You’ve already got your gloves, winter boots, thermals, and mid layers sorted, so now it’s time to pick a pair of goggles. Although they’re often thought of as an optional extra, ski goggles are an essential piece of your winter sports kit. They don’t just keep debris, snow and moisture out of your lashes, but also aid visibility, act as a windshield, and protect your eyes from snow glare. Some of the best ski goggles and snowboarding goggles even come with interchangeable lenses which makes them suitable for sudden changes in weather.
Not looking for a top of the range product? There are plenty of reasonably priced ski goggles on the market too. We’ve already gone through and picked out our favourite ski and snowboarding goggles so you can be ready for the first snowfall. All you need to do is pick the pair that’s right for you and your needs on the slopes.
- The best magnetic ski goggles
- The best non-magnetic ski goggles
- The best ski and snowboard goggles for kids
- What to look for in the best ski and snowboarding goggles
Summary of the best ski and snowboard goggles in 2021
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|Product||Lens type||Features||No. of lenses included||Cost|
|Panda Optics RS1 Goggles||Magnetic quick change||Very comfortable, good value||2||$$$|
|Anon M4 Toric Snow Goggles||Magnetic quick change||Toric and cylindrical lens compatible||2||$$$$$|
|Smith ChromaPop I/O Mag Snow Goggles||Magnetic quick change||Contoured face fit||2||$$$$|
|Wildhorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles||Magnetic quick change||Durable||1||$|
|Zeal Optics Portal Goggles||Magnetic quick change||Excellent peripheral vision||2||$$$$|
|Oakley O-Frame 2.0 Pro XL Snow Goggles||Interchangeable||Flexible frame||2||$$|
|Anon Helix 2.0 Sonar Snow Goggles||Interchangeable||Low profile||2||$$|
|Smith Optics Project Snow Goggles||Interchangeable||Good ventilation||1||$|
|Spy Crusher Snow Goggles||Interchangeable||Excellent value||1||$|
|Giro Rev Youth Goggles||Interchangeable||Kids size||1||$|
The best magnetic ski goggles
UK brand, Panda Optics, have released their third offering to the snow goggle market. And though designed with ski racers in mind, the Panda Optics RS1 Magnetic Goggles are an exceptionally high quality option for all levels and types of mountain explorers. With a super comfortable fit and a highly grippy strap, the flexible frames mold to your face well. Their cylindrical lenses provide a wide range of vision and the anti-fog technology does an excellent job at fighting off moisture build up. But the best part is how quickly and easily the magnetic lenses can be changed over: a matter of seconds, and you don’t even need to take the goggles off! They’re stylish, durable and well vented, offering very good value for such high performing ski and snowboard goggles.
For more information read our full review of the Panda Optics RS1 Goggles.
- Really comfortable fit
- Insanely quick to change lenses
- Good value
- Well vented
- Spare lense is large to carry in a pocket
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If you don’t mind splashing out on a premium product then the Anon M4 Toric Snow Goggles are some of the best magnetic snowboard goggles on the market. In an easy motion, you can switch between toric and cylindrical lenses, and other lenses can be purchased separately. The SONAR lens technology by Zeiss provides a clear and wide field of vision with minimal distortion. When it comes to comfort, these Anon ski goggles are fitted with triple-layer face foam and a non-slip silicone head strap. The frame is well ventilated, fog-free, and lightweight. Plus, the Anon M4 Toric is compatible with both helmets and glasses you won’t need to choose between safety and vision. The only drawback of these top-quality ski goggles is the hefty price tag that comes with them.
These goggles are also available in your prescription at Sport RX.
- Versatile usage
- Quick-change magnetic lenses
- Comfortable and ventilated frame
- Storage case and bag included
- High price tag
- Larger fit
Another market leader for high-quality sports goggles is SMITH, and the I/O Mag Snow Goggles are one of their most versatile models. Built with 8 magnetic contact points in the frame, the lenses are guided into place when changing. A quick-release lock system makes them extra secure on bumpy trails. The I/O Mag comes with two interchangeable lenses, bright light and low light chroma pop, which provide excellent optics. With the SMITH I/O Mag in your tool kit, you’ll be set for snowboarding in all weather and lighting conditions. The goggles are well ventilated too, while the 3-layer face fame makes them comfortable to wear on a full day skiing. Another handy feature is the quick release head strap which is helmet-compatible.
These goggles are also available to order in your prescription at Sport RX.
- Interchangeable magnetic lenses
- Comfortable fit
- Available in a range of colours
- Lifetime warranty
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The Wildhorn Roca Snowboard and Ski Goggles are a budget-friendly magnetic goggle. Simply open the side clips and pull the lens away from the frame to change. The Roca Snowboard goggles come with shatterproof spherical lenses which offer a wide view and UV protection. There’s also a good selection of Aurora lenses colours (only one lens included) so you’ll only ever need one pair of goggles. This model is made with a durable, flexible, and well-ventilated frame which fits comfortably to the face and prevents fogging. The head strap is adjustable and the goggles themselves are available in both adult and junior sizes.
- Wide field of vision
- Lightweight and durable
- Quick-change lens design
- Affordable price
- Only one lens is included – extra lenses must be purchased separately
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If you prefer to buy from an eco-conscious company, the Portal Goggles from Zeal Optics, are our top choice. Not only does the company donate a percentage of profits to eco-freely causes, but they also plant a tree for every purchase. The Portal Ski Goggles feature a wide rimless frame which provides you with a wide field of vision. The frame is magnetic and fitted with a simple slider at the top, allowing you to change lenses on the fly. Zeal Optics are also known for delivering on the vision. As such, the Portal Goggles are fitted with anti-fog technology and can be purchased with a wide range of polarized and photochromic lens options. Whichever lens you choose, the Portal Goggles protect your eyes with 100% UV protection and high-density lens construction.
- Durable construction – can withstand falls and bashes
- A huge range of lenses available
- Easy to change lenses
- Helmet compatible and adjustable
- The frame is fairly stiff and may not fit some face shapes
The best non-magnetic ski goggles
Another pair of helmet-compatible ski goggles are the Oakley O-Frame 2.0 Pro XL. This model is fitted with high-impact lenses that are tough enough to withstand drops and falls. They also provide 100% UV protection. Meanwhile, the oversized design gives you maximum peripheral vision. Despite this, these Oakley ski goggles are still reasonably streamlined and won’t interfere with your helmet. An adjustable strap secures the goggles over your head or helmet whilst triple-layer foam fits comfortably to your face. The frame is also highly flexible, meaning it can fit many face shapes. This model comes with an additional lens and storage bag.
- The flexible frame should fit most face types
- Wide field of vision
- Helmet compatible
- Lenses are not ‘quick-change’ (although they are interchangeable)
The Anon Helix Sonar Snow Goggles are an affordable alternative to the Anon M4 Toric. This model is built with a Thermoplastic Polyurethane frame which is both lightweight and flexible. This is coupled with dual-layer moisture-wicking face foam and a wide head strap, making the Helix 2.0 very comfortable to wear. Another feature we like is the silicone lining on the head strap which grips the helmet. These goggles are also glasses compatible.
When it comes to vision, the Helix 2.0 is just as efficient as its high-priced competitors. This model comes with two cylindrical lenses which feature Sonar by ZEISS. The frame is constructed with full perimeter channel venting and anti-fog ventilation, so you should have clear vision at all times.
- Comfortable frame
- Affordable price
- High-quality lenses
- Lightweight design
- No features for ‘quick-change’ lenses
For beginners or occasional ski trips, the Smith Optics Project Snow Goggles are a practical choice. Although they lack some of the features of the I/O Mag, the Project still provides good quality dual cylindrical lenses with anti-fog inner lenses and airflow ventilation. The medium-sized frame will fit over glasses while the extra-wide silicone-backed head strap adjusts to grip and fit snugly to a head or helmet. This model also comes in a good selection of frame colours and there are multiple lens colours to choose from (only one lens included).
- Helmet and glasses compatible
- Stylish design available in a range of colours
- Reasonable price
- The single-layer foam will wear out quicker than double or triple foam
- Less advanced optics compared to others in the same price range
The Spy Crusher Snow Goggles are a simple and affordable bit of kit for your next day on the slopes. They are made with a flexible and durable polyurethane frame which is fitted with moisture-wicking single-layer foam and an anti-fog ventilation system. The Crusher features anti-scratch dual lenses with 100% UV protection. Plus, a silicone ribbed strap holds the goggles securely in place and adjusts to fit over most helmets. The Spy Crusher may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the leading snow goggle brands but they’re certainly good value for money for occasional ski trips or for those on a budget.
- Decent frame and lenses
- Fits most helmets
- Great budget option
- The single-layer foam may wear quicker
The best ski and snowboard goggles for kids
Young skiers need to protect their eyes and vision just as much as adult skiers, that’s why Giro have their own model for kids. The Rev Youth comes with a medium-sized youth frame and cylindrical thermoformed lenses. An anti-fog coating on the lenses keeps vision clear and crisp while double-layer face foam fitted with a microfleece facing feels extra comfy to wear. These Giro snow goggles are also compatible with any of Giro’s helmets and come in a range of colours and child-friendly designs.
- Comfortable fit
- Child-sized frame
- Available in many colours and patterns
- No case or bag included
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What to look for in the best ski and snowboarding goggles
The most common lenses shapes are cylindrical (flat) lenses or spherical lenses.
Cylindrical lenses tend to be less expensive than spherical lenses. They’re slightly curved horizontally to follow the shape of the face, but vertically the lens is flat. Cylindrical lenses offer good peripheral vision and are the most common type of lens.
Spherical lenses are a slightly newer concept. The lens is curved both horizontally and vertically to mimic the natural shape of the eye. This offers a wider field of vision than regular cylindrical lenses. This shape also helps to prevent distortion and reduced glare.
Toric lenses are an even newer type of lens, which is partway between a cylindrical and spherical lens. In terms of shape, toric lenses provide a tighter horizontal curve than cylindrical lenses but a lesser horizontal curve than spherical lenses. The result is an even clearer vision, less fog, and better ventilation.
Colours, tints, and visible light transmission
You’ve probably noticed that the best ski goggles offer lenses in a range of colours and tints. That’s not just for colour matching your goggles with your helmet. Each of the colour’s filters light differently and improves vision in certain lighting or weather conditions. The amount of light a lens allows to pass to the eye is known as Visible Light Transmission (VLT) and is measured as a percentage.
Usually colours such as yellow, rose, amber, green, or blue have a higher VLT rating (60%-90%), meaning that they allow more light to reach your eye. These are the best ski goggles for flat light conditions. If you tend to ski while it’s snowing, cloudy, or even foggy, these colours will be the most appropriate.
On sunny days you’ll want a lens with a much lower VLT rating (5%-20%). These are usually black, brown, gold or copper, and may be mirrored. The best ski goggles for low light or night skiing typically have clear or very light-coloured lenses.
If you like to ski in all conditions but don’t want to purchase multiple pairs of goggles or lenses, there are also plenty of ski goggles with mid-coloured lenses. These perform well enough in mixed lighting conditions.
Extra lens features
These are fitted with a coating on the outer side of the lens which reflects more light and UV rays than regular lenses.
Designed to reduce glare from sunlight that reflects vertically from snow or water. On certain surfaces, a polarized lens will provide greater visibility than a regular lens or a mirrored lens.
Most ski goggles are now made with 100% UV protection including protection from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays.
This is a real advantage for those who like to get out on the snow in all weather conditions. No need to carry multiple pairs of goggles. You’ll only need to purchase and carry one frame and pop a couple of coloured lenses in your pack. Some manufacturers now offer a range of magnetic framed goggles with quick-change lenses which allow you to switch lenses on the fly.
An alternative to interchangeable lenses are photochromatic lenses. These automatically adjust the tint (VLT) of the lens according to lighting conditions.
Ventilation and anti-fog
There’s little more irritating (or dangerous) than having your vision impaired by fog. That’s why the best snowboard goggles are built with vents and anti-fogging features. Vents are typically built into the tops and sides of the frame and larger vents provide better ventilation.
You can also look out for double lenses and lenses with anti-fog coatings. Although a single lens provides enough eye protection, fogging is a problem. The double lens creates a thermal barrier and minimises fogging.
Also, remember to check that the goggles are helmet compatible and that your helmet won’t block any of the goggle’s vents.
Fit and sizing
Not every goggle will fit perfectly to every face. For this reason, we recommend checking the size before buying. Small is best suited to children or small faces while medium goggles will fit most adults. Oversized or XL Ski goggles tend to offer the widest field of vision but may be too large for smaller faces.
Additionally, if you wear regular prescription glasses and plan to wear them on the slopes then the best ski goggles for glasses are often Oversized or XL. Retailer’s descriptions usually say whether or not their goggles can be worn over the glasses (OTG).
Comfort is important too and most high-end goggles are made with a double-layer or triple-layer face foam. This foam should fit your face without any gaps but also without pinching. Other features to look for including an adjustable head strap and a flexible frame material, such as polyurethane, which allow the goggles to fit snug and securely.
Wearing the right ski goggles to suit the conditions can be the difference between an epic day charging in the powder and a cautious creep along the edges of the groomers. Get the best ski goggles for the job and you’ll be hitting those powder pockets every time, whatever the weather.