Arguably one of the most important pieces of gear in your kit this winter will be a reliable pair of goggles. We took the guess work out of testing the best snowboard goggles on the market. These are our picks for the top goggles for 2017/18 designed for blasting through pow and coming out with a smile on the other side.
The Spy Marshall is Equipped with Spy’s Happy Lens (The Happy Lens is a lens that allows long wave blue light to come through. Long wave blue light helps with color and contrast clarity as well as stimulating serotonin release levels in your brain=Happy).
The Happy Lens is also spherical, mimicking the curve of your eyes, therefore reducing eye fatigue and distortion. Combine that with there wide field of view and the Scoop ventilation to eliminate fogging and you have one great looking goggle. With over 10 different color ways including their collaboration series with The Seventh Letter, it will be hard to find something as stylish and optically comfortable for such a killer price as the Spy Marshall Goggle ($140-160)
Smith I/o Chromapop
The Smith I/O has quickly become a industry standard. With an even bigger field of view in this years goggle, mixed in with Smith’s Chromapop technology to enhance contrast on those darker stormy days with the Storm Lens, and clarity on the bluebird days with the Sun Lens. (Each I/0 includes one of the Storm and Sun Lens.)
Still using the frameless, quick lens change tabs makes things very easy with these goggles. As well as the 3 layer foam and anti fog coating on the inside of the lens, it makes for a goggle that’s almost impossible to fog up. For the cost it is nice to see the sunny day lens and storm lens in the same box. With a wide array of strap and frame colors as well as lens options, and the helmet compatibility I’m sure there is something for everyone in the Smith I/O ($200).
The Virtuose is a goggle built for those who have a little bit larger of facial features and just all around big heads. Made with the big guy in mind, the Virtuoses still keep it to a wide field of view which is something not a lot of companies are keeping in mind. The One Click Switch and Play Lens system allows for quick and easy lens changing on the go! The Carbo glass is going to be the material the lens is made out of, which is a scratch resistant material.
Triple layer foam mixed in with the flow tech venting and p80 (anti fog) layer make for yet another fog free ride. For just over $100 you get that which includes two lens’. Quite a steal in my book if you are looking for something with great fit, multiple lens options and keeping the cost low. Bolle Virtuose ($89)
The Giro team has been crushing it in recent years. Not only with creating some simple, yet stylish frame designs, but they’re always working toward making the product better than the previous year. The Axis is no exception! With a nice clean frameless look mixed with Giro’s new Quick Change System, which includes four magnets, and four pins, that line right up. Combine that with their EXV or Expansion View which allows for a wide field of view.
They also boast one of the biggest lens collections I have seen with several options for every type of weather and you know are great quality, the Vivid lens by Zeiss being one of the best. That mixes to make one heck of a goggle. Every goggle comes with 2 lens, sunny/all condition and one low light as well as a number of frame and strap color combinations. For ($180) bucks the Giro Access is a great deal, and I most definitely look forward to getting my hands on a pair for this upcoming winter!
Oakley Fall Line Prizm
Well Oakley has done it again, another great looking frameless goggle mixed into their already stacked line of frameless goggles. The Fall Line has an optically correct cylindrical lens design to help eliminate the fatigue and eye distortion, that’s sometimes found on other goggles.
The Oakley Fall Line Prizm feature a temple notch for those who wear glasses so they are mostly RX compatible. Mixed with the Oakley Prizm lens technology, which they have done a number of years of color research to find how to make the most contrast and light transmission possible to make the best seeing and visibility in low visibility scenarios. These are a mid fit goggle that includes only one lens. Thee 2017/18 Oakley Fall Line Prizm runs ($200), for those of you who want the top of the line. These are right there.
Smith Squad XL
Well, Smith released the Squad I believe two or three years ago, and they now have added some weight. The Squad XL is a Squad, beefed up to allow more in the field of view. It is a cylindrical two layer lens that has a certain classic style that is good to see back! These are going to be a great price point goggle, coming in at $130. It includes two, chromapop lens’ one sunny day, one storm, and a microfiber cloth. I really enjoy the simplicity and price of these goggles, giving you everything you need for a great season of shredding for a minimal cost. The Squad XL is also compatible with just about every helmet on the market (most Smiths Goggles are) making them a no-brainer if you’re looking for style/function/cost effective. Smith Squad XL ($130)
Straying to a more creative goggle is the Abom Heet. These goggles are different then all the others simply based on their heating element they place in between the lens. Thats right, they thought about, how and why goggles fog up so much, especially when riding very wet conditions. Well they found a solution. A thin invisible heating element placed in between the lens to keep a consistent stream of heat right where your goggles tend to fog up. With a micro controller on the side of the goggle there are different setting to make sure you have the ultimate day, even when it is a bit sloppy out. With rechargeable batteries, a spherical lens made by zeiss and a nice wide field of vision. These are made for the people who want one pair of goggles that will NEVER fog up and will do everything. With a price around $270 they are a little bit more spendy, but for the satisfaction of knowing you can just press a button and be fog free all day vs. changing lens every 4th run, I’ll take push button any day! Abom Goggles ($270)
By Nick Sirianno
Snowboard goggles are a mountain necessity. You need them this season, and you wanna know which are the best picks? We got ‘cha. Here are the best snowboard goggles for winter!
Oakley Airbrake Goggle
Oakley Switchlock™ Technology makes lens changing fast and easy, and two lens colors are included with each goggle so you’ll be ready for a range of conditions right from the get-go. Additional lens options are available, so no matter what the mountain has in mind, you’ll be able to keep up with changing light conditions and maximize both performance and safety.
Switchlock Technology offers the most elegant and simple solution, and it does so while maximizing impact protection, eliminating visual distortion and giving you a fast and easy way to swap out the lens. Just rotate the lever of the locking mechanism. The mounted lens is released and the goggle is ready for whatever alternate lens you need. Your vision will be razor sharp and accurate, and you’ll have protection that meets the gold standard: ANSI Z87.1 rated impact resistance. $230.00 – Backcountry.com
Smith I/OX Goggle
Developed by the pioneers of interchangeable lenses, Smith Optics offers the cleanest and easiest lens change on the market. Incredibly user friendly, the Smith I/OX lenses can be changed while wearing gloves. Smith understands that having the right lens matters, so they include an extra lens for low light conditions. Designed by Smith Optics Intelligence, the I/OX offers unparalleled peripheral vision, impact resistant lenses, and a clean low profile look that eliminates the “gaper gap!” $210.00 – Evo.com
VonZipper El Kabong Goggle
If you’re looking for a more freeride look then look no further than VonZipper’s El Kabong Goggles. These goggles are truly mystifying. Boasting lenses as clear as a mountain stream the El Kabong is sure to help you see through anything! The new frameless design morphs seeing into believing and the spherical lens design mimics the eye, turning your goggle vision into a panoramic promise. The lenses snap in and out with VonZipper’s patented Presto Chang-O lens system. If you’re looking for a steezy stylish goggle, go with the El Kabong. They ride the same waves as Smith and Oakley so it really just comes down to what you prefer.
Anon M2 Goggle
This is the goggle of the future. When I first saw a pair of these I immediately flashbacked to 2001: A Space Odyssey. They aren’t a full-face space helmet but the size of the vision window sure does make it feel that way. The truly frameless design opens your vision to include the slopes in front of you to the entire universe. With zero peripheral distortion they boast the largest window of vision. When I put them on I actually think I had a brief glimpse into the future. “Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?”
Some key features that make the Anon M2 “out of this world:
Wall-to-Wall vision—the best possible field of vision comes from 40% less face foam and the incredibly low-profile face design, the goggle fits closer to the face and maximizes peripheral vision. Lenses that cover the entire Visible Light Transmission (VLT). From greybird to blurbird, Anon offers a lens for all conditions.
Integral Clarity Technology (ITC). Porous cellulose inner lens surface for superior water shedding, chemically etched anti-fog treatment, full perimeter channel venting to quickly evacuate warm and moist air from the lens area. $239.00 – Backcountry.com
Dragon APX Goggle
Advanced Projects X, is a design philosophy focused on technical innovation and smart design from start to finish. With an emphasis on quality, minimalist design, and performance, the Advanced Projects X line embodies the most technically advanced products in the market.
Designed and tested in the backcountry of Colorado at their 12,000’ elevation Research and Development cabin, the Advanced Projects X goggle has proven to withstand the harshest, most technically demanding conditions. The flagship product of the line, literally redefines what a goggle can be with our new patent pending Infinity Lens Technology. By completely eliminating the frame profile with this innovative lens system, the Advanced Projects X goggle has maximum peripheral vision and the highest level of performance. $219.95 – US Outdoor
Get some perspective this winter and see what you’ve been missing by upgrading to a premium pair of goggles that will forever alter the way you rip the mountain. Outlined below is the trifecta of optimal eyewear that promise to enhance your vision and upgrade your shred experience. Take your pick of these top three goggles and align yourself with the ranks of upper echelon rippers who sacrifice nothing when it comes to vision.
Oakley Airwave Goggle
For those of you who go for speed on downhill runs or want to pull off a big trick you’ll need snowboard goggles with technology that lets you take your ride to the next level. With a display that integrates GPS, Bluetooth® and onboard sensors you’ll have instant access to analytics that record distance, height and your airtime with the Oakley Airwave Goggle. Preload maps and track your friends with all with your playlist at your fingertips. The Oakley Airwave Goggle isn’t just eye protection… it’s a mobile dashboard. $649.95 – Backcountry.com
Uvex Snowstrike Goggle
Aggressive riders demand snowboard goggles that deliver superior performance. With a combination of an edgy look and colors that pop you’ll have an eye-catching goggle that also offers you the best possible view in any weather condition. 100% UV protected the Uvex Snowstrike combines an ultimate in anti-fog coating, direct frame ventilation, and the perfect lens for any condition with 4 modes including: clear, blue, red and violet adjust in 1/10 of a second. $189.95 – Backcountry.com
Electric EG2 Goggle
Comfort and awesomeness will have you turning heads in these snowboard goggles. The Electric EG2 protects your brain and your eyes with a secure fit. Featuring a 43mm strap these goggles stay firmly in place and provide a triple-layer foam so your cheeks stay happy. Soak up the view with oversized dual spherical polycarbonate lenses that let you see everything above and below you with super anti-fog coating and super-anti-reflective coating for protection from glow-back. $179.95 – Backcountry.com
Smith I/07 Goggle
Get back to basics with the brand that set the standard for high-performance snowboard goggles: Smith. These ultra-comfortable frames feature pivoting outriggers to hold straps in place so you can wear them high or low. They’re handy on a helmet with the easiest ever lens changing option and allow you to hit the mountain with a snug fit, anti-fog, style and comfort. $200.00 – REI.com
This year brings some fantastic goggle options with quick switch lenses. Optics manufacturers like Smith, Oakley, Dragon, Anon, and Von Zipper, have designed innovative ways to quickly and easily change your goggles lenses. It just makes sense to have the option. Most of the time the lighting at the parking lot is a lot different than at the top of the mountain. Lenses weigh close to nothing but they can, and most likely will always brighten your day!
Best Quick Release Goggles
Anon M1 Goggle
If seeing is believing, then have faith in the Anon M1 Goggles. This set is an absolute optical authority as it puts your peepers in prime position to seek and destroy everything the mountain throws your way. Progressive features and loads of style make the M1 a must have for anyone who refuses to compromise when it comes to goggles.
One of the features that makes this pair so lovable is the Magne-Tech Quick Lens Change Technology, which uses some powerful magnets to let you swap out lenses super easily whenever you want. Team up that sweet hunk of tech with the tough, lightweight frame and the Integral Clarity of the lens, and you have got yourself one sweet slice of headwear that refuses to let you down. Make it happen with the Anon M1 Goggles. $219.95 – Backcountry.com
Smith I/O Goggle
A spherical lens shape delivers undistorted clarity like you’ve never seen, and triple layer DriWix face foam moves moisture away from your face while providing a comfortable seal. Ascend to a higher level of visualization with the Smith I/O Goggles. $180 – Backcountry.com
Oakley Shaun White Airbrake Goggle
The thing about the mountain is that the weather can be so volatile. Having the ability to adapt on the fly is crucial. So, sticking with the theme of quick lens changing capabilities, we round out the top three with the Oakley Airbrake Goggles. This pair is equipped with Switchlock Technology for pristine interchangeability so you have always got the best view on the hill.
100% UV filtering protects your eyeballs from nasty sunrays while a dual venting system chases fogging away. A flexible fit gives your face a cozy hug and a Rigid Exoskeleton cranks up the durability and maintains structural integrity. Become a superior visionary force and let nothing escape your coldblooded stare with the Oakley Airbrake Goggles. $280 – Evo.com
May your season be snowy and your vision be vivacious.