Almost anybody who has gone snowboarding at some point in his life can associate it with some great (and some not so great) moments. The thing with winter sports is that you must have the proper gear to enjoy the ride as much as you want. By “proper” we really mean the best equipment for you. That includes great gloves, boots, helmet, jacket and most importantly – the best snowboard goggles you can get your hands on.
Goggles aren’t as simple as many people think, as they pack tons of features and address a lot of issues which snowboarders experience. These are:
- Fogging up
- Not fitting your face properly
- Not fitting with your helmet
- Having bad light (UV) filters
- Distorting surrounding colors
- Generally look bad
When shopping for goggles you need to take those characteristics into consideration as well. Of course, every manufacturer will tell you that they’ve checked all the boxes with their product, but that isn’t always the case. Nevertheless, we’ve hand-picked three of our favorite snowboarding goggles, which are also generally well accepted among snowboarders.
Before we dive deeper into their reviews, though, let’s first quickly go through the things you will need to keep your eyes open while shopping for your new goggles.
What To Look For In A Snowboard Goggle
As mentioned there are several crucial characteristics which make the perfect product. We will go through each one, explaining a little more on the way.
First and foremost, a goggle must protect your eyes from:
The color of the lens actually determines the amount (and properties) of light that will reach your eyes. For example, a lighter lens tint will let more colors and light go through it. Those are perfect for cloudy days.
The darker lenses, on the other hand, are perfect for what snowboarders and skiers describe as “bluebird days”. Those tints won’t let a lot of colors and light to your eyes.
There are glasses with clear lenses that will provide excellent vision for your night rides.
Additional Features That Are Connected With Vision
Some other goggle features are:
- UV Protection. All of the modern goggles have 100% UV protection, so no need to look out for that
- Photochromic Lenses. Having these lenses on your glasses is a great thing. These type of lenses will change their tint automatically according to your surrounding conditions. That means that the more UV rays and sun there is, the darker they will get and vice versa.
- Polarized Lenses. The reason for this filter is so that the glare from the snow is reduced. Get goggles with such filter if you’re snowboarding during the day.
A good combination of these features might guarantee you a perfect goggle which works well in all conditions and keeps your eyes safe.
Fogging Up – The Snowboarder’s Greatest Enemy
Chances are that you know what we’re talking about here. Everybody who has done winter sports know what fogging can cause. Going down a slope at 20mph with basically zero vision isn’t necessarily the best thing that can happen to you. That is why a good modern goggle must have protection against this occurrence. This protection is called ventilation. Different brands use different techniques to tackle fogging up. Some of those are:
- Vents. Bigger venting holes usually means better ventilation and less fogging up. Take a look around the goggle and see if there are vents on all sides. The only downside of big vents is that your face might not like it in more extreme temperatures.
- Anti-Fog Coating. Most of the modern goggles (including the ones we will review) have such coatings. This helps prevent fogging quite nice actually. If the goggles you already bought don’t state having such coating you can use anti-fog products on it.
- Double-Lenses. Lenses with just one layer fog way faster the double-layered ones. Almost all goggles have this today.
Having three out of three here is what will almost certainly guarantee you that you will never have foggy goggles. Most of those features don’t work as well as you’d think when the other two aren’t present.
Another thing is that you need the goggles to fit your helmet. Let’s discuss that.
The Perfect Fit
You must choose your goggles based on your face and eventually on your helmet. If you want to learn more about snowboarding helmets check out our article on the topic. Your goggles should be comfortable and not very tight. Also, There are flat and spherical lenses. Without diving into that, we’d suggest getting spherical. Those work best with helmets and reduce glare. Perhaps our best advice is to take your time when picking your new goggles and even take your helmet to the store (if you are buying them from a store and not online).
One other thing that we didn’t hit on is the overall look of the glasses. Now, this can sound a little pretentious but most of the snowboarders try to have the most comfortable fear for that, while at the same time it all looks cool. That being said, most of them choose their goggles based on the color and style as well. They need to match everything with the biggest parts of their equipment – the board and their jackets. We vastly covered all the aspects of a good snowboard jacket on our review on some of the best on the market. You can see it here.
Now, let’s get to our choice for the three most amazing goggles.
Top 3 Snowboarding Goggles For The Winter
The models we all agreed on reviewing are:
- Anon M2
- Oakley Flight Deck
- Smith Optics Knowledge
These represent a wide range in terms of price and quality and cover all bases. This makes our review useful for people both on the budget and for those who spend big. To kick things off, here is a little comparison chart between them.
Snowboarding Goggles Comparison Chart
|Product||Number of Lenses||Shape||Type||Overall Quality||Price|
|Oakley Flight Deck|
|Smith Optics Knowledge|
Anon M2 – The Winter King
Whatever we say about these goggles, we can all agree on one thing – this is the most epic looking snowboarding accessory you can get, but boy it comes at a price. If you’re going for an all-black outfit these will fit perfectly (the black version). Anon M2 excels on all fronts by being extremely good both in performance and protection.
There is literally zero fogging when wearing those, as well as excellent eye protection. You can choose from over 10 models with different lens colors (we covered how the color affects your experience).
By having a spherical lens you will enjoy an almost panoramic view with little to no view obstruction. This means no blind spots and that is always a welcomed feature among snowboarders. Some other features are:
- The lenses are changeable meaning you can swap your lenses depending on the conditions you ride into.
- The strap has a non-slip texture to it, meaning those won’t move nor fall off during the ride down.
- They are super comfortable to your face due to the triple layer foam.
- ITC treatment against fogging
- Great ventilation shafts
- You have tons of different colors to pick from
- Good field of view
- Great exterior
- Newest technology in terms of lens filters and eye protection
- Insanely expensive
- Limited warranty
- Limited sizes
Final Words On The Anon M2
If you are looking for the best goggles on the market, you might as well stop reading here and get those, as this is as good as it gets. The thing is, if you’re on a budget there are way better alternatives that do pretty much the same at half the price. That being said, it all narrows down to what your budget is, but know that the Anon M2 doesn’t make compromises in any aspect of snowboarding goggles.
Oakley Flight Deck
As much as we’d love to pick a decisive winner of the “best goggles” competition, we couldn’t. The reason behind this is the fact that Oakley Flight Deck goggles exist (as well as some other high-end goggles). What we are trying to say is that it isn’t lonely at the top and there are many brands that share the highest part of the market. Nonetheless, the Flight Deck goggles made our list without us even hesitating.
With its huge field of vision, they are on par with the Anon M2s. What makes them unique though are the various filters they have on their lense (a single lens, sadly). The comfort of wearing these is truly unmatched and the spherical lens makes you forget you’re even wearing anything. Let’s take a look at some of the features, advantages, and disadvantages of these goggles.
The Oakley Flight Deck pack and HDO lens with an F3 anti-fog coating on the inside. This means that you will get UVA, UVB, and UVC protection while at the same time you won’t have to worry about any kind of moisture build up on the inside. They are compatible with eyeglasses and all kinds of helmets.
One amazing thing here (as with the Anons) is that you get to choose from more than 10 different colors. Unlike the Anons, though, you get more size options here.
- Unobstructed field of vision
- Comfortable design made to be worn all day
- Special anti-fog coating
- Variety of filters
- Many designs to chose from
- Pretty expensive compared to market’s average
- Warranty varies, but it’s never lifetime as with the Smith goggles
Final Words On The Oakley Flight Deck
It pretty much goes as with the Anon M2s . If you are willing to pay a ton of money for your goggles, feel free to do so. What you will get in return is premium quality by an established brand. You can’t go wrong with Oakley, the thing is whether you can get similar quality for far less money. Well, we’re about to find out.
Smith Optics Knowledge – The Budget Winter King
This is a case of good quality for a decent amount of money. If you’re on the budget but don’t want to make any compromises with the quality these are your goggles. What is different here are a few things. First, they have frames, which will kind of restrict your vision. Furthermore, they aren’t spherical, but cylindrical (or flat), so you will get more glare into your eyes.
Overall, they are good in any department but don’t expect miracles for goggles in that price range. Some of the main features are that they pack a special anti-fog lens and a “DriWix” face foam. This will keep your face dry and will “wick” away moisture. There is a decent amount of venting and the frame size fits most faces. They are also eyeglasses compatible.
- The anti-fog lens will keep your goggles clear
- UV protection
- Lifetime warranty
- Some users have complained about the build quality. Either way, the warranty will cover any defects.
- The frame restricts your vision
- No smaller sizes for kids and female snowboarders
- Lack of variety of colors and styles
Final Words On The Smith Optics Knowledge
As we said, if you are on the lookout for good, and at the same time cheap goggles, you’re at the right place. What might make you look away is the lack of choice here. But even if we keep listing downsides, the price and the lifetime warranty will always outweigh any negative aspects. We say get these if you don’t want to spend a fortune on something that will be slightly better.
Shopping for new winter goggles can be a hard task, so we’d recommend sticking to our selected choices. This is why we picked two of the very best snowboard goggles on today’s market, along with a budget king that nails pretty much everything and comes at a killer price. Remember to bring your helmet if you’re not shopping online. That way you can always see how everything will fall into place once you gear up for the season.