Whether you are hitting the slopes for the first time or are a well-seasoned, snow-loving expert, you should be aware of the importance of your ski goggles. They should be able to keep your face warm in the coldest of descents, give you a wide range of vision, allow you to breathe easily, prevent lens fog-related crashes, and of course, keep you looking stylish in front of your friends!
Here we will break down all the things you need to know before heading to your local outdoor retailer, as well as give you some insight on some of the best ski goggles you can currently find on the market. Also, we will talk about some of the best features that will take your ski goggle game to the next level. So, let’s get started!
These are the latest and greatest in snow goggles and what we’re using for the 2019/2020 season. That being said with that new technology expect to pay a premium at $280. Of course, they are very arguably the best goggles on the market. It’s the second iteration of Smith’s magnet technology in goggles. Magnet technology in google has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until 2019 that Smith entered the market with a pair of magnetic lenses.
The 4D Mag has a redesigned frame that is made to give a 25% larger field of view than the I/O MAG. They have done this by developing a curve at the bottom of the goggles allowing you to see down. It’s a big advantage over other goggles on the market that tend to give more space above the eye, even though the ground is far more important.
On the mountain, we were shocked at how much that increased field of view changed what we saw. Smith has also updated its magnet quick change with releases on the outside of the goggles. This update makes changing lens and cleaning them on the mountain a breeze. The only downside we have with these is the small lip curvature on the bottom of the lens can catch some a dusting powder after a full day and the price point
Giro ski goggles have been around for years solidifying and perfecting their products. The Giro Blok ski goggles are just one in a line of many that have made it through. These classically designed goggles give you more bang for your buck with their expansion view technology, three-layer foam fit, and extraordinary ventilation without the price tag of similar competitors.
They also feature all of the important bells and whistles that snow sport lovers have come to expect such as an anti-fog coating, micro-fleece facing and Zeiss cylindrical lenses. Overall, these ski goggles can take you from beginner to pro without having to upgrade your goggles in the process. We love them for their tremendous value, you get a lot for a price that won’t break the bank.
If you’re looking for some of the highest quality ski goggles on the market, look no further than the Anon M4 Toric. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but the magnetic lens system is extraordinarily easy to use. In fact, it’s so simple, you will be able to change out your lens for varying light conditions without having to remove the goggles from your face. They come with two lenses – either Toric or cylindrical depending on your style preference – and can be worn comfortably with or without a helmet.
The SONAR lenses by Zeiss provide fantastic optical clarity with a massive field of vision and no distortion. The Anon M4 goggles also come with a unique magnetic facemask integration, or MFI, that allows you to quickly and easily snap on an added layer of protection when the weather requires it. Overall, there aren’t many ski goggles that can compare to the simplistic perfection found in the Anon M4 Toric. If we had to list a downside, it would only be that they are really better suited for those with larger facial structures. Plus the Smith googles above are $20 cheaper and have a better field of view.
The Oakley Airbrakes have been a long-time favorite of skiers all over the world. Like the Anon M4 Torics, the Airbrake XL have phenomenal optical quality, a large field of vision, and come with two lenses to adjust for bright and low light conditions. These ski goggles have spherical lenses attached to a low-key frame, which makes them lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear.
They have excellent fog resistance with dual paned lenses and anti-fog coating, as well as the perfect amount of ventilation. The construction is of the quality you would expect from Oakley – great. These ski goggles are extremely durable and withstand stretching, scratching, and cracking, even in the harshest conditions. All in all, Oakley stays on brand with the XL Prizm, providing you with high-performance goggles that won’t give you buyer’s remorse. The only complaint we have is that the Switchlock lens system requires you to remove the goggles in order to switch out the lenses.
What sets the Spy Legacy ski goggles apart from the pack is their trademarked Happy Lens. This is not just a name. Instead, it is claimed that by blocking out UV rays and as well as short wave blue light while simultaneously only allowing long-wave blue light through, that these lenses will actually put you in a better mood.
This may be due to the impressive clarity of the optics, or the fact that when you strap these on you are probably already in your happy place on the slopes. Either way, the lenses are the number one reason to buy these ski goggles. All the other features such as the moisture-wicking dri-force fleece and anti-fog coating, quick change lens system are fantastic but still take a backseat to the perfection that is the Happy Lens. These are among some of our favorite distortion free ski goggles on this list!
The Smith Squad Chromapop ski goggles stand out for a number of reasons. To start with, the fit falls in a more universal category for medium to large facial structures. This means they are more likely to fit a broader range of people regardless of stature. Also, the style is very classic, harking back to the 1980’s ski resort movie look while still possessing just enough modern flair to keep them relevant.
The lens, strap, and frame colors seem almost endless, guaranteeing these goggles will fit perfectly into the environment you will be using them in. Finally, the ventilation and fog-resistance will keep you at the top of your game, whether you’re on the bunny slopes at a resort or roughing it in the backcountry.
If ventilation is one of the most essential features you want out of your next pair of ski goggles, you should definitely check out Julbo Aerospace. These goggles are unique in their ability to extend up to a centimeter away from the frame while still attached, giving you maximum airflow.
They also feature a photochromic lens that will adjust in the varying light conditions, giving you optimal eye protection with no effort. Where the Julbo Aerospace ski goggles falter is their ability to attach a variety of lenses. While it is not completely necessary with the photochromic lenses, sometimes they don’t give you the complete UV protection or clarity you would like.
The Electric EG3.5 ski goggles are chock full of style. The large, frameless lenses make you look like you just got back from the moon and decided to test your legs on the mountain. They come with two lenses for varying light conditions, which are interchanged using their simplistic press-release system.
They are also great for those with small to medium facial structures, which seem to be forgotten by many top ski goggle brands. Also, their TPU frame allows them to conform comfortably to your facial features, fitting snug while also maintaining breathability. However, this immense amount of style comes with some subtle flaws. The contrast and enhanced visual definition of the goggles leave more to be desired, but it’s still an overall good and stylish ski goggle.
The Dragon Alliance X2 ski goggles are another to feature a unique and easy to use lens change system. In fact, the only other goggles that can compete with the Dragon’s lever system are the Anon M4 Toric ski goggles. These come standard with two high-quality lenses for bright and low light, and are interchanged by pushing a lever on the side.
From there, the lenses pop out, so you can swap for the changing light conditions and pop back in with the same easy pull of the lever, never removing the goggles from your face! The lenses are spherical in design, cutting out glare and increasing your field of vision, and the frame is stylish and low profile.
The Smith’s Project ski goggles have been a crowd-pleaser since their inception. The reasoning is mostly based on the value you will get from your purchase. While these goggles are extremely affordable, they pack in fantastic features that even some of the most expensive goggles have a hard time competing with.
Their Fog-X inner lens makes sure your line of vision never gets blurred no matter your external conditions. The compression molded hypo-allergenic face foam ensures an exact fit that will keep you comfortable all day, and their cylindrical dual lens with airflow ventilation provides you with an amazing view of your surroundings every time. Simply put, if you understand value means more than just the price tag, these goggles are the best fit for you!
The primary purpose of your ski goggles is to protect your eyes, right? That’s why it’s so important to focus on optical considerations above all else.
First and foremost – lens tint. The goal here is to get the perfect blend of color definition, contrast, depth perception, and eye fatigue protection – all with the perfect visual light transmission, or VLT, for your usual brightness conditions.
How do you choose the right tint that will give you a perfect mixture of all these variables? It’s actually easier than it sounds. Here’s a quick breakdown:
All this doesn’t mean that you will have to buy multiple sets of goggles to adjust for all the different times of the day. Luckily, most ski goggle manufacturers provide at least two lenses for low and bright light conditions that can be interchanged on the same frame.
The next thing all the best ski goggles have is some form of fog-resistance. Imagine going down your biggest mountain to date and suddenly losing sight of the upcoming trees due to fog. No thank you! That’s why you should always look for ski goggles that announce some form of fog protection to keep you and the other skiers safe.
Lastly, ventilation. Of course, you want your goggles to stay snug on your face to prevent fresh powder from getting into your eyes, but it is also equally as important to have the appropriate amount of airflow through the goggles to prevent moisture build-up and that dreaded fog!
There are many features that take standard ski goggles from good to excellent. Some of them are necessary, while others are just downright awesome! Here are some of our favorites.