Ski Goggles – Buyers Guide
Ski Goggles are one of the most essential pieces of your ski gear. They provide the ability to differentiate snow forms, keep snow and wind out of your eyes, and most importantly, protect your eyes from harmful UV rays that bounce around on snow. Any good snow goggles will provide adequate UV protection, what makes a pair of goggles great is ease of use and performance.
Fitting a Pair of Goggles
One of the most important things to look for in a pair of goggles is fit. However it's also the hardest to objectively decide on over the internet. Pending on your particular face shape, certain models simply might not work.
When trying on a pair of goggles for the first time, hold them up to your face with a little bit of pressure and check that the foam is in contact with your face all the way around. The aim is to have them feeling secure but gentle. How tight the strap is has a huge effect on the pressure the goggles exert on your face, so if they feel too tight, loosen it off a little.
Goggle Frame Size
When deciding on a pair of goggle, we normally start with frame size. Bigger frames have the advantage of generally providing better peripheral vision but can be uncomfortable for those with smaller faces.
|Frame Size||Description||Helmet Compatibility|
|Small||Low Profile Goggles to suit smaller faces||Great, especially smaller sizes|
|Medium||Medium sized goggles providing good field of vision & fitting most face sizes||Great|
|Large||Massive goggles aimed at providing maximum field of vision||Poor|
Goggles vary in price from sub $100 all the way up to $400. The difference between the two is the features that each pair comes with. The style of interchangeable lenses is the most significant difference between a good pair of goggles and a mediocre one.
Over the Glasses (OTG)
Most companies have goggles that are compatible with people who wear glasses while skiing. To allow the goggles to sit comfortably over the glasses, the goggles have to have a fair bit of room on the inside of the lens, so lower profile goggles often don’t work very well. The main alteration they make is a small gap in the frame to allow for the arms of the glasses.
For one reason or another, traditional goggle shapes don’t agree with the stereotypical face shape of Asian skiers. To counter this, goggle companies add an extra layer of padding around the nose area in ‘Asian Fit’ models. This often minimises any gap between the foam and the face that can lead to increased airflow through the goggles.
There are plenty of good systems out there nowadays, and each of them are different. We could write a whole article on the different methods of changing lenses. Essentially, the old style of pulling up from the top of the frame and then plucking the lens out one notch at a time is outdated. Most people buying these type of goggles have little to no intention of changing the lens.
The newer systems are amazing. Anon’s Magna-tech range tops the class, Dragon feature Swift-Lock in a fair few of their goggles, and Giro have a whole range of cool lens changing options in their new ranges. Each technology make swapping lenses a breeze.