Ultimate Snowboard Goggle Buying Guide (2020)


These days there’s a huge variety of goggles on the market. So what should you look for when buying a pair? We’ll explain all the options available and how to best look after your goggles.

Things to look for when buying goggles:

Goggle Lens Shapes

There are 3 different types of lens shape and each one has pros and cons:

Spherical Goggle Lenses

These types of lens are curved on both the horizontal and vertical axis creating a bubble shape around your face. They offer better peripheral view as the light which comes to your eyes hits the lens at a straighter angle and creates less reflection. They also tend to fog less as the bubble shape creates extra space around your face for air to circulate. On the downside they are more expensive and the more exposed front of the lens is more easily scratched.

Pros

  • Low profile
  • Easier to look after

Cons

  • Can fog up
  • Can get some glare and reflections in the corners

Smith I​/O MAG XL

POC Jeremy Jones

Giro Article


Cylindrical lenses

These types of lens curve horizontally around your face but are flat vertically. They tend to be cheaper models as the cost of manufacture is less, The flatter lens is better protected by the frame of the goggles so is more easy to look after and less prone to getting scratched. However, the flat vertical plane can create some reflection when looking into the corners and the lower profile of the goggle means less air inside so they can fog up easier than Spherical lenses.

Pros

  • Best for not fogging up
  • Best peripheral vision

Cons

    • Most expensive lens shape
    • Easily scratched

Oakley Line Miner

Dragon NFX2

Anon M3


Toric Goggle lenses

A relatively new development, Toric combine the curves of Spherical and Cylindrical curves, to create a low profile goggle with great peripheral vision. Flat in the vertical plane between the eyes they start their cylindrical curve towards the edges where reflections and glare can cause problems.

Pros

      • Low profile
      • Easier to look after

Cons

      • Can fog up
      • Can get some glare and reflections in the corners

Electric EGG

Sweet Protection Clockwork

Giro Ringo


Goggle Lens Color Guide

Goggle lens come in a whole variety of colors.Obviously the darker tints will be better for those sunny bluebird days and the lighter tints will be better on those cloudy days, but what color is best for what kind of conditions. As a general rule anything on the yellow/red spectrum is better in low light and anything blue or neutral is better in the bright sun

Vlt rating

VLT stands for visible light transmission and is a percentage rating of how much light the goggle lets through. Lower percentages mean less light passes through and higher percentage means more light is allowed to pass through.

Goggles with interchangeable lenses

So with so many lenses for so many conditions how do you decide on one lens? Well the easy answer is that you don’t. Most goggles in the medium price range and above come with 2 lenses, usually one is for full sun and one for mixed cloudy weather meaning you have a lens for almost all conditions on the mountain. If you’re one of these people who are up shredding no matter what the conditions then it may also be worth considering buying a 3rd lens for those really flat light, stormy days

How easy is it to change lens?

Back in the day I used to work in a snowboard shop and would always try and avoid giving the customer a demo of how to change lenses…because it was so damn difficult! Thankfully goggle brands have come up with much better systems for changing lenses meaning it takes just a few second to switch out lenses. Notable examples are:

      • Oakley Switchlock
      • Anon Magna-Tech
      • Dragon Swiftlock

Photochromic ski/snowboard goggles

Whilst changing lenses is a good solution for riding in all conditions, having the lenses change themselves is even better! Photochromic lenses do just that, they adjust their tint as the light conditions change, meaning you should never need to change your lenses again! Most brands now offer at least one model with these types of lens

Google/Helmet compatibility

Most goggles fit fine with most helmets but if you dont want to take any chances then go for the same brand for both you helmet and your goggles. Brands which do a good job of both are:

Anon
Giro
POC

How to stop goggles fogging

Fogged-up goggles can really ruin your day and potentially your lenses! Once they’ve gone all misty is really hard to get them clear again whilst you’re still on the mountain, and rubbing the inside of the lens with a cloth can ruin them!

Why do goggles fog up?

Goggles fog up when you’ve got too much warm moist air hitting the cold lens, but there are ways to avoid this happening in the first place:

      • Try not to get too hot!
        A good tip and not just for you goggles is to try and avoid over heating. If you feel you are working hard and starting to warm up, open up all the vents on your jacket or lose a layer.
      • Don’t put them on your head
        Putting your goggles on your head is putting them in direct contact with the warmest, sweatiest parts of your body. This is particularly bad if you‘re wearing a beanie and not a helmet
      • Keep moving
        this might be easier said than done for the beginner snowboarders out there but getting a bit of speed up and pushing some air through your goggles it a great way of keeping the clear.
      • Dry them out
        At the end of the day, particularly if its been snowing, make sure you take your goggles out of your bag and put them somewhere warm and dry. This way they’ll be dried out, clear as a bell and ready to go the next morning. If you need to dry them up the hill, try putting them under the hand dryer in the bathroom
      • Buy good quality double lenses having 2 sheets of plastic in the goggle reduces the contact between your warm body heat and the cold outside air, making them fog less.
      • Use Spherical lenses
        They are more expensive, but spherical lenses create more airflow between your face and the lens, meaning they fog less

How to clean goggle lenses

      • Use the google bag
        The bag that comes with your goggles is the only thing you should wipe them with. If you need to get snow out of them just bang it out with your hand rather than wipe it with the cloth
      • Don’t scratch them
        Goggles lenses are really easy to scratch. At the end of the day try and remember to put them back in their bag.
      • Use a goggle lens cover
        If you wear a helmet you can put goggle protectors over your lenses at the end of the day. This way you can keep them protected without having to unhook your goggles from your helmet.
      • Make sure they fit well so you don’t get air coming in
        Any little gaps around your nose can let air in and can make you cry like a baby on a cold day. All those tears flying around can really mess up the inside of your goggles, so make sure you get a nicely fitting goggle then you should need to clean the inside at all!