The Best Ski Goggles Of 2021 Complete Buyers Guide


best ski goggles

A good set of ski goggles can make your ski day much more enjoyable. There are so many options available? What are the best ski goggles for you? A good set of goggles will help keep your face warm as well as helping you see better. There is a wide range of ski goggles available these days with many different features. Prices can range from under $20 to over $1000.

Below are our top choices for the best ski goggles. See below for reviews of our top choices as well as information on goggle features and links to our detailed goggle reviews.

Top Pick

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Editors Choice

Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle

Best Value

OutdoorMaster Pro Frameless Goggles

The Best Ski Goggle Top Picks For Winter 2021

Top Pick

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles


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 overall Top Pick for best ski goggle and best ski goggle for sunny days.

See our review of other sunny day ski goggles here.

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


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 Storm Rose is a great flat light lens and comes as the extra lens for most Smith I/O goggles. 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 any light condition. These are my pick for overall ski goggles and best goggle for flat light.

See our review of other flat light ski goggles here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Available in Small, Regular and XL
  • VLT: 50% Chromopop Storm Rose, 65% Chromopop Storm Yellow
  • 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 Framelss 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 ski goggles and best value in flat light ski goggles.

See our review of other flat light ski goggles here.

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 Anti-Fog Ski Goggle

Oakley Airbrake XL Snow Goggles


Summary

The Oakley Airbrake XL Snow Goggles are a great high performance ski goggle. These goggles have a great field of view, ventilation, and comfort. The lenses are easily swapped and 2 are included.

Their ventilation and dual pane lenses are good at resisting fog. They only give up a little to the best in class Smith I/O Goggles.

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. The field of view with the Airbrake design is one of the best out there. Although you can see the frame around your nose while wearing them. This is especially noticeable with white frames.

These goggles really shine in the comfort department. The 3 layer foam combined with fleece lining makes them feel good even on a long ski day.

The great anti-fog performance and comfort makes this our top pick for best anti-fog ski goggle.

See our review of other anti-fog ski goggles here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Large
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: No
What We Liked
✔️ Fleece lining makes them comfortable
✔️ High clarity of prizm lens
✔️ Includes 2 lens
What We Didn’t Like
Goggle nose piece is large. Some users can see air gaps above nose
Easily scratched lenses

Best For Night Skiing Ski Goggle

ZIONOR Lagopus Ski Goggles


Summary

The ZIONOR Lagopus Ski Snowboard Goggles are a great value single lens ski goggle. The clear lens version has 99% VLT and 100% UV protection meaning it works great for night skiing and cloudy days. The frame is thick enough with cutouts in the foams for wearing over small to medium size glasses. These will fit most adults and youth wearers with small to medium sized faces.

The ZIONOR Lagopus ski goggles are a well thought out full function design. They do not have swappable lenses but for the price, you could buy 2 sets of goggles. These are excellent value ski goggles for night skiing. This makes them our top pick for best ski goggles for night skiing.

See our review of other ski goggles for night skiing here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: One size fits all. Adult and youth
  • VLT: 99%
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: No
  • OTG: Yes
What We Liked
✔️ 100% UV protection for cloudy days
✔️ Low cost
✔️ Good ventilation
What We Didn’t Like
Chemical smell when new
Some people receive faulty lenses that leak moisture between layers

Best OTG Ski Goggle

Smith Optics I/O Mag XL Snow Goggle


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 makes them even better. They are OTG and prescription insert compatible.

The XL sized Smith I/O goggles are large size and will fit over most prescription glasses. They have excellent venting that will help keep your goggle lens and glasses fog free.

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. They have been the best goggles I’ve ever owned for anti-fog, clarity, and field of view. They are OTG compatible. This makes them my top pick for best OTG ski goggles.

See our review of other OTG ski goggles here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: XL One size fits all. Adult and youth
  • VLT: 50% Chromopop Storm Rose, 65% Chromopop Storm Yellow
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes
What We Liked
✔️ Magnetic lens swapping
✔️ High definition Chromopop lens
✔️Great anti-fog performance
What We Didn’t Like
High cost
Easily scratched lenses

Best Photochromic Ski Goggle

Julbo Skydome Photochromic Snow Goggles


Summary

The Julbo Skydome Photochromic Snow Goggles are good for almost any light condition. These goggles have a photochromic lens that adjusts as the amount of light changes. This makes them work well for almost any daylight condition. For night skiing you may want something with a higher VLT.

These goggles have generous venting to keep the fog out. They also have dual pane lenses and an anti-fog coating to combat fog. They have fog performance on par with the best goggles out there.

The Skydome model has an extra large fit and a very wide field of view. There are other models of Julbo goggles available for people with smaller heads.

The Julbo Skydome Photochromic goggles are a great one lens option for any ski day. This cost is high but they are high quality and high performance. If you want a great anti fog ski goggle you can use on low light and bright days these may be the ski goggle for you.

See our review of other anti-fog ski goggles here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Extra Large
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: No
What We Liked
✔️ Photochromic lens good in many light conditions 
✔️ Wide field of view
✔️ Great anti-fog performance
What We Didn’t Like
Too large for many faces and helmets
High cost

Best Under $100 Ski Goggle

Smith Squad Ski Goggle


Summary

The Smith Squad Snow Goggle is a great performing goggle at a lower price point than their I/O line. The Squad has excellent Chromopop lens technology and great anti-fog venting. The lens swap system is not as slick or easy as goggles with magnetic systems.

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. Squad goggles all include 2 lenses in a variety of combinations.

The Smith Squad goggles are the best ski goggle under $100. Their excellent lenses and anti-fog performance make them a great buy.

See our review of other ski goggles under $100 here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Large
  • 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
Cumbersome lens changing
Lens scratches easily

Best Under $50 Ski Goggle

AKASO OTG Ski Goggles


Summary

The AKASO OTG Ski Goggles have swappable lenses and an available clear lens for night skiing. The lenses use a magnetic attachment with 8 magnets and 4 physical connections. You won’t have a lens fall off when you crash.

These goggles have a good fit and feel. The frames are very large with a good field of view. You need to try them on with your helmet to make sure they fit.

The AKASO OTG Ski Goggles are a great deal for a swappable lens goggle. They have a well designed lens swapping system, good ventilation, and comfortable fit. This makes them our pick for the best ski goggle under $50 available.

See our review of other ski goggles under $50 here.

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Extra Large
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: No
What We Liked
✔️ Available clear lens
✔️ Easy magnetic lens swapping
✔️ Includes bonus balaclava
What We Didn’t Like
Glasses don’t fit well
Photochromic lens option does not change VLT to any significant degree

skier wearing goggles big mountains

What should I look for when buying ski goggles?

When you go shopping for a pair of ski goggles a few things are important. It needs to fit well. It needs to work with your ski helmet. It needs good anti-fog performance. Lastly the lens needs to work with the light conditions you will be skiing in. A good pair of ski goggles should help keep our faces warm and help us see better. Let’s look at what makes a good set of ski goggles.

Here is a quick video with tips for selecting ski goggles. Below are the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of ski goggles.

Fit

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.

Ski goggles should feel snug and secure on your face. They shouldn’t feel so tight that they hurt or cause pressure points. They should not feel like they are pressing off your nose or pushing too hard on our forehead or ears. You want them to be tight enough they stay in place without bouncing around. They don’t need to be much tighter than that.

Helmet Compatibility

Ski helmets are designed to work with ski goggles. Many have vents that work with the goggles anti-fog vents. These systems work quite well together. I have a pair of Smith I/O goggles and Smith helmet and they will clear up right away as soon as I start moving.

You want goggles that have a shape that works with your helmet to minimize the helmet goggle gap. Goggle gap lets cold air into your forehead making you cold. Goggle gap also looks really bad. You don’t want to be a “gaper”. It’s a good idea to try on ski goggles with your helmet.

Buying goggles that are the same brand as your helmet ensures they will have a good fit and you will have the best anti-fog performance.

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. Darker lenses with low VLT are best for bright days. Clear lenses with high VLT are best for darker days or night skiing.

VLT for ski goggles table

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are made out of a light sensitive material. They get darker as it gets brighter out. As the light outside gets darker, the lenses get more clear. These are a great lens choice for a partly cloudy day. They are good if you only want to have one goggle lens that works okay in all conditions. They will not get as dark as the darkest fixed lenses. They will not get as clear as a clear lens.

Anti Fog Performance

Fogged up ski goggles will make it hard to see in any conditions including flat light. We want goggles with strong anti-fog performance. For a ski goggle to have good anti-fog performance it must have dual pane lenses, ventilation and an anti-fog coating.

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. 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.

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 since you can use the same pair of ski goggles for bright, low light and night skiing. 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.

What color lens is best for ski goggles?

Flat light conditions are the most challenging to see while skiing. Ski goggles lenses that are light yellow, orange, and red shades work better for flat light. Those colors work better at allowing you to see differences in snow surfaces. Clear lenses work the best for night skiing. Very dark shades and mirror lenses work the best for bright conditions.

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 latest lens technology from the most popular ski goggle makers.

  • Smith Chromopop – Storm yellow flash, storm rose flash
  • Anon SONAR – Infrared SONAR, Blue Sonar
  • Oakley PRIZM – hi pink iridium, rose, persimmon
  • Giro VIVID – Infrared, Apex

Here is a short video showing more about Smith Chromopop Lenses.

Smart Ski Goggles

Smart Ski Goggles have features such as augmented reality heads up displays and navigation. They will allow you to share real time video and messaging with your friends on and off the slopes. Attempts have been made in the past to sell smart ski goggles. The technology wasn’t quite ready and proved very unreliable. New versions are on the way and you can beta test the latest from RideOn Technologies. See my article on smart goggles here. The below video shows a taste of what might be available soon for smart ski goggles.

Ski Goggle Guides

If you want more information on different ski goggle types, please see my other ski goggle guides.

skiers wearing ski goggles on chairlift

Final words

Wearing a good set of ski goggles can make your ski day much more enjoyable. Everyone does not have the same size and shape face so choose goggles that look and feel good on you. Choose a lens that will work the best for the ski conditions you ski in the most. If you like to ski on bright days, foggy overcast days, and at night swappable lens goggles might be the best for you. There are many ski goggle options out there and I hope this guide helps you find the best pair for you.

You might also like:

small selfie pic

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 this Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

Recent skiing articles