeable lenses
- DriWix triple-layered face foam
- Chromapop technology
- 5x anti-fog coating
- Good ventilation
- Compatible with certain glasses
What We Don’t Like:
- On the expensive side
- Lenses can be difficult to change
Available in a range of colors, the Oakley Flight Decks are excellent for skiing in low light. In addition to the 40 percent VLT, the goggles have a wide field of vision and utilize the company’s Prizm wavelength technology. All three of those aspects make them perfect for when the sun isn’t an option. The color choices also look great, and the ventilation system keeps you dry on every run.
What We Like:
- F3 anti-fog coating works like a dream
- Triple-layer moisture-wicking foam
- Can be used with prescription frames
- Prizm technology perfect for low-light conditions
- Extremely wide field of vision
What We Don’t Like:
- Lenses don’t work as well under normal lighting
- One set of lenses
Useful Tips and Information
While special goggles can help you ski in low-light, they are not all you need. It is also important to understand the best way to navigate such conditions. The tricks in this quick video should help you out.
Being able to see is always priority number one on the slopes, especially when things get dark. Even the most experienced skiers can have trouble when moving through low-light conditions, which is why the above models are so important.
The goggles in this guide not only give you a better general skiing experience, they protect you as well. It does not matter if you’re up early, staying late, or braving a flurry, the models will keep you zipping along through the snow.
Do you have a favorite pair of low-light goggles that weren’t on here? Are there any you’d like to use? Let us know below!
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.