Only a couple of decade ago it was quite common for American skiers to hit the slopes with just a pair of sunglasses on sunny days, and only use wind mask-type goggles when the conditions got bad enough. Nowadays, however, things have changed andc ski goggles are actually the norm. In the following article, we will break down some of the most important features of ski goggles, why they can also help with sun protection, and how to find the best product for your needs.

Do you want ski goggles or ski glasses? Do you need ultraviolet protection or no? What percentage of visible light transmission is best for your eyes? The number of considerations to keep in mind when purchasing ski goggles is quite high. Below we will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase and help dispel some of the misinformation out there about ski goggles.

Key Facts

  • When we are skiing at high altitudes, the reflection of the sun off the white snow, combined with stronger UV rays, can hurt our eyes. You should always use skiing goggles in most conditions in order to protect your vision.
  • If you don’t wear ski goggles, the sun can seriously damage your eyesight, irritate your eyes, and even reduce what you are able to see. Even if you don’t experience permanent vision loss right away, temporary vision loss (also called “skier’s blindness) can occur.
  • There are many factors to consider before buying ski goggles to ensure you choose the ones that best suit your intended use and budget.

Ranking: The best skiing goggles on the U.S. market

The below list contains our compilation of the five of the best ski goggles currently on the U.S. market. They all take into account value-for-money, as well as the quality of materials and how much sun protection they offer (among other characteristics). Carefully evaluate the specifications of each product to find the best one for you. Regardless of your age or gender, you will find goggles that offer great eye protection at reasonable prices.

No. 1: Zionor – X4 Ski and Snowboard Goggles

Zionor’s X4 Ski and Snowboard Goggles are unisex dual-layer magnet lens goggles that come with anti-fog and UV protection. They are designed not to slip off your face while skiing or boarding, so you can hit the hills with confidence and always with a great field of view. The spherical lens gives you amazing 180 panoramic view of your surroundings so you can see more and ski safely. Another nice feature of these goggles are the vents that help eliminate fogging – undoubtedly one of the most irritating aspects of skiing.

Zionor’s enhanced durability technology makes the lens on this ski goggle extra durable, so it will stand up to impact without cracking or breaking. These goggles come in 20 different designs so you can hit the slopes looking great regardless of your personal tastes. The triple layer foam around these goggles is nice because it keeps your face comfortable while you’re out there all day – something other goggles definitely won’t do. The strap is elastic, so it better fits around your helmet and can be adjusted to fit any sized head.

No. 2: OutdoorMaster – OTG Ski Goggles

OutdoorMaster’s OTG Ski Goggles are OTG, or “over the glasses” designed goggles that are great at fitting over your glasses. Gone are the days of needing either perfect vision or contact lenses in order to ski comfortably. You get incredible optical clarity with this lens, and the anti-fog technology ensures condensation is not a problem while you’re on the slopes. You also get UV400 protection from this goggle, which is important especially when you are skiing in warm sunny weather.

The durable and extra-long elastic straps make this an easy goggle to fit over any helmet, and it can be worn comfortably by both adults and teens. It comes with an OutdoorMaster carrying pouch, great customer service, and a one-year warranty so you can get out there and get skiing with absolute confidence. One thing to keep in mind with these ski goggles is that to ensure you don’t damage the anti-fog layer, make sure to clean the lenses with a soft tissue.

No. 3: WildHorn Outfitters – Rocca Ski Goggles

WildHorn Outfitters Rocca Ski Goggles come in ten different designs and adult and junior sizing so it is easy to get the right size and look. This lens is the ultimate in customizability. The magnet system allows you to take out and fit in a number of different lens types based on the intensity of the sun, and even the time of day. The lenses are sold separately, but having several different lens options lets you build the best skiing experience possible. These goggles were made by skiers for skiers and are ideal for any level.

Having a good quality panoramic lens can make or break your skiing or snowboarding experience, so it pays to invest a little extra. The anti-fog and anti-scratch coating make getting a good view of your surroundings easy. The slide clip locking mechanism keeps the lens in place even during high impact, so you can slip and fall without worrying about losing anything. The foam padding is extra comfortable and you won’t even realize these are on your face all day. No suction marks around your eyes when you take these off.

No. 4: Oakley – Flight Deck XM Snow Goggles

Oakley is an eyewear brand that really requires no introduction. This great U.S. brand is world-famous for its high-end eyewear, and their Flight Deck XM Snow Goggles are no exception. This model comes in a wide range of designs and styles, so there is something out there to suit any tastes. The rimless design maximizes your field of vision so you don’t miss a thing while you’re on the slopes. The polycarbonate frame is extra durable and designed to stand up to the rigors of extreme skiing.

The F3 anti-fog coating makes sure that you deal with as little interference from condensation as possible (one of the biggest hassles of skiing). The rigid lens sub-frame attachment makes it incredibly easy to swap different lenses in and out as you need to, and the O Matter faceplate gives you excellent airflow and comfort. HD optics, UV protection, and blue light protection make skiing with Oakley’s Flight Deck XM Snow Goggles a comfortable, high definition experience that you will likely find hard to beat.

No. 5: Bolle – Mojo Snow Goggles

Sometimes you just want to take it back to the basics and back to the classics. There is nothing wrong with that. Bolle is another well-respected name in the world of ski goggles that has been making well-liked products for a long time. Their Mojo Snow Goggles are classic, medium-to-large fit goggles give you the throwback style that was common over a decade ago, but upgraded with modern advanced lens technology to give you a great field of vision and optimum clarity while hitting the slopes.

One of the best features of this goggle is the double lens design which creates a thermal barrier while giving your great clarity. The anti-fog and anti-scratch coating gives you protection from unwanted lens fogging and scratches. Even in harsh weather conditions, these goggles will stay clear, as well as firmly and comfortably attached to your head. They have great adjustability so they can be securely fitted to most helmets out there. For the price, these are great goggles from a reputable brand.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about skiing goggles

In order to get the most out of your ski goggles, you shouldn’t purchase something just because you think it looks cool. The most important thing to consider is whether they offer UV protection for your eyes. Below is everything you should know about these must-have ski and snowboard accessories.

The most important aspect is to make sure they have a UV filter.
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What are ski goggles and what are they used for?

Ski goggles are must-have accessories when skiing because they shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. These rays are intensified when reflected off the white snow. They also help keep the wind and debris out of your eyes on particularly blustery days, helping you ski with your eyes open when the wind is quite strong.

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Don’t pick your goggles because you think they look stylish. Always go for protection first and foremost.

What should the labels on ski goggles say?

Always do some research into the technical specifications of a goggle before making a purchase. This information should tell you what kind of UV and how much protection the ski goggles offer, the visible light transmission, and infrared protection. It can be difficult to know what qualities are necessary for a goggle to keep your eyes well looked after, so here are the three main ones to keep in mind:

  • 100% U.V. protection (ultraviolet light, the most dangerous)
  • 75% visible light transmission
  • 50% I.R. protection (infrared)

Ski goggles are an indispensable product to protect your eyes from the sun.
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What features should good ski goggles have?

Beyond looking nice and feeling good on your face, ski goggles have to meet a number of requirements to make sure they are protecting your eyes properly. Below we lay out what makes a great pair of goggles so you can make a smart purchase.

Characteristic What does it mean?
Ultraviolet radiation The goggles should have the CE mark (which are approved by the European Union). If the glasses are from the USA, they must have the UV400 mark.
Amount of visible light How much visible light passes through the lens. There are 5 categories (0-5 with 0 blocking the least light and 5 blocking the most).
Polarised lenses Blocks light depending on the angle of incidence on the lens.
Colour of the lens Coloured lenses block some of the visible light and alter certain colours. They can help significantly in low-light conditions.
Extras Goggles with side protection and double glazing.

What is the budget for ski goggles?

You need to consider what you can afford before purchasing ski goggles. Because there are so many products on the market you can find goggles that are a great value, and those that are not. Just looking at Amazon, you can see there are ski goggles all over the price spectrum – from $15 to hundreds of dollars.

What use is the  difference in the color of each lens?

While you probably want to get goggles that go well with your ski clothes, you should really pay more attention to the lens quality. The very best lenses out there give you 100 per cent UV protection and cut out at least 60 per cent IR.

Furthermore, the color of the lens should be changed to suit the brightness of the sun you’re skiing in. This is why many goggles let you swap different lenses in and out. Below are what different shades of lens do for you:

Lens Colour Use
Dark Sunny days
Clear Cloudy days or low visibility days
Yellow and red They adapt to all conditions
Mirror Sunny conditions
Rose Low light conditions. Shadows and contrasts stand out well
Transparent Very low light or night skiing.
Green or silver Sunny conditions and they improve contrasts
Yellow, amber, gold and red Moderate light
Photochromic lenses Any weather conditions

How should I wear my skiing goggles?

It is recommended that your goggles be completely sealed so that your eyes are covered. Goggles that adhere to your face with soft sponge pads are ideal. The elastic strap should be durable, adjustable, and able to fit over your helmet or beanie.

Additionally, good ski goggles typically come with ventilation technology that helps control temperature and mitigate against condensation (i.e. fog) while you’re skiing. Lastly, if you wear prescription glasses, it is a good idea to wear contact lenses while skiing, as this is a better option than wearing glasses under your goggles.

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While contact lenses are a better option than glasses, there are ski goggles on the U.S. market that are specifically designed to accommodate glasses underneath.

What should I check before buying ski goggles?

Before you buy your new ski goggles, make sure they are clearly marked with the filter specifications of the lens such as the UV rating to ensure you are buying a safe product. It is preferable to give importance to your goggle’s protective qualities, rather than how they look.

Remember that it is very important to think about your budget before buying a pair of ski goggles.
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What kind of ski goggles are there?

You will find a wide selection of ski goggles out there that range from traditional ones that look like sunglasses, to larger masks. The masks protect more of your face and offer better protection. Mask styles might seem a bit uncomfortable for people not used to them, but they are the most popular styles around the world.

Both masks and traditional goggles have elastic straps attached to make sure they don’t come loose while skiing. If you wear them over your helmet, your goggles will stay firmly over your eyes without sliding around.

Shopping Criteria

Before you get your goggles you need to do some homework to make sure you’re getting the right product. There are so many to choose from, and you need ones that work best for you and your needs. Below are the most salient criteria to keep in mind when considering a pair of ski goggles:

  • UV protection
  • Materials
  • Design
  • Ventilation
  • Lenses
  • Weight
  • Strap
  • Over The Glasses (OTG)

UV protection

This is undoubtedly the most important consideration when buying your ski goggles. When you are at higher altitudes and surrounded by reflective snow, you can do serious damage to your eyes without adequate protection.

Additionally, many lenses come in different colors because they are designed for different uses. While people might interpret these different colors as just fashion statements, each color is made to serve a purpose in different weather and light conditions. You should try and find goggles that let you swap out different lenses as you need them.

Design matters, but the protective qualities of your lens matters more.
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Materials

Some manufacturers make goggle lenses with more than one layer and other technological features to prevent fogging. The best lens material is polycarbonate because they are strong and safe, protecting your face and eyes if you fall.

Design

Ski goggles come in an array of styles and designs. Some are made to be worn on top of prescription glasses, and the frame is made to accommodate this. There are many different colors and accents to choose from that combine with your personality and style as a skier or snowboarder.

Ventilation

Many modern goggles have great ventilation systems designed into them to help guard against fog. Some goggles even feature small battery-powered fans for this. Ventilation is very important because on days with poor visibility, the added fog can make skiing completely unsafe and often not even possible.

Lenses

Skiing goggles come with such advanced lenses because the point is to help protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays the sun gives off while you’re up the mountain. They let you ski comfortably and confidently without being blinded by the snow. Many goggles come with spherical lenses that maximize your field of vision and let you see panoramically around you. You must always spend a lot of time investigating the lens type/features.

Weight

With ski goggles, lighter is almost always better. You should try and get ones that weigh When it comes to the weight of ski goggles, the best goggles are the lightest. You should aim to choose goggles that weigh between 5.3 to 6 ounces, as these will be comfortable to wear for several hours. In general, this tends to be what most goggles weigh, so finding this specification shouldn’t be difficult.

Strap

Ski goggles have a special strap to allow you to wear them with a ski helmet, beanie or a hat. Many come with silicone around the trim to help improve traction and stability. You should make sure your goggles are fully adjustable so you can secure them to your face and head properly.

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Did you know there are VR ski goggles? They are called RideOn and along with the protective elements they also feature a  polycarbonate screen that has an HD camera, allowing you to be fully immersed in your surroundings, while also recording what you see.

Over The Glasses (OTG)

If you have prescription lenses, you are going to need to consider OTG ski goggles. They are made for people who need to wear prescription eyewear while they ski, and the frame is deep enough to accommodate this. If you don’t think this style of goggle is right for you, you can always find a prescription adapter – a clear plastic bracket that you fit your glasses into that goes inside your ski goggles.

Summary

Skiing is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities there is, but it is important you do it right. The sun is always going to be a factor, and the intensity of it is magnified by the shiny white snow. Inadequate protection can permanently damage your eyes. For skiers and snowboarder, getting a good pair of high-quality goggles is one of the costs of doing business (a necessary one!).

As we touched on many times throughout the above guide, ski goggles are as important as any other accessory when it comes to skiing and snowboard safety. They help protect your eyes from UV and other rays, as well as shield them from wind, snow, ice, and debris.

If you enjoyed the above guide to ski goggles and found it helpful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment in the below section and let us know what you think.

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