Buying a great pair of ski goggles is one of the best investments you can make as a skier.
Skiing is a thrilling sport, but it also comes with certain risks, which is why it’s crucial to have all the right ski gear to protect ourselves from injury.
Among the most vital pieces of ski kit are ski goggles, and they should be chosen with great care.
Not being able to see correctly in snowy conditions when skiing or snowboarding can put you off your game and ruin your day, so it’s important to have a fine pair of goggles which allow a clear field of vision.
Ski goggles also offer protection from the wind and cold temperatures, injury from branches or other obstructions, and keep your eyes shielded from harmful UV rays which could otherwise potentially cause permanent damage to your sight.
Let’s find out more…
- 1 What are Ski Goggles?
- 2 Ski Goggle Features
- 3 Ski Goggle Sizes
- 4 The Best Ski Goggles
What are Ski Goggles?
Rather like swimming goggles, ski goggles usually have lenses housed inside a large plastic frame with foam padding for comfort which is held on with an elasticated strap round the back of the head.
This creates a seal which acts to keep heat locked in so your face remains warm.
Ski goggles are designed to be useful in all weather conditions including sun, low light, and snow.
Goggles with different lenses will perform slightly differently.
Ski Goggle Features
Having the best ski goggles is key to enjoying your time on the slopes.
Here are the most fundamental features you should be looking out for when choosing your favorite products…
There are two basic shapes of ski goggle lens: spherical and cylindrical.
Spherical lenses are the most hi tech — and the most expensive.
They have a curve on both the horizontal and cylindrical axis, which gives them a totally rounded appearance much in the same way as a bubble.
Spherical ski goggle lenses offer a wide field of vision which is free from any distortion, they enhance peripheral vision, and keep glare from sunlight to a minimum. The best ski goggles have spherical lenses.
Cylindrical lenses, on the other hand, are only curved on the vertical axis, with the horizontal axis being flat.
This type of lens can restrict peripheral vision, and may distort your view. As a result of this, cylindrical lenses are the most affordable type of ski goggle lens.
Lenses with different tints or colors offer different benefits.
Each tint filters light slightly differently (the amount of light that passes through a lens is called Visible Light Transmission (VLT) which is measured as a percentage).
So while one tint may coordinate better with the color of the rest of your skiing outfit, it may not necessarily be the best choice for your time on the slopes.
Generally speaking, lens colors like pink, yellow, and blue have a higher VLT level, meaning they let more light through and should only be used in lower light levels.
Darker colors like black, or mirrored lenses have low VLT levels, making them ideal for skiing in very bright conditions.
Always check the VLT percentage of a pair of ski goggles before you buy them, and make sure that it is appropriate for the environmental conditions you will be skiing in.
The glare from a white, snowy expanse of slope can be dazzling — and harmful.
Exposure to UV rays is increased at higher altitudes, and too much UV light can cause eye fatigue, or even permanently damage your retinas, so it’s best to take precautions by buying ski goggles that offer 100% UV protection.
The very best ski goggles offer 100% protection from both UVA and UVB light.
Lenses that constantly fog up can cause havoc when you’re hurtling down the slopes, or even when you’re resting.
You don’t want to be constantly removing your ski goggles to wipe them down, so choose a pair with anti-fog lenses.
Dual lens designs feature a double lens (a bit like double glazing on a window) that trap a layer of air in between the two lenses to create a barrier between the cold external air and the warm internal air, which helps to stop your ski goggles fogging up.
Another handy piece of anti-fog technology is a special lens coating that repels condensed water droplets, preventing them from forming a layer of fog on the lens.
Ventilation is key too, and the best ski goggles will have a frame that is designed with special vents which allow air flow, resulting in warm air being dispersed before it causes fogging.
If you’re skiing in variable weather and light conditions, a pair of ski goggles with just one type of lens may not be suitable in all situations.
Choosing a pair of ski goggles with interchangeable lenses offer you the option to change the lens to suit the conditions without having to buy a whole new pair of goggles.
The most hi tech ski goggles feature a magnetic interchangeable lens system which allows you to change your lenses in seconds, simply by popping one lens away from the magnetic contact points and popping another one on in its place.
The foam padding around the rim of a pair of ski goggles is what keeps you comfortable all throughout the day.
Different models use different types of foam with different densities, but the best ski goggles will have at least a double density foam rather than single density, as it provides better cushioning.
Hypoallergenic foam is the healthiest choice as it is chemical free and won’t irritate the skin.
The frame of your ski goggles should follow the natural contours of your face without causing pressure on any one point such as the eye sockets or the bridge of the nose. It should be a snug fit without any air gaps to create a complete seal.
Take a look at this video to see how ski goggles are made:
Ski Goggle Sizes
A well fitting frame is what gives your face ultimate protection from the elements, so it’s critical to choose the size that is right for you.
Most ski goggles are unisex, but smaller sizes for women are also available, and there are small sizes available for children too.
When choosing what size of ski goggle to buy, a good rule of thumb is to start by looking at your helmet size.
If you wear a larger size helmet you will most likely need a larger size pair of ski goggles, and so on.
Here’s a quick run down on the sizes available…
Small ski goggles are narrow and short compared to other sizes, and with shallower lenses.
This size is best suited to children or women with very small faces.
This size will fit your average sized adult or teenage person with a standard head shape, with a universal fit for both sexes — although some styles may be a little large for some women.
For people with larger, or very wide faces, this size has a tall, deep frame and a wide fit. Some people like a larger ski goggle size because it gives a fashionable oversized look.
When choosing a pair of ski goggles don’t forget to try them while wearing your helmet, as they need to be compatible.
There should be no visible gap between the goggles and the helmet.
If you wear glasses and don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive prescription lenses, there are ski goggles available that are specially adapted to fit over your spectacles.
The Best Ski Goggles
Designed especially for spectacle wearers, the OutdoorMaster OTG Ski Goggles are specially shaped to allow you to wear glasses in comfort without compromising the effectiveness of the goggles.
Available in a size to fit most adults and teenagers, these ski goggles have a pliable frame and adjustable strap for better fit, triple layer foam for comfort, and offer 100% protection from harmful UV rays.
To prevent these goggles misting up, they have a double lens feature plus an anti-fog lens coating.
Compatible with any helmet design, these ski goggles are available with multiple different lenses with different tints and varying levels of VLT.
- Very affordable
- Suitable for men and women
- 100% UV protection
- Can be worn with prescription glasses
- Comes with bag to protect lenses from getting scratched
- Versatile design
- Good optical clarity
- Can sometimes fog up despite double lens feature
- Not very scratch resistant
HONDAK Ski & Snowboard Goggles are packed with practical features.
They can be worn over prescription glasses, and with any type of helmet.
The spherical lenses provide a very wide field of vision and are detachable in an instant thanks to the magnetic interchangeable lens system.
The design features vents over the bridge of the nose and the top of the goggles to allow cold air to enter the goggles and then hot air to exit, reducing fogging.
Dual lenses with a special REVO anti-fog coating also help to keep fogging at a minimum. The triple layer foam ensures that these ski goggles will be comfortable all day long.
The HONDAK Ski & Snowboard Goggles are available in 13 different colors with lenses of different VLT — choose yours dependent on the conditions you’re most likely to encounter on the slopes.
- Unisex design fits adults and children
- High performance magnetic interchangeable lens
- Panoramic field of vision
- Stylish design
- Effective anti-fog coating
- Very comfortable to wear
- 100% UV protection
- Very affordable
- Goggles had a bit of an unpleasant odor upon unpacking although this dissipated pretty quickly
The retro style of the Bolle Mojo Snow Goggles is simple but stylish, which is surprising for ski goggles at such an amazingly low price.
Even more amazing is the tech that’s included in the design.
Maximum attention has been paid to anti-fog features such as a double lens with special anti-fog coating, and vents to direct air across the inside of the goggles to eliminate moisture.
The lenses are armored with an anti-scratch coating, and provide clear vision.
Triple layer density foam ensures your comfort whilst wearing these ski goggles, with a super soft layer in contact with the skin.
Bolle Mojo Snow Goggles are available in three different tints for different light conditions.
- 100% UVA and UVB protection
- Excellent protection
- Great value for money
- Comfortable to wear
- Very high quality
- Only available in a medium large size
- Not as wide a variety of lenses to choose from as we’d like
The PRO version of the OutdoorMaster Ski Goggles is a step up from the standard version, and this is reflected in the slightly higher price.
Like the standard version, they can be worn over prescription glasses without any reduction in comfort.
The spherical lenses on these goggles are huge, offering great peripheral vision, plus the surface of the lenses is treated with an anti-fog coating, and are 100% effective against UV rays.
The lenses are also easily interchangeable, with a snap-on magnetic system that makes the process almost instant.
There is a wide range of lens tints in the range, all with different VLT values.
A whole bunch of nice little extras comes with these ski goggles, including a hard carrying case and a soft protective bag to keep them in top condition when not in use.
- Stylish frameless design
- Spherical lenses for perfect visual clarity
- 100% protection against UV rays
- Unisex adult size
- Compatible with most styles of helmet
- Magnetic interchangeable lens system
- Very comfortable to wear
- Large size does not fit all adults
- Frameless ski goggles are more liable to break upon hard impact
Another great model from Bolle, these Carve Snow Goggles have a beautiful, sleek design which is compatible with most helmets.
These ski goggles are created for all day comfort with comfortable double layer foam padding, and the tough carbo-glass lenses cover all the bases with an anti-fog coating, a double lens for added insulation and fogging prevention, scratch resistant surface, and an effective hi tech ventilation system.
They are available in a choice of 5 different tints, and are size medium to suit most average head sizes.
- Effective anti-fogging ski goggles
- Comfortable to wear all day
- Elegant classic styling
- Protects the eyes from UV light, wind, and driving snow
- Vision is a little restricted due to thick frame and cylindrical lens type
- Unsuitable for larger head sizes or wider face shapes
Eight magnets hold the interchangeable lens of the ZIONOR X4 Ski Snowboard Snow Goggles firmly in place, making it incredibly quick and easy to change to a different lens according to the environmental conditions.
The lens itself is treated with tech too. Dual lenses are toughened with a scratch resistant coating, and the risk of fogging up is minimized too thanks to the anti-fog finish on the lenses. They also offer 100% protection against UV rays.
With special enhanced durability, these ski goggles are resistant to impact and provide good protection too.
Vents make sure that these ski goggles have good air flow, and the spherical lens design provides an excellent all round field of view. Three layers of foam ensure maximum comfort.
- Interchangeable lenses
- Over 15 tints to choose from
- High performance anti-fog
- Good UV protection
- Compatible with most helmet styles
- Very comfortable
- We found that the lenses scratched up quite easily
- Not suitable for smaller face sizes
The unisex Smith Optics Scope Goggles are in the middle price range, and is available in a huge range of 25 different tints and styles.
The large, flexible frame features hypoallergenic foam padding for a comfortable fit.
The cylindrical lens is double to reduce the chances of it fogging up, and the vents in the frame do a good job of keeping air flowing which also helps prevent fogging.
Size-wise these ski goggles has a medium fit which is suitable for most average head sizes and face shapes, and which is compatible with most styles of ski helmet. The extra wide adjustable strap helps get a good fit too.
- Good wind, rain and snow protection
- Anti-fog features are pretty effective
- Good quality
- Robust design
- Ventilation is very effective
- Single layer foam can result in gaps around the frame
These are our favorite kids’ ski goggles on the market right now.
Made in a small size specially for kids aged 3 – 8 years old, the Bolle AMP Goggles have plenty of the same great features as adult ski goggles and are sure to keep little ones safe and warm.
These Bolle ski goggles have anti-fog features including a double layered lens with hi tech anti-fog coating and a vented frame.
The outer surface of the lens is protected from scratches thanks to the Carbo Glass coating, so when kids take a tumble the goggles won’t suffer.
Bolle AMP Goggles come in a range of 7 different colorful designs that both boys and girls will love.
- Fun design
- Good fit for younger children
- Compatible with most styles of helmet
- Reasonable price
- Excellent ventilation
- Good anti-fog and scratch protection
- Foam isn’t as durable as we’d like
Which do you think are the best ski goggles?