Best Photochromic Ski Goggles

Photochromic Ski Goggles

Skiing can be tricky. No matter how much you plan, it is hard to know when and how the weather will change. Sometimes you start in the fog only to be in the sun an hour later, and sometimes a sunny day turns into an overcast ride through the backcountry.

While normal ski goggles cannot handle such shifting conditions, photochromic options do so with ease. The lenses automatically adapt to shifting light in a way that always enhances your visibility. The following models utilize that technology better than any other goggles on the market.

Quick Summary

  • Smith Optics is a great brand, and their Mag goggles show why. The eyewear is not just equipped with unique photochromic rose flash lenses, they also have a VLT of 30 to 50 percent. That means they work like a charm in low or flat light conditions. If you need more tint for a bright day, simply use the intuitive quick-change system to pop in the black lens. These also have a fantastic 5X anti-fog coating on the inner lens, a Porex filter to stop optical distortion, and a wide, comfortable strap. They also look great, thanks to the sleek style and frameless design.
  • Few photochromic goggles are as well rounded as the Bolle Z5. These have a wide fit that makes them perfect for skiers who wear glasses. However, even those without prescription eyewear will appreciate the durable construction, scratch-resistant surface, anti-fog coating, and FlowTech venting system. The goggles actively resist fog in a wide variety of ways, making them some of the clearest photochromic options around. The special shape provides a wide field of view as well.
  • The Julbo Aerospace Goggles are the best option for skiers who often find themselves in extreme weather. The polarized lenses cut back on 50 percent of reflected bright light, and also improve clarity in whiteout conditions. In addition, they have a wide field of view backed by an anti-fog coating. The two foam layers offer incredible comfort and the ventilation keeps the lens fog-free. With a lifetime warranty on top of the hardy construction, these are some of the best photochromic goggles money can buy.

Who Should Get This?

Photochromic goggles are the perfect eyewear for any skier who often finds themselves in tumultuous conditions. Being able to see in changing weather conditions is incredibly important for such situations, especially when you don’t know how the light will shift.

Skiers who constantly move around the mountain, or those who do their skiing in different places, will also love photochromic models. Cross-country skiers can especially utilize the technology, as it helps them stay on top of their surroundings as they move from location to location.

Best Photochromic Ski Goggles: What to Consider?


When choosing goggles it is easy to get caught up in aspects like tint, color, and field of view. While all of those are undoubtedly important, do not overlook durability. Your goggles, regardless of where you ski, are going to take a beating out on the slopes. Always favor brands that use high-end materials, as well as models that have reinforced lenses or sturdy frames.


Goggles need to let you see. While field of view and light sensitivity are both important, it is also critical to pay attention to anti-fog technology. Premium goggles on today’s market have a range of ways, from openings to small fans, to let extra moisture out of the goggles. Such attributes are not just important, they are critical in helping you see as you ride. Do your best to get eyewear that strives to keep your eyes, and your glasses, completely moisture-free.


Goggles are clothing items when it’s all said and done. As such, you want them to look good. Though many brands utilize similar models or styles, there are differences between each company. Color, fit, and look are all things to keep in mind when choosing your goggles. Though this should never be your number one priority (features always come first) do not be afraid to choose the better looking of two similar models.

Best Photochromic Ski Goggles: Our Picks

1. Julbo Aerospace Goggles

Few photochromic ski goggles can match the Julbo Aerospace. The pair has a unique spherical lens in addition to anti-fog coating and a superior ventilation system. Those three features work with the photochromic lens to provide you an excellent field of view in all changing weather environments. There are two foam layers for extra comfort, as well as a lifetime warranty.

What We Like:

  • Spherical lens design
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Cuts down on 50 percent of reflected bright light
  • Wide field of view
  • Excellent ventilation system
  • Durable, can withstand the elements
  • Two foam layers
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Design a bit bulkier than similar goggles

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Smith Optics IO Mag

The Smith Optics IO Mag is a fantastic pair of photochromic goggles with a wide range of features. They come equipped with two different lenses for different types of light, anti-fog coating, a wide field of vision, and a quick-change system. That is then backed by a 3-layer DriWix foam, wide strap, and snug fit for maximum comfort.

What We Like:

  • Dual lens system adapts to most light
  • 5x anti-fog coating
  • Frameless design
  • Quick change lens system
  • Wide field of view
  • 3-layer DriWix foam
  • Porex filter cuts down on optical distortion

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Fit can be awkward for certain facial structures

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3. Bolle Z5

The Bolle Z5 is a perfect all-around option for any skier. The goggles can be worn with or without glasses, utilize a strong anti-fog coating, and come with a photochromic lens. On top of that, they also have Bolle’s special FlowTech venting system that keeps at fog at bay regardless of how hard you breathe. That works in combination with the unique lenses to give you the best view possible.

What We Like:

  • Can be worn with glasses and helmets
  • Dual-pane lenses
  • Anti-fog coating
  • FlowTech venting system
  • Work well in all weather conditions
  • Affordable
  • Dual-density foam

What We Don’t Like:

  • Can be a bit uncomfortable after long periods of use

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

Photochromic lenses are incredibly useful, but they can be a bit tricky to understand. If you want more information, this quick article from Smith sheds more light on the technology.

Those using photochromic goggles likely ski in a wide range of conditions. Braving the elements is fun, but it can also cause your eyewear to fog. If that issue affects you, follow the advice covered here.

Final Words

Photochromic lenses are a great boon for all types of skiers. Light is one of the biggest issues to overcome while on the mountain, and they easily solve that problem. Not only do they work wonders in a range of conditions, but their ability to adapt makes them perfect for people who like to ski at different times of the day.

Every model in this guide utilizes the technology, and they do so by combining it with many attributes similar goggles lack. That is why they stand out from the pack.

Do you have any favorite photochromic goggles that weren’t listed in this guide? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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