The 11 Best Ski and Snowboard Goggles of 2023

Skiers and riders are bound to love Smith’s 4D MAG goggles.

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best ski and snowboard goggles


Nothing can ruin a day on the mountain like your goggles fogging up, irritating your face, or being a poor match for light conditions. But with more innovation than ever in the goggle industry, you can now take to the slopes with incredibly enhanced vision, even in whiteout conditions. Features like extended fields of view, improved ventilation, and custom fit can be game-changers. 

There are plenty of options on the goggle market, from lofty investments die-hards won’t want to ski without to wise value picks for the one-weekend-a-year warriors. Before committing to any pair, be sure to understand how to care for them. I’ve included my do’s and don’ts on goggle care below — they’re secrets that took years and many pairs to painfully learn.

For an all-around excellent pair of goggles you can rely on in a host of different conditions, get a pair of Smith’s 4D MAG. With sharp visuals, crucial accessories included, tried-and-true eye protection, and a variety of fits available, these goggles are a favorite among slope-dwellers for a reason. But there are plenty of other great options out there to consider, from 3D-printed frames to innovative anti-fog technology.

These are the 11 best goggles this season:

Best Overall

Smith 4D MAG Snow Goggle

Smith 4D MAG Snow Goggles


Why We Love It: Magnets make it easy to swap lenses, every pair comes with a well-designed hard case, and they provide better vision than the naked eye.

What to Consider: The case is fairly large but highly protective.

Things have never looked better than they do with a pair of 4D MAG goggles on. Smith’s proprietary ChromaPop lens technology filters the crossovers between blue and green and red and green light. This offers greater definition, color, and clarity than the naked eye, so the details of landscapes, moguls, and other skiers are incredibly clear. Thanks to magnetic contact points, 12 different ChromaPop lenses ranging from VLT 9 to 65 percent can be interchanged quickly when light conditions change. 

Most goggles are sold without cases, especially those meant for kids. I’ve never understood why — hard cases protect goggles from getting scratched up in your backpack, which can seriously hinder your vision. Smith’s hard case is not only ventilated, but it has a built-in protective cloth and elastic bands that hold extra lenses in the top half of the case. The goggles even come with socks.

Smith eyewear is a go-to for T+L commerce writer Anna Popp. "I grew up ski racing and always wore Smith goggles, but these are by far my favorite," she says of the 4D MAG. "I love being able to change out the lenses for day or night skiing, and they provide superior visual clarity in weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog where it can be difficult to see."

Smith aimed to increase field of view by 25 percent with the BirdsEye Vision included in the 4D MAG line. Using a downward curve in the bottom of the lens, the design increases visibility straight down and in the corners of your view. A variety of skiers can take advantage of the enhanced optics: if you have a smaller face, opt for the 4D MAG S. Smith also added a low-bridge fit option this year. 

Price at time of publish: $300

Number of lenses included: 2 | Lens shape: Spherical | VLT range: 12 percent to 36 percent

Best for Frequent Skiers

Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D Goggle

Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D Goggle


Why We Love It: Smith uses a unique scan of your face to create a pair of goggles guaranteed to be the perfect fit, coupled with its industry-leading optic specs. 

What to Consider: It takes two weeks to produce your 3D-printed goggles, so don't wait until the last minute. 

T+L commerce editor Lydia Price also swears by Smith eyewear. She recommends anyone who expects to log serious vertical mileage this season or tends to struggle with goggle fit consider a custom pair from the brand. The process works by using your phone’s camera to take a detailed scan of your face and then 3D-printing a frame and extra-thin foam that fit your contours perfectly. “To say the least, I’ve had goggle issues in the past,” the lifelong skier says. “For one thing, my particular face shape has never been able to find its match in a traditional pair, so I’ve dealt with gaps that cause fogging and tight spots that leave excessive indents in my face. Couple that with sensitive skin, a photic sneeze reflex, and the fact that I can’t see much more than a foot in front of me if I lose a contact on the mountain, and you have a bit of a high-maintenance situation. I jumped at the chance to get a pair that were literally made to deal with whatever nonsense is going on with my face, and I haven’t been disappointed.”

MAG Imprint 3Ds have the same lens technology that’s helped Smith earn a devoted following. “I love the clarity you get with ChromaPop — I have a pair of sunglasses with it too,” Price shares. “I live on the East Coast, which, as close as our mountains are to our hearts, often means dealing with some gnarly patches — and swaths — of ice. I really appreciate the clarity this lens delivers.”

Keep in mind that it takes about two weeks from submitting your scan to have goggles in hand. And the custom fit’s price point is a splurge compared to other Smith goggles, which may not be worth it for the once-a-year skier. Still, if you’ll be skiing with any regularity, we think planning ahead and making the investment will pay off.

Price at time of publish: $450

Number of lenses included: 2 | Lens shape:  Spherical | VLT range: 12 to 55 percent

Best for Variable Light

Salomon Radium Prime Goggles

Salomon Radium Prime Goggles


Why We Love It: You can change the magnetic lens without removing gloves, there's an extended field of vision, and a hard case is included.

What to Consider: There is no locking mechanism on the magnetic lens, which means they could pop out in a crash.

Salomon won the IPSO Award in 2022 for best visibility in sun, clouds, and snow. IPSOs are one of the most coveted awards in the sports industry because they honor the  innovative products of the year. The Radium Prime is the first pair of goggles on the market where a magnetic lens can be changed without removing your gloves. IPSO reports that during testing, “Salomon's athletes took to simply removing the lens from the goggles instead of taking them off to look at their cell phones, for example, which also prevents the goggles from fogging up when sitting on a wet helmet or hat.” The Radium Prime was tested by Salomon athletes a season in advance in a variety of conditions. Feedback unanimously said that these were the best goggles Salomon has ever created. 

There are eight SIGMA photochromic and non-photochromatic lenses that enhance contrasts, reduce eye strain, and adapt to weather and tints depending on the level of light to protect the eyes from UV radiation. In addition, Salomon improved their anti-fog system this year and upgraded their frame to accommodate different face shapes as well as glasses.

Price at time of publish: $300

Number of lenses included: 2 | Lens shape: Spherical | VLT range: 12 to 45 percent

Best for Kids

Anon Tracker 2.0 Low Bridge Fit Goggles

Anon Tracker 2.0 Low Bridge Fit Goggles


Why We Love It: They’re the first low-bridge goggle for kids that fits over glasses and is compatible with Burton’s magnetic face mask integration.

What to Consider: There’s no ability to change lenses for different light conditions. Instead, pay attention to the goggle color options because each is paired with a lens of different VLT.

The new Anon Tracker 2.0 Low Bridge Fit finally offers kids a face foam that tapers to 5-7 millimeters at the nose, eliminating a gap between the nose and the foam that always interfered with the performance of these goggles. If your kid doesn’t need a low bridge fit, then the Anon Tracker 2.0 from last season still has all the features that I love, such as Burton’s exclusive magnetic face mask integration.

Last season, this system made it easier to adapt to all the COVID mask regulations because the magnetic connection between the face mask and the goggles makes it super easy to put on your mask and take it off. There’s less obstruction of ventilation with a seamless connection between the face mask and the goggles, which means we rarely had fogged lenses. 

Price at time of publish: $60

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Cylindrical precurved | VLT range: 25 to 55 percent

Most Peripheral Vision

YNIQ Two Black Sky Goggles

YNIQ Two All Black Goggles


Why We Love It: These goggles have a unique side-window design.

What to Consider: They have an oversized appearance.

There are two windows on either side of these sleek, unique goggles to give you an extra boost of vision. Mathias Ingvarasoon, a managing partner of YNIQ, says, “Our lenses are formed with less heat and pressure than polycarbonate spherical lenses. YNIQ has higher optical acuity, which is noticeable in all conditions, and you can also see that our lenses have no ‘lens bounce’ or ‘halos,’ which are slight rainbows, or reflections within the lens that distort vision, whether in high sun or under night skiing lights. YNIQ material is also more flexible, thus much more comfortable on the face than a hard, polycarbonate spherical lens.”

Ingvarasoon says that these are the reasons why the luxury ski brand makes the goggle of choice for  Lindsey Vonn and other elite level World Club and XGames athletes. Vonn is a shareholder and member of the development team. 

Price at time of publish: $358

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Not listed | VLT range: Not listed

Best Budget

Dragon DXT OTG Goggles

Dragon DXT OTG Goggles


Why We Love It: They’re made with hypoallergenic foam.

What to Consider: They’re designed for smaller heads and faces.

You get a lot of value at this price. The lens has 100 percent UV protection along with an anti-fog coating. The Lumalens technology improves depth perception, reduces eye fatigue, and enhances contrast. The frame is even combined with a hypoallergenic triple-layer face foam with a microfleece lining. Plus, you can wear your glasses underneath the goggles.

Price at time of publish: $53

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Cylindrical | VLT range: Not listed

Most Versatile

Anon M4S Goggles

Anon M4S Goggles


Why We Love It: It has the sharpest and widest field of view in a frame designed for smaller faces.

What to Consider: Without a locking mechanism for the magnetic lens, my lens has popped out upon impact.

The Anon M4S frame for smaller faces can handle both cylindrical and toric lenses. The toric lens shape is Anon’s version of a spherical lens. Its shape matches a human eyeball, which is how it can reduce distortion and provide “wall-to-wall vision,” meaning the broadest field of view. Polarized lenses block horizontal light and glare while enhancing clarity and contrast. Glare protection is important in highly reflective snow, but it’s also necessary to allow a bit of glare to distinguish ice from snow. To polarize or not polarize was a never-ending debate until Zeal developed their Optimum Polarized Collection. Anon uses high-strength, rare-earth magnets with up to eight points of connection. You can change the lens with one hand. There are nine lenses with varying VLT percentages, all scratch-, smudge-, and water-resistant. 

Price at time of publish: $380 

Number of lenses included: 2 | Lens shape: Polarized toric | VLT range: 8 to 34 percent

Best Polarized Technology

Zeal Optics Lookout Polarized Goggles

Zeal Optics Lookout Polarized Goggles


Why We Love It: They’re great at reducing reflected light and glare while highlighting ice and hardpack.

What to Consider: There isn’t a hard case provided.

Zeal has invested a lot of resources in developing snow-specific polarized lens technologies. Their line of Zeal Optimum Polarized reduces reflected light and glare but highlights ice and hardpack. It blocks 95 percent of harmful blue light, increases color contrast, and protects your eye from fatigue.

Lenses are swapped with a dual-sliding rail system and magnets. You’ll need to use two hands, place your thumb on either side of the goggle and push upwards to break that magnetic connection. Zeal also has a prescription insert for contact lens and glasses wearers.

Price at time of publish: $216

Number of lenses included: 2 | Lens shape: Not listed | VLT range: 10 to 38 percent

Best Ventilation

Julbo Aerospace OTG Goggles

Julbo Aerospace OTG Goggles


Why We Love It: Julbo guarantees no fogging in the lift line or during uphill ascents.

What to Consider: There’s only one lens and no case included.

For 125 years, Julbo has been making performance eyewear for the outdoors. Aerospace OTG is their response to riders on approach routes who wanted no fogging or misting on ascents. Their patented SuperFlow Anti-fog Ventilation System involves pulling the lens about a centimeter away from the goggle frame, allowing ventilation. On ascents, pull the lens away. On descents, push the lens back into the frame. 

The goggles come with one out of three Reactiv photochromic lenses that get lighter or darker depending on light conditions. The lens also eliminates 50 percent of glare but allows visibility of sheets of ice. 

Price at time of publish: $280

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Spherical | VLT range: 15 to 30 percent

Best Women's-specific

Oakley Flight Deck M Mikaela Shiffrin Signature Series Goggles

Oakley Flight Deck M Mikaela Shiffrin Signature Series Goggles


Why We Love It: This is from a dependable line that has been recommended for women for many years.

What to Consider: It only comes with one lens, changing lenses is not easy, and there is no case included.

Inspired by fighter pilot helmet visors, Oakley’s Flight Deck is a rimless design with a spherical lens that offers wide peripheral view and maximizes your field of view. Slalom Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin chose the colors of the Northern Lights as the theme for her signature pair. The goggles are outfitted with Oakley’s Prizm Snow Jade Iridium lens. I’ve always been impressed with how Prizm enhances and filters colors and increases visibility and contrast. I love seeing the side-to-side comparison of what the world looks like with or without Prizm. Please note that you can change lenses, but it’s not easy.

Other features include triple-layer antimicrobial foam, dual-pane lenses, F3 anti-fog coating, and improved helmet compatibility.

Price at time of publish: $146

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Spherical | VLT range: 13 percent

Best in Flat Light

Wildhorn Pipeline Ski Goggles

Wildhorn Pipeline Ski Goggles


Why We Love It: They’re adaptable to weather conditions. 

What to Consider: There’s no case included, and the lens does fog up after some time.

As a supplier to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, Wildhorn Outfitters produces goggles that are optimized around performance and value. The Pipeline offers cylindrical dual-lens, peripheral vision, straps with a sticky adhesive, anti-fog, a lens-changing system, adaptability to numerous weather conditions, anti-scratch and anti-fog features, and 100 percent ultraviolet protection, but I’m most impressed with the 70 lens options.

Price at time of publish: $77

Number of lenses included: 1 | Lens shape: Cylindrical | VLT range: 8 to 82 percent

Tips for Buying Ski and Snowboard Goggles

Understand VLT

Visible Light Transmission is a measurement of how much light can travel through a lens before hitting the eye. Therefore, the higher the VLT, the lighter the tint of the lens and the more your eye will be exposed to light. The lower the VLT, the darker the tint of the lens and the more light will be blocked from your eye. Below, a guide to what VLT percentage is best for different scenarios:

  • 80 to 100 percent: extremely low light or during nighttime.
  • 43 to 80 percent: weak levels of sunlight.
  • 18 to 43 percent: average to low levels of sunlight.
  • 8 to 18 percent: strong sunlight, including intensified light which is reflected off water or snow.
  • 3 to 8 percent: exceptional levels of strong sunlight.

Anticipate your specific environment

I often get asked which lens to bring to the mountain. Study the weather forecast and decide what conditions you might be riding or skiing in. Dr. Alice Oh, an optometrist in Virginia, says, “The right tint on your goggles can help you in bright light with reflections from the sun and snow or feel safer in dim light when you’re going for that last run during a night ski session. Gray tints tend to be darker and great for people who are very light sensitive. Green lenses have better contrast than gray lenses and can be good on both bright and foggy days, decreasing glare and brightening shadows. Yellow and red lenses are blue-blocking and are good for low and artificial light.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the do's and don'ts of goggle care?

    1. Do not touch the inner lens.   

    Most brands spray the inner lens with anti-fog. It is delicate, especially when wet, and will get damaged if you touch it with your fingers or wipe it with any material, even the microfiber cloth that is sold with your goggles.

    2. Do not spray your lens with any cleaning solution, even if a ski and snowboard shop tries to sell you an anti-fog spray.

    Be aware that multiple times I’ve ruined goggles because when I’m checking out at a ski shop, the sales clerk points to anti-fog sprays stacked next to the cash register, and asks if I’ve been having problems with foggy goggles. It doesn’t take much to convince me that this stuff works on both goggles and eyeglasses. Some people say it works (if you use it, please make sure you spray only on the outer lens, but based upon my experience, a very popular brand of anti-fog spray ruined six of my goggles one season because the spray changed the chemistry of the surface coatings on our goggles). Since most ski and snowboard goggles are hydrophobic and oleophobic (meaning that they repel water, oil, and dirt), you don’t need to spray the lens with any cleaning solution. Use only mild soap and water.

    3. Do not rest your goggles on your forehead, hat, or helmet. 

    Temperature change between the outer and inner lens of the goggles will cause fogging. I wish I had learned this fact years ago. When you are not on snow, the goggles should be inside your jacket. Once you put them on, you really shouldn’t take them off until you’re done shredding. Resting the goggles on your helmet also impacts the efficiency of your ventilation ports. The space between the outer and inner lens will be exposed to vapor from melting snow and sweat. 

    4. Do bring your goggles into the house for the night. 

    Never store your goggles wet or leave them overnight on the dashboard.

    5. Don’t rip ice away from the vents.
    If snow clogs up your vent, brush it off or tap on your leg. When skiing or riding in Utah, we get the occasionally frequent face shots when making turns in low-density powder. That snow can pile up and clog your vents, causing your goggles to fog. Now, it's okay to brush that snow off or carefully tap it on your leg, but be careful when your vents ice up. If you pull the ice away it can tear the foam vents. If that happens, snow will pour into your goggles, getting the lens wet and causing fogging and forcing you to buy a new frame. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Leslie Hsu Oh has decades of experience testing and reviewing outdoor accessories, apparel, culture, water and snowsports, technology, and travel gear. Her reviews have been published in Backpacker Magazine, Outside Magazine, Popular Mechanics, REI, Runner’s World, Sierra Magazine, and Travel+Leisure. She believes that having a great experience outdoors depends on the quality of your gear. Known for the extremes with which she adventure travels, she’s tested an iPhone and Sea-to-Summit waterproof case deep inside of the Devil’s Cave in Brazil, fly fishing gear beneath a waterfall in Iceland, canyoneering kits in Jordan’s Wadi Mujib, and Old Town and Ocean Kayak pedal kayaks in Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent waters.

Additional reporting by
Lydia Price
Lydia Price
Lydia Price is the commerce editor at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and edits reviews about outdoor products. You can also read her articles on red carpet soirees, pop culture history, and health news in People magazine.
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