If you want to prepare for a solid skiing season, even if you only have a few days on the mountain, you need to get the right equipment. When your ski gear doesn’t match your abilities or the conditions on the slopes, a great day can quickly go south. As such, it’s important to equip yourself with the best ski gear on the market.
One piece of ski equipment that can go a long way towards aiding your ability to handle a wide range of different environments are goggles. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to ski without goggles, but it’s difficult at best and impossible at worst. Proper eyewear gives you the ability to see in a variety of different conditions and protects your eyes from harmful UV rays bouncing off of the snow.
Ski goggles come in many different variations, and this article is going to take a good look at some of the best options available. There are plenty of different factors to take into consideration when purchasing goggles. If you’re in the market for a new pair, the options in you this guide will help you make an informed choice for your particular skiing style.
- If you’re looking for durable, top-of-the-line ski goggles that come with excellent lenses made for various conditions consider the Oakley Flight Deck and Smith Optics I/O MAG.
- Ski goggles can get expensive, but there are budget options available if you know where to look. If you want to save some cash on quality goggles, check out the Giro Block Goggle or the OutdoorMaster OTG Goggles.
- Interchangeable lenses are a great ski goggle feature that allows you to ski in multiple conditions without worry. One of the best interchangeable options is the Anon M4 Toric.
- The Anon Women’s Tempest Goggle and the Giro Facet Women’s Snow Goggle are both awesome options for female skiers.
- If you want a functional option that comes with a unique appearance check out the Dragon Alliance X2.
- For those of you who wear glasses, the Bolle Y6 OTG Goggles are an excellent choice.
Who Should Get This
In short, every skier needs goggles. They are an essential piece of equipment and should be with you on any snow trip. It’s even a good idea to have a backup pair just in case you break or lose your primary ones out on the slopes. All of the options listed in this guide will help you see clearly while skiing.
Advanced skiers with lots of experience and plenty of ski days under their belt will know the style of goggles they prefer and the lenses they like to use for certain conditions. If you’re a beginner, you might be a little more lost. That’s fine. You can’t go wrong with any of the goggles on this list. Remember, any goggle is far better than wearing none at all.
While every skier should wear goggles, they are especially useful for alpine, backcountry, racing, park, and any other downhill skiers. If you’re exclusively a nordic skier, you can probably get away with just wearing sunglasses or ski-specific sunglasses.
Best Ski Goggles in 2020: What to Consider?
Ski goggles need great lenses. Different types filter out different levels of light and are best for specific conditions. Dark lenses that block out a lot of UV light are good for bright, sunny days, while low-light lenses let more light in. It’s always a good idea to know what conditions you’ll be skiing in so you can get the right lenses to match.
Other aspects to consider when getting lenses included scratch-resistance and anti-fog capabilities. It’s always good to look for scratch-resistant lenses because ski goggles can take a lot of abuse and you don’t want your goggles getting scratched when you fall or when a tree limb brushes your face. Anti-fog lenses stay clear even when you are working hard and building up a sweat.
You’ll be wearing ski goggles all day long on the mountain, so it’s important to find a pair that fit your head and are comfortable to wear. Almost all ski goggles come with adjustable elastic bands designed to stretch around your head. This feature goes a long way towards improving comfort. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a non-adjustable ski goggle band, but always double-check before you purchase.
Your goggles should sit comfortably on the outside of your ski hat or helmet. You want a snug fit to keep the weather and wind out, but you don’t want them to be too tight. A tight squeeze can lead to headaches, while a loose one may let snow in.
Modern ski goggles tend to come with great ventilation. All of the goggles in this list have small vents that add to their comfort and functionality. Ski goggle ventilation comes in the form of small holes, squares, and/or vents that typically sit between the lens and frame.
Ventilation is important because it keeps your goggles from fogging up, which then enhances your ability to see while on the slopes. If your goggles become completely fogged, they are basically useless until they clear up again. If you typically build up a lot of body heat while skiing, or if you ski in warmer climates, you want to make sure your ski goggles have adequate ventilation.
A good pair of ski goggles should be flexible. That means they should bend and twist without breaking. Old-school ski goggles used to be fairly rigid and inflexible. However, ski technology has come a long way over the past few years. Always look for goggles that you can literally ring out like a sponge. That ability to twist and turn means they will be able to take anything the mountain throws their way.
You also want to make sure your ski goggles are built to last. Some of the goggles on this list are fairly expensive, and you want that investment to last. Ski goggles can also take a good amount of abuse in the snow, as well as in your luggage. Ensure they have a strong construction and utilize premium materials.
All of the goggles listed here are durable and should last a long time. When shopping for durability, you want to make sure your goggles use materials like solid plastic and comfortable foam. Look for solid brands you trust, as well as warranties for further protection.
Every individual skier has a different face. The size and shape of your face can play a big role in how your goggles fit. Make sure that your goggles sit snugly around your forehead and eyes without any gaps. A properly fitting goggle should rest above your eyebrows, wrap along the outside of your face between your eyes and temples, and sit nicely on top of the bridge of your nose.
If you know that you have a small or large face, it’s a good idea to try on goggles before you purchase them. While many goggles have a universal fit, not every model works for every face. Poor-fitting goggles can lead to a variety of issues on the mountain, so you need to maintain a proper fit.
Ski goggles need to provide protection, but they also need to provide visibility. Every model has its own visibility, and the one you choose comes down to your own personal preference. I personally prefer a goggle with a wide field of view that offers an excellent peripheral vision. Anti-fog and anti-scratch technology built into ski lenses can go a long way towards increasing and maintaining visibility as well.
Best Ski Goggles in 2020: Our Picks
1. Best Overall Ski Goggle: Oakley Flight Deck
The Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles are some of the best models on the market. These goggles have a wide, expansive field of view that enables you to see everything around you out on the mountain. The design matches pilot goggles. That might sound odd, but the visibility needed in flight translates directly to skiing.
These goggles feature a rimless frame design that helps increase the field of vision up, down, and in your periphery. Comfort and fit are assured by the highly flexible O Matter chassis that contours to your face even when the temperature drops. The lenses are made of Plutonite material that offers excellent anti-fog capabilities. They also offer full UV protection and have an adjustable strap that fits just about anyone.
- Excellent field of vision
- Respected, reputable brand
- Hi-tech design
- Quality construction
- Many color options
- Great overall goggle, excels in many different conditions
- Only comes with one lens
Coming in second place for the best overall ski goggle is the Smith Optics I/O Mag. Smith is a well-known and highly-respected brand that’s made quality goggles for years. They happen to be my personal favorite ski goggle brand. These goggles are extremely comfortable and effective, two aspects that make them a solid choice for any skier. They have a high-quality construction and are very durable.
The Optics I/O stands out for its awesome visibility, comfortable fit, and stylish-but-functional look. The Chromapop lens technology enhances visibility and highlights incoming light to allow you to see everything around you in vivid detail. The goggles include both low light and bright light lenses for changing conditions.
- Great overall ski goggle
- Awesome visibility utilizing Chromapop technology
- Comes with two lenses
- Multiple colors available
- Very comfortable
- Available in different sizes
- Quick-change system takes some getting used to
3. Best Budget Ski Goggle: Giro Block Goggle
The Giro Block Goggle is a great option for skiers who want a budget goggle that can hold up on the mountain. These goggles have a classic and simple look, but the lack of a flashy design doesn’t mean they aren’t fully functional. They have a decent field of view but lack a little in the far edges of your peripheral vision. It’s nothing too drastic but something to note if you like wide optics.
The Block Goggle comes with an injection-molded cylindrical lens built by Zeiss. That design helps limit the distortion that tends to come with budget lenses. These also have triple-layer foam for a comfortable fit around your face and come with a fully adjustable strap that fits most head sizes. They are compatible with all Giro helmets as well.
- Quality construction
- Classic look
- Good all-around performance
- Can be small for large heads
- Only one included lens
- Optics aren’t the best
The OutdoorMaster OTG Goggles are another affordable option. These have a simple-but-classic design and they hold up under a variety of conditions. They won’t win any fashion awards, and probably won’t last as long as many others listed here, but the price tag is almost 10 times cheaper than high-end models. If you’re strapped for cash and need to find goggles in a hurry, these are a great way to go.
The OTG stands for ‘Over the Glasses,’ which means the goggles are best-suited for anyone who needs to wear glasses while they ski. With that in mind, they have a fairly wide and bulky fit. They also feature anti-fog lenses that are decent but can still be prone to fogging up if you get hot, alongside a long and adjustable strap that accommodates different head sizes. They also come with a 1-year warranty, a nice feature for a budget option.
- Extremely affordable
- OTG design is great for those who wear glasses
- Good UV Protection
- Multiple colors available
- 1-year warranty
- Not the most durable
- Bulky look and feel
- Can fog up
5. Best Interchangeable Lens Ski Goggle: Anon M4 Toric
Interchangeable lenses are an excellent feature for any ski goggle, and they don’t get much better than the Anon M4 Toric. What makes this lens swapping system so easy is the magnetic design that holds the lens in place but also makes it a breeze to swap out when needed. Anon has come close to perfecting this design with these goggles and it’s well worth trying out for yourself.
The M4 Toric goggles come standard with two different lenses, but you can purchase additional ones to match any lighting condition you could imagine. The goggles also feature an MFI facemask that works alongside the high-quality lenses to keep out wind and weather while nearly eliminating fog. These goggles are expensive. However, they are well worth it if you like the ability to easily change your lenses.
- Best interchangeable lens tech available
- Unique appearance
- Comes with two lenses
- MFI facemask is a nice feature
- Overkill for beginner skiers
6. Best Women’s Ski Goggle: Anon Women’s Tempest Goggle
The Anon Women’s Tempest Goggle is one of the best women’s goggles out there. These are comfortable, functional, and extremely stylish. They have a slim women’s fit, which allows them to sit securely on your face without being too bulky or small. While all of the goggles listed in this guide can work for women, these are designed specifically for them.
The lenses here use a Spherical Lens Technology that simulates the way the human eye curves. That creates an excellent, natural-feeling field of vision. The ventilation is made possible through a full perimeter channel that allows great airflow to prevent fogging. There is a variable density face foam that keeps the goggles securely in place and prevents moisture from building up.
- Excellent choice for women
- Great design
- Spherical Lens Tech offers great visibility
- Solid ventilation
- Multiple color options available
- Can run small
- Prone to fogging
Another great ski goggle for women is the Giro Facet Women’s Snow Goggles. This option has an EXV frame that was created specifically to help with fit and comfort. This frame technology creates a nice rounded fit over the face. The goggles are available in a wide variety of colors and designs to match any individual preferences and are a solid all-around goggle made for women that are sure to hold up well in a variety of conditions.
The Facet Goggles offer great visibility and feature a Vivid Lens Technology developed by Zeiss that aids in both clarity and depth perception. This built-in lens tech works by letting in blue light to enhance contrast while keeping out bright UV light to aid in perception. They also have a fully adjustable strap that will fit most sizes of heads and are fully compatible with all Giro helmets.
- Great all-around goggle design specifically for women
- EXV frame offers serious comfort
- Vivid Lens Technology provides excellent visibility
- Many color options available
- Compatible with Giro Helmets
- Only include one lens
- Can run small
8. Best Looking Ski Goggles: Dragon Alliance X2
If you want a cool-looking ski goggle that performs well under any condition, check out the Dragon Alliance X2. These goggles have a futuristic look straight out of the Terminator or Mad Max films. They are large and will definitely stand out to anyone who sees you wearing them. They are also high-quality and built to last.
These goggles have a great interchangeable lens system that works perfectly with the brand’s many lenses. Most of their lenses are multi-colored, which further adds to the unique look and feel. While this model is definitely large and bulky, making them a bit less functional than similar models, they have enough features to make up for the extra size.
- Unique and appealing look
- Awesome lens options available
- Great interchangeable lens system
- Solid all-around
- Big and bulky
- Poor peripheral visibility
9. Best Over the Glasses Ski Goggles: Bolle Y6 OTG Snow Goggles
If you have poor vision and need to wear glasses, consider the Bolle Y6. These OTG goggles are incredibly roomy and provide you with plenty of space to wear your normal glasses with little worry. They also fit well, giving you extra space without letting in snow, moisture, or cold air.
The Bolle Y6 are constructed with a wide fit that easily covers your entire face, glasses or not. That is made possible through their excellent design and double layer face foam that pushes the lenses away from your face while still allowing a secure, comfortable fit. The lenses are constructed with a P80+ Anti-Fog material and utilize Carbo-Glass construction to prevent scratches.
- Great Over the Glasses fit
- Solid construction
- Anti-scratch lenses
- A little bulky
- Not the most stylish option
Another great all-around ski goggle with a classic look, the POC Retina Clarity Comp Goggles have a timeless design and comfortable feel. They are simple in appearance, but utilize a great exterior look that works as a tribute to the early days of skiing. That vintage appeal doesn’t limit their performance on the mountain either, as they come with features that work for many skiers.
These goggles run a little tighter than others on the list when it comes to overall size, but they still offer an excellent field of vision. They are very comfortable to wear and the small size means they are far from bulky and will never get in your way. The goggles don’t have the best ventilation, so they can fog up if you run hot, but they are a solid choice if you’re looking for a small profile and classic look.
- Classic look
- Excellent visibility
- Poor ventilation
- Particular design – not desirable for all skiers
Useful Tips & Resources
Ski goggles are a useful and necessary piece of equipment for any skier. Goggle technology has greatly improved over the years, and all of the options outlined in this article will give you great results for years to come. No matter which model you choose, you want to protect your gear. Check out these tips on how to clean and care for your goggles.
If you’re like me, all goggles, even anti-fog options, can fog up from time to time. I have tried numerous lenses and goggles over the years, but they all seem to fog up from time to time. To combat that, I typically bring along several different lenses in my ski coat (or even a backup pair in my backpack). This video has a few tips you can try to use to defog your goggle lenses if this happens to you.
If you’ve spent time shopping for ski goggles, you’ve probably noticed there are a seemingly endless amount of options when it comes to lens color and style. At a basic level, different lenses are required for different lighting conditions. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. If you want to learn about ski lens technology and how different lenses can be used in different conditions, check out this write-up.
The future of ski goggles might be in electrochromic lenses. If you have never heard of this style of lens before, it’s probably because it is so new and innovative that few people have tried them. These types of lenses use an electrical charge to change the tint of a ski lens. Pretty crazy, right? With the push of a button, you might soon be able to change your lenses to any tint the lighting conditions require.
As long as you stick to this list, you can’t go wrong with your goggle choice. Every model outlined in this guide provides excellent quality and comes with a range of premium features. Simply get the one that best matches your needs and desires.
Without goggles, your skiing will suffer. The items provide a much-needed barrier from the harsh environmental conditions on the mountain and they block out the snow and sun. Take advantage of the many advancements in goggle technology so you can become a better skier and keep your eyes safe for years to come.
Do you have a favorite ski goggle that wasn’t listed here? What makes them so great? Let us know in the comments below!