Snowboard goggles are a critical piece of equipment. They help you to see clearly in the ever-changing conditions that come your way on the mountain. Good goggles are a must for any serious snowboarder.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor who has worked with hundreds of students over the last ten years. I’ve seen hundreds of goggles during that time and know what to look for in a good pair compared to an average option.
The Smith 4D Mag is my pick for the best snowboard goggles for the year. Smith always makes solid goggles, and the 4D Mag represents some of the best in design and materials that the company has created to date.
There are an almost endless amount of snow goggles out there to choose from, so I’ll show you an extended list of all the best options in this post. Finding the best pair for you can be tricky, but all of the models reviewed here come highly recommended.
Lower those lenses, and let’s get to it.
- Quick Summary
- Who Should Get This
- Top Picks of The Best Snowboard Goggles
- How to Choose Snowboard Goggles: Buying Guides
- Why do snowboarders wear goggles?
- Is it okay to snowboard without goggles?
- Is there a difference between ski goggles and snowboard goggles?
- Can you rent goggles for snowboarding?
- Why are snowboard goggles so expensive?
- Are Smith snowboarding goggles good?
- How to keep snowboarding goggles from fogging up?
- How to clean snowboarding goggles?
- Useful Tips
- Final Verdict
- Best Overall: Smith 4D Mag
- Best for the Money: Giro Blok
- Best for Low Light: Anon M4 Toric
- Best for Night: Bolle Mojo
- Best for Beginners: Anon Helix 2.0
- Best for All Conditions: Julbo Cyrius
- Best for Cloudy Days: Dragon X2
- Best under $100: Smith Range
- Best for Kids: OutdoorMaster Kids Goggles
- Best for Small Faces: Oakley Flight Deck XM
Who Should Get This
Every snowboarder, regardless of their skill or experience level, needs goggles. There are many models in this guide, and they all bring something different to the table. There’s an option for just about every type of rider.
Certain models are suitable for those on a budget, while other options are much more expensive. Some focus on durability, and some are light and slim. The one you get comes down to your personal preferences and individual riding style.
All of the goggles on this list were chosen because of their quality performance and because they are built out of strong and durable materials. This makes them a good value product that will last for many seasons.
They also work well for boarders who ride in the dead of winter during the coldest months of the year.
Top Picks of The Best Snowboard Goggles
Here are my top picks for the best snowboard goggles currently available.
1. Smith 4D Mag
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Increased field of view, interchangeable lens system, ChromoPop lens tech, 5X anti-fog inner lens, Air-Evac ventilation
- Lenses: Interchangeable, tapered lens tech, ChromoPop
- Ventilation: AirEvac Integration
- Cost: $$$$
For the best of the best in the world of snowboard goggles, the Smith 4D Mag has it all. These are a top-of-the-line option that will work for any on-snow situation while delivering excellent visibility and comfort.
I’ve always been a fan of Smith goggles, but the 4D mag represents the latest and greatest the brand has to offer thanks to a Bird’sEyeVision that increases the overall field of view 25% compared to the I/O Mag, another top Smith goggle.
You can take advantage of the magnetic interchangeable lens system to quickly change lenses when the conditions or your preferences require it. This system is easy to use, and all you need to do is push a lever to release the old ones and swap a new color in its place.
ChromoPop lens technology is another design element specific to Smith goggles, and this helps you see extra detail and color through the lenses. They filter two specific wavelengths of light that allow for a much better clarity than your average lens.
They also come with solid anti-fog capabilities and an AirEvac ventilation system that helps keep your lenses from smudging up when the temperature rises.
A quick strap feature allows you to dial in a perfect fit quickly, and you get three layers of face foam for a comfortable and secure cushion against your face.
There’s not much to complain about with the 4D Mag, aside from the expensive price tag. You’ll have to spend money on additional lenses as well.
2. Giro Blok
- Best for: The Money
- Key features: Affordable, expansion view frame, helmet-compatible, triple-layer face foam, durable construction
- Lenses: Anti-fog coated, Zeiss
- Ventilation: Limited
- Cost: $$
The Giro Blok is the best snowboard goggles for the money. These are an affordable pair that will give you reliable performance in a range of conditions with comfort you can rely on. They aren’t fancy or overbuilt, but they get the job done.
The field of view is excellent thanks to an EXV (expansion view) frame that offers good peripheral vision and an extended frame. They feature a frameless zone that helps extend the range of view even further.
The lenses of the Blok provide you with crystal clarity and are pretty durable as well. Giro uses Zeiss lenses in these goggles, a reputable lens maker in the game for over 100 years.
The lenses also have an anti-fog coating that helps limit moisture build-up to keep your vision true when the temperature heats up, or you are working hard on the mountain.
The Blok also comes with a triple-layer face foam for a comfortable fit on your face that won’t slide around. This has a microfleece facing that provides another measure to keep the snow and cold away.
These goggles don’t have the best ventilation, which is a definite downside if you run hot or struggle with keeping moisture out from the inside lenses.
- Best for: Low Light
- Key features: Wall to wall vision, low profile frames, Magna-Tech quick lens change tech, no-slip silicone strap
- Lenses: ICT anti-fog treatment
- Ventilation: Full perimeter channel venting
- Cost: $$$
The Anon M4 Toric is another excellent snow goggle that excels in low light conditions thanks to its ability to let you switch lenses on the fly very quickly. These will give you high-end performance in nearly every condition and are a great set of goggles.
The M4 Toric is very lightweight and comfortable, thanks to a dual molded frame. This low-profile design reduces weight by using less face foam but somehow increases comfort at the same time. That’s a pretty impressive design feature.
The lenses are the key to visibility in low light, and the Integral Clarity Technology built into these Anon lenses is phenomenal. They use a cellulose inner lens to repel water effectively combined with a chemically treated outer lens.
When you want to change lenses for those really low light days, the Magna-Tech quick lens change tech lets you do so in a matter of seconds. This system uses a series of 14 magnets to firmly hold the edge of the lens while allowing for a very secure hold.
The Toric also features full perimeter channel venting, which helps to reduce fog and increase airflow around your face. It’s a practical design that compliments the quality lenses very nicely.
These are another set of goggles that come with a pretty substantial price tag, and the full-frame look can appear bulky even though it really isn’t.
4. Bolle Mojo
- Best for: Night
- Key features: Excellent night vision, affordable, double vented lenses, two-layer foam, industrial-strength lens coating
- Lenses: Polycarbonate, clear offers 82% VLT
- Ventilation: Airflow ports
- Cost: $
The Bolle Mojo is a great pair of goggles to keep in your car or bag if you plan on doing any night riding. They are highly affordable, making them an easy second set option for riders who want to experience snow under the lights.
Key to the nighttime performance is the nearly clear lenses that the Mojo can be equipped with. They are good in extremely low light conditions by providing a VLT of 82%. This means you’ll be able to take advantage of the night lights to ride at your best.
The lenses also come coated with an industrial-strength layer that helps prevent any fogging issues and makes them more durable and scratch-resistant. This coating doesn’t limit visibility at all either.
The Mojo comes with two layers of multi-density foam lined in a layer of soft fleece for a good fit around your face. Ventilation is ample thanks to specialized ports on the outer layer of the frame that help increase airflow.
I wouldn’t wear these in any other situation other than night riding, but they are cheap enough to justify a separate purchase for that purpose.
- Best for: Beginners
- Key features: Lightweight, affordable, good field of view, ICT treatment, full perimeter ventilation, no strip silicone strap
- Lenses: Perceive high-contrast lens, cylindrical lens tech
- Ventilation: Full perimeter
- Cost: $$
The Anon Helix 2.0 is an excellent goggle for beginners, thanks to its affordable price tag and well-rounded performance. These goggles will give you sufficient clarity and protection from the elements while allowing you to save some cash for other pieces of gear.
I like the lightweight design of the Helix. It’s easy to wear, which is a good feature for beginners who might not be used to wearing goggles all day long.
The Perceive lens gives you crystal clear clarity in just about any condition. This combines with the cylindrical lens technology to provide a very natural field of view that mimics the shape of the human eye.
An ICT anti-fog treatment helps keep the goggles clear on those warmer days. It works right beside full perimeter venting channels to limit the potential for fog – another unfortunate thing that can ruin a beginner’s day.
Comfort considerations include a no-slip silicone strap that keeps the goggles in place on a helmet or beanie, as well as dual-layer face foam that gives you a solid fit and feel over your face. You also get a bonus lens and microfiber bag with these.
I don’t think these are the best option for experienced riders who want to venture into the backcountry. They just aren’t quite rugged enough.
6. Julbo Cyrius
- Best for: All Conditions
- Key features: Frameless construction, full silicone strap, lenses adjust to light conditions, dual soft foam
- Lenses: Photochromic cylindrical double lens
- Ventilation: Incorporated into frame
- Cost: $$$
If you want a goggle that will adapt to the light in all conditions without you needing to worry about changing lenses, check out the Julbo Cyrius. These have lenses with the ability to adjust on the fly, which is pretty impressive.
Reactiv photochromic cylindrical double lenses are what make this feature possible. They will shift from light to dark depending on what the natural lighting conditions on the mountain dictate. This makes the Cyrius a very versatile and capable goggle.
You’ll also get a frameless construction that extends the field of view and works with the lenses to provide you with wall-to-wall peripheral vision. You won’t see much of your goggles and can instead take advantage of the terrain in front of you.
They come with dual soft foam to absorb some shock when riding hard and increasing comfort against your face.
A silicone strap gives you grip on any surface, whether you ride with a hat or helmet, and the over strap is fully helmet-compatible.
In all honesty, I don’t really like the look and style of the Cyrius, but their performance is why they make the list.
7. Dragon X2
- Best for: Cloudy Days
- Key features: Frameless design, swiftlock lens change system, helmet-compatible, replaceable lenses
- Lenses: Super anti-fog tech, spherical
- Ventilation: Armored venting
- Cost: $$
For those cloudy days when visibly is rough, take the Dragon X2 out for a spin. These goggles have a replaceable lens system that lets you take advantage of the awesome tech Dragon builds into all their lens options.
In addition to being replaceable, the lens utilizes an optically correct spherical lens system to provide outstanding natural clarity. This helps to cut down on any distortion that low light days can cause an increase in contours.
They also have a super anti-fog tech that Dragon claims to be some of the best in the industry. They say this treatment lasts nearly twice as long as the competition. I can’t vouch for that personally.
Armored venting is designed to help keep snow from building up in the ventilation holes. It’s a unique design that is good for cloudy days because, let’s face it – hopefully cloudy means the snow is falling.
A honeycomb silicone strap and triple-layer face foam add plenty of comfort and a secure fit.
The X2 doesn’t have the most expansive field of view, so if you demand extensive peripheral vision, you might want to explore other options.
8. Smith Range
- Best for: Under $100
- Key features: Affordable, responsive fit, tapered lens tech, Fox-X anti-fog inner lens, helmet-compatible, dual slide strap adjustment system
- Lenses: Cylindrical Carbonic X-Lens
- Ventilation: Airflow vents
- Cost: $
The Smith Range is one of the most affordable, high-quality snowboard goggles around. These will give you decent performance in a budget package that comes in under $100.
The Range has a responsive fit frame design that is very flexible and is intended to mold naturally around the shape of your face. It also keeps them lightweight and comfortable.
Tapered lens technology is built into the lenses, and this works to limit distortion on the mountain. They utilized slightly curved lenses to give you true optical clarity. The lenses are also very strong and can withstand impacts for lasting durability.
Ventilation is made possible thanks to airflow ports along the side frames, and a fog-x anti-fog inner lens helps reduce moisture from building up and fogging your day.
A dual slide strap adjustment system lets you dial in the perfect fit, and two layers of DriWix face foam will keep you comfortable all day long.
Being a cheaper option, these aren’t the most durable goggles and might not last longer than a season or two of regular use.
- Best for: Kids
- Key features: Affordable, over-the-glasses design, helmet-compatible, many colors available, 6-month warranty
- Lenses: Anti-fog coating, 100% UV protection
- Ventilation: Limited
- Cost: $
If you want to get your kids geared up with a set of goggles as they learn to ride, the OutdoorMaster Kids Goggles are a good option.
These are simple but effective goggles that are very affordable. That means those young ones will have all the visibility and protection from the snow and cold they need without you spending a bunch of money to accomplish that.
They have a thermoplastic polyurethane frame that is lightweight, flexible, and durable. They also come with an anti-fog coating to keep vision clear in variable conditions. This frame is also soft enough to limit the potential for injuries in a wipeout.
The lenses offer 100% UV protection to keep developing eyes safe while minimizing glare. They also have an OTG (over the glasses) design that can let kids keep their glasses on when they ride.
You won’t get a lot of good ventilation with these goggles because they have limited airflow vents built-in.
- Best for: Small Faces
- Key features: Rimless lens, helmet-compatible, anatomical fit, Prizm lens, durable, triple-layer polar fleece foam
- Lenses: Anti-Fog, Plutonite material
- Ventilation: Dual vented lenses
- Cost: $$$
Just because you have a smaller face doesn’t mean you can’t find a high-quality pair of snowboard goggles. The Oakley Flight Deck XM gives you superb performance across the board in a smaller frame that will fit well.
The Flight Deck XM comes built with a smaller frame than the regular Flight Deck model. You’ll get a performance anatomical fit that gives you an effective barrier against the elements and molds around your face.
A rimless design increases peripheral vision and gives you an extremely wide field of view. You’ll also be able to utilize a lens sub-frame attachment to quickly change lenses if you want or need to.
The lenses are constructed of Plutonite, which is a highly durable and impact-resistant material. It’s also very effective at blocking out UV light. Prizm lens blocks certain light wavelengths to increase contrast and clarity.
Triple-layer polar fleece foam adds comfort and wicks away moisture from the outer edge of the goggles.
Even though the fit will work well for smaller faces, the Flight Deck XM can still feel a little bulky compared to other goggles.
How to Choose Snowboard Goggles: Buying Guides
Here is a list of factors/things you should consider while picking a pair of snowboard goggles that fit you.
Visual Light Transmission (VLT)
The first aspect to consider when getting goggles is their visible light transmission (VLT). Each pair has its own VLT percentage, which denotes how much light they let through. In that way, goggles with low VLT numbers let in very little light, and higher numbers let in a lot.
Lower percentages are best for sunny days when you don’t need help seeing. Larger percentages are for low-light conditions, and 100 percent VLT goggles are best for snowboarding at night.
Going hand-in-hand with VLT is tint. All goggle lenses have their own color, and the one you pick depends on the type of light you most often encounter on the slopes. Yellow or amber tints work best for low light, while dark, brown, or rose do great on bright days.
If you’re someone who sees a lot of shifting conditions, you also have the option to pick up a universal lens with a copper, rose, or brown tint. That will enable you to see in both overcast and sunny weather. Photochromic lenses can change their tint automatically.
Field of View
A goggles’ primary purpose is to help you see. When getting a new pair, you need to make sure they enable you to observe the entire mountain. That means both what is in front of you, as well as what is off to the side.
Favor models with wide lenses that have excellent peripheral vision. The more of the mountain in your line of sight, the less likely you’re going to be caught off guard by an obstacle or another boarder.
Snowboarding makes you sweat, which in turn causes your body to heat up and fog your eyewear. That can then inhibit your eyesight and lead to visibility issues. To prevent that, you need goggles with good ventilation.
Some brands utilize special anti-fog lenses, some come with slots that let cold air in and push hot air out, and some have a unique coating to keep you seeing on the mountain. All of those methods work well. It’s up to you to find the one you prefer.
As with any winter clothing, your goggles are going to take a beating out on the slopes. Not only are they subject to the cold and snow, but they also need to push aside whipping wind and frigid air. Always get goggles crafted with sturdy materials made to stand the test of time.
You want a comfortable pair of goggles. Fit is a part of that, but many brands go the extra mile to ensure that your eyewear doesn’t bother your face as you ride.
Look for models that come with extra padding around the edge or nose areas to ensure the frames don’t press into your skin.
Your goggles also need to keep you warm. Always look for eyewear with solid insulation or extra padding that prevents your face from getting cold. However, just be sure that the extra warmth doesn’t cause your lenses to fog up.
Beyond that, get a pair that seals against your skin so that cold can’t get in and bother your eyes.
When picking out eyewear, always consider the weight. Though goggles are not as heavy as other clothing items, some brands can be a bit bulky.
That might be fine for riders who need as much protection as possible, but it doesn’t work for boarders who just want to go fast. Tailor your goggle size and weight to what you can handle.
Design and style shouldn’t be on the front of your mind when first getting new eyewear, but they should come into play when making the final purchase. There are many different goggles, and they all have unique looks.
Rimless designs are great, as are minimalist frames with less material. You can also pick up sturdier goggles with a wider design or get slim-fitting ones with a sleeker style. Choose what goes best with your other boarding gear.
Here are a few quick answers to some common questions about snowboard goggles.
Why do snowboarders wear goggles?
Goggles help you see much better in the snow and changing light conditions than sunglasses would. They also help keep snow and moisture from your eyes, making you more capable of riding in bad weather conditions.
Is it okay to snowboard without goggles?
If you’re in a pinch, you can get by without goggles. But I wouldn’t recommend getting in the habit of this for any longer than a run or two. Goggles make a big difference in your visibility which is essential for both your safety and fun on the mountain.
Is there a difference between ski goggles and snowboard goggles?
No, not really. They might be branded differently by a ski or snowboard company, but the reality is, you can use them interchangeably for each sport. A goggle is a goggle, and they will all serve the same basic functions of giving you better visibility and keeping the wind and snow away.
Can you rent goggles for snowboarding?
It is possible to rent goggles for snowboarding, but they are not always available at every location. You should check with the resort or town you visit to see if they have goggle rental options available. You can find this information on a website or by calling.
Why are snowboard goggles so expensive?
You can find cheaper options out there, but high-quality goggles use the latest developments in tech and materials, which increases their price. Good goggles are an investment and will last you for many seasons of regular use.
Are Smith snowboarding goggles good?
Yes, Smith offers some of the best snowboarding goggles in the industry. The Smith 4D Mag is my choice for the best goggles currently available. The company has a wide range of other options, and they are all good.
How to keep snowboarding goggles from fogging up?
There is no surefire way to keep goggles from fogging up. If you run hot or ride in warmer conditions, there is a good chance you will experience fog. You can buy goggles with extra ventilation to help prevent fogging from occurring.
How to clean snowboarding goggles?
You should always use a soft and debris-free cleaning cloth to clean your goggles. Most goggles will include a cleaning cloth with your purchase, and all you need to do is rub both sides of the lenses until any smudges or grime are removed.
Snowboard goggles are a great (and necessary) piece of gear. Taking the time to pick the best pair for your preferences and riding style can pay off.
Goggle lens color is extremely important. You need to tailor your eyewear to your surroundings. Check out this guide from REI, as it gives a much more detailed breakdown, so you’re never caught off guard.
You also need to keep your snowboard goggles clean. Proper care doesn’t just mean you’ll be able to ride without any smudges in your vision; it will also help your goggles last for an extended period of time.
This article gives you everything you need to know about snowboard goggle care. You may also get some insider tips from this well-made video.
My pick for the best snowboard goggles is the Smith 4D Mag. These are solid goggles that will give you excellent vision in a wide range of conditions and allow you to change your lenses if you want or need to quickly.
No matter how you like to board, the goggles in this guide will give you fantastic results. They are all in the running for the best goggle in their category and can work for a variety of other reasons as well.
Some people are particular about their goggles and want a preferred look. While that’s fine, you should always go for performance over appearance, function over form. You don’t want to end up with a pair that doesn’t work for their intended purpose.
When you read through the reviews and considerations above, you can make an informed buying decision that will work best for your needs and preferences.About Lorraine