Andrea Byrne changing the lenses on Squad MAG goggle while wearing them.

How to Choose Your Ski/Snowboard Goggles

When you’re out on the slopes, your eyes are contending with a lot. Bracing winds can make your eyes water, blazing sunlight is reflecting off of the snow, and precipitation can make visibility poor. The right pair of ski/snowboard goggles can protect your eyes and keep your vision sharp on the mountain so that you can see obstacles as clearly in flat light as you do on bluebird days. 

Ski/Snowboard Goggle Lens Shapes

Smith carries three different goggle lens shapes: 

  • Cylindrical lenses: Cylindrical lenses are built on a base curve in only the X (horizontal) axis, which means that they curve across your face from left to right, but do not curve up or down. Popular goggles with Cylindrical lenses include the Squad and the Squad MAG
  • Spherical lenses: Spherical lenses are built on a base curve in both the X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) axis. Having the lens curve both left to right, as well as up and down, increases your peripheral view and the increased surface area of the lens also helps prevent fogging. Popular goggles with Spherical lenses include the I/O MAG and the Proxy.
  • BirdsEye Vision: With BirdsEye Vision, found exclusively on the 4D MAG and the 4D MAG S, the bottom portion of the lens curves downward and inward toward the face, giving you a 25% increase in your overall field of view compared to our other Spherical lenses. 

Ski/Snowboard Goggle Lens Colors

Different weather conditions call for different lenses so that you can see as clearly as possible and stay out all day. 

The amount of light that reaches your eyes through the lens is called the visible light transmission (VLT), lighter lens tints have a higher VLT because more light passes through the lens making them suited to cloudy conditions, and darker tints have lower VLT because less light passes through the lens making them ideal for sunny conditions. 

  • Lenses for Sunny/Bluebird Conditions: For lenses made for bright conditions, check out our Sun lenses. ChromaPop Sun Black, ChromaPop Sun Green Mirror, ChromaPop Sun Platinum Mirror, ChromaPop Sun Red Mirror have VLTs ranging from 9-16%, perfect for the harsh glare of high elevation sun.  
  • Lenses for Variable Conditions: Our Everyday lenses are ideal for versatile conditions. ChromaPop Everyday Green Mirror, ChromaPop Everyday Red Mirror, ChromaPop Everyday Rose Gold Mirror, and ChromaPop Everyday Violet Mirror all have VLT ranges around 20% which makes them suited for a wide range of medium to bright conditions.

    For lenses that can change with the conditions, check out our Photochromic options like ChromaPop Photochromic Red Mirror and ChromaPop Photochromic Rose Flash Mirror. These combine a mirrored outer lens with a light-activated photochromic inner lens that adjusts to light throughout the day. 
  • Lenses for Cloudy/Flat Light Conditions: ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash, and ChromaPop Storm Yellow Flash Mirror are tuned to bring the most out of an environment when the storm moves in. These lenses optimize your contrast even on the worst days, so you can stay out longer.
  • Lenses for Night Skiing/Snowboarding: Skiing at night can be a blast but it comes with very unique visibility conditions. Clear lenses are ideal for skiing in the dark under stadium lighting.  

Other Goggle Fit Considerations

  • Can I wear ski/snowboard goggles with glasses? 
    • Absolutely, our line of OTG (Over the Glasses) goggles are constructed with room in the temple area for eyeglasses while interior volume maximizes fog prevention.
  • Does Smith make goggles that fit low nose bridges? 
    • We carry a variety of goggles in Low Bridge Fit, which are designed for faces with a lower nose bridge and/or a wide or high cheekbone shape.

Snow goggles that keep you comfortable and keep your vision clear are essential when you’re chasing long fun days on the mountain. Our goal is to help you find the perfect pair of goggles for you. If you have any other questions we can answer, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts


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