Last updated: June 20, 2020

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Just a few short decades ago it was quite common to go out skiing on a sunny day with nothing more than a pair of sunglasses on. People really only used serious ski goggles when the weather was bad enough. So why do so many more people down wear these accessories all the time? The below article will explain some of the most important features of ski goggles, why they help with sun and UV protection and how to get the best ones for you.

Goggles or glasses? Ultraviolet filter or not? Percentage of visible light transmission? There are a lot of variables to keep in mind when picking out a pair of ski goggles and knowing what to focus on can be difficult. It is important to know what is true and what’s false about ski goggles so that you have the necessary information to make a smart purchase.

Key Facts

  • Being at higher altitudes combined with the reflective power of the now can expose our high to dangerous levels of UV. It is paramount to use ski goggles in all conditions to keep your eyes protected.
  • If you don’t wear ski goggles, the sun can damage your eyesight, causing irritation and reducing your vision level. Even something like snow blindness, which is a temporary loss of vision, can end up giving you permanent eye damage.
  • There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when buying skiing goggles to make sure you get the best ones for you.

The best ski goggles on the Canadian market

The below list features five of the most popular skiing goggles on the Canadian market. These products have been selected based on a variety of factors, including sun and UV protection. Have a good look at the technical specifications of each and find the one that makes sense for your needs. Man or woman, there is something in this list that will offer you great protection, vision, and comfort.

Bolle – Carve Snow Goggles

Bolle is a brand that has been making high quality ski accessories since the 1980s, and their modern ski goggles bring the same great features and designs that made the company famous. Their Carve Snow Goggles come in white, shiny green, and black, and feature simple over-the-helmet fitting that goes on easy and fit comfortably throughout the day. The double layer face foam keeps your face well-insulated while you are skiing and riding while giving you crystal clear vision that lets you see the slopes.

The lens’ flow tech design ensures that condensation doesn’t become trapped inside and create fogging, and the side venting ports allow air in while being small enough to keep snow and ice out. The lenses dim the ambient light just enough that you don’t have to squint when it’s bright out, but not so much that you lose any vision. The adjustable clip at the back is easy to reach and simple to use, so you can tighten or loosen these goggles while you’re on the move, or sitting on the chairlift.

Oakley – O2 XM Snow Goggles

Oakley is another great name in ski goggles that and general eyewear and their O2 XM Snow Goggles come with a dual-vented lens and an F2 anti-fog coating to keep you riding with clear vision all day long. One really nice feature of these goggles is that they come with discreet notches along the frame that allow you to insert any prescription eyewear you might need. Many goggles don’t allow for this, so this is a nice option if you need glasses while you’re on the hill.

The triple-layer face foam fleece keeps your face warm and cosy while wicking away sweat. Another great feature is Oakley’s flexible o matter frame which conforms to the shape of your face making this a highly comfortable option. It also comes with a second high-impact Lexan lens. The O2 XM Snow Goggles come in 6 different colours and 8 different lens options. The lenses make seeing the world around you super easy, even when it is bright out.

Topelek – Snow Goggles

Topelek’s Snow Goggles feature great over the helmet design and high quality lenses which offer excellent protection from the sun and UV light. The anti-fog coating keeps you skiing clear all day long, and the memory foam face padding around the rim cuts down dramatically on any goggle discomfort. One especially nice feature of these goggles is the fact that they are made to fit over prescription eyewear if need be, so you can hit the hill without having to put in uncomfortable contact lenses.

You get a great panoramic clear view with these goggles that lets you see everything around you and everything coming at you. They fit snug, but not too tight, keeping your face protected from snow, ice pellets, or any flying debris. The lenses are also designed to stand up to impact, so you can crash with these on and not worry about breaking the lens. These can be used for any winter activity, including skiing, snowboarding, cycling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.

Spy – Optic Marshall Snow Goggles

Spy’s Optic Marshall Snow Goggles feature an aviation scoop design that gives you all day comfort. The spherical lens is designed to imitate the shape of your eye to help cut down on distortion and fatigue. The happy lens is one of the best on the market, and the extra wide field of view means you don’t miss any action. This product is made from high quality polyurethane for maximum flexibility and durability. These are built to stand the test of time and give you many seasons-worth of use.

You also get 100 per cent UV protection from these goggles while you’re on the mountain, and the scratch-proof lenses will stand up to the wear and tear it is put through by serious skiers and snowboarders. Since 1994 Spy has been independently making well-liked and professional quality ski and snowboard apparel in southern California. This product gives you a second lens, in case you like taking extras up the hill with you, and for the price, it is hard to beat Spy ski goggles.

Smith – I/OX Moss Surplus Goggle

Smith is another name that serious skiers and boarders will instantly recognize. This large-size goggle features a spherical carbonic lens that imitates the shape of your eye to reduce eye strain and is one tough design. The lens tint and UV protection make these perfect for skiing in any weather conditions, but especially on those sunny days with lots of glare off the snow. The face foam around the rim conforms to your face and eases the strain that many older goggles place around your eyes and nose.

You get amazing peripheral vision so you don’t miss a beat while you’re cruising the slopes, and the 5X anti-fog technology reduces fog better than nearly any other goggle on the market. The interchangeable lenses can be swapped out based on your style, as well as the weather conditions, and the comfortable larger frame allows you to fit these over virtually any prescription eyewear underneath. Goes on easily over almost any type of helmet.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about ski goggles

If you want to get the most out of your ski goggles you shouldn’t make a decision based on style alone. They need to be UV resistant, first and foremost, as well as many other things to really do what they are meant to do.

portrait of young girl snowboarder

The most important aspect is to make sure they have a UV filter. (Source: luckybusiness: 90235972/ 123rf.com)

What are ski goggles and what are they used for?

Ski goggles are an indispensable item to protect your eyes from the sun, which can damage your vision when it reflects from the snow. While they not only protect your eyes from the sun and UV, they also help protect them from snow and ice during strong weather, and allow you to ski with our eyes open even during blustery winds.

In Canada, owning a pair of good ski goggles is common and people know that style must never outweigh functionality.

What should the labels on ski goggles say?

When you decide to buy a pair of ski goggles, you must look at a series of technical information before buying the ones you want. This must contain stats about UV protection, visible light transmission, and IR protection. It can be difficult to know which qualities will best protect your eyes, so we have created the below list of minimum requirements for each of the three major protection categories:

  • 100% U.V. protection (UV is the most dangerous light)
  • 75% visible light transmission
  • 50% I.R. protection (infrared)

smiling couple snowboarder enjoying at ski resort in the mountain

Skiing goggles are a must-have accessory while skiing to keep your eyes safe. (Source: maarten-luckybusiness : 90236199/ 123rf.com)

What features should good ski goggles have?

Apart from looking good and being comfortable on your face and had, ski goggles need to have certain features in order to properly protect your eyes. Below we have laid out what to look for in a good pair of goggles so you can make an informed purchase:

Characteristic What does it mean?
Ultraviolet radiation The product must bear the CE mark (which are approved by the European Union). If the glasses are from the USA, they must have the UV400 mark.
Amount of visible light How much visible light passes through the lens. There are 5 categories (0-5 with 0 blocking the least light and 5 blocking the most).
Polarised lenses Blocks light depending on the angle of incidence on the lens.
Colour of the lens Coloured lenses block some of the visible light and alter certain colours. They can help significantly in low-light conditions.
Extras Goggles with side protection and double glazing.

What is the budget for ski goggles?

You should also factor in how much money you can afford to spend when buying a pair of ski goggles. There are so many different options and you can find great value for money as well as overpriced junk. Just glancing at the Canadian Amazon market there are goggles that range from $20 in children’s designs to those exceeding 700 dollars.

What use is the difference in the colour of each lens?

While you want your goggles to go somewhat well with the rest of your clothing, you need to focus on lens quality above all else. The best lenses give you 100 per cent UV protection and cut out 60 per cent or more of IR.

In addition, the colour of the screen must always be adapted to the brightness of the outside. This is why lenses come in a variety of shades and many goggles make their lenses interchangeable. Below are what each shade of lens is designed for:

Lens Colour Use
Dark Sunny days
Clear Cloudy days or low visibility days
Yellow and red They adapt to all conditions
Mirror Sunny conditions
Rose Low light conditions. Shadows and contrasts stand out well
Transparent Very low light or night skiing.
Green or silver Sunny conditions and they improve contrasts
Yellow, amber, gold and red Moderate light
Photochromic lenses Any weather conditions

How should I wear my skiing goggles?

You should look for ski goggles that are fully sealed so they completely cover your eyes. Those that have soft sponge pads that cling to your face give you great sealing. The elastic strap that secures the mask to your head should be comfortable enough and adjustable enough to securely fit it over a toque or helmet.

Additionally, your ski goggles need a ventilation system that helps control the temperature and present condensation while skiing. If you have prescription eyewear, make sure to get a mask that can accommodate glasses underneath – which many are designed to do. Or you can wear contact lenses if you don’t want the hassle.

What should I check before buying ski goggles?

Before you buy your new ski goggles, make sure they are clearly marked with the filter specifications of the lens such as the UV rating to ensure you are buying a safe product. You should value protective qualities over aesthetic ones as a matter of course.

Child skiing in mountains. Active toddler kid with safety helmet, goggles and poles. Ski race for young children. Winter sport for family. Kids ski lesson in alpine school. Little skier racing in snow

Always know what you can afford to spend before looking into a pair of ski goggles. (Source: famveldman: 51422081/ 123rf.com)r

What kind of ski goggles are there?

There are many different kinds of goggles: from the traditional kind that look like sunglasses to much larger ones that offer protection to most of your face. Mask-style goggles might seem uncomfortable to some people, but they are preferred by skiers and snowboarders around the world.

Both the traditional kinds and the mask-style goggles have elastic straps on them that fit over your head or helmet to keep them securely fastened while you’re moving. They should stay comfortably over your eyes the whole time without moving.

Shopping Criteria

Before you get yourself a new pair of ski goggles, you should know how to evaluate the important purchase criteria before pulling the trigger. There are so many goggles on the market, and it is important you know how to navigate all that selection so you get something that is going to make your skiing more enjoyable and safe. Below are the most important criteria to take into consideration.

UV protection

The most important aspect to consider when buying a pair of ski goggles is the protection against ultraviolet rays. When you ski and snowboard at high altitudes, surrounded by reflective snow, the sun’s UV rays can do a lot of damage if you don’t properly protect your eyes.

Additionally, you can find different coloured lenses with different functions. While some people might simply assume the different lenses are just for fashion, each colour actually does something different while skiing and works best in different light and weather conditions. It makes sense to get ski goggles that let you swap the lenses in and out.

young girl skiers on the slope at ski resort in the mountain

Design is always important, but the quality and type of lens are more so. (Source: Tyson dudley: 199460/ unsplash.com)


Some manufacturers design ski goggle lenses with several layers and specialised technology to prevent the lenses from fogging up. When it comes to materials, polycarbonate is the absolute best because they are the safest. They won’t break or splinter in the event of a fall, so they are preferred by professionals.


Ski goggles come in a wide range of styles and designs. Some are made to be used on top of prescription eyewear, and their designs are tailored for this functionality. There are a lot of different colour options out there, so there is something for every skier and snowboarders personal style. Finally, some are made with a double-layer lens.


Many goggles feature smart ventilation systems that help reduce condensation and ensure you don’t get fogged up all the time. Some goggles even have a small fan inside that is battery-powered. Ventilation is key because, during harsh weather, your goggles can get fogged up and become completely useless, even dangerous.


Your goggle’s lenses are made to keep the sun’s harmful UV rays out of your eyes and so that you can ski in comfortable light while seeing everything around you. Many goggles have spherical lenses that give you a wide field of vision and also mimic the natural shape of the eye to reduce fatigue. You should do a lot of research on the lens of your preferred goggle to make sure you are getting a good product.


When it comes to the weight of ski goggles, the best goggles are the lightest. The best goggles are lightweight and weigh between 150 and 170 grams, letting you wear them for hours at a time. For the most part, modern ski goggles generally weigh around this much so you don’t need to look too hard into this feature.


One universal feature of ski goggles is that they feature an elastic strap that lets you fit them over a toque or helmet. Some models also have silicone around the trip to keep them more stable. You should always make sure the goggles you are buying have an adjustable strap so you can adjust the pressure they put on your face and head.

Did you know there are augmented reality ski goggles? They are called RideOn. The polycarbonate screen has an HD camera in it that lets you see every detail of your surroundings while also taking photographs at the same time.

Over The Glasses (OTG)

There are models of ski goggles that belong to the OTG (Over The Glasses) style. These goggles are specially made to have a deeper frame so that you can fit prescription eyewear underneath. If you aren’t sure that this will work for you, you can always purchase what’s called a “prescription adapter” which is an invisible plastic bracket system that is attached inside the goggles which you put your glasses into.


Being fully protected when it comes to practicing one of the most enjoyable sports should be a fundamental factor. When you are skiing and snowboarding at high elevation, the sun is reflected off the snow and is more intense, and it can do real damage to our eyes. That is why you absolutely must have a good pair of goggles in order to practice this sport and enjoy this pastime properly.

It should be clear that we think ski goggles are just as vital as any other safety device and accessory for skiing and snowboarding. With a good pair of skiing goggles, you will be shielded from UV rays, as well as the intense weather and elements you encounter at high elevations. Both of these can affect your vision while on the hill, and even do permanent damage.

If you enjoyed this article on ski goggles and found it helpful, share it with friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can leave us a comment below and tell us what you think.

(Source of featured image: Yelena Kovalenko: 16690945/ 123rf.com)

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