Last year my snowboard goggles broke. I decided to go — on the cheap– and get the generic goggles. When I hit the slopes with my board, I felt like I had the worst pair of goggles ever made. They fogged all they time, they had no UV protection, and I felt like I couldn’t see half the time I was on the mountain. I thought that I was saving myself a little bit of cash by getting some generic, clear, no frills snowboard goggles.
Not only was I wrong about saving money (I ended up having to buy another pair later that day) but I put myself and other snowboarders and skiers in danger on the slopes that day.
Having good goggles is critical to your comfort and safety when on any mountain. Not being able to see is a huge deal. I don’t know why I thought I could just grab any old pair of goggles to hit the slopes for the day and be fine.
Top Snowboard Goggles Comparison Chart
For some reason, most people get their goggles as an afterthought. Most of their attention is spent on boots, board, or their snow clothes. Goggles seem to be one of the items that get grabbed on the way out the door, last minute. While not as exciting as a brand-new board, goggles deserve just as much attention as the type of snowboard you get or the type of ski jacket you buy.
After my horrible day on the slopes, I did a boatload of research on what makes a good pair of goggles. This guide will show you what you must have and what you can probably skip when it comes to purchasing that new pair of snowboarding goggles.
Let’s take a look at the makeup of today’s snowboarding goggles.
What You Need In A Pair Of Snowboarding Goggles
There are features that you should be aware of when looking for snowboarding goggles. Here we are just going to go over the most important aspects of goggle construction that will improve your time on your board.
- Single Vs. Double Lens
- Magnetic Vs. Clip in Lens
Single Vs. Double Lens
When buying snowboarding goggles, it is important to consider getting goggles with a double lens. The double lens helps prevent fogging in your goggles because it mitigates the temperature difference between the outside and the inside.
The greater the difference between you and outside the goggles, the more likely the lens is to fog. The double lens creates a negative space that minimizes the temperature difference and therefore minimizes the fogging.
Single lens snowboard goggles can have anti-fogging abilities as well. If you find a great pair of snowboard goggles but think you shouldn’t get them because they only one have one lens, check the ventilation. Many single lens goggles make up for the lack of insulation by ventilating the inside of the goggles, keeping the air cooler on the inside.
Some single lens snowboarding goggles even come with fans to keep the air temperature the same inside and outside the goggle.
Which to buy?
It is a personal preference. The main difference between the single and double lens goggles is going to be the warmth around your eyes and the anti-fogging capacity of the goggles.
Remember well ventilated single lens snowboarding goggles are going to be cooler around your eyes so they won’t fog up. If you are prone to being cold on the slopes, you may want to stick with the double lens goggles for the added warmth.
Clip-In Vs. Magnetic
Not all snowboarding goggle lenses are permanent. A lot of manufacturers have realized that a lot of snowboarders want to change out the lens on their goggles depending on the conditions on the mountain. The question about interchangeable lenses then becomes do you want clip-in or magnetic lenses?
These lenses are interchangeable, but they are not designed to be changed very often. If you have season passes and want to snowboard (sun or clouds) you may not want clip in lenses. The clipping mechanism on these types of lenses can wear out rather quickly making them less than stable. These are probably better suited for the snowboarder who is only going to snowboard in one or two lighting conditions.
The lenses on these types of goggles attach to the frame with magnets. This makes swapping out the lens on the goggles super easy. If you like to change the look of your goggle, or you snowboard in a lot of different lighting conditions, then you probably want magnetically changeable lenses. These are definitely worth it, and they are just plain fun to play with.
Ski and snowboarding goggles come in different light absorption categories. You can usually tell the light absorption rating of the lens by the tint on the lens
.00-20% light absorption: Usually clear, or light yellow tint.
Used at night or in low light.
.120-60% light absorption: Clear, yellow, or vermillion tint.
Used in overcast or flat light conditions.
.260-80% light absorption: Orange, yellow, or vermilion tint.
Used in overcast and flat light conditions.
.380-90% light absorption: Dark tint, reflective tint.
Used in bright light conditions.
.492-97% light absorption: Very dark tint, reflective tint.
Used in white out/bright conditions.
The two main shapes that are available in the market for lenses are flat and bubbled lenses. The primary difference is going to be the peripheral vision offered by the lenses. The flat lenses in snowboarding goggles end at the outer frame and block your peripheral vision. If you like a wider field of view, make sure you get the bubbled (or bug eye) goggles.
Snowboarding goggles are almost as advanced as some of the high-end visual glasses that are on the market today. They even have all the bells and whistles that were traditionally reserved for high-end glasses. Here are some of the coatings that may come on your snowboarding goggles.
The anti-fog coating is an additional fog prevention measure. Really this should be a standard in all snowboarding goggles (but for some reason it isn’t). Don’t buy a pair of goggles that doesn’t have an anti-fog coating on it.
Polarization on the lenses of your goggles can eliminate glare that will bounce off of surfaces like snow, ice, and water. On dull overcast days, you probably won’t notice the effects of the polarized lens. The days where the sun is shining bright and hitting the white snow, you will see the difference.
Polarized lenses can help you make out fine details in the terrain that you may have missed with regular lenses.
It is important to be able to tell the differences in the snowpack and the differences in terrain. Polarization in the lens is going to let you see those differences. If you want to know where you are sending your snowboard, get polarized lenses.
Mirrored lenses offer a great degree of protection from glare and light to the wearer. They also have a unique style that appeals to many people. Mirror coatings can be found in almost every brand of snowboarding goggle and it becomes a matter of personal preference.
If you always set your goggles in a case, and never just thrown them into a bag, or onto a desk, then anti scratch is probably not that important to you. If you are like me and you throw your gear in the same bag at the end of the trip, you need anti-scratch coating. This coating is going to protect the life of your goggles, and most manufacturers offer it.
The fit is one element of snowboarding goggles that will be unique to every person. The fit of your goggles is going to vary largely on personal preference. There is one thing that you should do every time you purchase a new pair of goggles for snowboarding.
Read reviews and check the sizing before buying!
Different goggles and brands all have slightly different fits and style that impact how they fit and feel on your lead.
Best Snowboard Goggle Reviews
Now you know the many different features that are available on snowboard goggles. Let’s take a look at some of the available options on snowboard goggles.
If you snowboard or ski regularly and value your visibility, then you don’t want to be cheap with it comes to buying new goggles and eye protection. This pair from Oakley is a premium model that is based on the helmet of fighter pilots and is available in many colors and styles. Oakley is well known for their high quality eyewear for all industries and uses. These googles are available as “one size fits all” and I think they are the best on the market for any level snowboarder. However, if you are on a strict budget, there are other options on this list that will suffice.
These goggles by Cozia Designs are fantastic. The first thing I noticed was the total lack of frame. Normal ski and snowboarding goggles that I had in the past had the barriers on the side that restricted the peripheral view. These did none of that. It really opened up the view and made the whole snowboarding experience more enjoyable
The magnetic grips made changing the lenses really easy on these goggles. It was nice when the weather changed to be able to snap on a different lens and keep going. The only thing I didn’t like about the lenses is that they aren’t polarized. They worked, but polarized lenses work better in my experience.
Finally, I have a smaller head and face than most. These goggles are definitely made for those on the larger side. The extra-long strap was hard to adjust because of the clips, and I felt like the goggles were going to slip off my nose. They were not the best fit for my smaller frame.
- Comes with night lens
- UV 400 protection with the mirrored lens
- Frameless 180* view
- Dual lens fog layer
- Comes with ski mask
- Helmet compatible
- Shallow so not good for those with glasses
- The extra-long strap can be too long
- Can be too wide for some
The Zionor S1 goggles were a good sturdy pair of glasses. The foam padding on them made the Zionor goggles feel like they molded to my face. They may have felt more sturdy because they are designed to fit a small to medium face. These would probably be uncomfortable on someone with a large nose or with a broad face. If you wear glasses these goggles are not very deep, so you may want to skip these.
The lenses are not interchangeable, and the S1 model is used for low light conditions. When the sun finally decided to come out the day I used these goggles it was hard to see, because there was little in the way of protection from the light. In the low light conditions, they were designed for, these goggles performed similarly to more expensive models.
If there is one thing that all ski and snowboarding goggles must have is good anti-fog tech. These glasses have it all when it comes to preventing fogging. They are two way vented, they have an anti-fog coating, and they have a dual lens. I couldn’t have made these lenses fog up if I tried. I get really hot when I board and having foggy lenses a problem when on the slopes. These goggles stood up to all my body heat and passed the test with flying colors.
- Very comfortable
- NO FOG!
- Good for low light
- Helmet compatible
- On the small side
- Lenses are not interchangeable
- Not polarized
- Not for high visibility days
The thing that I liked most about the Winterial WNM2 goggles were the color. These goggles were just fun. The bright color on the band and the bright orange reflective coating on the outer lens made these goggles a hit right off the bat. Everyone I ran into that day asked about my goggles. I think the main reason was the exciting colors and the reflective coating. If you want people to check out your gear on the mountain, these are sure to grab someone’s attention.
As far as function goes these goggles worked well. They had a high UV rating, so my eyes didn’t face any damage from the bright day outside. The only downside is that the lenses were not polarized, even though they had 100% UV block. The polarization just makes it a lot easier to see. So, the Winterial’s got a minus for not being polarized.
They have a quickly interchangeable lens design which is snap and press. They are a little harder to change out than the magnetic ones I have tried, but these are not the worst pair of goggles that I have had to change lenses on. I am a huge fan of being able to swap out the lenses for different lighting conditions, so this was a big plus for me.
As far as anti-fogging goes. I am a hot person, and I breathe heavy, these put up well with that. They are not as good as the Zionor goggles, but they did alright. They have a dual lens, so if you are a normal temperature person, or you don’t have breath too heavy, then you should be fine.
- High UV rating
- Interchangeable lenses
- Helmet compatible
- Not Polarized
- Potentially foggy
- Snap and clip lens is a little sticky.
These Nine City goggles were a case of buyer beware. When I was looking at these very inexpensive goggles I thought there was no way that I could get anti-fog goggles with a double lens for this price.
It turns out I was right. When I got these out, they were a single lens. At least they were dark enough for the bright day. Even though they were not at all what the description said they were going to be. I took them out for a test run anyway.
They only lasted one run. They were foggy before I was halfway down the hill. The foam padding around the frame was very uncomfortable. I only wore them once. That was all I needed. They weren’t even an upgrade from the horrible ones that made me go on the search for the best ski goggles. In short, sometimes deals really are too good to be true.
- UV protection
- Helmet compatible
- Not Double Lens
- Cheap foam
Bolle’s name and presence on mountain slopes worldwide for decades cannot be understated. This is for a reason! Bolle, without question, provides a goggle that is on par or better than the absolute best face gear on the market today – PERIOD! This model is bold but understated. It offers Bolle’s Flow-Tech Venting, Anti-Fog treatment, and an adjustable silicone strap. These goggles are best for partly sunny days (or even cloudy days) since they don’t have a terribly dark tint. One of the best features is its double layer lens which is typically found on much more expensive glasses. It’s a feature that allows for a more secure seal that helps create a warmer thermal barrier. The anti-scratch lens is an added bonus. This is the best deal we can steer you towards. It’s the most bang for your buck for SURE!
- Lightweight and durable
- Superior venting technology (Flow-Tech)
- Excellent value (super high end features for a lower price)
- They fit large (not great if you have a teeny tiny face)
The OutdoorMaster Pro goggles come with a full line of interchangeable lenses (all sold separately). I really like having access to all the different lenses for different lighting conditions. They have a list on their website for which VTL rating is going to be best for the type of conditions you will be snowboarding on so it made it easy to pick which lens to use. I was able to swap several of the lenses during my trial and found that they are accurate at how they rate their lenses for the type of lighting conditions.
All of the lenses are 400 UV rated and designed to fit over glasses. They are super deep and very comfortable. I thought the amount of padding on the goggles was a little silly at first, but after trying them on with a pair of glasses, I see why they were so deep.
The lenses are all anti-fog. They seemed to work well for me. I didn’t have much of an issue with the lenses fogging up. I think part of that has to do with the amount of space created between your face and the actual lens. These goggles are very roomy.
- Best for glasses users
- Over the Helmet
- Interchangeable lenses
- Not polarized
- Lenses sold separately
- Can feel “too big”
I really liked the look and premium feel of this goggle. There is something to be said about a frame that you can bend and mold and smash and it just bounces back to its original shape. That’s what these are designed to do. You can really twist these up, and the frame has no problem.
The lenses on the goggles are interchangeable, and all come with the UV400 protection, but like so many other snowboard goggles none of them are polarized. The right lens for the right lighting condition made it easy enough to see, but they were still not as clear as the polarized goggles I have tried.
These goggles are designed with an Anti-fog and anti-scratch coating on it. Though I wouldn’t just toss them around in the bag. The manufacturer recommends not even touching the lens with your bare fingers, so I am not sure how much I would trust those coatings are going to hold up.
- Interchangeable lens
- Snap-on strap
- Flexible frame
- Helmet compatible
- Not polarized
- Will only fit over small glasses
- Smaller frame for small faces
The Polarlens PG3 goggles were a nice change from the bigger snowboarding goggles that I had been wearing. I like bigger versions of goggles, but sometimes they can make it feel like your whole face is covered. These were pretty minimalist comparatively.
The anti-fog system on the goggles is pretty well designed and in addition to the dual lens there are also vents built into the frame of the goggles. I liked it because these goggles didn’t fog and the sleek frame gave them an almost tactical look. That along with the vents and the orange colored lenses gave the overall appeal of these goggles a big bonus.
I didn’t have a problem seeing. The orange tint in the goggles makes it easier to see in more lighting conditions, though if it were very bright, it would hurt my eyes (even with the UV400). I do wish that these goggles had the option to swap out the lens, but they don’t.
- Great Anti-fog
- Sleek Design
- Tough design for high impact
- Only one lens
- Can be inflexible
- Not as roomy as other goggles
Traverse has it all. There are a ton of options available in lenses for these goggles, and if you’re really into seeing the detail on the slopes, they even have a polarized option. This is great for me because I see better when the light is filtered through a polarized lens. All of the lenses had a UV400 rating, so they will protect your eyes from sun damage.
I absolutely loved the vents on these goggles. There are three vents on each side of the goggle along with the double lens and anti-fog coating. These things were not going to frost over or fog up, no matter what I tried.
I tried these on over a pair of glasses, and it worked fine. They have a flexible frame which makes it form well around any bumps or ridges. I felt it was fine even over my smaller face. I think they would form well to anyone because of the flexibility provided in the frame. They were very comfortable, and I had no problem wearing them all day. My face didn’t hurt at the end of the day as it has with other pairs of goggles I have owned.
- Multiple lens options
- Flexible Frame
- Great Venting
- A polarized option is available!
- Lenses sold separately
- Can feel bulky
Homitt Ski goggles were nice and roomy. They were the frameless design, giving the 180* view that is nice to have when out snowboarding. The lens itself is high polish mirror finish and dual colored, giving it a very sharp look. All together with the detachable lens, Homitt made a good-looking pair of snowboarding goggles.
The lenses are UV400 and will protect your eyes from any sun damage. They are on the dark side and should only be used in bright conditions. I did have a harder time seeing when the clouds came out for a while and had to switch to some lighter goggles since these do not come with interchangeable lenses.
The nice thing about these goggles is they are really designed not to fog up. They are dual lenses and have a good ventilation system on the top so that any body heat is going to escape. They are designed with a lot of room in between the body and the lens as well, so if you have glasses, you can fit them in there comfortably.
- Great look
- No Fog
- Not polarized
- Only one lens
- Mesh on top can wear out.
There are a lot of options for snowboarding goggles for this year. The best snowboarding goggles are going to have to be the Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles. They are not the cheapest, but they have a premium look, are made from the highest quality materials, and they sponsor some of the most popular snowboarders in all the top snowboarding magazines. They are designed to fit just about anyone with their flexible frame, and they are going to work even for those of you with glasses.
There are a ton of options available if you don’t notice a difference in polarized and non-polarized goggles then the OutdoorMaster goggles probably have everything that you need. You can start off with a few lenses for the conditions that you snowboard the most and build your collection from there.
Out of all of the goggles that I tried, there was only really one pair of goggles that I couldn’t use for the whole day. The Nine City goggles were a waste of materials –in my opinion—you could find so many better options that there is no reason to get something like this.
The one thing that I just couldn’t compromise on was polarization and ventilation. It is so important to be able to see well when snowboarding. The last thing that you want when cruising down the mountain is to have an accident because you missed a small detail in the terrain. Polarized lenses will filter the light so you can see those details and good vents will make sure you don’t fog up. For me, nothing beats crystal clear vision to go along with my snowboarding trip, and for that, I just had to get the Traversa Vergata polarized lenses.