Buyer’s guide for ski goggles
Choosing a ski or snowboard goggle is a matter of taste, but not only. To make sure you pick something that suits you, here are a few tips to help you narrow your selection.
What ski goggles lenses for what use?
Sunglasses and goggle lenses are both ranked the same way.
Category 1: bad weather, foggy conditions, flat light. These lenses are designed to enhance contrasts and make sure you see bumps and terrain changes before your knees feel it!
Category 2: cloudy weather with a touch of sun here and there. Light conditions. These lenses are the go-to of many riders. They're versatile and will do the job in most conditions.
- Tips: on white outs or flat light days, lenses with a yellow, orange or pink tint will increase contrast and optimise visual acuity.
Category 3 and Category 4: sunny, bright, blue-bird sky.
Ski goggles that offer the highest level of protection belong to class 4 but they are very dark and not so versatile in variable light conditions. As soon as light lowers (late afternoon, shadow in the woods) you cannot see very well through them, unless you have photochromic lenses (read below).
On the opposite side of the scale, you’ll even find Category 0 goggles made for very low and/or artificial light, these ones will protect your eyes from the wind, rain or snow, not so much from UVs!
What technology to choose for a ski goggles lenses?
polarized lenses stop light reflection and prevent glare from certain surfaces, which is extremely useful for snow sports. They also increase contrast and render better colours. Mirrored lenses reflect sunlight as would a mirror do which helps reducing glare. Photochromic lenses react to the amount of light (and UV) that goes through them by darkening (or lightening) in a few seconds. You can go from low-light conditions (category 2) to sunny conditions (category 3 or 4) without changing goggles, thus improving visual comfort. Photochromic lenses are high-end products. They may be more expensive but they are by far the best treatment for your eyes! Check the Bolle Cebe and Julbo collections to see what they look like!
What options to choose for a ski goggles?
Many manufacturers do goggles with spherical lenses. They enhance peripheral vision thanks to a wider lens allowing a 180° view and more above and below. It is very useful for snowboarders who ride sideways but also very appreciated by skiers.
In regards with fogging, there are several technologies available. Some single-lens goggles have an anti-fog coating inside. Other goggles have a dual lens system. The air between the two lenses is used as an insulation and keeps moisture away.
No matter the technology you're using, goggles may still fog. Here are a few tips to avoid it: on the chairlift, avoid putting your goggles on your beanie or forehead, try to keep it on your eyes or on something dry. Never wipe the lens inside when it’s wet, you will damage the anti-fog coating. Wait until it dries out by itself.
Then come the lens swapping systems. If you can't afford a photochromic goggle, these are a pretty good compromise. Manufacturers have done huge progress lately and now offer reliable products that work like a charm. You can change the lens of most goggles manually. It requires a bit of time and patience sometimes, as it can be tricky to clip them properly. But new systemps appeared lately, using magnets. All you gotta do is pull on your lens to pop it out and put the new one instead. It literally takes seconds and comes super handy when it's cold and windy outside.
Last but not least, OTG goggles. OTGstands for Over the Glasses. As the name suggests, these are goggles that fit with prescription glasses. They're usually a bit bigger and deeper. Oakley in particular offers a large selection of OTGs. Believe us, it’s z game changer for people who can't see a thing without their glasses.
We’ve got a huge choice of ski and snowboard goggles so now here’s a few tips to help you find your new favourite brand. If you want to combine style and performance, you’ll love brands like Von Zipper, Poc, Redbull, Superdry, Anon, Roxy, Smith, and Electric. They’re stocked with super stylish models designed to help you rule the slopes.
You can also trust the mountain experts. Big names such as Rossignol, Scott, Head, Salomon, Atomic and Marker all offer top-notch models for a spotless vision on the slopes. We’ve even got some of the best eyewear specialists with Bolle and Oakley.
Finally, if you’re just looking for the best protection, have a look at these brands: Diezz, Cairn, Aphex Alpina, Giro Uvex, Bliz, and Winter Your Life of course!
Obviously, all of these brands decline their models for narrow, medium and wide faces to make sure you always get the perfect fit!