Snowboard Equipment Guide: Ski Goggles


Hey guys, here are some tips to buy ski goggles:


  1. Purchase a Pair before you get to the Mountain:
    • Any sporting goods, ski and snowboarding, or outdoor gear store should have a pair before the season starts.  You’ll often pay less, and you’ll have more time to make an informed decision.
    • Don’t shop at a snow resort unless you have to.  Many resorts have a limited selection and a high mark-up.
  2. Ask questions:
    • There are so many different goggles out there that it can be hard to choose. You will often get sage advice from a sales rep who has used them at many of the ski and snowboard shops.
    • Better yet, you can always find a pair of the best ski goggles online. Many sites online will give you a good bit of information before you decide going to a store.
  3. Choose the right lens tint (Weather, Terrain, and Activity all play a part in your decision):
    • Yellow, Gold, and Amber work well in low-light and fog because they filter out blue light and emphasize shadows.  They are also good in moderate and variable light conditions.
    • Light Rose, Rose, and Copper are also great on low-light days.
    • Copper, Dark Brown, Dark Gray, and Dark Green work well in bright light because they will keep your eyes comfortable and increase contrast.
    • Grey lenses are good for seeing “true” colors.
    • Mirror coatings enhance tinted lenses effectiveness by reflecting sunlight instead of letting some in.
    • Photochromic lenses become lighter or darker depending on light.  They usually come in grey or brown.
    • Polarized lenses reduce glare from sunlight reflecting off the snow and are great when it’s bright out but not ideal later on in the day when shadows are bigger and longer.
    • Many goggles now have interchangeable lenses allowing you to buy more than just one lens for your ski goggles.
  4. Try on as many as you can:
    • It’s best to test them at the store than on the mountain.
    • Make sure they fit.  Take the time to adjust the straps on your head and see if they are easily adjustable.
    • Make sure they are comfortable.  Most goggles will have layers of foam padded in the back of the goggle to cushion your face.
    • If you have high cheekbones or a shallow nose, consider “Asian” fit goggles.
  5. Look for UVA and UVB light protection:
    • Ultraviolet light can actually give your eyes a sunburn in the short-term.  Long-term damage includes cataracts and other eye diseases.
  6. Peripheral Vision:
    • Look for a pair of goggles that allow you to see 180 degrees from side to side to help you avoid obstacles and other riders.  Spherical lenses often have the most amount of peripheral vision.
  7. Look for anti-fogging features:
    • Pick goggles that have double lenses that prevent fog from forming inside the frame.
    • Anti-fog coating inside the goggle helps, as well as vents around the frame.
  8. Make Safety a priority:
    • Look into impact-resistant materials such as polycarbonate.
    • Flexible frames and lenses are less likely to break during a bad fall.
  9. Look for nice to have features:
    • Scratch-resistant coating will increase the longevity of your goggles.
    • Some goggles have built in User Interfaces and GPS capabilities that track your speed and location like the the Zeal Optics Z3 GPS Live goggles.
  10. Take care of your goggles:
    • Always keep your goggles in a soft pouch or lined case to prevent scratches.
    • Take note of the warranty and return policies of your goggles.  Most places won’t accept damaged goggles after you’ve used them.

Hope these tips help!  See you on the mountains!