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The Best Ski Goggles For Sunny Days 2021 Helpful Guide

best ski goggles for sunny day skiing

Skiing on bright sunny bluebird days is great. You can feel the warmth of the sun and take in all the great scenery. The sun is bright and you need to protect your eyes so that you can keep skiing on sunny days for years to come. Choosing the right ski goggles can make skiing on bright days much more enjoyable. A high performance lens with correct VLT can make a huge difference in how you see and how your eyes feel. To help you have your best bluebird day, here are the best ski goggles for sunny day skiing.

For bright sunny day skiing, we want a goggle with a lens that has 5-20% VLT (Visible Light Transmission). Many goggles are available with different lens options. Please choose the lens option with 5-20% VLT if you want to use it for sunny day skiing.

Below are our 3 favorite ski goggles for bright day skiing. If you’d like an in-depth look at all the options and our helpful guide to ski goggles please look below.

Top Pick

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Editors Choice

Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle

Best Value

OutdoorMaster Pro Frameless Goggles

The top 5 best ski goggles for sunny day skiing

We examined several of the most popular ski goggles for sunny skiing available today.  Here are our reviews of the 5 best options available today.  We considered both price, options, and customer reviews in our selections of the best ski goggles for sunny day skiing. Below are our selections.

Please see our ski goggle guide, after the reviews, for a lot of helpful information for choosing a set of ski goggles for sunny day conditions.

Top Pick

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

  • Rimless frame design provides increased visibility and improved helmet compatibility
  • Flexible O Matter chassis conforms to your face comfortably, even in extreme cold
  • All-day comfort of triple-layer face foam with moisture wicking polar fleece lining

Summary

The Oakley Flight Deck Goggles are a stylish high performing ski goggle. These goggles have a swappable lens. You can have lenses for sunny day skiing and other conditions. The goggles only include one lens.

The Oakley Prizm technology helps refract light with higher definition. You can see more definition of the snow and surroundings with a prizm lens than with the naked eye. Choose a lens with a VLT suitable for bright light such as black or jade iridium for sunny day skiing. The Oakley F3 anti-fog coating is one of the best performing in the industry. The high quality foam around the frame feels great.

The Oakley Flight Deck Goggles are one of the best performing ski goggles today. They are high cost and we wish that a second lens was included for the money. Most other swappable lense goggles include a second lens. If cost is no issue these are great ski goggles for bright light or any skiing conditions. This is our Top Pick for best performing ski goggle for sunny day skiing.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: One size fits all
  • VLT: 5.5% Black Iridium, 15% Jade Iridium
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes
What We Liked
✔️ Rimless design for increased visibility
✔️ Great anti-fog performance
✔️ High definition visibility from PRIZM lens
What We Didn’t Like
Easily scratch lenses
Only one lens included

Editor’s Choice

Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle

  • The Smith I/O MAG combines the quick and secure Smith MAG interchangeable lens system with ChromaPop lens
  • VISION: Smith MAG interchangeable system, Includes bright light and low light ChromaPop performance lenses
  • FIT: Medium it, Responsive Fit frame design, QuickFit strap adjustment system with clip buckle

Summary

The Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle is a great high performance goggle. The I/O goggles have been around for many years and a proven solid performer. The new magnetic lens swap system is a great addition. The old I/O lens system was not something you could swap in seconds on a chairlift ride or standing on the slopes. You can now swap the lens quickly and easily any time you want.

The Chromopop lens technology from Smith Optics gives high definition light refraction. This means you can differentiate colors easier and see better. The Chromopop mirror lenses are great for bright sunny days. As a bonus, you also get a second lens (usually chromopop storm rose) that is great for flat light days. Some do come with other second lenses so please check what you are buying. These goggles have great ventilation and anti-fogging when combined with a Smith helmet.

The Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles are one of the best ski goggles available today. I personally have been using I/O’s for years and have always been satisfied with them in bright light and any other light condition. These are my pick for best ski goggles for sunny day skiing.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Available in Small, Regular and XL
  • VLT: 9-20% For Mirror Chromopop colors
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes (XL)
What We Liked
✔️ Magnetic lens swapping
✔️ High definition Chromopop lens
✔️ Most goggles include 2 lens
What We Didn’t Like
High cost
Easily scratched lenses

Best Value

OutdoorMaster Pro Frameless Goggles

  • PERFORMANCE SKI GOGGLES WITH FRAMELESS DESIGN – Large spherical, frameless lens provides a truly unobstructed & clear view of the slopes.
  • INTERCHANGEABLE LENS SYSTEM – Enjoy a wide range of extra lenses. Swap for day/night & different weather conditions.
  • OTG (OVER-THE-GLASSES) DESIGN – The Ski Goggles PRO features an OTG design that lets you wear your glasses under the goggles.

Summary

The OutdoorMaster Pro Frameless Goggles are a great low cost full feature goggle. These goggles feature a magnetic swapping spherical lens. They are also OTG compatible for those of us who wear prescription glasses. Only one lens is included with the goggles. Other lenses can are available separately.

These goggles have dual pane lenses with anti-fog coating and ventilation. Their anti-fog performance is okay but not as good as other higher cost ski goggles. The magnets attaching the lens could be stronger. The lens can be knocked off while adjusting your goggles or during a fall. The spherical lens has high clarity and low distortion. It doesn’t have the great color refraction that the Chromopop/SONAR/Vivid/PRIZM have. For the cost, you still get good performance on bright days.

For the best performance in bright light conditions use the grey(10%), blue(15%), rose(17%) or gold(13%) lens. These goggles are an excellent value. They have most of the performance of more expensive goggles at a much lower price. This makes it our top pick for best value in flat light ski goggles.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Medium to large fit
  • VLT: 10% Grey, 13% Gold, 15% Blue, 17% Rose
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes
What We Liked
✔️ Variety of styles and lens tints
✔️ Low cost
✔️ Stylish appearance
What We Didn’t Like
They only come with 1 lens
Magnets holding lens could be stronger

Best Under $100

Smith Squad Snow Goggle

  • The Squad XL is Smiths largest cylindrical goggle. Essential technology and maxed out size ideal for the best days
  • VISION: Cylindrical carbonic-x lens, Includes bright light and low light ChromaPop performance lenses
  • FIT: Medium/large fit, Responsive Fit frame design, Dual-slide strap adjustment system, 3-layer foam

Summary

The Smith Squad Snow Goggle is a good performing goggle at a lower price point than their I/O line. The Squad still has excellent Chromopop lens technology and great anti-fog venting. The lens swap system is much more time consuming than any magnetic system.

The Chromopop lens technology from Smith Optics gives high definition light refraction. You can differentiate colors easier and see better than with the naked eye. The Chromopop mirror lenses are great for bright sunny days. You should choose a set that includes a mirror lense for bright day skiing. Squad goggles all include 2 lenses in a variety of combinations. These goggles have great ventilation and anti-fogging when combined with a Smith helmet.

The Smith Squad goggles are a solid option for bright sunny days and any light condition skiing. They come at a lower price point than other Smith I/O goggles but keep most of the high performance features.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Medium fit
  • VLT: 9-20% For Mirror Chromopop colors
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: No
What We Liked
✔️ Good ventilation and anti-fog
✔️ High definition Chromopop lens
✔️ Extra lens included
What We Didn’t Like
Lens swap not as easy as magnetic systems
Lens scratches easily

Best Under $50

Wildhorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles

  • CHANGE YOUR LENS IN UNDER 60 SECONDS
  • EFFORTLESS PERFORMANCE / UNLIMITED STYLE
  • AURORA LENS TECHNOLOGY

Summary

The Wildhorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles are a good low cost goggle option. They have spherical lenses with magnetic swapping. They have side latches as well for a little extra lens security. They are designed by skiers and snowboarders in Utah and are a sponsor of the US-Ski Team.

These goggles have dual pane spherical lenses with anti-fog and anti-scratch coating. They scratch as easily as any goggles from Smith, Oakley or Giro. Their anti-fog performance is okay but not as good as Smith or Oakley when used with a compatible helmet. Lens clarity is as good as any regular lens. For bright sunny day light use any of their S3 and S4 lens colors. These are between 8% and 18% VLT

The Wildhorn Roca goggles are a good value for a swappable lens goggle with good performance. We wish they included 2 lenses with their goggle frame. Extra lenses are not expensive and readily available. They are a great pick for bright light ski goggle for those not wanting to pay the premium of Smith, Oakley, ANON or Giro.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Medium to large fit
  • VLT: <8% S4 Lens, 8%-18% S2 Lens
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes
What We Liked
✔️ Magnetic lens with side latches
✔️ Low cost
✔️ Variety of colors and lenses
What We Didn’t Like
Lenses are not polarized
Does not include a 2nd lens
wearing ski goggles on a bright day

How to choose the best ski goggles for sunny day skiing – Helpful Guide

Everyone loves to ski on bright bluebird sunny days. The sun is bright. The sunlight makes you feel warm even if it’s really cold out. Everything just feels good. The bright sunlight can quickly damage your eyes without proper eye protection. The snow reflects the sunlight back at you making the situation even worse for your eyes. The right pair of ski goggles can make bright sunny skiing much safer for your eyes and more enjoyable. Ski goggles help keep your face warmer and your eyes protected in addition to making it easier to see. What are the best ski goggles for sunny day skiing? We will answer all your questions below.

I’ll start with a note about fit. Everyone’s faces are of different shapes. Ski goggles are different shapes also. What is comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for another person. When picking ski goggles, don’t worry if you get them and they don’t feel good. The shape is probably wrong for you. Send them back and try a different pair.

Below are the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of ski goggles for flat light skiing.

VLT

VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission. This is a measurement of how much visible light a lens will let pass through. A VLT of 99% means 99% of light passes through. A VLT of 15% means only 15% of light passes through. For bright sunny day skiing we want a VLT between 5% and 20%. The below table shows what VLT should be for different skiing conditions.

VLT for ski goggles table

Lens color

Ski goggles lenses that are dark or mirrored with low VLT’s work best for bright sunny days. Black, dark blues, dark greens, dark reds, silvers and greys can all work well.

Polarized Lens

Polarized lenses have a filter coating that helps reduce glare and distortion. They work by only allowing light from the vertical direction to pass. The filtering blocks light reflected in a horizontal direction. Most glare comes from horizontal light reflections. Polarized lenses will allow you to see more clearly without glare on bright days. The downside is that polarized lenses block too much light in the dark. They should not be worn at night. Polarized lenses make it difficult to read LCD screens. To read more about polarized lenses click here.

Prism, Chromopop, SONAR, and VIVID Technologies

Ski Goggle manufacturers have developed lenses with improved color refraction. These lenses give you better color differentiation than the naked eye. This allows you to make out features in the snow and background that you otherwise could not. Each manufacturer has different names for the technology but they all work the same way. These lenses are expensive but their performance in flat light is much better. Below is a list of the lens technology from each of the most popular goggle brands and the best lens colors for bright sunny days. These are lenses with VLT between 5% and 20%

  • Smith Chromopop – Sun Green Mirror, Sun Blackout, Sun Platinum Mirror, Sun Red Mirror
  • Anon SONAR – Sonar Silver, Sonar Smoke, Sonar Red, Sonar Bronze
  • Oakley PRIZM – Black Iridium, Saphire Iridium, Jade Iridium
  • Giro VIVID – S4 & S3 lens – Jet Black, Onyx, Ultra Black, Black Limo, Royal, Grey Cobalt, Rose Spectrum, Polarized Rose

To learn more about Chromopop and Prizm technologies, see the 2 videos below.

Fit

Ski goggles have different shapes and sizes to go with different shaped heads. What is comfortable for one person won’t be comfortable for everyone. Ski goggles are very much a try on and see how they fit item. If you try a pair of ski goggles and they don’t feel comfortable on your face send them back and try again.

Common Fit Issues

  • Pressure between your eyes and ears – The Goggle is too narrow for your face. You need a wider goggle.
  • Pinching on your nose – Tighten your goggle strap to pull the goggles wider. Try goggles with a different nose bridge shape.
  • Gap on your nose – Loosen your goggle straps and see if that closes the gap. If not try different goggles with a different nose bridge shape.
  • Pressure on your forehead – Try loosening your goggle strap. If that doesn’t work try goggles with a wider frame.

The second consideration with goggle fit is how they fit with your ski helmet. You want to minimize the gap between your goggles and helmet. A large goggle gap allows a direct air path to your forehead that will feel cold. It also looks bad and people will call you a “Gaper”. When buying ski goggles you should try them on with your helmet and see how they work together.

Ventilation

Ventilation helps your ski goggles stay clear and fog free. The vents allow the moist air inside your goggles to leave. A good flow of dry air into the goggles goes a long way towards keeping your goggles from fogging.

Many ski helmets have vents that direct airflow into the ski goggles. Goggle ventilation works much better as a system with ski goggles. If you have a mismatched helmet and goggles, it is possible for the helmet to block the goggle venting.

Anti-fog coating

The lens coating is another weapon your goggles have in their fight against fogging. The anti-fog coating helps prevent water droplets from condensing on the lens. We want to be able to see while skiing, which means no fogging of the lens. There are anti-fog coatings available to add to your goggles if they don’t have any.

Dual Pane Lenses

Dual-pane lenses are another feature that helps prevent fogging in our ski goggles. They allow for a thin dead air space between the layers that helps regulate the temperature of the lens. This allows the lens closer to your face to be warmer so that water droplets don’t have a cold surface to condense on.

Lens Shape

Ski goggle lenses come in 2 different shapes. Cylindrical/flat or spherical. Flat or cylindrical lenses are flat along their vertical plane. They curve around your face. Spherical lenses have vertical and horizontal curvature. Spherical lenses are closer to the shape of your eye and will have less visible distortion.

If you have never worn a pair of spherical lens goggles you probably won’t notice the distortion in flat lenses. If you put on a set of ski goggles with a spherical lens you’ll notice everything looks a little more clear. Is this feature necessary? Absolutely not. If your budget conscious you can enjoy skiing just as much with flat lens goggles.

Swappable Lenses

Some ski goggles have swappable lenses. You can keep a low light lens in your pocket to switch too as light and weather change. This is perfect for partly cloudy day skiing since you can always have the perfect lens while it’s sunny and cloudy. You can keep a bright light lens and flat light lens with you to swap between. Swappable lens ski goggles have a wide variety of swapping methods. The newer versions using magnets are fast and easy to swap. Older systems that use various latches and notches can be a pain to switch.

The easier it is to swap lenses, the more often you will find yourself switching lenses to the best lense for the conditions.

Appearance

Your ski goggles are an important part of your ski outfit. Everyone wants to look good while skiing. All ski goggles don’t go with all ski outfits. Find a pair of ski goggles that you like the looks of and are comfortable. This is another area where the “Goggle Gap” comes in. It looks bad and will give you a cold forehead if you have too much goggle gap.

OTG – Over The Glasses

OTG or Over The Glasses ski goggles have a thicker frame and cutouts in the foam to accommodate glasses. The frame has to be thick enough so that there is room for a pair of regular glasses inside the goggle frame. The lens from the glasses should not be touching the goggle lens. If they are touching you will rub and scratch both the glasses and goggle lens.

The below video has some helpful tips for choosing ski goggles.

How to keep your goggles from fogging

When we ski we need to be able to see. Goggles that keep fogging make it impossible to see during bright sunny days or any other light conditions. Here are a few tips to help keep your goggles from fogging up.

  • Keep moving. Goggle ventilation doesn’t work when you are stopped. Even skiing slowly will quickly remove the moisture from your goggles.
  • Don’t rest your goggles on your forehead or helmet. People love doing this for chair lift rides. Your helmet or hat will have snow or moisture on it. It’s a great way to get moisture into your goggles which will make them fog.
  • Don’t touch the inside of your goggle lens. Touching your lens will affect the anti-fog coating and make it not work. If you wipe the inside of your goggle lens you will have fogging the rest of the day no matter what you do after that.
  • Keep the vents clear. If you fall, make sure your goggle vents aren’t full of snow. Ventilation works great at defogging goggles but only if air flows through it.

The below video has some good tips on how to prevent your ski goggles from fogging.

You might also like:

For other types of ski goggles please see our complete ski goggle guide here.

selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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