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Best ski and snowboard goggles 2023: Hit the slopes with the best goggles for beginners, kids and pros

Hitting the pistes this season? You'll want some quality goggles to keep you skiing your best

Looking for quality eyewear to keep you skiing in all conditions? Then these best ski and snowboard goggles will see you navigate all types of terrain, no matter the weather

Skiing and snowboarding is an exhilarating pass time, but as exciting as zooming down a mountain can be, you’ll want to ensure you continue to have fun even when the clouds descend and visibility retreats.

With the best ski goggles you’ll be ready for any run, whatever the weather. With the latest models arriving with cutting-edge anti-fog and photochromic lens technology, the best goggles will guarantee crystal-clear vision, whether you’re carving turns at supersonic speed or nervously snow-ploughing down the beginner slopes.

Covering a range of styles and budgets, our pick of the best ski and snowboard goggles will ensure you can navigate the pistes with a clear view and in comfort. But first, read our guide on the features you should consider when looking for the best ski and snowboard goggles for you.

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Best ski and snowboard goggles: At a glance

How to buy the best ski and snowboard goggles for you

Why do I need ski and snowboard goggles?

Fundamentally, the main reason you should wear goggles is to protect your eyes from sun damage. At altitude, UV exposure from the sun increases; this, combined with the glare from the snow, can cause damage to your eyes in a very short amount of time if you don’t wear goggles (or sunglasses).

Beyond that, however, such eyewear allows you to see clearly, no matter the weather or conditions on the mountain. A decent pair of goggles can make all the difference and ensure that, when the weather turns from clear blue skies to cloudy and overcast, or snowy and foggy, you’ll be able to see the lumps and bumps in approaching terrain and continue to enjoy your day on the slopes.

A pair of goggles will keep your face warm, too, and the wind and snow out of your eyes. Plus, the best goggles won’t freeze or fog up, enabling you to keep going when others turn in early or give up entirely.

What features should I look for?

A basic pair of goggles will shield you from the elements, filter out harmful UV light, and include an anti-fog ventilation system. While basic goggles are ideal for first-timers or kids, they just won’t cut it if you’re venturing past the beginner slopes. We’d recommend spending a bit more on clever features to really get the most out of your snow day.

What do the lens category and VLT figures actually mean?

All goggles and sunglasses should have a lens category, from 1 to 4, which tells you how much light is blocked by the lens. You might also come across a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rating, which tells you more precisely how much light is allowed to pass through the lens. Put simply: dark lenses (category 4 and 10-30% VLT) are ideal for bright, bluebird days because they block out the most light. Lighter lenses (category 1 and 50-70% VLT) are perfect for low-light conditions since they allow more light to pass through the lens.

Also be aware that, unless you want your day to be spoiled by fogging lenses – or (worse) frost on the inside of your lenses – make sure you purchase a pair of goggles with dual-layer lenses. Single-layer lenses may be cheap but they’re not worth bothering with, even learners and kids.

Any other features to consider?

Other features to look out for include helmet compatibility – although most modern goggles are designed with helmets in mind, this doesn’t apply to all models. Glasses wearers will also want to keep their eyes peeled for OTG (over the glasses) googles, which offer plenty of space to fit specs underneath.

What types of lenses are there?

  • Cylindrical lenses – These are shaped like a quartered cylinder; they curve horizontally across your face, but are flat vertically. They’re the cheapest type of lens to manufacture and also the most flexible, which makes them perfect for no-fuss lens changes.
  • Spherical lenses – Curve vertically and horizontally, these mimic the shape of your eye. This delivers better peripheral vision, with no blinds-spots or distortion. Spherical lenses are also less prone to fogging up because of their large surface area. Some of the goggles recommended here have toric shaped lenses that combine the curves of spherical and cylindrical curves to create a low-profile goggle with superb peripheral vision. While the amount of curve differs depending on the brand, they’re generally flat in the vertical plane between the eyes, and the cylindrical curve starts towards the edges where reflections and glare can cause problems.
  • Polarised/mirrored lenses – These lenses have a chemical coating to block the blinding glare reflected from the snow. This helps to improve visibility and reduce eye fatigue. But, while ideal for sunny, or slightly overcast days, mirrored and polarised lenses are dark, so they’ll impair your vision in low-light conditions.
  • Goggles with interchangeable lenses – Equipping you for all weather conditions, you simply pop the lenses out of the goggle frame and then firmly press them back into place. The latest magnetised quick-change systems make swapping lenses easier than ever, too.
  • Photochromic lenses – Arriving with a special chemical coating that transitions colours in seconds to suit changing light conditions, these models are expensive. However, they’re the best all-weather option for those who can’t be bothered swapping lenses all the time.

What size should I get?

Choosing the perfect pair of googles comes down to the size of your head and personal preference. If you can, try them on with your helmet to make sure they’re fully compatible and that the fit is correct and comfortable. Failing that, visit the manufacturer’s website to check the measurements of the goggles before you buy. Most reputable manufacturers will supply these for each model they sell.

However, there remain a couple of things you should be aware of when you’re choosing your size. First, oversized goggles are great for edge-to-edge peripheral vision but they can overwhelm small faces, and could be incompatible with your helmet.

Second, be wary of choosing a pair that’s too small, since they will restrict your field of vision, which can be dangerous, and they won’t fit your helmet properly, which can leave a gap between your goggles and helmet. This not only looks naff, but it lets cold air in, too.

How do I look after my ski and snowboard goggles?

To keep your goggles in prime condition, so you can use them year after year, you’ll need to do more than simply wipe them clean with your sleeve. Wait for the goggles to dry, then wipe clean with a soft cloth; even the soft case that comes with your goggles will do. In addition, we’d recommend keeping your ski goggles in their protective case – not on your head – when you’re not using them. This will stop the lenses from becoming scratched and the chemical coating getting damaged. Most goggles come with a case, but if yours don’t then the Oakley Universal soft goggles case is a great investment to keep your eyewear in tip-top condition.

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The best ski and snowboard goggles to buy in 2023

1. Smith 4D MAG S Goggle: Best premium ski goggles

Price: £289 | Buy now from Smith OpticsThose on a budget should avoid even trying these goggles on in the shop, because once you do, you’ll be sold on the startlingly good spherical ChromaPop polarised lenses that offer a vast field of vision. This is achieved as a result of the tightly curved base of the lens, which enables you to see considerably more without distortion.

In addition, the ChromaPop lenses have been tweaked to enhance the most important colours on the mountain, helping to bring definition to contours, slopes and changes in snow texture. It’s hyper-realistic, but brilliant. Thankfully, Smith also supplies a low-light and sunny day lens, which can be swapped out in seconds – even while wearing gloves – thanks to a simple magnetic fastening.

Key details – Lens shape: Spherical; Number of lenses: 2

Buy now from Smith Optics

2. Dragon Alliance DX3 OTG: Best value OTG ski goggles

Price: £54 | Buy now from Mountain WarehouseWe’re big fans of Dragon sunglasses and goggles; there isn’t a duff pair among the huge collection – and for absolute value, superb-quality lenses and OTG compatibility, you can’t go wrong with the DX3. Yes, they come with a no-frills framed design, and there’s no magnetic lens changing or oversized style – but what you do get is durability, visibility and affordability.

The medium-sized frame will fit most faces, there are two colour-optimised Lumalens lenses – 23% VLT for mid/bright conditions and 53% VLT for flat light/overcast conditions – and the goggles feature a dual layer of foam for extra comfort.

Dragon’s Lumalens technology is superb, offering excellent clarity and a wide field of view. In addition, the lens works as a light filter to block wavelengths you don’t want on the mountain, such as glare from the snow, yet allows wavelengths that you do want that boost contrast and clarity.

Key details – Lens shape: Cylindrical; Number of lenses: 2

Buy now from Mountain Warehouse

3. Decathlon G100: Best value ski goggles

Price: £25 | Buy now from DecathlonIf you can’t stretch your budget beyond £25, or need to buy goggles for the whole family, the G100 from Decathlon will serve you well – and keep you out in the snow, even if light conditions turn bad. They’re not flashy – they don’t feature the latest in widescreen toric lens technology – but they’re comfortable, durable, protect your eyes from 100% of UV rays, and even come with two lenses.

Choose from the brown lens tint for sunny conditions, and then swap out for the S1 pink lenses if the cloud, fog and snow comes in. Trust us, the change in lens tint can make all the difference between being relaxed on the slopes, and not being able to see two metres ahead of you.

The lenses are double-layered and treated with an anti-fogging coating, making them resistant to becoming steamed up when you start to work hard. Plus, you can choose from a great range of sizes to suit the whole family, each of which is helmet compatible.

Key details – Lens shape: Cylindrical; Number of lenses: 2

Buy now from Decathlon

4. SunGod Vanguards: Best ski goggles for customisation

Price: From £120 | Buy now from SunGodAffordable, stylish and impressively customisable, head to the SunGod website and you’re met with options to choose the frame colour, strap design and, most importantly, lens type. Most brands have a few different strap designs, but here you’ll find 30 patterns.

Pretty frame colours don’t keep your eyes safe, though; but, thankfully, you can choose from eight high-quality 4KO Snow Lens tints across the VLT percentage ranges. Spare lenses cost £60, and while they’re not as easy to swap out as the more expensive magnetic designs shown here, it’s an impressive package that’s super-comfortable and arrives at a very appealing price point – especially when you consider the lifetime guarantee.

The Vanguard design is quite large – in a very on-trend way, if you ask us – so if you have a smaller face, or don’t feel like showing off, the Sniper goggles offer the same level of customisation in a smaller size.

Key details – Lens shape: Cylindrical; Number of lenses: 1

Buy now from SunGod

5. Anon M4S Toric Goggles: Best ski goggles for features

Price: £290 | Buy now from BurtonAvailable with cylindrical or toric lenses (we tested the toric), and seven variable VLT lens tints to cover all conditions, these premium mid-sized goggles (the S stands for Small, with a larger M4 option also available) are impressively adaptable. They come with a second lens for low visibility conditions, which helps you to swallow that high price somewhat.

With 14 magnets and two thumb grips on the lenses, you can swap them out in seconds, and the magnetic ingenuity doesn’t stop there – these goggles also come with a brilliant magnetic face mask and neck warmer that connects seamlessly to the underside of the goggles’ frame. Plus, thanks to ventilation holes, they keep the frost – and therefore fogging – out.

Key detailsLens shape: Toric or cylindrical; Number of lenses: 2

Buy now from Burton

6. Vallon Freebirds: Best ski goggles for retro style

Price: £131 | Buy now from VallonVallon makes the most gorgeous retro-inspired sunglasses and goggles, and we love the extensive choice of stripy 70s straps available here. But don’t worry: the vintage vibe is only superficial. These goggles arrive with a generous spherical lens offering a good field of view, a plush foam liner for all-day comfort, and a universal fit that should suit most adults.

They don’t feel as premium as some, but the Zeiss lenses are as good, and the standard tint (Cat 3, 15% VLT) is great when the sun is shining. Spare lenses cost a very reasonable £30 – although currently there are only two options available: Smoke, a 13% VLT suitable for bright and sunny conditions; and Orange, a 36% VLT for poor visibility.

Key details – Lens shape: Spherical; Number of lenses: 1

Buy now from Vallon

7. Salomon Radium Pro Sigma Photochromic Goggle: Best photochromic ski goggles

Price: £180 | Buy now from SalomonAnother top-of-the-line pair of goggles, the quality of the build, the customisable fit and lens quality mean you really do get what you pay for here. These unisex goggles from Salomon are lightweight and feature a combination of soft and forgiving adaptive foam and something called Custom ID Fit. This is essentially a series of small creases in the frame that help to mould the goggles to a wide range of faces, noses and heads.

These aren’t small goggles, so those with tiny heads may feel swamped; but most folk should be impressed by the fit and feel. Available in a great range of lens options, for our money, we found the SIGMA Photochromic option exceptional. By constantly adjusting to light conditions, the lens helps reduce eye strain and amplifies contrast to make changing weather conditions easier to manage on the mountain.

Key details – Lens shape: Spherical; Number of lenses: 1

Buy now from Salomon

8. Oakley Line Miner Goggle: Best value Oakley ski goggles

Price: £118 | Buy now from SurfdomeOakley makes some of the best sports sunglasses and goggles out there, and there’s no end to the amount you can pay. However, the brand also has a great spread of affordable options, with the Line Miner our pick of the lot – and a perennial favourite with skiers around the world.

Available in large, medium and youth sizes, they sport a classic framed look. While they lack the flash of the top-end toric designs, the low-profile cylindrical design is comfortable and we’re yet to find a helmet with which they don’t fit snugly.

There are well over 30 compatible Oakley Prizm lens combinations available, and even a few pro models to choose from. The only slight niggle is the fact that it’s tricker to swap out lenses than it is with magnetic designs.

Key details – Lens shape: Cylindrical; Number of lenses: 1

Buy now from Surfdome

9. Bollé Torus: Best ski goggles for colour and contrast

Price: £145 | Buy now from BolleA premium quality goggle, with exceptional lenses, the Bollé Torus are large, stylish and impressively made. There’s no magnetic lens changing here – for that you need to move up to the more expensive Torus Neo – but swapping out lenses isn’t especially complicated.

At 180g the Torus goggles are light, there’s a generous amount of padding around the face, plus a decent level of ventilation, too, via gaps in the top corners, which really helps avoid fogging. However, we love these goggles because of the Volt+ lenses, which boast next-level colour, contrast and depth perception. Bollé claims they have 30% more colour enhancement than standard lenses, and while it’s hard to quantify, they’re certainly bolder than most we’ve tested.

There’s a good range of lenses with VLT ratings between 12-26% for all conditions, and the toric lens shape really does make it easier for you to see more of the mountain.

Key details – Lens shape: Toric; Number of lenses: 2

Buy now from Bolle

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