The best ski goggles are essential to keep your eyes protected on the ski slopes. They need to be shielded both from the sun’s rays, which are more intense at a higher altitude, and the chill winds (ditto). But the range of options can be baffling – you'll find there are different lens colours, photochromic lenses (which darken or lighten automatically, depending on the intensity of the sun’s rays), fixed or interchangeable lenses – and that’s before we even come to choosing the best ski goggles in terms of frame shapes and sizes.
Read on for our pick on the best ski goggles around right now, and don't forget to check out our guides to the best ski jacket (or the best women's ski jackets specifically) and best ski pants to complete your kit.
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Which are the best ski goggles?
When it comes to the best ski goggles, our favourite product wasn’t the most expensive on test. We decided that the mid-priced Scott Shield offers a great combination of fit, features and value. But if budget is not an issue, you should certainly check out the premium-priced Dragon RVX OTG.
How to choose the best ski goggles for you
Most goggles come in different sizes, and all goggles have adjustable straps to enable you to get a comfortable fit – too tight will be uncomfortable, while too loose and they could slide out of position or come off in a spill. Also, check that they’re compatible with your helmet.
Another thing to look for is a pair of ski goggles with as much peripheral vision as possible. We all have different shaped faces and some goggles inevitably fit better than others, so search out a model that doesn’t give you any blind spots. This is a safety issue, since you need to be aware of other skiers at all times.
The lenses in ski goggles come in the categories listed below, so decide which conditions you’re most likely to be skiing in and choose accordingly. Alternatively, you could go for a model with interchangeable lenses, such as the Smith Squad MAG, or a photochromic lens, like that of the excellent value Cébé Razor, which will allow you to take on any weather conditions. All good quality ski goggle lenses are also certified to cut out 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Ski goggle lenses – in brief:
- Category S1: Lightly tinted lenses for overcast conditions.
- Category S2: All-round lens tints for the majority of weather conditions.
- Category S3: Dark lenses that cut out a lot of the sun’s rays, ideal for bright sunny days.
- Category S4: Very dark lenses for high altitude glaciers and intense bright light.
The best ski goggles you can buy right now
Scott’s Shield ski goggles (opens in new tab) feature a unique semi-frameless design and large cylindrical lens, and they’ve been designed to maximise field of vision. This, along with a wide strap and super-soft three-layer face foam makes the Shield not just comfortable but also practical, since unless you have a massive face you’re unlikely to experience any blind spots whilst wearing them.
The Shield has a double lens which features anti-fog treatment to prevent any steaming up, and as a Category S2 lens it will work in all but the most extreme light conditions, making for a reasonably priced, good-looking and very practical pair of ski goggles – and for only a little bit extra, you can go for a photochromic lens.
The Dragon RVX OTG (opens in new tab) ski goggles utilise an all-new Swiftlock system, which allows you to quickly and securely change the lens while you are on the go. At a pinch you can even change lenses while wearing the goggles, although you’ll need to remove your gloves first. They’re also very versatile – OTG stands for Over the Glasses, meaning you can wear them over spectacles quite comfortably – and peripheral vision is superb, thanks to the cool frameless design. Other standard features include one of the best anti-fog systems around and 100 per cent UV protection. They also come with a very practical fold-up storage case. These features all add up, and we've crowned the Dragon RVX OTG the best ski goggles in the premium range.
You’ll search long and hard to find a better value pair of ski goggles than the Cébé Razor, which comes in a variety of lens colours, offering protection from Category 1 to 3. For slightly more money, a photochromic lens is also available. The Cébé Razor comes in a large fit, so it won’t be suitable for everyone. Also the lack of a silicone backing to the strap means they’re not held in place as securely as they might be. They do offer great peripheral vision, though, and the double lens is both anti-fog and anti-scratch-treated, so they’ll handle a reasonable amount of abuse. The plain, understated looks will suit skiers on a budget, who prefer value for money to bling.
Bollé makes a big deal of its Phantom+ lens technology – it’s one of the company's most upmarket designs and utilises a host of features to enhance your vision on the slopes. This includes NXT material, which provides greater definition, LTS technology, which allows the lens to adapt quickly to light conditions in temperatures as low as minus 25°C, and a semi-polarised film on the lens, which reduces glare and allows you to distinguish ice from snow. Add to that good peripheral vision, a comfortable fit and excellent anti-fog and anti-scratch performance and you may well consider the fairly hefty price tag a price worth paying. And if you can live without the Phantom+ lens, these are the standard lens offering in the Maddox frame for a much more reasonable cost.
The Smith Squad features class-leading MAG interchangeable lens technology. This uses six strong, weatherproof magnetic contact points keep the lens in place, while an easy-to-operate lever on either side of the frame allows for quick and easy lens changes. And since the package includes an S1 and S3 lens, you’re pretty well sorted for anything the mountain can throw at you when you are skiing. Smith’s cylindrical Carbonic-X lens provides excellent clarity and impact resistance and comes with built-in Airflow technology for active ventilation. This is combined with a Fog-X anti-fog inner lens. Another good feature is that the ultra-wide silicone-backed strap keeps the Smith Squad ski goggles in place on your helmet, even in heavy wipeouts.