Night skiing is a wonderful experience. However, it can also be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment. Though good skis, boots, and gloves will serve you during both day and night, you can’t ski under the moon without the right eyewear.
Daytime ski goggles simply won’t work in dark or low-light conditions. For that, you need specialized brands. The following goggles come from such brands and provide an excellent nighttime experience out on the slopes.
- Oakley is a brand best known for its premium sunglasses, but their O-Frame MX Goggles are fantastic as well. Though not specifically aimed at the ski market, this pair provides excellent results at night. With 93 percent VLT, an excellent ventilation system, and a scratch-resistant lens, the goggles will keep you moving no matter how dark it gets outside. The triple layer foam lining also wicks away moisture and ensures the goggles stay comfortable for extended periods of time.
- The OutdoorMaster Clear Goggles offer a VLT of 99 percent, making them some of the most efficient night ski goggles on the market. This pair has a clear, anti-fog lens that allows you to see everything around you, and they can be worn with both glasses and a helmet. They are also available in a wide variety of colors, giving you plenty of versatility, and the strap is fully adjustable. The carrying pouch is another nice addition.
- Soft and flexible, the Smith Optics Scope Goggles are incredible for night skiing. This pair utilizes a thick, adjustable band to ensure they stay in place no matter how fast you travel. They also can be worn with helmets, utilize a foam lining, and have a special airflow ventilation system. On top of that, they also come with a microfiber bag, lifetime warranty, and anti-fog inner lenses.
Who Should Consider This?
Every nighttime skier needs a good pair of nighttime goggles. The specialized lenses allow you to adapt to your environment, regardless of how dark it gets, and give you the ability to ride the slopes far beyond normal hours. If you like to ride the snow when everyone else is at home, these are for you.
The goggles in this guide also work well in low-light conditions. For that reason, they are a good choice for early morning skiers as well. People who hit the powder at dusk, or later in the day bleeding into dusk, will also appreciate the extra features.
Best Goggles for Night Skiing: What to Consider?
Ski goggles, regardless of what time you use them at, are a clothing item. Treat them as such. It is easy to go for a pair only based on features, but don’t be afraid to branch out and look for models that might have interesting colors or patterns. You should always prioritize attributes over appearance, but if two goggle brands have similar qualities, pick the one that fits your look.
Visible Light Transmission
Visible Light Transmission, often called VLT, is essential for nighttime ski goggles. This attribute measures the amount of light your goggles let in. For instance, goggles made for clear, sunny days tend to be tinted in a way that lets in the least amount of possible light. Night skiing goggles, however, are generally yellow or clear to bring in the most light possible. It is important to search for models with high VLT as a way to increase your visibility.
When skiing at night, you need to be able to see as much as you possibly can. That is where ventilation comes in. Most high-end goggles have a ventilation system that allows cold air into the goggles and pushes warm air out. Such a system keeps the goggles cool in a way that prevents the lenses from steaming or fogging up. Always look for a good ventilation system and give preference to models designed to cut down on steam.
Best Goggles for Night Skiing: Our Picks
Though not technically made for skiing, the Oakley O-Frame MX Goggles are perfect for dark slopes. The frames come with a ventilation system and special fog-resistant coating. What’s more, they have comfortable, triple-layer foam that wicks away any moisture that comes near your eyes.
What We Like:
- Ventilation system
- Moisture-wicking, triple-layer foam
- Keeps sweat out of eyes
- Fog-resistant coating
- Allows in 93 percent of visible light
- Scratch-resistant lens
What We Don’t Like:
- Ventilation can lead to dry eyes
- Only available in black
Night skiers focused on visibility should get the OutdoorMaster Clear Goggles. This pair offers 99 percent VLT, providing you maximum visibility in all dark or low-light conditions. They fit over glasses, work with helmets, and even come with a handy carrying bag. There are many different colors available as well.
What We Like:
- Efficient ventilation system
- Dual-pane lenses
- Many colors to choose from
- 99 percent VLT
- Works with helmets
What We Don’t Like:
- Can fog when worn with glasses
Few goggles handle night skiing like the Smith Optics Scope Goggles. Not only does the pair let in quite a bit of visible light, but they also have a quick adjustment system for their sturdy, comfortable headband. On top of that, the face foam feels great on your skin, the ventilation system keeps out fog, and the inner lenses actively resist moisture.
What We Like:
- Helmet compatible
- Comfortable foam lining
- Airflow ventilation system
- Anti-fog lenses
- Adjustable strap
- Microfiber bag
What We Don’t Like:
- A bit too tinted
- Not as durable as they could be
Useful Tips and Resources
All ski goggles, even premium or high-end options, are prone to fogging. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer. There are many different ways, as covered in this video, to effectively de-fog your goggles when they steam up.
If you want further tips on night skiing in general, consult this guide.
Night skiing is almost impossible without the right goggles. Though many will try to get by with their regular eyewear, such brands don’t have the VLT necessary to stay safe.
All of the above goggles give you great protection on the slope, while also enabling you to see under the moon. Visibility is never going to be perfect under dark conditions, but these models will give you the best sight possible.
Have you ever been night skiing? Where did you go?
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.