Best Ski Goggles
Your goggles are probably the most underrated piece of ski and snowboard equipment we carry. Being able to see clearly is the paramount difference between looking like a pro and sending all of your lines, and looking like it's your first day out.
When you can’t see properly, and can’t pick up on the contrast in textures in the snow, it is extremely difficult to ski confidently. You blindly slide down the hill, unable to perceive the depressions, bumps and obstacles that litter each ski slope. Having an awesome pair of goggles is a breath of fresh air. They give you the ability to protect your eyes from intense UV radiations which can lead to vision problems over time.
In addition, they allow you to ski confidently in all weather conditions. Storm skiing is no problem with a solid pair of low light lenses. They will keep your eyes protected from snow while skiing at high speeds, and also allow you to see the subtle differences in angle on the slope. All of this amounts to you being an all around better, more capable skier in every light condition.
Best Ski Googles
Best Overall Ski Goggles: Smith 4D Mag
The most important thing that your goggles need to do for you is allow you to see. Not just forward though, you need your peripheral vision as well. What happens when another skier comes racing up on one side of you and you can’t see them starting to charge through?
Or maybe you can’t see the ground just in front of your skis and it affects your performance.
Being able to see is obviously mission critical for a good pair of goggles, and the Smith 4D Mag certainly doesn't disappoint. Using Smith’s Birdseye technology, these goggles add over 25% more vision than other Smith goggle counterparts without the tech. That means these goggles wrap around your eyes and give you full vision in every direction so you no longer feel limited while wearing your goggles. The other way Smith helps you see better is giving you lenses which utilize their ChromaPop technology.
These lenses separate each color on the visual light spectrum, and thus give you a crisper perception of your surroundings. Shadows contrast easily and each color feels true. In some lower end lenses, colors can blur together and thus give your surroundings a muddy look as far as colors are concerned. The colors next to each other will blend together and give your whole view a shade of brown. Smith strives hard to ensure this doesn’t befall you when you need it most.
As far as the fit goes, Smith offers a variety of easily adjustable straps in a variety of colors to ensure you are able to properly match your helmet and outerwear so you look good out on the hill.
They are also compatible with smith helmets to further allow airflow through the top of the goggles to be dispersed through the gaps in smith helmets. It is a pretty good way to avoid that dreaded gap between your goggles and helmet, and also avoid your goggles fogging up and leaving you blind in the thick of things.
Finally, Smith offers a variety of different VLT (Visual Light Transmission) percentage lenses for every light condition. They start you off with a rose low light lens as well as a red sun lens. But Smith offers compatible lenses in most colors across the spectrum. Reflective sun green lenses for bluebird skies and sunshine to near clear lenses for dark and flat light conditions. The Mag after all refers to magnets which make switching lenses a breeze. You simply flip a lock on the side and pull the lens off, the magnets guide the next lens to its desired spot and all you need to do is lock it back in.
Best Bang for your Buck: Smith Squad ChromaPop
These excellent goggles certainly deliver a ton of features found on higher end goggles for an affordable price that won;t have you sacrificing much. Like the 4D Mag goggles, the Squads also use ChromaPop lenses for seeing in every light condition.
The goggles come with a sun green reflective lens and a yellow tinted lens for lower light conditions.
The Squads also are designed for compatibility and maximum ventilation with Smith helmets, and also offers a wide strap with an easily adjustable length to help you find the perfect fit quickly. The lenses also boast Airflow technology as well as Fog-X anti fog coating on the inner lenses in order to prevent fog buildup. Additionally, the double layer foam is meant to wick moisture away from your face and cheeks to further reduce fogging inside the goggles.
Really the only thing lacking on these goggles are the improved range of vision from the Birdseye technology. However, that is a small detriment given the price being $200 cheaper than the 4D Mag goggles. There isn’t another pair of goggles on the market that offers this amount of features at this low of a price.
Great Price for High Tech Goggles: Zeal Portal RLS
The Zeal Portal RLS are a pair of goggles jam packed with high tech features we would usually expect to find on goggles twice the price.
The main high tech feature on these goggles is Zeals Rail Lock System (or RLS) technology for quickly swapping lenses as your day progresses.
Doing so is easy, and looks pretty futuristic. From the top, simply take out the last lens by pulling upward, and install the new lens by guiding the lens into the channel locks and watch as it slides down over your eyes and secures into place with magnets on the frame.
Think of an astronaut lowering their visor, it's that motion but with your super high tech, new goggles. This system reduces the chance of snow and ice making their way in when swapping lenses and is also easily done with gloved hands so you don’t need to freeze your fingers off as the storm rolls in.
Now that you have your fancy new lenses it's important to note that they won’t fog up due to vents both above and below the goggles. The vents promote airflow through the goggles and thus clear out any moist air trying to condense on the lenses and Zeals Everclear antifog coating on the insides of the lenses will take care of any stray humidity.
These goggles will fit over your helmet, and the straps are easily adjustable with gloves on as well. The frames, lenses and straps come in a variety of colors to match your mood and outerwear.
Best for Large Faces: Anon M4 Toric
One of the most important aspects of a good pair of goggles is the fit. How the goggles fit your face is vital for comfort and function. If a google fits too small, your eyes won’t be centered in the lenses or the bridge of your nose might be pinched.
That’s why people with larger faces need to have a good selection of high tech goggles that will work for them as well.
The Anon M4 Toric fulfills this niche, and gives those who need a wider fit a fantastic goggle option as well. The Toric lenses are featured here, which is Anon’s widest lens to allow for crystal clear peripheral vision any time of day or night. No worries though if you also have Anon’s cylindrical lenses, as these will fit over the frame as well giving you tons of versatility in choosing the right lens for the right light.
The lenses switch out easily using anon’s Magna-Tech technology, which features magnets centered around the frame making switching lenses just a matter of pulling off the lens and positioning the new one over the goggles. The lenses will stick with a sharp click as they slide into place, and you will be ready to continue shredding.
Both the MFI facemask and goggles have vents around the frame which improve airflow and stop fog from building up on the lenses. The result is bright, crisp vision and your face staying toasty warm and out of the elements. On top of all of that, these goggles are over the glasses compatible, meaning you can fit your glasses underneath for people with prescription lenses. For larger faces there isn’t a better set of goggles to help you see far and ski further.
Best Ventilation: Julbo Aerospace
Ventilation is a key component for a good pair of goggles. If you’ve ever tried wearing an old pair of goggles, you’ll notice that almost immediately they begin to fog up and have a difficult time clearing up.
What that is due to usually is twofold: either poor ventilation or the anti-fog coating on the inside wearing out.
Over time the coating can get old and wear out, and as a result foggy lenses will ensue, blinding you to everything coming at you. For this reason, ventilation is critical to improve airflow which both dries your face and the lenses, and thus reduces fog. As far as venting is concerned, no goggle has mastered airflow like the Julbo Aerospace.
Julbo has also engineered these goggles with their Superflow system, which allow you to push the lenses forward and achieve even more air flow when conditions really depend on it. This feature is especially useful on the skintrack or climbing, when your heat output is high and humidity will likely make its way into your goggles from heavier breathing.
These lenses boast Reactiv technology, which comes in a photochromatic lens that transitions from higher to lower light transmission based on light conditions. This is similar to your class transitional lenses frequently found on prescription glasses. These lenses come in various ranges to match the light conditions of the area you ski most frequently.
This is an excellent feature which avoids the hassle of carrying around replacement lenses which can be lost or damaged in transit. The strap is helmet compatible and easy to adjust even with gloves on. Lastly the field of vision is unencumbered, giving you plenty of both vertical and horizontal peripheral vision to make sure you know what’s going on around you.