Best Sunglasses for Skiing

Skiing is a winter sport, but that doesn’t mean it’s always cloudy out on the slopes. In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s sunny for most of the winter season. Though that can be a bit annoying, fear not. There are many great sunglasses you can take with you out onto a bright, snow-covered peak.

In this guide, we will break down some of the best skiing sunglasses on the market in order to explain the different features and attributes that set them apart. One or two differences may not seem like a big deal, but they truly matter once you’re braving the elements. Each of the following models brings something unique to the table, and that is why they truly go above and beyond. Let’s see which one is right for you.

Quick Summary

  • When it comes to sunglasses, nobody beats out Oakley. The brand has spent years making high-quality eyewear, and the Holbrook are perfect for the slopes.
  • Easily the most expensive option on our list, the Vuarnet VL Sunglasses are durable in every sense of the word.
  • The Julbo Explorer2 Sunglasses are the perfect pair for skiers who need to see in different types of light.
  • If you’re somebody who doesn’t like being weighed down by accessories, the Torege Polarized are for you.
  • The Wiley X Gravity Sunglasses are best-suited for skiers who care about protecting their eyes in multiple ways.
  • Another great model from Oakley, the Jawbreaker Sunglasses have a unique look unlike anything else on the market.
  • If you’re someone who doesn’t want a lot of extra fluff, look no further than the Smith Prospect Elites.
  • At just $20, the RIVBOS Polarized Sport Sunglasses are some of the most affordable options on the market.

Who Should Get This?

Any skier who has a tough time seeing on the slopes can use a good pair of sunglasses. A good model is not just adept at blocking out the sun, it also provides extra protection against the cold and snow. While the following models won’t give you the same protection as goggles, they still offer enough to make seeing in the snow that much easier.

Skiing sunglasses are also perfect for those with sensitive eyes. Snow can be blinding in both bright and overcast conditions. If you have issues with such environments, a solid pair of sunglasses can give you extra protection.

Best Sunglasses for Skiing in 2020: What to Consider?

Comfort

Sunglasses are an item of clothing and, just like your shoes, jacket, and hat, they need to offer your comfort as you ride. Always ensure they sit on your face in a snug, not-too-tight way. You should look for models that have a soft construction or that use special materials that feel good against your skin. It is also important to prioritize glasses that fit your face. You never want something that’s too loose or too tight.

Lens Color

As with goggles, you need to pay attention to the color of your sunglasses. Tint may not seem like a big deal at first, but it does matter. Skiers who tend to go out in dark or low-light conditions need clear or mostly-clear lenses, while skiers battling the bright sun want glasses with a yellow tint. Anyone who skis in-between those extremes (mid-light) wants rose or pink lenses. These differences, while not concrete, give you a good place to start.

Style

Though not as important as other attributes, it always helps when your glasses look cool. There are many brands in today’s market, and each one offers multiple designs, looks, and colors for you to choose from. That helps you to ensure your glasses don’t just have a slim, attractive appearance, but that they match your style as well. This is never going to be your first priority, but it is something to keep in mind when picking out a new pair.

Fit

Fit is more than just comfort. It also refers to how well your sunglasses stay on your face. No matter how careful you are, you will fall at some point on the mountain. You never want to lose your glasses in that process. Always try to find models that stay with you in the event of an accident, and try to get a pair that fits in a way where they won’t fly off as soon as you hit a big jump or start to pick up speed.

Durability

Sunglasses take a beating out on the slopes. Even premium models are subject to many elements, which is why advanced construction is so important. When picking out your glasses, get a pair that can handle the wind and cold alongside any falls or bumps you might sustain. Cheap glasses do exist, but you’ll likely have to replace them much more quickly than you would like. Get a pair that will stay with you season after season.

Side Coverage

While much more overlooked than the above features, you want to pay attention to how much coverage your glasses give you on both the front and the sides. Bigger models that wrap around your head don’t just look cool, they also keep out the wind and the snow. In fact, solid side coverage blocks cold air on fast runs, making it especially important for both racing and downhill skiers.

Size

You should also pay attention to how big or small your ski sunglasses will be. Though some skiers will tell you one specific size is better, it truly comes down to personal preference. Larger glasses offer more protection but can be bulkier or weigh more. Slimmer goggles, while lighter and easier to wear, can let in more cold. This decision simply comes down to what you want from your eyewear.

Best Sunglasses for Skiing: Our Picks for 2020

1. Best All-Around Ski Sunglasses: Oakley Holbrook


The Oakley Holbrooks are the gold standard when it comes to skiing sunglasses. While they don’t come cheap, their ample features make them worth the price. The glasses are comfortable, thanks to their 3-point fit, and have a unique 6 base lens curvature that provides incredible peripheral vision. They are also quite durable and come with impact protection that keeps them intact during a fall or crash.

These glasses are for skiers who care about quality and features. They are polarized, comfortable, and come with built-in impact protection.

What We Like:

  • Great peripheral vision
  • 6 base lens curvature
  • Polarized iridium
  • 3-point fit
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Impact protection
  • Many available colors
  • Flexible, will stand up to a crash or fall

What We Do Not Like:

  • Nothing. These are the best all-around skiing sunglasses on the market

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Best Durable Ski Sunglasses: Vuarnet VL Sunglasses


If you’re someone who doesn’t want to get new sunglasses each season, the Vuarnet VL Sunglasses are for you. This option is not just tough, it is also resistant to scratches, dents, dings, and shocks. The tough material holds up to any and all conditions, while the leather buffers keep wind and snow out of your eyes. They are quite expensive, but the sturdy construction and sophisticated look make them great for skiers who want premium shades.

The shades utilize special leather side buffers to block out wind and snow, while the tough construction stands up to any fall. They are both scratch and shock-resistant. The ear loops keep them in place and the highly transparent, zero-distortion lenses allow you to see in all climates.

What We Like:

  • Strong UV protection
  • No distortion
  • Sophisticated design
  • Leather buffers to block wind
  • Incredibly durable
  • Shock resistant
  • Ear loops provide a solid fit
  • Highly transparent lenses
  • Unique, eye-catching design

What We Do Not Like:

  • Limited color options
  • Ear loops not as durable as rest of the construction

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Most Versatile Ski Sunglasses: Julbo Explorer2


Bright, comfortable, and innovative, the Julbo Explorer2 Sunglasses are all about versatility. These handy shades are not just tough, they also can switch between category 2 and category 4. The REACTIV chameleon lens enables you to shift your tint based on the outside conditions, which allows you to freely adapt to your surroundings. On top of that, these glasses are durable and come with a strong anti-fog coating.

On top of that, the nose padding works with the shock-absorbing design to make these a great fit for skiers who value comfort as they zip around at high speeds.

What We Like:

  • Extremely versatile
  • REACTIVE chameleon lens
  • Durable lenses
  • Comfortable
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Polarizing filter cuts down on glare
  • Wide lens offers great view
  • Fun color design
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Do Not Like:

  • Expensive
  • Scratches more easily that similar brands

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Best Lightweight Ski Sunglasses: Torege Polarized Sport Sunglasses


Though not specifically marketed at skiers, the Torege Polarized Sport Sunglasses are perfect for both the resort and the backcountry thanks to their sturdy, lightweight construction. These glasses come with 3 interchangeable lenses, all of which offer 100 percent UV protection, and are hardly noticeable while you ski. They are also impact resistant and utilize a soft rubber nose pad for added comfort. The rimless jacket frame design looks great as well.

These glasses are quite tough, being both impact and scratch-resistant, and the lightweight frame won’t hold you back. In fact, most of the time you won’t even notice they’re on. The three interchangeable frames are great for those who like choices, while the rimless design works for skiers who want a sleek look.

What We Like:

  • Rimless jacket frame design
  • Tough and durable
  • Impact-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Three interchangeable lenses
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Soft nose pad adds to comfort
  • Multiple available colors

What We Do Not Like:

  • Not everyone will use included lenses
  • Nose pad not as sturdy as rest of the design

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Most Protective Ski Sunglasses: Wiley X Gravity


If you’re someone who wants to keep their eyes protected on the slopes, look no further than the Wiley X Gravity. Unlike other models, these glasses keep you safe through both UV protection and a special facial cavity seal gasket that locks out the wind and snow. The lenses are shatterproof, the special tint cuts down on eye strain, and the glasses can easily be worn in everyday life. They also never dull colors, offering you full vision at all times.

The shatterproof lenses don’t just block out 100 percent of UV rays, they also reduce eye strain on bright, clear runs. They don’t stop there. These shades come with a facial cavity seal gasket that stops wind, rain, and snow from getting inside. If you’re someone with sensitive eyes, these are your best bet.

What We Like:

  • Facial cavity seal gasket blocks out elements
  • Reduces eye strain
  • Full UV protection
  • Also look good in regular settings
  • Great option for those with sensitive eyes
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Offers vision in a range of environments

What We Do Not Like:

  • Odd design
  • A bit bulkier than similar options

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

6. Coolest-Looking Ski Sunglasses: Oakley Jawbreaker


Simply put, the Oakley Jawbreakers are some of the most attractive sunglasses on the market. The unique frame design pops, and the tough construction ensures they’ll hold up to any environment you ski in. These offer full UV protection, are easy to change thanks to the switchlock system, and come with surge ports that allow cool airflow. As you would expect from Oakley, there are a ton of colors and styles to pick from as well.

The futuristic frames will surely grab the attention of other skiers, making these the premier choice for those who want to do something a bit different. Beyond their look, they also come with a premium build and have attributes like non-polarized iridium lenses, an easy switchlock system, and full UV protection.

What We Like:

  • Awesome design
  • Included case
  • 100 percent UV coating
  • Non-polarized iridium lenses
  • Easy switchlock lens change system
  • Surge ports allow for cooling airflow
  • Prescription ready lenses
  • Many different options available

What We Do Not Like:

  • Look not for everyone
  • May be a bit big for smaller heads

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

7. Best Simple Ski Sunglasses: Smith Optics Elite


The Smith Prospect Elite is the option for skiers who want a more compact sunglass style. While not flashy or big, this model has a sleek design that many find appealing. On top of that, they are durable and come with a special hydrophobic nose pad. The sturdy construction holds up through all falls or scrapes, while the 8 base lens curvature offers incredible protection from the elements. Add on the nice weight balance and you have a winner.

These sunglasses have a sleek, minimalistic design that’s a far cry from other flashy, colorful models. Even so, there’s something to be said about their clean appearance. If you’re a skier who wants premium features, including durable construction and a hydrophobic nose pad, in a compact package, this is the way to go.

What We Like:

  • Impact-resistant
  • Extremely durable
  • Hydrophobic nose pad
  • 8 base lens curvature

What We Do Not Like:

  • Basic design not for everyone
  • Limited color options

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

8. Best Value Ski Sunglasses: RIVBOS Polarized


Don’t let the low price fool you, the RIVBOS Polarized Sport Sunglasses are incredibly useful on a bright winter day. These glasses don’t just come in a wide range of tints and colors, they also utilize a special material frame that stands up to the elements. On top of that, they are lightweight and offer 100 percent UV protection. The head strap works well, and the included carry case makes them easy to transport around the mountain or resort.

Even so, they come packed with a range of handy features. This model, equipped with a handy head strap, high-grade material frame, and portable carry case, is one of the best value options out there. They are also extremely lightweight, which makes them perfect for skiers who don’t want a bulky frame holding them back.

What We Like:

  • Material frame
  • Durable
  • Affordable price
  • Head strap
  • Included carry case
  • Polarized, mirrored lenses
  • Many different color options

What We Do Not Like:

  • Not as durable as higher-end options
  • Plain design

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Information

Even the best sunglasses quickly become useless when they fog up. That both hinders your ability to ski and threatens your general safety. Luckily, there are many ways to cut down on fog and ensure your glasses stay bright and clear at all times. This article, while focused on goggles, can be applied to your other eyewear as well.

As mentioned above, it is extremely important to pay attention to both tint and lens color when picking out a new pair of sunglasses. Though the basic rules listed in this guide are a good place to start, there is much more to tint. If you’re curious about exploring that, or if you simply want to ensure you get the right glasses for the right conditions, watch this useful video.

Unfortunately, skiing with sunglasses is not always a simple process. Getting your glasses to fit into or work with your other accessories can be uncomfortable at best. Other times it simply might not work. Rather than going through the hassle of trying to figure out how to get your glasses to match your outfit, this guide will give you some tips on how to best ski with the items.

Final Words

It is never easy to pick out just one item from a crowded market. That is why getting sunglasses for skiing can be so difficult. There are a ton of top brands out there, and many of them seem exactly the same at first glance. While you can get the first ones you see, it is much better to make an educated decision.

Every above sunglasses model works well on the slopes. They block out the sun, give you great visibility, and, most importantly, won’t hold you back. Pick the one that best fits your skiing style and hits the sunny slopes with no worries.

Do you wear sunglasses while you ski? What brands do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment