One piece of ski equipment that can go a long way towards aiding your ability to handle a wide range of different environments is goggles. Proper eyewear gives you the ability to see in various conditions and protects your eyes from harmful UV rays.
My name is Christine, I created this blog to provide my fellow skiers with all the information they need to know to find the best quality equipment possible. I know what to look for in the highest quality ski goggles, and I’ve worn or researched every pair found here.
The Smith I/O MAG is my top choice for the best ski goggles of the season. These will work wonders for all skiers and feature some of the best design and performance features you can find. They also come in many different colors to match your style of the slopes.
There are a lot of different ski goggles to choose from, and it can be challenging to select a pair when you don’t know where to start. That’s why I made this post – to give you a thorough guide that will point you in the right direction.
Let’s dive in.
- Who Should Get This
- Top Picks of Best Ski Goggles
- How to Choose Ski Goggles That Fit You the Best
- Useful Tips & Resources
- Final Verdict
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 specific 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 other downhill skiers. If you’re exclusively a nordic skier, you can probably get away with just wearing sunglasses or ski-specific sunglasses.
Can I ski without goggles?
Yes, you can sometimes ski without goggles, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this often. This is especially true if the sun is blazing or it’s snowing really hard. Sunglasses can work on some days, but you always want some type of eye protection.
Are mirrored or non mirrored ski goggles better?
This depends on the conditions you are skiing in and any personal preferences you have. Mirrored ski goggles can be very dark, limiting your ability to see the terrain and conditions around you when you ski. But some skiers still like to use them.
What color lens is best for ski goggles?
The most versatile lens is the dark blue and grey options that you see frequently. But the best lens depends on what the light is like on the mountain. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a model with interchangeable lenses so that you can switch things up.
Should ski goggles be polarized?
You don’t need polarized ski goggles for them to be effective. I’ve only used polarized lenses a handful of times and have been skiing for many years. Some skiers like the added depth perception polarized lenses provide, but I don’t notice a big difference.
Do beginners need ski goggles?
Yes, every type of skier should use goggles. They are an essential piece of snow equipment that protects your eyes from harmful UV rays while giving you better vision and clarity while you ski. It doesn’t matter how good you are – you should still always wear them.
Are ski goggles one size fits all?
Most models come with an adjustable band that makes them close to one size fits all. However, you should always check the size to ensure you get a proper fit that works for your head. If you can, try them on before purchasing.
How do you know if ski goggles fit?
You don’t want goggles to be too tight or too loose. They should sit snugly on your face, without any gaps or space in between the foam lining and your skin. If they are too tight, they will be uncomfortable, and if they are too loose, they won’t work correctly.
What’s the difference between cheap and expensive ski goggles?
Typically the difference comes down to the quality of materials used in their construction. More expensive goggles will usually have better ventilation, and the lenses will be better for changing light conditions. There are still decent models available at a lower price.
How much should I spend on ski goggles?
There’s a pretty wide range in prices between low-end and high-end ski goggle options. Top-of-the-line models will cost you a couple of hundred dollars, and budget options can be found for under $50. It really just depends on your budget and preferences.
Top Picks of Best Ski Goggles
Here are all the top picks of the best ski goggles of the year. Each model you see here is built to be very effective in winter weather conditions and will hold up strong under regular use.
1. Smith I/O MAG
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Excellent construction, Responsive Fit, MAG interchangeable lens system, QuickFit strap
- Lenses: Anti-Fog, Spherical
- Ventilation: AirEvac
- Cost: $$$$
The Smith I/O MAG (review) comes in at the top spot for the best ski goggles of the season. These are a high-quality option that delivers the best of the best in terms of comfort and performance.
They have a responsive fit frame that automatically adjusts to the shape of your face for a proper fit that takes little adjustment.
The MAG interchangeable lens system is straightforward to use, so you can switch your lenses to match the conditions or light you are skiing in. The lenses also have a 5X anti-fog coating that is highly effective.
This is a very expensive model, but that’s about the only negative thing to mention.
2. Anon Tempest
- Best for: Women
- Key features: Women’s design, wall-to-wall vision, lightweight frame, versatile frame
- Lenses: Spherical, Anti-Fog
- Ventilation: Full Perimeter Channel
- Cost: $$$
The Anon Tempest is the best women’s ski goggle of the season. This is another high-quality and very comfortable option for female skiers to take advantage of.
They feature a lightweight frame built to mold quickly to different face shapes, thanks to the flexible material. This makes them extremely comfortable.
Spherical lens technology helps highlight the natural curves of the human eye for excellent clarity and field of view. Full perimeter channel venting works well to keep the lenses clear and fog-free while you ski.
These don’t come in many different color options, but they are a solid all-around women’s specific fit.
3. Bollé Supreme OTG
- Best for: Glasses
- Key features: Large spherical lens, P80+ anti-fog coating, anti-scratch
- Lenses: Anti-Fog
- Ventilation: Perimeter
- Cost: $$$
If you are looking for a pair of ski goggles that will easily fit over your glasses, check out the Bollé Supreme OTG.
This model is built with an extra-large lens that will easily slip over a set of corrective lenses so you can still see clearly while you ski.
They also have an equalizer technology built into the lens to help reduce distortion and a high-quality P80+ anti-fog coating.
Bollé is not a super well-known brand in the ski industry, but this option is one of the best for any skier who wears glasses.
4. Smith Youth Daredevil
- Best for: Kids
- Key features: Kid’s fit, affordable, durable, comfortable, multiple lens options, anti-fog inner lens
- Lenses: Cylindrical Carbonic-X
- Ventilation: Channel
- Cost: $
The Smith Youth Daredevil is a solid option for young skiers and is the best kids ski goggle out there.
This is a very affordable option, which is a nice consideration for any parent who thinks their child might lose or break their ski gear.
They have a Fog-X anti-fog inner lens to help keep a clear line of sight, and a two-layer DriWix face foam helps wick moisture away.
These have a smaller fit, so kids might outgrow them once they reach their teenage years.
5. Oakley Flight Deck
- Best for: Field of View
- Key features: Wide field of view, Prizm lens, impact-resistant, good ventilation, triple-layer face foam
- Lenses: Anti-Fog, HDO technology
- Ventilation: Dual Vented Lenses
- Cost: $$$
A wide field of view is always nice when you are skiing, and the Oakley Flight Deck (review) will provide you with nearly complete peripheral vision.
These also have super high-quality lenses that feature HDO technology that helps increase clarity. They are built with a Plutonite material that makes them very durable and impact-resistant.
Dual vented lenses help reduce fog and a triple-layer face foam wicks moisture away from your face for long-lasting comfort in the snow.
This is another costly option, but it doesn’t have many downsides to mention.
6. Giro Method
- Best for: Small Faces
- Key features: Low profile design, slash seal lens change system, anti-fog coating, EXV frame
- Lenses: VIVID by Zeiss
- Ventilation: EVAK technology
- Cost: $$$
The Giro Method is a good option for any skier with a small face who is looking for a snug fit that won’t be too tight.
These goggles have a low-profile design but are also built with an EXV frame which helps increase your field of view to see clearly from all angles.
VIVID lenses provide you with excellent clarity to help you see every feature and obstacle coming past you on the mountain. The goggles also have a very easy-to-use lens change system.
These aren’t the most flexible goggles out there, so you’ll want to be careful when packing them around.
7. Anon M4 Perceive
- Best for: Flat Light
- Key features: Great low/flat light option, lightweight, wall-to-wall vision, quick lens change tech
- Lenses: Perceive/ICT
- Ventilation: Full Perimeter Channel Venting
- Cost: $$$$
The Perceive lens help bring contrast and perception to the terrain around you and help increase definition when the lighting is terrible.
The lenses also feature Integral Clarity Technolgy, which helps reduce fog and add lasting durability.
These are a very costly option but are worth it if you want a little extra vision in poor light conditions.
8. Smith Squad
- Best for: Beginners
- Key features: Durable, comfortable, responsive fit design, anti-fog, ultra-wide strap
- Lenses: ChromoPop/TLT
- Ventilation: Dual Lens Vents
- Cost: $$$
The Smith Squad (review) is a solid option for beginners who are looking for an effective goggle that can help them grow and learn the basics of the sport.
They feature a Responsive Fit frame design that molds around your face and an extra-wide silicone strap. Both of these features help you get a secure fit in seconds, so you’ll be ready for action.
ChromoPop lens tech helps provide plenty of clarity to let you see anything and everything coming your way on the mountain.
These are a somewhat expensive beginner’s option, but I think they are totally worth it and will make a great value that will last for several seasons.
9. OutdoorMaster PRO
- Best for: The Money
- Key features: Affordable, OTG design, comfortable, good UV protection, lots of lens choices
- Lenses: Anti-Fog/Interchangeable
- Ventilation: Channel
- Cost: $
The OutdoorMaster PRO is a great budget option that is the best pair of ski goggles for the money.
Even though these are cheap, they still give you adequate performance in a range of different on-snow situations. They have a frameless design that translates into a wide field of view.
They also have an easy-to-use lens change system, and you can choose from over 20 different lenses to match your conditions or preferences.
The lenses aren’t extremely scratch-resistant, so you’ll want to be careful when throwing these around in the car or your travel bag.
10. Juli Clear
- Best for: Night Skiing
- Key features: Clear lenses, TPU frame, anti-fog, good ventilation, OTG design
- Lenses: Clear/Anti-Fog
- Ventilation: Channel
- Cost: $
The Juli Clear goggles are a solid option for night skiing because the clear lenses will let you see everything coming your way under the lights.
These goggles are also very affordable and have a solid construction that will last for a long time, even if you wear them often.
Dual-layer anti-fog coating gives you crystal clear vision even when skiing hard, and they also have solid ventilation.
Be sure to order the clear lenses with these if you want the best night skiing performance.
How to Choose Ski Goggles That Fit You the Best
Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing the ski goggles that fit you the best. There are some other tips in this section that will help you narrow down your search as well.
Every individual skier has a different face. The size and shape of your face can play a significant 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. You always want the foam layer to be touching your skin, with no gaps in between.
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 various issues on the mountain, so you need to maintain a proper fit.
Ski goggles need great lenses. Different types filter out varying levels of light, and you can match lenses to specific conditions.
Dark lenses that block out a lot of UV light are suitable 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 crucial 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 purchasing.
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 excellent 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, enhancing 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 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 relatively 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. This leads to a lasting value and years of use.
You also want to make sure your ski goggles are built to last. Some of the goggles on this list are pretty 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 strong construction and utilize premium materials. Even so, always put them in a lens case if you have one.
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 reliable brands you trust, as well as warranties for further protection.
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 personal preference.
I prefer a goggle with a wide field of view that offers 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.
Useful Tips & Resources
Ski goggles are a valuable and necessary piece of equipment for any skier. Goggle technology has dramatically 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 the tips in the video below on how to clean and care for your goggles.
If you’re like me, all goggles, even anti-fog options, can fog up. 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 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. Check out this write-up if you want to learn about ski lens technology and how different lenses can be used in different conditions.
The future of ski goggles might be in electrochromic lenses. If you have never heard of this lens style 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.
The Smith I/O MAG is my pick for the best ski goggles of the season. This model hits every mark that you want and need out of goggles. They provide you with plenty of comfort and crystal clear clarity in many different conditions.
With every option that I’ve listed in this article, there should be a good pair of goggles to match your needs as a skier. A nice pair of goggles can easily last for many years, so it pays to have one of the best models in your collection.