Can You Ski with Sunglasses?

You can ski with sunglasses, but they are not as good as ski goggles for dealing with the variable conditions you’ll experience on the mountain. If you do ski with sunglasses, always make sure you have a strap, so you don’t lose them. 

My name is Christine, and I’ve been an avid skier for most of my life. I get out in the snow as often as possible and have skied at many locations all over North America and beyond. I know through first-hand experience about skiing with sunglasses. 

This post will explore if you can ski with sunglasses. I’ll tell you why even though it’s possible, you should still try to ski with goggles if you can and provide you with some other important information about visibility on the slopes. 

Let’s dig in. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can ski with sunglasses, although they won’t be as good as using ski goggles. But you always need to ski with some sort of eye protection to prevent damage to your eyes from harmful UV rays. 
  • If you ski with sunglasses, you should always wear a band or strap to keep your glasses from getting lost if you fall or wipe out. 
  • Ski goggles are a better choice than sunglasses because goggles do a far better job of keeping the snow and cold off your face. 

Can You Ski with Sunglasses? 

You can ski with sunglasses. This isn’t the ideal type of eyewear to choose while skiing (more on that below), but you always need to wear some sort of eye protection to help you see clearly and prevent damage from UV rays. 

If you choose to wear sunglasses while skiing, you should always have a strap or band attached to them so they don’t get lost when you take a fall. If you don’t, your sunglasses are likely to get lost in the snow, and you’ll be stuck without anything. 

The only time I would actively choose to wear sunglasses skiing is on a warm day when there is not a chance for snow. In the spring or at other times of the year when the temperatures increase, sunglasses can be an ok choice for eyewear. 

Ski Goggles or Sunglasses? 

Ski goggles are always a better choice than sunglasses for skiing. Even though you can wear sunglasses while skiing, I would never actively choose to do so because they don’t provide you with the same performance and visibility as goggles. 

Ski goggles are essentially sunglasses that have been perfected for winter environments. They sit snuggly on your face to keep out the snow and cold while providing you with UV protection and visibility in changing light conditions. 

Sunglasses also provide UV protection, which is extremely important when you’re in the snow. But sunglasses don’t block out the snow, wind, and cold because they don’t sit snuggly on your face. 

Sunglasses might work fine on a warm weather day when there is no snow in the forecast. But as soon as the snow starts falling, you’ll wish you had goggles to help you see better and stay more comfortable. 

Ski goggles have a strap that keeps them firmly attached to your head. This means they will stay in place no matter how hard you ski or if you take a bad wipeout. Sunglasses don’t have this strap and are likely to fall off when you wipe out. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to if you can ski with sunglasses. 

Is it OK to ski with glasses? 

You can ski with prescription glasses or sunglasses. If you want to wear your prescription glasses while skiing, choose OTG-style ski goggles that will fit over the top of your frames. Sunglasses aren’t as good as goggles, but you can still use them. 

Why do people wear sunglasses skiing? 

There are no rules for the specific type of equipment you wear when skiing. Some people like to wear sunglasses instead of goggles, or maybe they lost their goggles and are using sunglasses as a backup. Ski goggles work better, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them. 

Do you need sunglasses in the snow? 

If you are going to be out in the snow when the sun is shining, you really need to have some form of protection to prevent damage from harmful UV rays. You can either wear sunglasses or goggles, depending on your preferences. 

Can you wear sunglasses with a ski helmet? 

Yes, you can wear sunglasses with a ski helmet. You should always wear a helmet when you ski and also need to wear some type of protective lenses to prevent damage from UV rays. Sunglasses aren’t as ideal as ski goggles, but they still work. 

Final Thoughts

You can wear sunglasses while skiing, but it’s not as good of an option as using ski goggles. Sunglasses provide you with UV protection but won’t protect you from wind, snow, and variable light conditions as well as goggles. 

Do you like to wear ski goggles or sunglasses when you ski? Let me know in the comments below.     

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