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Best Snowboard Goggles

The Dragon RVX Mag does not disappoint. Photo: Steve Andrews

The Inertia

When assembling your snowboarding gear, one of the most underrated and overlooked parts of the kit is often goggles. But really, it’s one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll own. The ability to see properly in all weather conditions is critical to a safe and enjoyable time on the hill.

As someone who first hit the slopes in the ’80s on hand-me-downs and bargain bins, I’ve literally seen it all. While surviving my dirtbag 20s, I’ve foolishly endured fogged-up messes, scratched-up relics that the dog claimed, and cheapo Amazon specials that fell apart after a few sessions.

Now I’ve seen the light. Not only that, but the light has a pretty tint that bumps the contrast on those foggy storm days and helps prevent snow blindness when the sun’s shining. Yes, it’s true — good goggles truly do make a difference. So I took the liberty to try out some of the latest and greatest sets of goggles and share the results with you.

The Best Snowboard Goggles

Best Lens Changing System: Dragon RVX Mag ($270)

Most Innovative New Features: Anon M4 ($320)

Time-Tested Quality: Smith I/O Mag ($270)

Most Comfortable: Sweet Protection Durden RIG ($150)

Best Lens Quality: Oakley Line Miner ($161)

Best Photochromic Lenses: Glade Adapt 2 ($199)

Best Snowboard Goggles for Women and Smaller Faces

Top Pick: Dragon X2S ($229)
Runner Up: Oakley Flight Deck M ($216)

Dragon Goggles

Best Lens Changing System: Dragon RVX Mag ($270)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Large Frame
Easy Change
Clear Optics

There are many ways to change a lens, but I think the fine folks at Dragon have it nailed. They combine magnetics with a locking system to ensure security as well as ease of transition. As great as the magnetic lens systems are, they always gave me a bit of concern about losing them if I have a huge wipeout. Plus, I have some clumsy tendencies and have popped a lens off simply by trying to move it off my face and onto my helmet.

The Dragon RVX system addresses this once and for all. The magnetics allow for a quick change, and with a flick of a switch, they are locked to the frame, allowing one to go huge without fear of a lens being lost in the snow should you take an unfortunate tumble.

Additionally, these goggles have a larger frame, allowing those of us with glasses to wear them underneath. These are definitely a solid choice for those who want to keep all lenses close to themselves, especially for those of us who aren’t afraid to take a tumble but might be afraid of the walk of shame to the shop needing to replace a lost lens.

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Anon Snowboard Goggles

Most Innovative New Features: Anon M4 ($320)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Comes with bonus lens and magnetic facemask
Easy magnetic change system
Both cylindrical and new toric shapes

The Anon M4 is a sweet setup all around, and you can’t go wrong with their optics and comfort. But what sets them apart is their bonus accessories. The goggles come with a facemask that attaches magnetically to the bottom of the goggles, giving a seamless fit and keeping more snow out of your schnoz. And while most goggles come with a bonus lens, the Anon M4 has its own protective case for the extra lens that will keep it safe in your pocket while shredding around. When the time does come to change, the spare lens will be well cared for in its second home and on your face in seconds, thanks to the magnetics.

Even more innovative is the new toric shape of the lenses. Basically a hybrid between a cylindrical and spherical shape, the toric is apparently the most similar to our field of vision. While it’s not directly noticeable, it’s more of a subtle difference where you don’t notice a flaw in the vision rather than seeing something you normally don’t see. Plus, it doesn’t bulge out like spherical lenses, meaning less chance of scratching.

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Smith I/O Mag best Snowboard Goggles

Time-Tested Quality: Smith I/O Mag ($270)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Multiple sizes and fits
Incredible ChromaPop tint
Great lens-change system

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Smith has been the leading brand in snowsports goggles for a while now, and with good reason. Their lens tech, called ChromaPop, is some of the best (neck-and-neck with Oakley’s Prizm, below), as is their lens-changing system, durability, and fit.

Smith’s I/O Mag has seen a number of updates over the years, and this year it’s available in three different sizes (Small, Regular, and XL) and two different fits (Low-Bridge and Regular) for a grand total of six different combos. The magnetic lenses are easy to change but also have a secure locking mechanism at the temple to ensure you don’t lose that fancy lens in the powder.

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sweet protection snowboard goggles

Most Comfortable: Sweet Protection Durden RIG ($150)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Great Contrast
Wide Field of View for a Cylindrical lens
The Comfort is Real

Norwegian company Sweet Protection started out making helmets for kayakers, which could be a clue to their innovations in comfort. There was just something really nice about the way that these goggles fit my head. Maybe it’s the foam, maybe it’s the shape … It was a certain je ne sais quoi (or however you say that in Norwegian) that can only be summed up with the notion that when it feels right, it feels right. Even in the wet coastal conditions, the foam did a great job of wicking away moisture (either from the humidity or my sweaty face), and they felt dry to the touch all day.

I also found their lens technology (called RIG) to have some of the best contrast in flat light conditions. It’s a darker lens, but it still lets the highlights in, allowing for plenty of definition to come through.

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Oakley Line Miner for Best Snowboard Goggles

Best Lens Quality: Oakley Line Miner ($161)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Superior lenses
Solid construction
Decades-long reputation for quality

Let’s face it — Oakley has been around for a while, so it’s probably no surprise if you’ve ever tried a pair of their goggles. They seem to have clarity and color both on lock. Looking through their Prizm lens is like an extra layer of definition. I don’t know what they did to get there, but it seems to work. Sure, Oakley will have a story as to what sets it apart, but all I can say is that it works and works well. Isn’t that all you need?

The Line Miner brings back the classic cylindrical lens for a lower profile fit and to reduce that “bug-eyed” look that comes with spherical lenses. These are the goggles of choice for pro snowboarders like Mark McMorris and Ståle Sandbech, and that’s because they look good, have a great field of vision, and Oakley’s Prizm tech delivers in spades when scoping lines and landings. And for a premium goggle, while I hesitate to call this a “budget option,” $161 is not too shabby. The Line Miner doesn’t have the same quick-change system as others on this list (the lens can be swapped out if needed) and only comes with one lens, but I can certainly appreciate the simplicity of the design.

The Line Miner comes in a few different sizes for different faces, I went with the Line Miner L, but smaller faces will appreciate the scaled-down Line Miner M.

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Glade Adapt 2

Best Photochromic Lenses: Glade Adapt 2 ($150)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Photochromic lenses
VLT spectrum of 70-17%
Comfortable, oversized fit

Photochromic lenses have come a long way in the past few years. For those that aren’t familiar, they operate like a pair of transition glasses, starting off with a fairly light tint and getting darker in bright light. The transition used to be slow and gimmicky, and the lenses often didn’t have the range to excel in either very bright or dim conditions. That’s changed, and the Glade Adapt 2 is a prime example.

Glade’s photochromic quickly react to varied light conditions, and have a huge VLT range of (in the goggles we tested) 17 to 70 percent. The shifting lenses weren’t annoying while tree skiing, did great on sunny days, and were up there with the best of them in dim conditions. On flat-light days, the lens tech wasn’t quite as incredible as Smith or Oakley, but they certainly did the job. The goggles have a bit of an oversized fit that looks good on a wide range of faces. For narrower and smaller faces, the Adapt 2S are the same goggles with a scaled-down fit.

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Best Snowboard Goggles for Women and Smaller Faces

Not everyone has a large face, and that’s okay. Luckily goggles come in all shapes in sizes. I had my lovely partner, who is also a snowboarder, give some models a run-through, and her verdict came back with two models:

dragon x2s

Dragon X2S ($229)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Comfortable Fit
Great Field of View

She chose these due to both comfort and field of view. “The thick foam was like a warm hug,” she says. Comfort is key. The spherical lens also stood out, as well as the previously mentioned swiftlock lens changing system that allows for quick lens changing on the fly without missing a beat, even in a snowstorm. Plus, the purple straps and purple lenses look great — not that that’s everything, but who are we kidding … it’s important to both men and women and should be with the type of coin you’re dropping! So get these if you value comfort above all else yet don’t want to sacrifice your peripheral vision or the ability to change lenses in a matter of seconds.

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Oakley Flight Deck

Oakley Flight Deck M ($216)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Oakley Prizm Lens Tech
Incredible Field of View

The Flight Deck is a smaller sized frame than the Line Miner, yet the spherical shape allows for a huge field of view. This means great vision without swallowing your face. The Flight Deck M is what I’d recommend for smaller faces, but they also make a size L for those who want the same ridiculous field of vision in a larger frame. Both styles have Oakley’s famous Prizm lens tech, the same as the Line Miner, above, which ranked highest for clarity and sharpness. These are the goggles that ski race champion Mikaela Shiffrin uses, so if you have the need for speed, these just might be the pair for you.

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Smith Riot

Smith Riot Women’s Goggles ($110)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
ChromaPop Lens Tech
Great Price

The Smith Riot goggles have everything a lady could ask for in a good pair of goggles, at an affordable price. The goggles feature a combination of ChromaPop and Tapered Lens Technology, allowing for maximum clarity and enhanced color definition with a medium fit for a woman’s face. Available in eight different lens options, and sold with a spare, it’s easy to find the perfect lens for the day’s conditions – we only wish they were more easily interchangeable (no magnets, you’ve got to basically pull the frame off of the lens). Created with a Cylindrical Carbonic X Lens and integrated strap connection points, the goggles look sporty but not bulky. To ensure the best fit possible, the Riot goggles have a Responsive Fit Frame Design, which allows the frames to adjust and flex to the contours of your face. Overall, these are a solid option and have style points to boot. The Smith Squad is a similar-performing goggle in a men’s fit, also sold at an affordable price point.


Other Snowboard Goggles We Loved

The above are our top picks, but there are a lot of awesome and tech-packed glass out there on the market to get your hands on. From budget picks to fun and interesting options, here are a bunch of other goggles that will serve you well while snowboarding.

Giro Countour RS

Giro Contour Goggles ($270)

Comfort: 5/5
Fit: 5/5
Durability: 4/5
Visibility: 5/5
Overall: 4.75/5

Giro’s Contour goggles pack a punch. To ensure optimal clarity, the goggles feature lenses with Zeiss technology, and an awesome venting system to prevent fogging. Additionally, the goggles include a quick changing magnetic lens system, with snap pins to ensure the lenses don’t budge, so you can easily swap out lenses according to conditions. Our favorite feature of the Contour RS is the frameless design, which allows for incredible peripheral vision. The price may be a bit steep, but these goggles hit all my marks, and then some. Designed for riders with a smaller face, the Contour RS is a slightly smaller design than the original Contour model, allowing for that perfect fit.


Salomon Radium Pro

Salomon Radium Pro Goggles ($180)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Great Field of View
Non-Interchangeable Lenses

Salomon’s Radium goggles couple a sleek design with a spherical lens, making for a crisp visual. Finished with a three-layer face foam, the goggles are ultra comfortable and the anti-scratch lens finish guarantees they’ll stay in tip-top shape for years to come. The goggles feature a unique Sigma Lens Technology that amplifies color contrast and allows the eye to read the terrain better in a wide range of light. Also included is an anti-fog technology that optimizes airflow, keeping your lenses clear. Available in four different lens color options, it’s easy to pick the lens that is best suited to your environment – we wish the lenses were interchangeable so we could have all four at once! Note that the frame size is a medium/large, so it’s not suited for smaller faces.


Scott React Goggles

Scott React ($250)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Locking Magnetic Lens System
Extra Lens w/ Hard Case

Scott’s React goggles were another favorite of ours in testing, that came oh-so-close to nailing a top spot. Where this pair of goggles really shines is the features. The lens-change system is basically just as good as the Dragon RVX Mag system, with magnets to align the goggle lens and a spring-loaded locking system, there’s a wide variety of lenses to choose from with options that are optimized for everything from bright sun to flat light, and the included second lens comes in its own low-profile hard case (just like the Anon M4), so you don’t need to worry about crushing or scratching it if you’re the type to stash an extra lens in your jacket. The main downside was a bit of a smaller fit which, with a cylindrical lens, can produce a narrower field of view for large faces.

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Whitespace Goggles

Whitespace RVX Mag ($289)

Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Sleek Design
Dragon-Quality Lens

When I first took Shaun White’s new brand-name goggles out of the box, my first thought was, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere?” And upon further look, I realized that I had. The Whitespace Goggles are the Dragon RVX. Finkle is Einhorn!

So it really comes down to if you dig the black-and-white motif of Shaun’s brand over the more colorful Dragon line. And if you really do like the RVX goggles, there’s a very good chance that you can play smart consumer and find a deal on, where the Whitespace brand is listed exclusively. They often have huge sales, especially if you’re spending a bit of cash there. Otherwise, just realize that the Whitespace goggles are the same thing as the RVX — which, as I stated before, is a great goggle both in their swiftlock system and the fact that you can wear your glasses underneath.

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Dragon X2

Dragon X2 Goggles ($230)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Locking Lens Change System

The Dragon X2 goggles have one of the best interchangeable-lens systems out there for those who are mistrustful of magnets. Two small levers on either side of the lens open up to switch lenses, and then lock back into place to keep the lens secure, all possible without taking the goggles off of your face. Add to that the fact that they are supremely durable, feature solid visibility with a minimalist frame and Dragon’s Lumalens technology to enhance contrast in low-light conditions, and you’ve got one awesome pair of snowboard goggles. Coming with two lenses, one for low-light and one for sunny conditions, you’ll be more than capable of seeing whatever the mountain decides to throw at you with these on. The Dragon X2S goggles feature all the same great design elements in a pared-down size for those with smaller faces.


OutdoorMaster Pro Goggles ($50)

Lens Shape: Spherical
Dirt Cheap Option

If you’re really not interested in the top-tier options, and are looking for the best dirt-cheap pair of goggles on the market, OutdoorMaster’s Pro goggles fit the bill nicely. The Pro goggles are designed to help you see well in all conditions and feature a magnetic interchangeable lens system that makes swapping out lenses a breeze. Available in twenty different lens colors, the goggles also feature UV400 protection and enhanced polarized lenses that protect your eyes and allow you to see clearly. These goggles are comfortable and fit well. For the price, we’re very impressed with the performance. Sure, it’s not Smith’s ChromaPop, or Oakley’s Prizm tech, but for a mere sixth of the price of some options on this list, you simply can’t be expecting top-tier features. The main challenge with these goggles is the magnetic lens-system doesn’t lock, so the goggle lenses are prone to coming out on a heavy crash or when stashed in a bag. Long-term durability takes a bit of a hit, too.


Comparison Table

Goggles Price Lens Shape Features
Dragon RVX Mag $270 Cylindrical Easy magnetic change system. Extra lens.
Anon M4 $320 Toric Magnetic facemask, extra lens with hard case. Magnetic change system.
Smith I/O Mag $270 Spherical Extra lens, magnetic change system.
Sweet Protection Durden RIG $150 Cylindrical Comfy foam.
Oakley Line Miner  $161 Cylindrical Classic looks, extra lens.
Glade Adapt 2 $199 Cylindrical Photochromic lens.
Dragon X2S $229 Spherical Scaled-down Dragon for smaller faces. Swiftlock lens change with extra lens.
Oakley Flight Deck M $216 Spherical Crazy field of view for a small-size goggle.
Smith Riot $110 Cylindrical Women’s-specific fit.
Giro Contour Goggles $270 Spherical Zeiss lenses
Salomon Radium Pro Goggles $180 Spherical Non-interchangeable lenses
Scott React $250 Cylindrical Extra lens with hard case.
Whitespace RVX Mag $289 Cylindrical Dragon RVX doppelgänger.
Dragon X2 $230 Spherical Great non-magnetic lens changing system.
OutdoorMaster Pro $50 Spherical Dirt cheap.
Pow Slash Steve Andrews Snowboard Goggles

Heavy, wet snow and humid conditions are par for the course in coastal BC. Photo: Steve Andrews

Testing Notes

The Conditions
Being based in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (home to Whistler/Blackcomb), I took the goggles out in the toughest of conditions for a classic “wet coast” storm cycle. The humidity was at a minimum of 96%, and the temperatures hovered around freezing, meaning the snow coming down barely qualified as snow. These are the perfect conditions for goggles to fog up, so I was putting the gear through the ultimate test. Additionally, the alpine environment of Whistler peak during the storm was whiteout conditions, so any help from the lenses would be most welcome.

Goggle tints for best snowboard goggles

Left to Right: Oakley, Anon, Dragon, Sweet Protection. Photo: Steve Andrews

The Criteria
There are a number of factors that go into good goggles. For these reviews, I looked at:
Lens quality in the aforementioned conditions
Ability to change the lens with ease
Adjusting the size from hat to helmet
Did the goggles fog up when swimming in the powders?
Overall look and feel — A subjective category, but important nonetheless!

The Tester
I’ve been snowboarding since ’95 and skiing for 10 years before that. I cut my teeth at the pow mecca of Mount Baker and lived in the ultimate ski town of Whistler for 16 years after college. I’ve been a guide, a photographer and videographer, and also a coach over that time. So when testing the gear, I feel that I know what to look for in what makes a good riding experience.

Steve Andrews best snowboard goggles

Hi! I’m Steve. Photo: Steve Andrews

I also hold no allegiance to a certain brand. I’m not sponsored and proud of it — meaning I have the freedom to say what I like and not hold anything back when I don’t like things. However, this review is to help you find the best goggles, not the worst.

So what you see here is the cream of the crop — the ones I liked. You really can’t go wrong with anything listed, but each has something different to offer, and depending on what you need, it might suit you a bit better than the next person.

What Matters When Choosing Snowboard Goggles?

Lens Shape

Snowboard goggles tend to come in three different shapes of lenses: cylindrical, spherical, and toric. Cylindrical lenses are the classic lens-shape for goggles, with a flat curve like the wall of a cylinder. This produces the most low-profile fit, but often has a reduced field-of view when compared to other lens shapes. Spherical lenses bulge out a bit more, like a sphere, increasing peripherals, but that can come at the cost of a bit of a bug-eyed look. Toric lenses take the best of both worlds with the field-of-view of a spherical lens, but the lower-profile look of a cylindrical. They’re also said to best fit the shape of the human face, but this lens shape is fairly new and not featured in many goggles as of yet.

Lens Quality
It’s easy to get sucked into the cheap goggle trap — after all, it’s just a piece of plastic in front of your face, right? Wrong. That lens is probably packed with as much tech as the snowboard under your feet — or at least it should be. Good goggles make use of double-layer constructions and anti-fog coatings to keep the mist at bay and a wide array of tints to help you adjust to different lighting conditions. These tints are the most useful for bringing out the contrast in terrain for low-light conditions, but they also are great at reducing glare and, as a matter of course, protecting your eyes from UV rays.

Lens Swapping
For some, simple is better. No lens change, no BS, just snowboarding. For others (myself included), it is a huge plus to have interchangeable lenses for tackling goggle-fog and adapting to different light conditions.

Anon M4

Features like Anon’s magnetic facemask can elevate a pair of goggles above the competition. Photo: Steve Andrews

Other Features
A good case can also make a big difference in ensuring your goggles will stand the test of time, especially during travel and storage. Big ups to the Anon M4 here, as they also include a slimmer-profile lens case to protect your extra lens while on the mountain. This means you can shove that extra lens in a pocket worry-free and swap out as needed.

Comfort also matters, as there’s nothing worse than having to deal with the annoyance of an uncomfortable piece of plastic on your face while you’re trying to have fun. A big consideration for comfort is whether you’ll be wearing a helmet and if the curve of your helmet matches up with the curve of your goggles. Nobody wants a gaper gap, both for the discomfort it will cause and the sideways glances.

Most Innovative Features
Most Innovative Features

Anon’s M4 goggles are packed with impressive features and extras, like a magnetic facemask, toric lens shape, and a carrying case to keep your extra lens protected while shredding.
Price: $320
Buy Now

Taking Care of Your Snowboard Goggles

Regardless of what goggles you end up with, make sure you take care of them. Here are a few tips to make sure your investment lasts a long time. Following these guidelines will ensure that they last for many seasons to come, no matter what you or Mother Nature throws at them.

Don’t put them on your forehead when not in use. Our head is usually damp, so the moisture will get into the foam and cause the goggles to fog up and, over time, smell pretty bad.

Don’t rub the inside of the lens when it’s wet/fogged. Most of the good lenses have an anti-fog coating on the inside. Try to fight the urge to wipe away any fog and let it dissipate naturally. The best way to do this is inside your jacket. Most jackets these days have a large pocket for that reason. Or, try to keep a spare lens on you so that you can easily change them if they do fog up.

If the goggles aren’t covering your eyes, try to stash them in a pocket in their protective sleeve. If you have a helmet, it’s OK to rest them on your helmet, but make sure you loosen the straps, so they don’t stretch out.

When finished riding, make sure they have ample time to air out before storing them. The worst thing you can do is trap moisture inside for an extended period of time. Not only will they start to smell bad, but they will fog up more easily if you do so. It’s also a good idea to separate the lenses from the frame to ensure full drying.

Steve snowboarding

Goggles should work with both a helmet and a hat – especially for snowboarding. Photo: Steve Andrews

Final Thoughts

When it comes to goggles, you can’t really go wrong with the top brands. They have all been doing it for quite some time and have had plenty of opportunities to learn and improve their products over the years. So it often comes down to the subtle differences that are most important to the individual. Hopefully, I have distilled that down a bit more for you here. So go out, have fun, be safe, and look good while doing so!

Editor’s Note: Will Sileo and Rebecca Parsons contributed to this review. 

For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.


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