How To Pick The Best Snowboard Goggles;

Snowboard Goggles: Wearing goggles will greatly improve your performance on the mountain. They protect your eyes from the sun, snowflakes, and debris. They also prevent your eyes from watering at high speeds.

As a rule of thumb, how the goggles look should be secondary to what the goggles do. You want to see properly, not look good when you hit a tree. Don’t get caught up in the latest styles, and buy something that doesn’t work. If the goggle doesn’t fit, it’ll ruin your day. Snowboard Goggles are one of the most important pieces of your snowboard gear, get the right one for the right job.

What Are The Best Goggles For Snowboarding?

This is a question I get asked regularly. However this depends on a couple of different factors.

  1. What is your skill level?
  2. Where will you be riding?
  3. What type of weather conditions will you be facing?
  4. Is it daytime or night time?

The best goggles for snowboarding are goggles that help you see everything in front of you at that moment in time.

Changes to terrain, weather, and daylight effect goggles 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.

Snow Goggle Pricing

You can get a decent (and cheap) 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 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 goggle brand, as such I see them more on the expensive side. However if you can find a good deal, that’d be epic.

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 Smith & Anon Ones Later On In This Post.

Mens Snowboard Goggles Vs. Women

I didn’t find a lot of information on this topic, but still felt it was relevant to the post. Traditionally goggles for women are smaller. They are made to fit smaller faces so they can properly frame the face. You’ll find many styles and colors to choose from in different ski and snowboard shops.

After browsing for awhile the only difference I’ve noticed between men and women’s goggles are size. If you’re goggle shopping, color, and goggle style are irrelevant to snowboarding itself. These only matter when you want a certain look. That being said, if the goggle fits and you don’t mind wearing them. Drop into the next run. Most people won’t even notice.

The Lens Shapes Of Snowboard Goggles

Generally speaking, they’re two different shapes of 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 lens shapes. The former are usually cheaper and the later give 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.

Why The Shape Of Goggles Matter?

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 at my Snowboard, it looked warped and bent.

I freaked out at first, It was an expensive board, and I had no idea how to fix it. Sot 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. Maybe even the most important thing.

Cylindrical Goggle Lenses

Cylindrical Lens
Cylindrical 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.

Wearing them gives you a classic, ski instructor look, but they have issues with glare, fogging, and UV protection.

What we need is a comparative pros/cons list, so I’m writing my thoughts below. However this isn’t everything, as I know others have their own opinions too. Use my list as a jumping off point, as I know there will be more to add later.

If cylindrical lenses fit your face and you enjoy them. By all means, use them when you shred.

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 in my experience) Many of these cons disappear when you purchase more expensive goggles too.

Spherical Snowboarding Goggles

Spherical Lens
Spherical Lens Goggles

When you choose Snowboard Goggles remember that fit and vision is everything. It also helps when they look good. Whenever I ride, I use spherical goggles. They give a wider range of view, 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 picture).

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 the spherical shape, they have a smaller surface area and less UV rays get though. In addition to that there’s more volume in the lens 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.

Cons: They tend to be more expensive, this is the major downside of the Goggles. However that tide is changing. if you look on amazon there’s quite a few companies coming out with economical styles. Check out my blog post about Zionor Goggles by clicking here.

Below Are Some Links On Amazon To Smith Goggles:

Toric Snowboard Goggles

Snowboard goggles with Toric Lenses are relatively new. I’ve personally never used a pair, and all my knowledge is second hand.

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.

Lens Colors For Snowboard Goggles

For Snowboard Goggles, choosing the right lens can make or break a day on the mountain. I’ve messed up quite a few times wearing the wrong goggle 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 and that can be a safety issue.

There’s going to be 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 bea pain to switch out the lenses so I love this new invention a lot.

Snowboarding Goggles That Are Perfect For Sunny Days:

Black Lens Goggles

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 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.

Snowboard Goggles For Cloudy Days

Violet Lens Color

Violet lenses are best used in low to moderate light level conditions. They work best if used at night or during a cloudy day. The lens color helps enhance details so you’ll see bumps and moguls easier.

If you live in the midwest like me, I’d purchase these because you can do a lot of night riding with them. They are also look stylish, and smith optics has been around a long time making goggles.

Amber Lens Goggles
Amber Lens

Amber Lenses

There is A lot of talk from people who say amber lenses are the best lenses for overcast conditions. I’m not sure, but I’m kind of indifferent on the topic. I’ve found them to be good overall but not better than any of the other styles I’ve used. My first pair of Snowboarding Goggles had amber lenses and I liked them, but I wouldn’t really go back.

***Side Note, My issue with them involved fogging and that had nothing to do with their color.

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 when compared to the black lenses, but that was minimal.

Pink Or Rose Color Goggle Lenses

These lens colors are perfect for low level to mid level light days. They work best when you’re out tearing up a hill on a cloudy day. I have needed a new pair of these for awhile, since my old ones got horribly scratched.

These lens colors are perfect for low level to mid level light days. They work best when you’re out tearing up a hill on a cloudy day. I have needed a new pair of these for awhile, since my old ones got horribly scratched.

Yellow/Gold Lens Goggles

Gold & Yellow 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 an excellent Goggle choice 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.

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 on the whole thing, I could be wrong about that.

Below Are Anon Goggles You Can Purchase From Amazon:

Snowboard Goggles For Night Riding

When you find yourself doing some night riding (many midwest riders 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 it was like wearing sunglasses at night.

Not having the proper lenses for the right conditions is also a safety issue. I know that sounds lame, but you’ll have a lot more fun when you’re not injured.

Goggles With Blue Lens
Blue Lens Goggles

Blue 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 contours of the hill better. Use caution when riding during the day as they amplify the light.

Snowboard Goggle Lenses For Variable Conditions

Clear Lenses

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 aren’t flashy, but they’ll get the job done.

Green Lenses

These goggles are another all around snowboard goggle. The green color helps increase contrast and gives better depth perception, and they can be worn on cloudy days as well as sunny ones.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are new to the game, at least compared to the other goggles. They are goggles 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 click the link below to see what I found. If you have more details on these goggles. Please comment below, I’d love to hear more about them.

Snowboard Goggles Fit

Goggle fit is equally important to what lens color you’ll be needing. What good are goggles if they fall off or you can’t see out of them? Here are three areas I look at to get a proper goggle fit.

  1. Does It Fit Your Helmet? (You should be wearing a helmet, and if you don’t have one, read my helmet guide)
  2. How do the goggles fit over the bridge of your nose?
  3. Do you have a good field of view with the goggles?

Helmet And Goggle Fit

When you’re goggle 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 above the goggle and helmet showing your forehead, you’ll want to make a change. This is what skiers and snowboarders call the helmet gap. When you’re riding 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.

And, it looks really weird. 

Do The 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. Try on multiple goggles and don’t settle until your nose fits properly.

You’ll know when a goggle doesn’t fit right, it’s uncomfortable or there’s a huge gap.

How Is Your View When You Wear The Goggles?

With the Snowboard Goggles, can you see out of them? Turn your head from side to side, any issues? Do you have full range of view? Some frameless spherical goggles give you full perception, while others with a frame give tunnel vision. They might slide down or cause blurriness, also do they fit over glasses?

Snowboard Goggles And Lens Swapping?

There’s some new goggles that have come out in the last season or two with the ability to swap lenses. That’s pretty awesome and I’d highly recommend them.

Here’s My Whole Post Wrapped Up Pretty Quickly

Snowboard goggles should be chosen on a few different variables.

  1. Comfort – how do they fit your face? Are they warm?
  2. Sight – Can you see out of them in the conditions you’ll be riding in? Will they fog up on you?
  3. Price – Are you breaking the bank when you buy them?
  4. 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.

3 Comments

Add a Comment