Wearing Snowboard Goggles will significantly improve your performance on the mountain. They protect your eyes from the sun, snowflakes, and other random debris. They also prevent your eyes from watering or freezing at high speeds.
As a rule of thumb, how the snowboard goggles look should be secondary to what they do in the conditions that you’re shredding. You need to see properly, it doesn’t matter if you look good and hit a tree. You won’t look good afterward.
Your Snowboard Goggles need to have a good fit, anti-fog protection, and be in the right shade for the conditions. Otherwise, it’ll ruin your day. Snowboard Goggles are one of the most important pieces of your snowboard gear, so get a pair for every condition you’ll likely face.
Some people like to have lenses to change out, I love the magnetic ones, but I try to avoid the hassle and just grab whatever pair I need.
This is a question I get asked regularly. However, giving an answer outright is difficult. There are some variables that affect what snowboarding goggles would work best.
Below I’ve placed 4 simple questions you should ask when going to purchase new snowboarding goggles.
What is your skill level?
Where will you be riding?
What type of weather conditions will you be facing?
Will you be shredding primarily during the day or at night?
Technically, The best snowboarding goggles help you see everything and anything in front of you at that moment in time.
Because Snowboarders face Changes in terrain, inclement weather, and the movement of the sun. Your vision through your favorite pair of Snowboard goggles can change immensely. Below I’ll be writing about every aspect you can think of with goggles. Also, I’ll be adding some amazon links so you can browse and see what you might like. We do make a small percentage of every sale. If you purchase we thank you for your support. It keeps us shredding and writing.
Snowboard Goggles Are Expensive – Everything About Pricing
You can get a decent (and inexpensive) pair of snowboard goggles for around $30-$50. Check out my blog post about Zionor snowboard goggles if you don’t believe me. However, I’ve noticed the quality improves dramatically when you spend a bit more money. With increased prices, the vision quality improves greatly and the quality/durability is greatly extended.
A few really good goggles companies (In no particular order):
Dragon – I don’t have a favorite style yet, but I’ve worn a few pairs and have never had an issue. Probably the least expensive of these 3, depending on the time of year, model, etc.
Smith Optics – I’ve had my eye on a pair of I/O Mag Goggles for a long time. I think next season I’ll be purchasing a pair. These are pretty expensive, but I want to test them out.
Anon – This is burtons snowboard goggle brand, as such I see them more on the expensive side. However if you can find a good deal, you’re getting some good quality gear.
As an added example, Amazon has a pair of Smith Chromapop goggles. Which have lens polarization and a 5x inner fog lens (that’s sick!). They also last a bit longer, and the lens quality is better.
Below Is A List Of Zionor Goggles For Sale On Amazon, I’ll Post Some Links To Smith & Anon Snowboard Goggles Later In This Post.
The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Snowboard Goggles.
After browsing for a while the only difference I’ve noticed between men’s and women’s snowboard goggles is size. If you’re shopping for a pair color and style should be the last things you look for. These only matter when you want a certain look, and snowboard goggles are safety gear. That being said, if the goggle fits and you don’t mind wearing them. Who really cares, if you can see well, you can outrun them.
These snowboard goggles are made to fit smaller faces and when goggles properly fit your face, you’ll have less wind and cold getting in. So get the right fit.
Snowboard Goggles Lens Shape. Cylindrical Vs. Spherical.
Generally speaking, there are two different shapes of snowboard goggles, and I’ve ridden with both of them. There is a third shape, but they’re new to the game, and I haven’t tested a pair out yet. I’ll talk a bit more about them below.
Snowboard Goggles generally come in Cylindrical and Spherical shaped lenses. The former is usually cheaper and the latter gives a better field of vision. Whatever Goggle style you like, try them on prior to purchasing. You’ll want to test them out, focus on objects near and far. You’ll look weird in the store, but that’s better than not seeing on top of a hill.
I’ve been there before, and you really want to see when you’re on top of a double black, there’s 1 way down and your goggles are fogging up on you.
I found a cheap pair of blue lens Anons (I can’t remember the style) a few years back. In the store, I only checked the fit and didn’t check the field of vision (sometimes I’m in a hurry and make fast decisions that I regret). Later on that week, I was in Keystone with some friends. I put my new goggles on and saw a level of distortion that scared me. Whenever I looked down at my Snowboard, especially when strapping in. The board looked warped and horribly bent.
I freaked out at first, It was an expensive board, and I had no idea how to fix it. Also, I didn’t know how I’d get down the mountain and wondered how I damaged it so quickly. So, I took the goggles off and saw my board wasn’t bent. I was confused and realized my goggles were distorting my vision. For the rest of the day, I rode without goggles. My eyes were tearing up and the sides of my face had dried tears on them.
Clear sight is very important when you’re shredding. Perhaps it’s the most important thing.
Cylindrical Lenses On Snowboard Goggles:
My first pair of goggles had Cylindrical lenses. On average they are cheaper than spherical ones. The reason they are called cylindrical is due to their shape. These goggles have a curve that only goes horizontally, on the X-axis (or from ear to ear if that helps).
Wearing them gives you a classic, ski instructor look, but they have issues with glare, fogging, and UV protection.
Keep in mind, I’m not a huge fan, but that’s my personal opinion. If you like them and they work for you, buy a pair. I only ask that you use my list as a jumping-off point, what works for me might not work for you.
The Pros: They Tend To Be Cheaper, And Give You A Classic Ski Instructor Look. Also, They Do A Great Job Protecting Your Eyes From Wind, And Most Elements.
Cons: The Shape Of The Goggles Lens Tends To Have Issues With Glare, and distorted sight. (although it is minor once you have experience with the distortion) Many of these cons disappear when you purchase more expensive goggles too.
Spherical Lenses On Snowboarding Goggles
When you choose Snowboard Goggles remember that fit and vision are everything. It also helps when they look good. Whenever I ride, I use spherical goggles. They give a wider range of views, and I don’t have as many fog issues.
Spherical Goggles are curved along the X and Y axis. This means the goggle lens curves away from your face, giving a bug-eyed look (see the above picture it’s also a selfie).
Pros: These goggles have excellent glare defense, and have less distortion due to the spherical shape (there’s some science behind it, claiming they are the shape of our eyeballs). Due to their spherical shape, they have a smaller surface area and fewer UV rays get through. In addition to that, there’s more volume between the lens and your eyes, so there’s less chance of them fogging up as that is caused by temperature changes.
They also look pretty awesome when you get the perfect lens color. (I love the mirror lenses)
Cons: They tend to be more expensive, this is the major downside of the lenses on these Snowboard Goggles. However, that tide is changing. if you look on amazon there are quite a few companies coming out with more affordable styles. Check out my blog post about Zionor Goggles by clicking here to read more.
Below Are Some Deals On Smith Snowboard Goggles Found On Amazon
Toric Lenses On Snowboard Goggles
Snowboard goggles with Toric Lenses are relatively new. I’ve personally never used a pair, and all my knowledge is secondhand.
The Toric Lens is a combination of the two previous lens styles, the jury is out on whether they are better lenses, but I suspect more data by end of this season. Hopefully, I’ll be able to update with some real-world usage.
If you have some experience with these, please comment below, I’d love to hear it.
How To Match The Right Goggle Lens Color With The Right Conditions
For Snowboard Goggles, choosing the right lens can make or break a day on the mountain. I’ve messed up a few times wearing the wrong lens color, and it really sucks. When you can’t see the day is pretty much a bust. Your only hope is to take the goggles off, which can be a safety issue.
There’s going to be an overlap in the colors below, and that’s ok. This is where you can add some individuality into the mix. Pick a color you like for the conditions you’ll be in, and start shredding.
A cool trend I’ve been seeing lately involves quick-change lenses, with these you can switch one lens for the other quickly and easily. Older goggles can be a pain to switch out the lenses so I love this new invention a lot.
Snowboard Goggles: Lens Colors That Are Perfect For Sunny Days
Black Lens Goggles
These are my favorite goggle type because I tend to ride a lot during the day. They work best on a sunny bluebird day. They block out a lot of the ultraviolet rays of the sun, but they make things really dark. It’s like wearing an intense pair of sunglasses.
In addition to protecting your eyes, they should sharpen the contours and the shape of the hill without getting foggy. Mine have a mirror finish on them, and they look epic.
I would not recommend these for riding at night, or on a cloudy day. Believe me when I say that I’ve tried, and it turned out badly for me. Remember that safety should always be a priority.
If you’re looking for something more economical, try a pair of Zionor X4 Goggles, I use a pair and they work splendidly.
Brown Lens Goggles
Brown lenses are similar to black lenses they are great for really bright days, but it’s unwise to wear them at night since they will impair your vision.
I don’t think they’re very popular as I haven’t seen a lot of them on the mountain, but that’s also my perception of the whole thing, I could be wrong about that.
Snowboard Goggles: Lens Colors That Are Perfect For Cloudy Days
Violet Lens Goggles
Violet lenses are best used in low to moderate light-level conditions. In other words, they work great on cloudy days. The lens color helps enhance details so you’ll see bumps and moguls easier.
If you live in the midwest like me, you won’t see the sun after Christmas until mid-march. So these can be a lifesaver.
Amber Lens Goggles
There is A lot of talk from people who say amber lenses are the best lenses for overcast conditions. I’m not sure, I kinda like the violet ones.
however, the amber lenses should help filter the light during moderate light conditions. You’ll be able to see the contours of the snow, maybe some tree roots a lot better.
The mid-light goggles are tricky, that’s why I think you should try a pair on and see which one works better for you.
Red Lens Goggles
These lenses are ideal for medium to bright light. The color tint increases color definition and helps sharpen perception. I used to own a pair of these but I purchased my black lens goggles and never went back.
I remember they did give a little sharper contrast in medium light (partly cloudy days) when compared to the black lenses, but that was minimal compared to violet ones.
Pink Or Rose Color Goggle Lenses
These lens colors are perfect for low-level to mid-level light days (Partly cloudy to overcast). They work best when you’re out tearing up a hill on a cloudy day.
Snowboard Goggles: Lens Colors That Are Perfect For All-Around Use.
Gold & Yellow Goggle Lenses
These goggles are considered one of the best all-around Ski & Snowboard Goggle Lens. Due to their tint, they work great on Snowy days, helping you see the contours of the land while you’re on the hill.
As an added bonus, the tint filters out blue light, making them excellent Snowboard Goggles to choose for a sunny day as well. If you only have the money for one pair of goggles, this would be the lens type to go for.
Below Are Anon Goggles You Can Purchase From Amazon:
Snowboard Goggles: Lens Colors That Are Perfect For Night Riding.
When you find yourself doing some night riding (many midwest riders will understand this) you realize pretty quickly that black lens goggles don’t cut it. I brought the wrong pair to an all-night right once, and I couldn’t see anything, and taking them off just froze my eyeballs (it’s cold here too)
Not having the proper lenses for the right conditions is a safety issue. I know that sounds lame, but you’ll have a lot more fun when you’re not injured.
Blue Goggle Lenses
These lenses are perfect for low light and night riding. I have a pair and it’s what I use whenever I find myself riding at night. They help make my vision sharper and they tend to help me identify the contours of the hill better. Use caution when riding during the day as they amplify the light.
Snowboard Goggles: Lens Colors For Varying Conditions
A clear lens isn’t exciting, but don’t be fooled. They can be very helpful. During the day or night, they will do a great job protecting your eyes from the elements. They don’t do a lot with color tones or depth perception and they aren’t flashy, but they’ll get the job done.
I wouldn’t recommend these snowboard goggles for a bluebird day, you might get blinded by the snow.
Green Goggle Lenses
These goggles are another all-around snowboard goggles. The green color helps increase contrast and gives better depth perception, and they can be worn on cloudy days as well as sunny ones.
In my experience, I didn’t have a good experience at night with them.
Photochromic Goggle Lenses
Photochromic lenses are new to the game, maybe not for glasses, but at least compared to snowboard goggles. These are lenses that grow light or dark depending on the conditions. You might remember commercials for glasses a few years back that had this particular style of lens.
I didn’t find a lot of these goggles on Amazon, it might have changed by the time you read this, but I’ll try and put some links below for you to check them out if I can find some. If you have more details on these goggles. Please comment below, I’d love to hear more about them.
How Should Snowboard Goggles Fit?
Goggle fit is equally important to what lens color you’ll be needing. What good are goggles if they fall off, freeze your face, or blind you? These are three areas I look at to get snowboard goggles to fit.
Does It Fit Your Helmet? (You should be wearing a helmet, and if you don’t have one, read my helmet guide)
How do the goggles fit over the bridge of your nose?
Do you have a good field of view with the goggles?
How Your Helmet And Snowboard Goggles Should Fit
When you’re shopping, bring your helmet with you. You’ll want to try the goggles and helmet on at the same time. If there is a gap between the goggles and your helmet, make a change. This is what skiers and snowboarders call the helmet gap. When you’re shredding+ the wind will rush in, and cause your head and brain to freeze. It’s not a fun experience, and if my brain is going to freeze, I want a lot of ice cream to be involved.
Also, it looks really weird.
Do The Snowboard Goggles Fit The Bridge Of Your Nose?
This is a problem I have when I’m buying goggles, my nose tends to run wide and doesn’t fit normal goggles. I’ll go through a ton of goggles that never feel right. Make sure you try on multiple snow goggles and don’t settle until your nose fits properly.
You’ll know when goggles don’t have the right fit, it’s either uncomfortable or there’s a huge gap. Either one is an issue, and something you don’t need on the mountain.
How Is Your Peripheral View When You Wear The Snowboard Goggles?
Put the Snowboard Goggles on and look from left to right. Also see how far to the left or right you can see, without moving your head. You want to see everything so you can stay safe and shred epically on the mountain.
Make sure you have a full range of views. Some frameless spherical goggles give you full perception, while others with a frame give tunnel vision. They might slide down or cause blurriness, if you wear glasses do they fit over them?
What’s The Deal With Snowboard Goggles With Lens Swapping?
There are some new snowboard goggles that have come out in the last season or two with the ability to swap lenses. They are pretty awesome and I’d highly recommend them.
Smith Optics makes a really good magnetic lens swap. You can literally swap them out in 10-15 seconds, unlike older pairs which are a pain.
So In Conclusion:
Snowboard goggles should be chosen on 4 different variables.
Comfort – how do they fit your face? Are they warm?
Sight – Can you see out of them in the conditions you’ll be riding in? Will they fog up on you?
Price – Are you breaking the bank when you buy them?
Style – Looks – Do these goggles make you look epic?
Ultimately, #1 and #2 are a tie. I don’t wanna ride all day with uncomfortable goggles, but of course, seeing is pretty helpful when shredding as well.
Below Are Dragon Goggles You Can Purchase From Amazon:
I hope this guide was a great help to you, don’t forget to subscribe below, and feel free to comment if you wanted to add anything. Don’t forget to check out my helmet buyers guide or maybe you’d like to read about Balaclavas.