For eye comfort and better visibility while skiing or snowboarding, goggles range in quality and price. We hit the slopes to get a clearer look at what works best.
The key to any goggles is having enough ventilation to avoid fogging up. Vents or small holes in the top or sides of the goggles must big enough to let cool air move across the inner lens surface to reduce fogging and cool your eye area. The bigger the holes the better the venting, but it will also be cooler.
Another way to reduce fogging is with double lenses; these goggles are a bit more expensive than single lenses, but they are worth it if you’re constantly dealing with fog issues.
A lens with more of a convex shape, as opposed to flat, aids peripheral vision, which makes for safer skiing.
The colour of the lenses is designed for different lighting conditions.
Yellow/gold/amber lenses filter out blue light and are versatile for most conditions, especially low to moderate light.
Black iridium-coloured lenses have a mirrored coating to reduce glare without distorting colours; good for bright sunny days.
Rose-coloured lenses are best for dull gray days to help highlight shadows and contours.
Most goggles have 100% UV protection, which is important at higher altitudes.
If you wear a helmet, make sure the goggles are designated as over-the-helmet (OTH), and bring your helmet with you when trying on goggles.
If you wear prescription glasses, make sure the goggles are designated OTG (over-the-glass) so they allow enough space inside the chamber to accommodate your glasses.
Since the goggles rest against your face, make sure they’re comfortable. Most goggles have foam around them, and some even have a fleece coating for extra warmth and comfort.
We asked some snowboarders and skiers to help us try out four pairs of goggles:
- Gordini: $19.99
- Smith: $47.99
- Scott: $120
- Oakley: $219.99
We tried to intentionally fog up by first wearing the goggles in a restaurant freezer and then stepping into the sizzling hot kitchen. Each of our four goggles gave us clear vision – no fog whatsoever!
The Gordini weren’t quite as comfortable as the others.
Some testers experienced slipping problems with the Smith goggles when worn with a helmet.
The Oakley’s fit well and didn’t slip at all.
OUR TOP PICK
The Oakley goggles, though the most expensive, were also the favourite of all our testers. They had a great fit, a strap that didn’t slip, and no fogging issues. They also looked great!