One of the most underrated and overlooked parts of a snowboarding setup is a good pair of 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.
Yes, it’s true – good goggles really do make a difference. Here is a list of our favorites from over the years, with a collection of tried-and-true classics as well as brand-new innovations. This article is the result of putting more than a dozen goggles through their paces over the past two winter seasons. We took these snowboard goggles out in all conditions from bluebird powder to stormy wet days, cold mid-winter blizzards, and glorious, sunny spring park laps.
If you’d like to see how the goggles compare to one another, check out our Comparison Table. If you want more information on selecting the ideal pair of snowboard goggles for you, see our Buyer’s Guide.
The Best Snowboard Goggles of 2024
Best All-Around Snowboard Goggles: Dragon NFX Mag Infrared
Runner Up Best All-Around: Smith 4D Mag
Best Bang for Buck: Oakley Line Miner
Best for Women and Smaller Faces: Dragon X2S
Best Additional Features: Anon M5
Best Photochromic Goggles: Glade Adapt 2
Best Budget Snowboard Goggles: Smith Frontier
Best All-Around Snowboard Goggles
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Easy lens change, infrared light filtering
Cons: Limited color options
Everyone talks about UV light but what what about infrared? On the other side of the light spectrum is the often-neglected infrared radiation, which after a while, can lead to eye problems such as cataracts. This is especially true in bright light situations, and now Dragon has a lens that filters out 99% of infrared light. We aren’t scientists, but from an average rider’s perspective, it does feel a lot nicer on the eyes on bluebird days where the sun reflects at you from all angles. It’s definitely worthy of notice, especially for those who spend a lot of days out in the bright sun, year after year.
There are many ways to change a lens, and it’s safe to say the 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 are a bit of a concern when wiping out.
The Dragon Swiftlock 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.Check Price on Dragon
Runner Up Best All-Around
Lens Shape: D-shaped custom design
Pros: Beautiful lens quality, ample color options
Every lens company and their dog seems to have a unique name for their lens system that promises to be above the rest. Well, we are here to say that Smith’s Chromapop is the real deal. Trying not to speak from what they claim and just going from experience, certain colors stand out above others, and it’s the ones you need – the Chromapop formula creates contrasts that help you pick out details and terrain changes in a snow-covered landscape.
But even more than how it looks through the lens, the 4D Mag was our runner-up all-around pick because it is good in every category. The shape of the goggles fit seamlessly with Smith’s helmets for better airflow, reducing fog. The magnetic lens-changing system is quick and easy, and we found even possible with gloves on. Where these guys really shine, though, is the field of view. The 4D lens design curves sharply inwards at the bottom, giving the wearer an increased downwards field of view, all the better to see what’s going on under your skis or board in front of you. And despite the wide field of view, the goggles don’t seem bulky and it seems most companies have learned from the oversized spherical trend from about 10 years ago that sometimes, less is more.
What pushed the 4D Mag into the “Runner Up” position rather than “Best Overall” were two things – first of all, the price, as they’re a full $50 more expensive than other top-of-the-line options. Second of all, the modified frame design at the bottom of the goggles was a bit hit or miss for our testers – some found these goggles to be extremely comfortable, while other’s weren’t a fan. With that in mind, Smith does now offer custom fit goggles, guaranteeing an incredible fit, for those who can shell out for it. Read our full review of the Smith 4D Mag here.
Best Bang For Your Buck
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Amazing vision, decades of research
Cons: No fast change, only comes with one lens
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. And if you have, I’m sure you’d find it hard to disagree that they seem to have clarity and color both on lock. Looking through their Prizm lens is like an extra layer of definition. Sure, Oakley will have a story as to what sets it apart, but all we 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 we 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 we can certainly appreciate the simplicity of the design.
The Line Miner comes in a few different sizes for different faces. Our tester went with the Line Miner L, but smaller faces will appreciate the scaled-down Line Miner M.Check Price on REI
Best Snowboard Goggles for Women and Smaller Faces
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: Large field of view, great fit
Cons: Lens changing can be finicky
Our women’s snowboard goggles tester 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, with a bunch of fun colorways, it’s easy to get things dialed 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.
Best Additional Features
Lens Shape: Toric
Pros: Comes with bonus lens and facemask
Cons: Lens doesn’t lock in place
The Anon M5 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 M5 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.
Best Photochromic Goggles
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Lens tint changes with the light conditions
Cons: Strap isn’t as durable as others
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.Check Price on Glade
Best Budget Snowboard Goggles
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Cheap as chips, Smith’s reputation for quality gear
Cons: Smaller field of view, lenses aren’t interchangeable
Sometimes you have to make the hard decision on what to prioritize… snowboard gear or eating. And we’re not going to suggest you should starve yourself. So go get those boxes of mac and cheese and have a few bucks left over for a pair of goggles that doesn’t have any major stand out features but will get the job done.
With Smith’s reputation behind them, they have made a pair of goggles for the everyday dirtbag, minus the dirt. They’re simple, effective, don’t have any bells and whistles, but will keep your eyes free of snow and sun. For many of us, that’s plenty. And if you’re the type of person who loses or damages goggles, maybe it’s worth getting a few pairs of these instead of one more expensive pair. Of note, is the fact that these goggles do not use Smith’s Chromapop lens technology. You’ll have to shell out for a higher-end option from Smith for that. The Smith Frontier come with a medium-sized frame and are also available for those with a low bridge.
Best of the Rest
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.
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: A variety of shapes and colors for the ideal combo
Cons: Not easy to change lenses without getting fingerprints on.
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.
Most Comfortable Goggles
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Super comfortable foam
Cons: Lenses don’t change as easy as others
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 our testers head. Maybe it’s the foam, maybe it’s the shape, there 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 and they felt dry to the touch all day.
We 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.
Runner-Up Best for Women and Smaller Faces
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: Incredible lens quality and field of view
Cons: Not many choices in frame/lens color
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.
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: Great fit
Cons: Frame does not protect the lens
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 the 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.
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: Large field of view, easy lens change system
Cons: Might be too large for some
POC, coming out of Sweden, has made big splashes in the past few years signing big mountain pro riders Jeremy Jones, Robin Van Gyn, Marion Haerty, and many more big alpine shredders. These folks can’t afford to gamble with shoddy gear so anything they put on their head has to be of premium quality.
The Vitrea goggles utilize an oversize shape to give more protection around the face when going fast and taking chances. It helps protect the cheekbones should you crash on your face, making these goggles much more than an aesthetic choice. They don’t skimp on optics, either. Working in collab with Zeiss, one of the world’s premier lens manufacturers, the Vitrea comes with a multitude of options for different lenses to ideally suit the needs of the day. Or, it can even suit each run independently with the quick-change system that allows you to flick a switch and change lenses with the frame still on your head. It’s a high-performance goggle that may be overkill to some, but those who do appreciate it will find it’s worth the extra coin.CHECK PRICE ON BACKCOUNTRY
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: ChromaPop lens tech
Cons: Smaller field of view
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.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Mad style, great price
Cons: No high-tech or mention of sustainable materials
Pit Viper easily wins the “best marketing” category if we ever cared to make one. Although our goal here at The Inertia is to cut through the marketing fluff, Pit Viper knows how to speak to the hearts of skiers and boarders through a nostalgic throwback to simpler times, where the only way to text your friends at school was by passing handwritten notes, and the only screen time you had was playing Drug Wars or Snake on your graphing calculator.
So when the company began their foray from super fast wraparound sunglasses into goggles, we had to try a pair. Are they the most high-tech goggles on our list? Definitely not. Is there a strong chemical smell when you open the box? Most certainly. Is the style nothing like you’ve seen before? You tell us but it’s a safe assumption that you haven’t.
Clocking in at a smirk-worthy $69, the French Fry goggles are their basic offering, but they do the job they are intended to do – they keep the snow and sun out of your eyes long enough to get down the hill. Where they really shine is in the style category, so if you are wanting to stand out (until more people get these, at least), the French Fry is what you’re looking for. There are a host of styles to choose from but we were fans of the Carnivore, because who else has the gumption to make leopard print goggle straps?CHECK PRICE ON Pit Viper
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Great lens changing system
Cons: Narrower field of view than others
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 that keeps things in place but also allows for quick transitions, even with gloves on.
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 M5), 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, especially when looking downwards.Check Price on Evo
Lens Shape: Cylindrical
Pros: Lightweight, didn’t fog up
Cons: Can’t change the lens
To get a pro model pair of anything these days costs a pretty penny. But California-based Electric gave the people what they want with a pair of pro-level goggles that offer excellent value without the bells and whistles. Teaming up with wunderkind Markus Kleveland, they developed a signature model that he helped build from scratch.
The result is a lightweight, quality goggle that has excellent field of view and clarity. No, you don’t get a fancy case or extra lenses to swap out, but you get a great set of goggles for a very reasonable price. If you don’t care about flash and dance, but just want something to help improve your vision while riding, these should be on your shortlist of options.Check Price on Evo
Lens Shape: Spherical
Pros: Cheaper than the gas it’ll cost to get you to the hill
Cons: Lenses aren’t anything fancy
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.CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Snowboard Goggles Comparison Table
|Smith 4D Mag
|Amazing optics, good ventilation when used with Smith helmets
|Dragon NFX Mag Infrared
|Easy magnetic change system. Extra lens. Infrared protection
|Magnetic facemask, extra lens with hard case. Magnetic change system.
|Smith I/O Mag
|Extra lens, magnetic change system.
|Sweet Protection Durden RIG
|Oakley Line Miner
|Classic looks, extra lens.
|Glade Adapt 2
|Cheap and reliable
|Pit Viper French Fry
|Unique design, great value
|Scaled-down Dragon for smaller faces. Swiftlock lens change with extra lens.
|Oversize shape for extra protection
|Oakley Flight Deck M
|Crazy field of view for a small-size goggle.
|Giro Contour Goggles
|Extra lens with hard case.
|Great non-magnetic lens changing system.
|Great color options, lightweight, didn’t fog up
How We Tested The Best Snowboard Goggles
With our lead tester Steve Andrews based in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (home to Whistler/Blackcomb), he is able to put these goggles to the ultimate test – a classic “wet coast” storm cycle. Last winter, we got our hands on the best of the best goggles for 2023/2024, and Steve put them to the test. During one 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 Steve was putting the gear through the proper paces.
The best test of whether a pair of goggles can be considered among the best is going out and snowboarding in all conditions. The body gets warm when shredding hard, and when it’s cold out, the contrast between the inside and outside of the goggles is plenty enough to provide a good test. Goggles that don’t hold up can even start to freeze on the outside or get damp on the inside – both situations that will mess up ones’ vision enough to have a bad day. So when riding, the main consideration was… can you see out of these even when the going gets tough?
A number of other factors go into a good pair of goggles. For this review, we looked at:
Lens quality in the aforementioned conditions: Being able to see is one thing, but can the lens enhance the experience? A number of the companies make the claim, and in this guide we made mention to the ones that truly do have something special in the vision quality.
Lens swap-ability: Even the best of us can bail hard and have the lens fill up with snow. In that case, you’ll need to change lenses on the fly. Can you easily swap lenses on the side of the slope when it’s puking snow? For every pair, if the lenses could swap, we tried it out in the elements when every second matters.
Strap durability: Because these straps are elastic, they will often wear out over time. So the goal was to take them on and off the head as often as possible, seeing how well the strap could hold up in time. This is a big differentiator in a cheap pair over a more expensive one; and a good one to consider where the cheapest option might not be so cheap in the long run if the straps are wearing out every couple of months.
Fog-ability, or lack thereof: How easily can the fog fill up the goggles? Really, there is no 100% safeguard against fog. It’ll happen sooner or later to every pair. What really makes a pair stand out, though, is how soon the fog can clear from the lens to get you back to riding without having to mess up the coating inside by wiping it off.
Overall look and feel: A subjective category, but important nonetheless! Goggles can be a fun fashion piece as well as protecting your eyes from the elements. Why not look good while keeping the sun and snow out of your eyes?
Editor’s Note: For more in-depth reviews of the top snowboard gear in the industry, check out our guides to: The Best Snowboard Jackets, The Best Snowboard Pants, The Best Snowboard Goggles, The Best Snowboard Mittens, The Best Snowboard Boots, The Best Snowboard Socks, and The Best Snowboard Bags. Curious about the brands behind it all? Check out The Best Snowboard Brands. Looking to protect your head? We’ve reviewed Ski and Snowboard Helmets, too.
Snowboard Goggles Buyer’s Guide
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.
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.
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.
You want to have a good strap that won’t wear out and lose its elasticity. If buying used check for wear and tear around the temples and in back. It’s annoying when those break.
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 M5 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.
Anon’s M5 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.
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.
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, we 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.