Here Are the Best Snowboard Goggles for All Sorts of Conditions

The best goggles for kids and adults

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Smith 4D MAG at Backcountry

"Natural color to make details pop in a variety of light conditions without distortion."

Best Value: Shred Monocle at Backcountry

"A reasonably priced option that packs in the features you need."

Best for Parks: Oakley Airbrake XL at Amazon

"Features an extra-large lens size that maxes out your field of vision. "

Best for All-Weather Performance: Atomic Four Q HD at Amazon

"The lenses are some of the most glove-friendly solutions available."

Best for Smaller Faces: POC Fovea Mid Clarity Comp at Backcountry

"The wide shape provides an ample field of vision."

Best for Bright Sun: Salomon Radium Pro Sigma at Salomon

"Amplifies color contrast and cuts down on glare to provide a wide, clear field of vision."

Best for Teens: Giro Contour RS at Backcountry

"The Contour RS has been designed to fit slightly smaller, but has all of the features of the original Contour goggles."

Best for Kids: Bolle Royal at Amazon

"The Bolle Royal goggles are ideal for younger riders."

If you haven't worn a pair of snowboarding goggles in a few years, you’re in for a welcome surprise. Today’s models have really pushed the technology and manufacturing, creating goggles with truly impressive fields of vision, increased peripherals, and fashion-forward designs that work well in all riding conditions.

They breathe better, avoid fogging, and fit comfortably both on your face and with your favorite helmet. Lens interchange systems have drastically improved as well, sometimes using magnets or glove-friendly triggers to allow for rapid customization. From frameless models to the best pair for park riding, these are the best snowboarding goggles for the 2021-22 season.

Best Overall: Smith 4D MAG

Smith 4D MAG

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Amazing field of vision

  • Quick and intuitive lens interchange tech

  • Comes with both a soft and a hard case

What We Don't Like
  •  Pricey

Portland, Oregon-based Smith has been on the leading edge of goggle technologies for the last few years, and the 4D MAG goggles are the culmination of that expertise. The goggles come with Smith's proprietary ChromaPop lenses that enhance contrast and natural color to make details pop in a variety of light conditions without distortion, as well as the new BirdsEye Vision tech, which is a curvature in the lens that provides more peripheral vision.

Each pair comes with two lenses—and you can swap them out in seconds using a four-step process that employs six magnets on the frame and the lens for confident interchanges, even with gloves on. Three-layer DriWix face foam wicks sweat and sits comfortably, while an ultra-wide silicone-backed strap locks in place, and can be quickly adjusted via the QuickFit clip and sliders. There are ten frame and strap color options, but we vote for the Clay Red Landscape, which uses recycled nylon fibers to reduce CO2 emissions and water consumption, using 50 percent pre-consumption waste that’s considered unusable in any other way.

Price at time of publish: $320 for White Vapor/ChromaPop Everyday Green Mirror/Extra Lens -ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash, One Size

Frame Size: Medium | Number of Frames: 2 | Lens Tech: ChromaPop with BirdsEye Vision

Best Value: Shred Monocle

SHRED Monocle Goggles

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Price

  • Durability

  • Solid anti-fog tech

What We Don't Like
  • No interchangeable lenses

Co-founded by two-time gold medalist and five-time world champion Ted Ligety, Shred knows what it takes to make a pair of high-performance goggles. Witness the Monocle, a reasonably priced option that packs in the features you need, including a wide lens design to maximize your field of view, Contrast Boosting tech for enhanced image contrasts in all weather and light conditions, and Nodistortion, a pressure-regulation valve technology that maintains a clear, unfogged vision during changes in altitude. They’re also one of the most flexible goggles available, making them durable enough to carry through several seasons. It comes in 11 different color and lens combos, each with a decidedly retro flare.

Price at time of publish: $120 for Black CBL/Plasma Mirror

Frame Size: M to XL helmets | Number of Lenses: 1 | Lens Tech: Cylindrical double lens with UVA protection and anti-fog treatment

Best for Parks: Oakley Airbrake XL

Oakley Men's Airbrake XL

Courtesy of Oakley

What We Like
  • Amazing field of visions

What We Don't Like
  • The lens-swapping tech is a bit fussy

Park riders need goggles that provide a completely unrestricted view of the terrain so they can see what’s coming at them from the front, below, and both sides. Oakley’s Airbrake XL accomplishes just that thanks to an extra-large lens size to max out your field of vision. The Prizm lens tech enhances the color and contrast, so you can see more details when transitioning from the shaded part of the pipe back into bluebird skies.

A low-profile decision improves helmet compatibility, and a wide adjustable strap with a silicone lining delivers a secure, comfortable fit. A triple layer of face foam with moisture-wicking polar fleece assures comfort, while the rigid exoskeleton marries with a flexible O Matter faceplate to conform the goggles to your face—even in extreme cold. The goggle comes with two lenses; to swap ‘em out, pull the Switch Lock lever on one side of the goggles to release the lens.

Price at time of publish: $250

Frame Size: Large | Number of Lenses: 2 | Lens Tech: Available in Prizm, with injection-molded Plutonite materials that offer UVA protection

Best for All-Weather Performance: Atomic Four Q HD

Atomic Four Q HD

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Top of the line field of vision in all weather conditions

  • Easy lens-swapping

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Atomic set out to change the way we think about goggles with their Four Q HD—and they succeeded. Instead of applying foam layers between the two lenses, Atomic used a cylindrical lamination called Fusion Double Lens Tech to join the inner and outer lenses, resulting in a field of vision that’s 20 percent larger—with no refractions, reflections, or fogging. Then they integrated crystals into the lens to improve snow visibility in all conditions—sun, shade, or storm. And if things get really dark, the Quick Click lens-swapping system makes it easy to swap to the included HD clear lens. The four buttons sitting at the temples to release the lens are some of the most glove-friendly solutions available. The Life Fit Frame is built on a gridded architecture, with adaptive tri-layered foam that molds to the contours of your face, along with 8x anti-fog treatment on the inner lens and ample venting to improve breathability.

Price at time of publish: $260

Frame Size: Large | Number of Lenses: 2 | Lens Tech: Cylindrical Fusion Double Lens with HD Lens technology

Best for Smaller Faces: POC Fovea Mid Clarity Comp

POC Fovea Mid Clarity Comp

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Suitable for smaller faces

  • High-performance geared toward racing

What We Don't Like
  • Additional lenses not included, swapping is a bit fussy

Developed in collaboration with POC Team athlete Aaron Blunck, the POC Fovea Mid Clarity Comp took one of the brand’s best goggles and modified them to fit on smaller adult faces. It uses a two-layer Clarity Comp lens from optical experts Zeiss to provide precise vision, with an optical-grade polycarbonate outer and a cellulose propionate inner. The wide shape provides an ample field of vision, with additional clarity thanks to a Spektris mirror coating. High-density foam covers the venting to cut airflow at high speeds, while the soft-coated PU frame stays flexible even in the coldest temps. That flexibility also helps make swapping out lenses relatively straightforward.

Price at time of publish: $240

Frame Size: Small | Number of Lenses: 1 | Lens Tech: Zeiss Clarity Comp and Spektris mirror coating with complete UV protection

Best for Bright Sun: Salomon Radium Pro Sigma

Salomon Radium Pro Sigma

Courtesy of Salomon

What We Like
  • Stylish frameless design

  • Very breathable

What We Don't Like
  • No lens swapping so they can’t be used in low-light situations

When bluebird skies appear, grab the Radium Pro Sigma from Salomon and hit the lifts. Custom ID Fit tech provides optimal fit (even if you’re wearing glasses), with a spherical SIGMA lens that amplifies color contrast and cuts down on glare to provide a wide, clear field of vision with nominal distortion at the peripherals. The frameless goggles have also been treated with Salomon’s Anti Fog+ to maintain that clarity while venting at the perimeter retains the optimal internal temp for day-long comfort.

Price at time of publish: $200

Frame Size: Medium to Large | Number of Lenses: 1 | Lens Tech: Spherical SIGMA

Best for Teens: Giro Contour RS

Giro Contour RS Goggles

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Optimal fit for smaller faces

  • Intuitive lens-swapping

What We Don't Like
  • Ideal for those with Giro helmets, but they still work with other brands

Based on Giro’s original Contour goggles, the Contour RS has been designed to fit slightly smaller faces. But in all other ways, the RS is very much like the original Contour goggles. The frameless design uses Expansion View Technology and VIVID lenses developed exclusively with Zeiss to make reading the terrain a breeze, with ample peripheral vision. A quick-change magnetic lens-swapping system lets you go with the VIVID Zeiss low-light lens if things get cloudy. EVAK venting prevents fogging and has been designed to integrate seamlessly with Giro helmets.

Price at time of publish: $270

Frame Size: Small to medium | Number of Lenses: 2 | Lens Tech: Toric VIVID with Optics by Zeiss with Expansive View tech that streamlined the frame to improve peripheral vision

Best for Kids: Bolle Royal

Bolle Royal

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Modest in price and high on performance, the Bolle Royal goggles are ideal for younger riders. The double lens construction provides an ample field of vision, and P80+ anti-fog treatment assures that things won’t get cloudy. Flow-Tech venting adds to all-day comfort, and UV protection, as well as Carbo Glass anti-scratch, also assures that the kids—and the goggles—are protected from any damage.

Price at time of publish: $59

 Frame Size: Kids | Number of Lenses: 1 | Lens Tech: UV and anti-scratch tech

Final Verdict

Outfitted with Smith’s ground-breaking ChromaPop lenses, which enhance the contrast and natural colors in all light conditions, and the new BirdsEye Vision tech, a curvature of the lens to increase peripheral vision, the 4D MAG reigns supreme (view at Backcountry). Each pair comes with two lenses, and the magnetic swapping system makes quick work of the process. And the lifetime warranty should help justify the price. That said, it’s hard to beat Atomic’s Four Q HD (view at Amazon), which benefits from the lamination of the inner and outer lenses (rather than attaching them with a traditional foam layer), which improves the field of vision by 20 percent. They also integrated crystals into the lenses to improve snow visibility in all conditions and included a low-light lens that swaps out via one of the most glove-friendly systems on the market.

What to Look For in Snowboarding Goggles

Vision

Most higher-end goggles deliver a solid, clear field of vision, but larger goggles with a frameless design and a wide surface area can help remove obstacles from your vision, improving peripheral and vertical views—features that resonate in the park and halfpipe. That said, the more curve a lens has does increase the chance that the view can get slightly distorted, especially on the periphery. Others may come with a slightly more restricted point of view, but honestly won’t be much of an obstacle when riding.

Fit

“General categories include toddler, youth, and adult’s small, medium, and large face volume,” says Colin Fernie with Mammoth Mountain’s Black Tie Ski Rentals, a nation-wide equipment rental facility that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. “It’s critical that you get goggles with a face volume that fits your nose, cheeks, etcetera, and a profile that fits comfortably, with no gaps between your helmet and your face to diminish airflow. Nearly all goggles these days are helmet-compatible. So that shouldn’t be a concern when purchasing.”

Steve Graff, the vice president of Mountain Operations at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah has similar advice. "Make sure you have good coverage and peripheral vision," he advises. "Bring your helmet so you can get a good fit and avoid the 'gaper gap'. The gap between your helmet and goggles collects snow and can be very cold."

Still, features like clips and sliders on the strap make adjusting the fit easy, even when wearing gloves.

Lens Tech

Lens tints and technology can be downright confusing. Even a single goggle from one brand can come in a dizzying array of options. Most manufacturers do a good job of spelling out the benefits, but in general, you want a lens with minimal distortion. Brighter conditions require more shading and a “deeper” tint (black, gray, red), while those in the middle spectrum (blue, green, and some reds) split the difference between bright and low light—a great option for tree skiers and the backcountry. Low or flat light, however, requires a lens with nominal tinting (yellow, gold, copper, amber, or rose) to help the feature stand out.

"Photochromatic lenses are great for the varying light between slope aspects and skiing in and out of the trees, these lenses are very versatile and good for most days," Graff says. "Interchangeable lenses are nice. I like to have low light lenses to wear on stormy powder days and dark, or reflective, lenses for those bluebird days."

Fernie advises looking for a pair with interchangeable lenses. “Most high-end goggles come with multiple lenses for different light conditions” and the interchangeable technologies have drastically improved over the last few years. But Fernie’s colleague Harry Oettinger with Black Tie Skis of Sun Valley says, “Some customers don’t want to fiddle with interchangeable lenses. There have been a number of advancements in lens technology over the last half-decade that have increased their multi-condition versatility. The selective wavelength filters mean you can have increased light transmission (the Visible Light Transmission spec) but decreased glare for all-day comfort. For me, that means one lens can take me from morning shadows to full sun, back to the afternoon.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I clean my goggles?

    Most goggles come in microfiber bags with a synch pull and fabric that’s tailor-made to clean your lenses of any smudges or dirt. “The inner lens is far less durable than the exterior lens,” Fernie. “The only thing that should touch either lens is a proper goggle wipe, which should be carried at all times, but that’s especially important on the inner lens. If you get a face full of snow in the inner lens, you need to air it out and pat dry. Dragging ice chunks across the inner lens can cause scratching.”

  • How should I store goggles?

    A few goggles come with hard cases for both the goggles and spare lenses, but most come in the microfiber stuff sack, which can leave the goggles prone to damage (either with impacts to the lens or bends to the frame). Third-party hard-sided goggle cases will protect them when not in use. And if you’re concerned about scratching them when they’re on your helmet but not on your face, go for a goggle cover, which is a stretch of microfiber with an elastic that wraps around the outer face of the goggles.

  • How should I defog goggles?

    First, start with a microfiber cloth (like the bag that typically comes with the goggles). For more stubborn conditions, you can use anti-fog spray or—if you’re at a resort—use a hand dryer. But if foggy lenses plague you often, go with an anti-fog product, which you typically whip onto your lenses with a chemically-treated cloth and let dry. Fernie also highlights the value of properly operating the goggles. “The primary mistake people make is constantly taking their goggles on and off their face," Fernie points out. "Fogging essentially occurs due to a disparity between the inner and the exterior lens temperatures. Good goggles will self-regulate and dissipate fog quickly, but if you’re constantly taking them on and off or placing them on your helmet at the end of a run, it doesn’t allow the goggles to function properly.”

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Nathan Borchelt has been a life-long winter sports enthusiast and has traveled to resorts and the backcountry in Japan, Europe, South America, Canada, and across the United States. In evaluating each goggle, usability—the ease of wearing them with various helmets, the smoothness of lens-swapping, the overall durability of both the lenses and the frame—was tested, as were the fields of vision both for clarity in a different light as well as peripheral and vertical points of view.

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