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Smith has been a producer of high quality ski goggles for as long as I can remember. They have a ton of different models and styles at various prices, but we put the I/O model at the top of the list. Smith just recently came out with the all-new ChromaPop lens which gives you awesome color quality and clear vision. The mostly frameless design and spherical lens offer a huge field of vision in every direction. The I/O also has a nice 2-pivot interchangeable lens system and includes 2 lenses (bright light and low light) so you can swap them out easily for the best vision in any light condition. The I/O has a medium frame size for a great fit with nearly every helmet. Smith also offers the I/O S and the I/O X for smaller or larger faces, making sure there is an I/O for everyone.
Note: The I/O 7 is very similar to the original I/O with the main differences being a simplified single pivot lens change system as well as the ability to adjust the goggle straps up and down where the strap meets the frame. These are a little more expensive than the original I/O but doesn’t offer a huge upgrade in features so we like the originals here – but either one is an awesome goggle at the end of the day.
Oakley is well known in the industry for their high end ski goggles and the Flight Decks are no exception. These goggles offer a large frameless design, which combined with Oakley’s new Prizm lens technology, compete with Smith’s ChromaPop for unparalleled optics. Many people worry about how the large frame will fit when combined with a helmet, but we found that it actually fits quite nice with most helmets. However, the Flight Decks are a bit pricey and only come with one lens, with extra lenses starting around $65. And even if you are wiling to spend the money on a second lens, the lens interchange system is not the easiest to figure out. All in all, these are still great goggles. If you don’t mind only having one lens or are willing to pay a little extra, then they are definitely worth a look.
Ski Goggles Over Glasses
Also, just a quick note here. Many people look for goggles that they can comfortably wear prescription glasses under. When looking for goggles, any model that says OTG in the title or description means that they are made to fit glasses under. However, often times, larger goggles will fit glasses easily without mentioning OTG. For those of you who do wear glasses, the Smith I/O X and the Oakley Flight Decks mentioned above are both great goggles that will comfortably fit glasses.
Another high quality goggle made by Oakley. The Airbrakes differ from the Flight Decks in that they are a bit smaller on the face and they have a frame around the lens. The framed look is a little outdated given most of the high end goggles these days sport the frameless style, but some people may still prefer the old-school frame design. The frame is extremely wide so the field of vision to the sides is not compromised at all, but looking up or down you’ll see a little less than you would with a frameless design. A big plus of the Airbrakes is the Switchlock lens change system consisting of a single lever to swap out your lenses. This is super easy to use and comes in handy as the Airbrakes do come with a second lens. The medium size and flex of the frame provide a good fit around most faces. Overall, a solid option for people that prefer that frame style.
We know not everyone can afford to spend around $200 on ski goggles, so for the next two we have some budget ski goggle options for beginners and intermediate weekend warriors.
If you’re looking for a nicer goggle but aren’t willing to spend over $100, check out the Smith Squad. These have most of the same bells and whistles of the higher end goggles but at a much lower price point. These goggles feature a cylindrical lens rather than spherical. This just means the lens is only curved in the horizontal direction rather than both horizontal and vertical. This doesn’t inhibit your vision in any way, it just means that looking up and down there may be a little distortion as compared to a spherical lens. These lenses are made from a carbonic-x material, so they’re tough but they do still include anti-fog technology. These goggles also come with two lenses and are available in ChromaPop if you want that HD color look even with more moderate-level goggles.
These are about the cheapest yet still viable goggles out there. You can pick the Mojos up for as low as $12. These are the goggles that you might pick up if you want to try skiing for the first time or if you’re looking for a backup to keep in your bag in case something happens to your regular goggles. These aren’t going to be the most comfortable goggles but they will get the job done and get you down the hill with your eyes intact. For how low the price tag is, they’re worth considering by both avid skiers for backups as well as weekend warriors who are just looking to get out on the slopes for a little fun.