HD Ski: 10 Top Ski Goggles
These performance picks will give you a clear view of the mountain
It’s hard picking the right goggles. With so many companies producing goggles that provide phenomenal optics and great fit, it can be difficult choosing a pair that stands above the rest. The good thing is that the odds are stacked in your favor. Typically, the latest frame designs provide superior peripheral vision, comfortable fit and panoramic clarity. Whether you want to spend less than $100 or more than $500, the base performance is pretty high.
Still, good optics in a polycarbonate lens are clutch. This not only protects your eyes from harmful UV rays while simultaneously expanding the visual brilliance in the mountains, it can also enhance reaction time, and thus increase performance, inspire confidence, and give you a better skiing experience no matter what your ability.
Most quality goggles feature a dual lens, which is the foundation for antifogging. Anyone who skis knows that fogged goggles will ruin an otherwise stellar day on the slopes. Smart venting also reduces the buildup of moisture that causes fogging.
Mountain weather can change in minutes. And many manufacturers have super-efficient swappable lenses, giving you the exact lens for the conditions on hand. That said, many are now offering photochromic lenses to accommodate the atmosphere’s changing ambient light, meaning the optics darken or lighten to accommodate the intensity of the sun.
On one side of the spectrum, the bright, refracted light off the snow can fry your eyeballs, so it pays to have a dark lens. But when clouds get in the way, frustrating flat light can take away contours and upset your equilibrium. In either case, photochromic lenses offer requisite UV protection in a dynamic, ever-changing paradigm. This often increases the price, but then again, you now have one pair that covers the light spectrum.
Polarized lenses are another cool consideration when buying goggles. While they aren’t as helpful skiing as they are for a anglers trying to see fish below the water’s surface, the reduction of glare off the snow eliminates distortion, and the true color and definition of an object—trees, rocks, and slope contours—are more easily distinguishable, and with less strain on your eyes.
Frame design has also moved in a direction to accommodate the scores of ski and snowboard helmets on the market. Chances are good that you’ll pair them well, but don’t be surprised if your cherished goggles don’t go exactly with the new helmet. It can often pay to purchase them together.
Below are ten outstanding options. Matched with a variety of styles and colors, these goggles are still about performance. No matter your price point, one of these will give you a clear line of sight.