Anyone who’s skied a day in their life will be able to tell you just how important it is to have the right gear on from head to toe. This isn’t an activity that should be entered into lightly without much thought, and having all of the right equipment working together can turn a potentially awful skiing experience into something magnificent.
Finding the best ski goggles seems to be an area where many of us struggle, though. There are so many different brands, both known and unknown, confusing features and specs to consider, and costs that sometimes seem way out of reach for the everyday skier.
This buying guide has been assembled to help point you in the direction of the best ski goggles for your needs, as we all have such individual requirements out on the slopes. We’ve found some of the best ski goggles around to suit all budgets and needs so that you can spend less time hunting for the right gear and more time on the slopes.
Once you have the right pair of ski goggles you’ll notice an instant difference, so it’s one purchase that you shouldn’t put off any longer. All you need to decide is where and how you prefer to ski if you need them to be compatible with any other eyewear or headgear, and what designs you like, and we’ll narrow down the rest.
The Importance Of Choosing The Best Ski Goggles
People usually leave shopping for their ski goggles as one of the last things to do, without realizing just how important they actually are. Rather than relying on the ski gear rental place to lend you some old and used ski goggles, why not invest in some for yourself that will last you for many years and many runs down the slopes.
One of the most important reasons for choosing the best ski goggles is safety, as these simple pieces of equipment can actually help in so many ways. With the right ski goggles, you’ll have better visibility, be able to keep fog and snow out and protect your sensitive eyes from the very real threat of snow blindness.
Choosing any old pair of ski goggles won’t do, though, as they should suit you and your skiing style as well. Some people like to ski in all conditions and might look for ones with interchangeable frames, others may ski for long hours and put their emphasis on comfort, and some want something with a stylish and modern look.
Ski goggles used to be extremely expensive which is why many people gladly hired theirs from the rental store, but nowadays there are so many variations in price. With some quality optics available for as little as $30, there’s no excuse to hit the slopes without anything less than your own pair expertly chosen just for you.
The Ski Goggle Features You Should Be Looking For
Rather than taking a one size fits all approach to choosing ski goggles, you should carefully consider the different features and how they might help or hinder your skiing experience.
Shopping for ski goggles is just like buying yourself a quality pair of sunglasses so you need to have in mind exactly what you might be looking for to make your experience the best it possibly can be.
People often assume that ski goggles are there just to protect our eyes from the snow and wind, but they’re actually extremely important to keep our eyes shielded from the sun too.
Snow blindness is caused by the sun’s UV rays reflecting off the snow and burning our eyes which can lead to temporary loss of vision and extreme discomfort, so it’s essential to choose a pair that offers UV protection.
Nowadays it’s common to find that not only the well known brands make the best quality ski goggles as there are plenty up and coming manufacturers as well.
The best way to tell is to look for positive reviews from happy customers and see if there’s a warranty in place for the goggles. Anything less than 12 months warranty should probably be dismissed but it’s easy to find this and more even in the cheaper brands.
There’s nothing worse than being halfway down a run and having your goggles break, so you want to shop for those that are durable.
The lens is the most important part so look for brands that offer extra protection and layering that make them durable, even when you inevitably fall. The strap itself needs to be reliable without being uncomfortable, so pay attention to the materials used.
Some skiers need their goggles to be able to fit over their everyday optics and others might like to wear theirs with a helmet. If these are important to you then make sure you choose a goggle that is compatible with other headgear, and this will usually be easy to find in the product description or reviews.
It’s common these days for ski goggles to come with interchangeable lenses to suit different light conditions, however not all of them do. Look for other features within the lens such as thermal protection or specialized coating that has specific purposes. The lens should also be anti-fog which is essential when skiing as the condensation can obstruct your view.
Although not important to everyone, some skiers have certain style preferences for their goggles. Traditional goggles came with a frame but it’s common these days for them to be frameless which enables greater peripheral vision and downward views.
There are usually different colored lenses, straps, and frames to suit any style you like, so you have quite a lot of options for how they can look.
When you spend long hours on the slopes you want all of your gear to be comfortable, and especially those that are sitting on your head all day. Look for features such as padding on the face and soft straps that won’t dig into your skin even with hours of use. The sizing will also have an impact on comfort levels so shop for your head size to avoid discomfort.
Our Choices For The Best Ski Goggles
Skiing equipment is a market that can vary so much in terms of price and quality, and the area of ski goggles is no different. If you’re searching for the best value ski goggles, we’ve done the hard work of finding those in your price range so that you don’t have to search any longer.
These goggles all come in under $250 with some even lower under $100, so no matter your budget you’ll find something quality here.
Best Ski Goggles Under $250
These picks represent some of the best ski goggles you can get for under $250, most of them by premium brands and with all the features you could hope for. If you have the budget to get something a little more expensive, you won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer here.
Winner: Smith Optics I/OX Goggles
As one of the best rated ski goggles around, it’s no wonder that the Smith Optics I/OX Goggles tops our list for those under $250. These amazing optics have everything you are looking for in ski goggles, and they’re some of the most stylish and comfortable around. Smith Optics is well known for making quality eyewear for all uses, and their skiing range is particularly popular.
There are a number of colorways to choose from and you’ll even get two lenses when you purchase these goggles, one for low light and one for sunny conditions.
They can be a little tricky to change at first so you’ll need to spend some time practicing before you put them to work on the slopes, but other than this small design flaw there wasn’t much else wrong with them.
The Smith Optics I/OX Goggles have a responsive fit frame design which means there’ll be no adjusting while you’re out on the slopes and it has an ultra wide silicone strap for even more comfort and no slipping. All of these design features come together to make them some of the most comfortable ski goggles on the market today.
Smith Optics offer a lifetime manufacturers warranty on these goggles which is seriously impressive, so although you might be put off by the initial cost you know that you’ll be protected from anything that might happen. You’ll also get some other great accessories like the performance mirror lenses, carry bag, and replacement lens sleeve so you’re set for life.
The I/OX Goggles by Smith Optics are definitely worth the extra money if you can afford it, thanks to little features like the 5x anti-fog inner lens. You’ll experience visibility and comfort like never before, and with such stylish designs to choose from you can match your goggles to the rest of your ski gear for a complete look.