RS Recommends: The Best Ski Goggles to Buy Right Now

·7 min read
best ski goggles - Credit: @smithoptics
best ski goggles - Credit: @smithoptics

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It can be tempting to keep using those old ski goggles, but the truth is, upgrading your mountain eyewear can make a big difference. Bad goggles — whether foggy, too bright or too bulky — can become dangerous and dampen your performance. The best ski goggles, on the other hand, let you safely shred your hardest with protection against glare, snow, wind and lens fog.

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If you haven’t shopped for ski goggles in a while, you’re in luck. The best ski goggles are now very advanced, boasting incredible visibility, interchangeable lenses and anti-fog technology. Plus, unlike some mountain gear, high-end ski goggles can be appreciated by everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

The only downside with all the advancements in ski goggle tech is that it can be hard to choose the right pair. To help protect your eyes on the slopes, we’ve rounded up some of the best ski goggles that you can order online.

How to Choose the Best Ski Goggles

Although not as technical as skis or ski boots, there are still a few things to know about ski goggles before pulling the trigger on a new pair. Here’s what to look for while shopping for the best ski googles online.

Lens: Instead of simply reducing light, the best ski goggles enhance detail, reduce glare and protect against harmful UV rays. In other words, you want ski goggles that reduce light while still letting you see everything as you fly down the mountain.

Shape: The shape of ski goggles dictates their field of view, or how much you can actually see while they’re on, which is something every goggle strives to increase. In general, the best ski goggles are tall and wide with little frame to speak of.

Fit and Comfort: They’ll likely be on your face for hours at a time, so comfort is a top priority with ski goggles. Check for ample padding, a flexible frame, a soft yet sturdy strap and a lightweight build. Also, if you wear glasses, make sure they’ll fit over your specs (in a pair of goggles’ description, this might be noted as “OTG” for “over-the-glasses”).

Some brands also offer slightly smaller women’s goggles, which is helpful if you have a small head or face, but overall ski goggles are a unisex product.

Anti-Fogging: Goggle fog is one of the more annoying inconveniences on the mountain. But it’s easily prevented. The best anti-fog ski goggles use lens treatments and/or venting systems to keep your lenses clear — even through sweaty runs and backcountry treks. Most high-end goggles have some tech in place to prevent fog, but some do it better than others.

Lens Changing: Being able to quickly switch lenses is a big plus for most skiers and snowboarders, especially if your mountain is prone to weather changes. Some modern ski goggles take this very seriously with lens-changing systems that let you swap lenses quickly, sometimes without taking off your goggles.

What Are the Best Ski Goggles?

There are a lot of ski goggles out there, but we think these lead the pack. From crystal-clear Oakleys to quick-change goggles from Anon, read on for the best ski goggles to buy right now.

1. Smith 4D Mag

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Amazon

These Smith 4D Mag goggles are hard to top. The comfortable frame all but disappears from your vision, in part thanks to a unique curve at the bottom of the lens. Called BirdsEye Vision, this curved lower lens creates a significant increase in your vertical field of view (which is great for looking downhill). You also get Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology which reduces light while increasing detail. If you want to swap lenses, that’s easy too with a quick-change lens system and ten different ChromaPop lenses to choose from (you’ll need to buy these separately).

To prevent fogging, the 4D Mags feature a hydrophilic, micro-etched surface that absorbs and disperses moisture. This etching is smart, as some anti-fog treatments can be wiped off over time. Yes, the 4D Mags are on the pricey side, but we think they’re worth it.

Buy: Smith 4D Mag $320.00

2. Anon M4 Toric MFI

Credit: Backcountry
Credit: Backcountry

Backcountry

With an industry-leading lens changing system, these Anon M4 goggles are ideal for runs with mixed weather and variable lighting. Lenses are attached using powerful magnets, and can be swapped out in seconds (really) without removing the goggles.

Quick-change lenses aside, the M4s are still some of the best ski goggles. You get a very wide field of view thanks to their toric (spherical) shape, as well a porous inner lens surface to combat fogging and a streamlined, comfortable design that integrates with helmets. One warning: the M4s are on the larger side, so go with a different pair if you have a small face.


Buy:
Anon M4 Toric MFI
at
$319.95

3. Smith I/O MAG Goggles

Credit: Smith Optics
Credit: Smith Optics

Smith Optics

For women — or anyone with a small face — these Smith I/O Mag goggles are a good choice. The lenses are spherical and use Smith’s ChromaPop color filtering system, translating to a wide field of vision, heightened detail and natural colors. Swapping lenses is also very quick with the Smith MAG system, and you get both low-light and bright-light lenses included with the goggles.

The MAGs’ frame is also high-quality with a slightly flexible build and tri-layer padding for softness. Smith has also accounted for fogging with 5X antifog technology, as well as a rugged hydrophobic lens coating to keep your vision clear of moisture and any other grime.


Buy:
Smith I/O MAG Goggles
at
$300

4. Giro Method

Credit: REI
Credit: REI

REI

For any near-sighted skiers, we recommend these Giro Method goggles. They feature an OTG (over-the-glasses) design that lets you wear prescription specs under the goggles.

But glasses accommodation isn’t the only strong suit with the Methods. Thanks to a low-profile frame and large cylindrical lenses, you get excellent visibility — especially on your periphery. They also feature a solid EVAK vent system to combat fogging, as well as a plush feel with tri-layer foam and a ​​microfleece contact layer. Plus, the Methods come in a couple stylish retro patterns such as the fiery orange and red pictured here.


Buy:
Giro Method
at
$140

5. Oakley Flight Deck Prizm

Credit: Backcountry
Credit: Backcountry

Backcountry

For speed runs, crowded resorts and any other instance where you need top-tier visibility, opt for these Oakley Flight Deck Prizm goggles. An industry-leading model, the Flight Decks lend an enormous field of vision thanks to their spherical lens shape and low-profile frame. They also use Oakley’s Prizm lenses, which effectively enhance color and detail while reducing bright light, as well as thick foam padding for comfort. To combat fogging, the goggles feature an F3 anti-fog coating.


Buy:
Oakley Flight Deck Prizm
at
$207

6. Julbo Aerospace

Credit: Backcountry
Credit: Backcountry

Backcountry

Constant fogging can throw a wrench in your whole ski day, and even some high-end ski goggles struggle to combat moisture build-up. But not these Julbo Aerospace goggles. The lens is mounted to the frame on hinges, which lets you push the lens out to create a small gap on the side. This optional extra venting is ideal for backcountry treks, but it’s also handy for sweaty downhill runs or walking around.

The only downside with this ventilation system is that you can’t swap the lenses out yourself. However, Julbo’s versatile photochromic lenses adapt to changing light, so most skiers won’t need to swap lenses anyway. In addition to A+ ventilation, the Aerospace goggles also deliver a spherical design for a wide field of view and ample padding for all-day comfort.


Buy:
Julbo Aerospace
at
$249.95

7. Blenders Gemini II Nebula

Credit: Blenders
Credit: Blenders

Blenders

If you’re shopping on a budget or just dipping your toe in snowsports, check out these Gemini II goggles from Blenders. Despite their approachable price tag, the goggles boast high-visibility toric-shaped lenses with full UV protection, as well as an easy lens-changing system (they also come with an extra lens). The Gemini’s are comfortable too, thanks to a triple-layer foam on the frame, and we think they’re stylish enough to turn heads on the mountain.


Buy:
Blenders Gemini II Nebula
at
$120

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