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Goggles Explained

Buyer's Guide > Snowboards Explained | Snowboard Boots Explained | Snowboard Bindings Explained | Goggles Explained | Snowboard Helmets & Protective Gear Explained | Outerwear Explained | Base Layers Explained

Snowboard goggles are an often underestimated, yet essential piece of snowboarding gear.  Snowboard goggles protect your eyes from the sun and ultraviolet rays that are exaggerated by a combination of high altitude and the reflection off of the snow.  They also prevent snow and ice particles and other foreign objects from getting into your eyes while you're riding at high speeds.

Lens Type


Cylindrical lenses curve horizontally while remaining flat vertically.  Cylindrical lenses offer decent performance at a nice price, but they won't give you near the level of peripheral vision and clarity as spherical lenses.


Spherical lenses curve both horizontally and vertically.  With spherical lenses peripheral vision be and glare reduction are drastically improved.  Additionally, spherical lenses offer better visual clarity with less distortion, and are less prone to fogging due to enhanced airflow.

Lens Tints

Lenses come in many different tints designed for specific light conditions.

Dark Tints

Darker tints reduce glare without distorting colors, making them suitable for bright, sunny conditions.  However, darker tints aren't very good for low light or overcast conditions.


Green and Silver lenses enhance contrast, making them suitable for brighter conditions.


These lens tints filter out blue light and bring out shadows, making them best for most conditions.  These tints are also best for low to moderate light.


These tints are best used in low light conditions, as they bring out shadows and contours.


Clear lenses are best for night riding and for riding in cloudy conditions.


Make sure that the goggles that you are considering fit well and have straps that allow you to easily adjust the fit.  Make sure that these straps do not irritate your skin or stick to your hair.  The inside part of snowboard goggles are usually padded with some sort of face foam.  This is important, as you don't want your goggles to cut your face in the event of a serious digger.  Goggle padding also helps in terms of controlling fogging.

Frame Size

Small frames are fit kids, as well as for adults with smaller faces.  Medium frames fit most people.  Large frames are, indeed, for larger faces, but they're also utilized to provide a wider field of vision.


Interchangeable Lenses

Because no one lens can provide optimal visibility across all weather and light conditions, goggle manufacturers have come up with a variety of quick-changing lens systems to give you the option of swapping out your lenses so that you don't have to roll with multiple sets of goggles.  These systems are typically more expensive, but offer a fast way of switching out lenses (and...they usually come with a second lens).


Fogging is reduced through venting that allows for fresh air circulation.  All you really have to do is ensure that the vents aren't blocked so that they can do their jobs.  Also...avoid putting your goggles on your forehead, as they will fog up.

Helmet Compatibility

We are of the strong opinion that all snowboarders should wear helmets.  And...if you're going to wear a helmet, your goggles better be helmet-compatible.  Your helmet should never block your goggles' vents.  Additionally, your goggles should fit smoothly on your face with the strap around the helmet.  And...mind the gap (you don't want a gap of any kind between your helmet and your goggles)!

Over the Glasses

If you wear eyeglasses, "over the glasses" goggles are available.  Naturally, these goggles are designed to be worn over your prescription eyeglasses, and are a much less expensive alternative to goggles with custom prescription lenses.  When wearing these types of goggles your glasses shouldn't move around inside your goggles, and there should be no discomfort or pressure from your glasses on your nose or temples.

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