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7 Best Ski Goggles Guide [Test and Reviews]

Updated April 9th, 2024

best ski goggles 2023 gear guide

Ski goggles are a piece of equipment that can make or break your ski experience. The right set of goggles protects your eyes and makes it easier to see in any light condition. The wrong set of goggles can leave you a fogged up mess that can’t see anything. We spent our winter on the mountain testing goggles so we can find the very best performers.

See below for our best ski goggle top picks. Keep reading for reviews and a, Ski Goggle Guide, with everything you need to know and more about ski goggles.


The 7 Best Ski Goggles

BEST OVERALL: Smith 4D Mag

BEST BUDGET: Outdoor Master Falcon

BEST ANTI-FOG: Oakley Flight Deck L

BEST FOR WEARING OVER GLASSES: Smith I/O Mag XL

BEST SKI GOGGLE ON AMAZON: Outdoor Master Pro

BEST PHOTOCHROMIC: Glade Adapt 2

Wildhorn Maxfield


How we test

We ski with our test goggles throughout the winter in a variety of conditions. We ski everything from heavy fog and rain at Whitefish, MT to sunny powder days at Powder Mountain, Utah. Most of our skiing is done in the overcast flat light conditions that make up most of our winters here in Michigan.

See our guide to the best Budget Ski Goggles for the best cheap under $100 ski goggles out there.

1. Smith 4D Mag

BEST OVERALL SKI GOGGLE

Smith 4D Mag Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Toric
  • Fit – Large
  • Included Lens – 2
  • Interchangable Lens – Magnets & Latches

What we liked:

  • Huge field of view
  • Great flat light and all light condition performance from ChromaPop lenses
  • Great anti-fog performance
  • Includes 2 lenses
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Includes a hard case, goggle sock and microfiber bag
  • Comes in an environmentally friendly brown cardboard box with minimal throwaway plastic

What we didn’t like:

  • High cost
  • Small distortion in the lower part of your field of view

The Smith 4D Mag is the latest flagship goggle from Smith Optics. It takes the popular Smith I/O design and increases the field of view even further. They do this by lowering the bottom of the frame and rolling the lens down further. This expands the peripheral view of the goggle. The downside is that there is some distortion along the very bottom of your field of view. The 4D Mag uses the excellent ChromaPop lenses so you’ll get great flat light performance as well as huge field of view.

The 4D Mag uses the Smith Mag magnetic lens change system which uses a combination of latches and magnets. The 4D design uses 2 small latches on the edge of the frame that can be released while wearing the goggles. The 4D Mag includes a hard case for goggle storage along with a goggle sock to cover it. This is a huge improvement over the 2 pocket microfiber bag that Smith used to give for storage. They still give you that bag too.

Vantage with 4D on chair lift

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2. Outdoor Master Falcon

BEST BUDGET SKI GOGGLE

Outdoor Master Falcon product image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Toric
  • Fit – Large
  • Included Lens – 2
  • Interchangable Lens – Magnetic

What we liked:

  • Very clear lenses with good difinition of the snow surface
  • Stylish flat lens look
  • They come with 2 lenses that can be swapped in seconds while wearing them
  • They include a hardcase for storage
  • Good flat light and anti-fog performance
  • Great value with a very reasonable price

What we didn’t like:

  • The second lens could be a bit darker like a 50-60% VLT instead of a 91% lens.
  • There isn’t much to find wrong with these goggles.

The Outdoor Master Falcon could easily be a $200-$300 ski goggle if sold by Smith or Oakley. Here it is from Outdoor Master for just $100. It has every bit of lens technology and other feature found in a high end goggles from the big name brands. Outdoor Master has always been about bringing great gear to the mountain at a price anyone can afford. The Falcon proves that they know exactly how to do that.

The Falcon takes a step up in lens quality using lenses by Zeiss Optics. Zeiss has been making lenses for Giro and Anon brand for years. They produce very high clarity lenses that give you a clear view of the slope. Their SONAR color filtering technology gives everything the visual pop you get from Smith ChromaPop or Oakley PRIZM lenses. The Falcon comes with a primary lens that is good for bright and overcast conditions. They all come with a 91% yellow lens that is good for dark flat light days.

The goggles have a cylindrical lens frameless design that follows all the latest styling trends. It uses 10 magnets to attach the lens for easy and fast lens changing.

Outdoor Master Falcon and Elk front view

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Get 10-20% OFF with code ERO2022 at OUTDOOR MASTER


3. Oakley Flight Deck

BEST ANTI-FOG SKI GOGGLE

Oakley Flight Deck Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Spherical
  • Fit – Medium or Large
  • Included Lens – 1
  • Interchangable Lens – Ridgelock

What we liked:

  • High performance PRIZM lens
  • Very good ventilation, and anti-fog coating
  • Available in medium and large fits

What we didn’t like:

  • High cost
  • Old style lens change system
  • No extra lens included

If you ski somewhere that tends to get a lot of fog and wet humid conditions, you need the best anti-fog performance you can get. Oakley Flight Deck goggles are the best out there for anti-fog performance. They have spherical lenses with a ton of ventilation and top notch PRIZM lenses that work well in all conditions.

They have Oakley Ridgelock lens swapping system allowing easy lens changes. You do have to take them off your helmet to swap lenses. If you need goggles that stay fog free, check out the Oakley Flight Deck goggles.

oakley flight deck M at the slopes

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4. Smith I/O Mag, Mag S, & Mag XL

BEST OTG SKI GOGGLE

Smith I/O Mag XL Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Toric
  • Fit – Large
  • Included Lens – 2
  • Interchangable Lens – Magnetic & Latches

What we liked:

  • Great performing ChromaPop lenses
  • Plenty of room and ventilation to work well with glasses
  • Comfortable design

What we didn’t like:

  • Magnetic lens change system that requires you to take off goggles to change
  • High Cost

If you need to wear glasses while skiing, you need OTG goggles. The very best OTG Goggles out there are the Smith I/O Max XL. These goggles have an extra large frame with toric lenses that give you plenty of room to comfortably wear a set of glasses under them. They have enough ventilation to keep the goggle and your prescription lenses fog free.

Smith I/O Mag goggles come with Smith ChromaPop lenses that are some of the best perfoming lenses for flat light conditions. If you have to wear glasses while skiing, check out the Smith I/O Mag XL goggles.

I/O Mag XL Flat light day

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5. Outdoor Master Pro

BEST SKI GOGGLE ON AMAZON

Outdoor Master Pro goggle product image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Spherical
  • Fit – Medium
  • Included Lens – 1
  • Interchangable Lens – Magnetic

What we liked:

  • Lots of features like magnetic swapping spherical lenses for $50
  • Can buy bundled with an extra lens

What we didn’t like:

  • Lenses aren’t as good as Oakley PRIZM and Smith Chromapop

If you are looking for a cheap set of ski goggles that still performs well, you can’t go wrong with the Outdoor Master Pro. They are packed full of features and available for under $50. They have magnetic swappable lenses with 20 available lenses. They don’t have lenses as good as Smith or Oakley but they work good. They are comfortable and do a good job of resisting fog.

They are a nice step up from the cheap basic goggles from other manufacturers that have a single fixed orange or yellow lens. You can buy them alone or bundled with an extra lens. If you want good and cheap goggles, check out the Outdoor Master Pro goggles.

OM Pro Goggles on snow

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Get 10-20% OFF with code ERO2022 at OUTDOOR MASTER


6. Glade Adapt 2

BEST PHOTOCHROMIC SKI GOGGLE

Glade Optics Adapt 2 Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Cylindrical
  • Fit – Large & Medium
  • Included Lens – 1
  • Interchangable Lens – No

What we liked:

  • Photochromic lenses that adjust to almost any light condition
  • Cool looking frameless flat lens style

What we didn’t like:

  • Photochromic lenses can only adjust so far
  • Not quite as dark as we would like on really bright days

If you don’t like swapping lenses as the light changes throughout the day, photochromic lenses are for you. They get darker or lighter as the light changes. The Glade Optics Adapt 2 is one of the best photochromic goggles out there and is available at a very reasonable price.

We have skied the Adapt in almost every light condition from really bright days to night skiing. They work for very bright cloudless sunny days but leave you wishing for something a little darker. For everything else, from partly cloudy to flat light, they work great. If you want a one lens goggle option that works for everything, the Glade Adapt 2 is for you.

Adapt on sunny day

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7. Wildhorn Maxfield

Wildhorn Maxfield Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Toric
  • Fit – Large
  • Included Lens – 2
  • Interchangable Lens – Magnetic & Latch

What we liked:

  • Wide field of view
  • Clear lenses with minimal distortion
  • Soft comfortable feel to the foam and flexible frame
  • Includes 2 lenses
  • Effective color optimization gives good flat light performance
  • Good value for the price
  • Latches keep the lens secure

What we didn’t like:

  • Orange frame is bright when viewed from inside goggle around the nose
  • Only 3 colors are available
  • Lens take more effort to change than a pure magnet system

The Wildhorn Maxfield Toric Ski Goggles are the latest offering from Wildhorn Outfitters. They are a true high performance ski goggle with high quality color optimized lenses. They are a step up in performance from anything we have seen from Wildhorn before.

The Maxfield has toric lenses with a big field of view. They come with 2 lenses. You get a 17% lens good for bright conditions and a 50% lens good for dull flat light conditions. It is a good lens combination that makes sense for the majority of skiers.

Their color optimized lenses work great in flat light. The lens change system is easy to use and keeps lenses from ever falling off the frame.

Silver Maxfield front view

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Get 15% OFF with code ACTIVEGEAR15 at WILDHORN OUTFITTERS


Ski Goggle Guide

There are a lot of options and things to consider when shopping for ski goggles. Lets take a look at all the things you should look for and think about when buying ski goggles.

1 – UV Protection

Almost all ski goggles offer UV400 protection against UV Rays. UV400 means that they block all UV rays up to 400nanometers. This covers both UVA and UBV rays. A set of ski goggles that provides UV400 protection blocks almost 100% of UV rays that are harmful. Always look for UV400 protection from your ski goggles so you know they are keeping your eyes safe.

2 – Size and Fit

Ski Goggles tend to come in 3 sizes. Small fit, medium fit, and large fit. Small fit tend to be goggles meant for children. Medium fit and large fit are sized for adults. Medium fit tends to work best for smaller adults, women, or teens. Large fit works best for larger adults or men. Goggle frames also have different curvature and nose shapes.

The only way to really know what will fit you the best is by trying them on and seeing what fits well. A ski goggle should fit snug and the foam should seal against your face all the way around. If you have an air gap above your nose or anywhere else you should try a different set of goggles.

3 – Lens Shape

There are 3 main lens shapes that ski goggles come with.

  • Cylindrical – A flat lens that wraps around the goggles
  • Spherical – A curved lens with the same curvature in both horizontal and vertical directions
  • Toric – A curved lens with less curvature in the vertical direction than horizontal
Meander Goggles on mountain
Cylindrical Lens
Ultra XM on cloudy day
Spherical Lens
Vision XL at PM side view
Toric Lens

Cylindrical lens

Cylindrical lenses are the oldest style of ski goggle lens. They’re basically just flat pieces of glass or plastic that curve around your face. The main benefit of cylindrical lenses is that they’re usually cheaper than other types. This type of lens has more distortion because the lens shape doesn’t match your eyes shape.

Cylindrical lenses have a more lean and low profile look. The lens doesn’t stick out from the frame. This retro look has become more in style lately. Goggle makers have figured out how to reduce the distortion by thinning the lens.

Spherical Lens

Spherical lenses are a lens cut out of a sphere. They have the same curvature in the vertical and horizontal direction. The main advantage to spherical lenses is they have less distortion than cylindrical lenses. You still get some noticable distortion out towards the edges of the lens. Because there is more air space inside the goggle with a spherical lens, you get better ventilation and anti-fog performance with this lens type. The lenses can look like they are bulging out from your face and helmet which some people don’t care for.

Toric Lens

This is the latest and most advanced lens shape. Toric lenses have less curvature in the vertical direction than horizontal direction. They don’t look like flat lenses. They don’t bulge out like spherical lenses. They have the best match to your natural eye shape and the least distortion of any goggle lens shape. They have anti-fog performance that is almost as good as spherical lenses.

4 – Field of View

You want to be able to see as much of your surroundings as possible while wearing ski goggles. You want goggles that don’t block your peripheral vision. You can get good field of view out of any lens shape and from frameless or framed designs. The Oakley Line Miner’s have great peripheral vision and they are cylindrical lens goggles with a framed design. The Smith 4D Mag goggles also have great field of view. They are toric lens shape frameless goggle. The top models from the most popular goggle makers all have really great field of view these days.

5 – Lens color and VLT

VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission. This is the amount of light that a lens lets pass through. A 10% lens will be very dark and only allow a small amount of light through. A 90% lens will be almost clear and let most light pass through it. A VLT of 10-20% is good for really bright days. A VLT of 20-40% is good for partly cloudy, or overcast days. They also work well when it’s snowing or raining out. 40-60% is good for dark low light days with heavy clouds or later in the day right before sunset. >60% VLT is good for evening and night skiing.

VLT for ski goggles table

Different color lenses work better for different conditions.

For really bright conditions mirrored lenses that are any color work well. Darker black, grey, blue, green, and red lenses all work for well for bright days.

For flat light and low light conditions, yellow, orange, red, and amber lenses work best. These lenses work by filtering out blue shades. This helps separate the colors in the snow surface allowing you to see it better. See this article on blue filtering from NASA to learn more.

Clear or very lightly tinted lenses work best for night skiing. You just want to see as much light as possible once the sun goes down.

SEE ALSO: What Color Lens is Best for Ski Goggles? How to Pick The Right Lens

outdoormaster VLT guide

6 – Photochromic lens

Photochromic lenses change VLT or how dark they are depending on how bright it is outside. A photochromic lens can have a VLT of 20-60% making it useful on a variety of days without changing lenses. The limitation is that they can only change so much. You can’t have a lens that goes full range from VLT 10%-60%.

7 – Color Optimized or Color Filtering lenses

The top ski goggle makers all produce something called color optimized or color filtering lenses on their high end goggles. The 2 most popular are Smith Optics ChromaPop and Oakley PRIZM. These work by filtering out shades of blue so that you can see the snow surface better than with the naked eye. These lenses all have a slight yellow or orange tint to them from the inside. It is very pronounced with ChromaPop. It’s much more subtle with PRIZM lenses. The rest fall somewhere in between.

These lenses can be any color or finish on the outside such as mirrored or black. You can have a blue mirror ChromaPop lens but it will look yellowish-orange from the inside. These lenses are worth the extra cost over a straight orange lens and they look a lot better too.

Some of the brand names for these lenses are:

8 – Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses only let light pass through in certain directions. They do a very good job of reducing glare and reflections. Polarized lenses work best on really bright days when there is a lot of glare coming off the snow surface. Polarized lenses can make it harder to see during a flat light condition day.

9 – Anti-Fog performance

The formula to get good fog resistance in a goggle is these 4 things.

  1. Dual pane lenses
  2. Anti-fog coating
  3. Foam that seals around the opening of the goggle
  4. Ventilation

Almost every ski goggle made has these features. They are not all made equal. Features such as moisture wicking foam and more advanced anti-fog coatings can give goggles much better anti-fog performance.

Ski goggles today are designed to work with vents in ski helmets that pull more air through the goggles. This helps clear moisture out and defog goggles quickly as soon as you start moving. You can get the best anti-fog performance from a set of ski goggles by using a matching helmet with defog vents.

ultras in fog rain
Wet foggy day at Whitefish, MT testing ski gear

10 – Goggle to Helmet compatibility

You want your ski goggles to have a nice tight fit against your helmet. You do not want to have a big goggle gap between them. This makes you look like a “Gaper” and everyone will instantly think you don’t know what you’re doing. It also removes any defogging help your helmet might have given your goggles. Goggles and helmets have evolved so that almost any new goggle will work with almost any new helmet these days. You will still get the best fit by using the same brand goggle and helmet.

See our Ski Helmet Gear Guide to see our picks for the best ski helmets.

Fall line on lift side view
Good fit between goggle and helmet with no “goggle gap”

11 – Interchangeable Lens Goggles

A lot of ski goggles these days have interchangable lens systems so that you can easily swap lenses. There are many different systems. My favorite and the most user friendly is the magnetic system pioneered by Anon on their M2 goggles. It uses only magnets and changing lenses takes just seconds. Lenses can be changed without taking the goggles off your face.

There are other systems such as Oakley Ridgelock that use an interlocking ridge on the lens that engages the frame. You swap lenses by pulling the frame and lens apart and then wrapping the frame back onto the lens. You cannot change these lenses without taking the goggles off your face and helmet.

There are other systems that use latches or combinations of latches and magnets with varying degrees of user-friendliness. The Wildhorn system has easy to access latches that can be operated wearing gloves while wearing goggles. The Smith I/O Mag system has latches under the strap which means you have to take the goggles off to switch lenses.

12 – Unisex vs Men’s vs Women’s ski goggles

There are a few ski goggles that are marketed as women’s goggles. There really isn’t any difference between men’s and women’s ski goggles. What does matter is the size and fit. If you are shopping for women’s goggles and have an average size women’s face start with medium fit goggles. If you are shopping for men’s goggles, start with large fit. The only real way to know if a goggle fits you or not is by trying them on.

13 – Regular Fit vs Asian Fit/Low Bridge Fit

Some goggle makers produce what they call “Low bridge fit” or “Asian fit” goggles. These are made to work with faces that have a smaller nose. They have more foam in the nose area so they will seal against a smaller nose shape. If you find that you have an air gap above your nose with regular fit goggles, you might find that low bridge fit goggles work better for you.

Regular fit nose foam
Smith Goggles with regular fit nose foam
low bridge fit nose foam
Smith goggles with low bridge fit nose foam

See our guide to the best Budget Ski Goggles for the best cheap under $100 ski goggles out there.

Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com