Best Budget Ski Goggles of 2021-22

A good pair of ski goggles are an essential piece of gear to get before you hit the slopes. They not only protect your eyes from wind and snow but also keep the fog and moisture away. If you are a beginner and want to try skiing for the first time, you may need entry-level or budget-friendly goggles. This is a good idea because there’s no need to spend a huge amount on basic skiing. An entry-level option would do the job.

So here is the list of top budget ski goggles that you should consider before hitting the slopes.

1. Smith Range

Smith Range
Frame size: Large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

The Smith Range is a popular choice among budget-conscious skiers and many reasons might make you consider buying them. These goggles offer a large frame design and it provides great visibility and reduce tunnel vision which you find on many cheap designs. The lens of the goggles features Tapered Lens Technology (TLT) that progressively tapers the lens from the optical center to the edges. This tapering allows the light to deliver straight to the eyes by correcting the distortion. This results in zero distortion and enhances visual clarity. There is also Fog-X anti-fog technology on the lens that repels water and disperses it over a wide surface area to prevent fogging. This technology is embedded in the lens so it can’t be wiped off like other anti-fog coatings.

The frame also features a sturdy and flexible design that allows easy adjustment to the face. There is a dual-slide strap for a more dial-in fit. The frame features dual-layer DriWix face foam, which wicks moisture to reduce fog. This feature also adds to the overall comfort. There are some downsides to using these goggles. There is no option to swap the tints of the lenses with the weather. Also, you don’t get Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology. If you are a beginner skier and plan to ski in favorable conditions, these goggles will work just fine for you.

What I like: Good comfort and reasonable performance at an affordable price.

What I don’t like: There’s no option to swap lenses according to weather conditions.

See the Smith Range

2. Bolle MOJO

Bolle MOJO
Frame size: Medium/large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

Bolle is not a popular brand like Oakley and Smith but they make some good value ski gear. A lesser-known brand sometimes provides top-notch products at an affordable price and Bolle MOJO is one of them. One of the great things about MOJO goggles is their lens technology. These goggles feature a double lens design with a thermal attached to the first layer which reduces fogging. The P80 plus anti-fog layer present on the inner layer disperses water molecules across the surface. This prevents moisture that build-ups on the lens so you can have a clear view. There is Flow-Tech Venting technology used in the frame that uses holes to reduce moisture build-up. This technology further enhances the anti-fog capabilities of the lenses.

This pair of goggles use a multi-layer density foam that feels great and comfortable against the skin. However, using them for a long time may become uncomfortable. Like the Smith Range mentioned above, there’s no option to interchange lenses according to the weather condition but it’s acceptable if you consider the price. You can use this lens in both fairly sunny and overcast conditions. Overall, Bolle MOJO is a cheap pair of ski goggles that brings quality optics and is a comfortable fit for entry-level skiers.

What I like: Very affordable, stays clear when skiing

What I don’t like: The materials feel cheap, no interchangeable lenses option, below average comfort

See the Bolle MOJO

3. Oakley Airbrake XL

Oakley Airbrake XL
Frame size: Large
Lens shape: Spherical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Framed

If you are looking for a mid-range pair that delivers good performance, the Oakley Airbrake XL Prizm can be the perfect choice for you. With these goggles, Oakley has prioritized maximizing the field vision. The goggles work great with medium to large-sized faces. One of the good things about these goggles is that they come with two interchangeable Prizm lenses, which enhance the contrast and make little details stand out. The lenses are easy to swap, thanks to Oakley’s Switchlock Technology. It takes less than 30 seconds to change the lens once you get used to it. However, you may find it difficult to swap with gloves on. The lenses also have an anti-fog coating, which reduces fog and condensation. The frame allows for adequate airflow to counter fogging. You may still feel some steam under demanding activities.

The Airbrake XL Prizm features three-layer foam construction, which makes it comfortable for longer use. It also lowers pressure on your checks and the nose bridge. The frame is comfortable and it conforms to the face nicely. There’s an easy-to-use strap that adjusts and fits a wide variety of ski helmets. Overall, the Airbrake XL Prizm is a good mid-range option with a functional and stylish design that goes head-to-head with leading brands like Smith and Giro.

What I like: Crisp optics, well-built, good field of vision, easy to change lenses

What I don’t like: Condensation can form under heavy exertion, difficult to swap lenses with gloves on, not the cheapest option

See the Oakley Airbrake XL

4. Smith Squad ChromaPop

Smith Squad ChromaPop
Frame size: Medium
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Semi-rimless

If you are looking for a pair of goggles that’s simple, isn’t fancy, has a classy design, and gets the job done, the Squad ChromaPop is an option to consider. They are priced very reasonably and feel good on your face without breaking the bank. They feature Carbon-X cylindrical lenses that provide a clear view with minimal distortion along with good impact and scratch resistance. The lenses use the TLT technology (Tapered Lens Technology) that creates crystal-clear vision. This is the same technology used in the Smith Range Goggle mentioned above. 2-layer DriWix face foam is comfortable to use and is helmet-compatible. The goggles are even more comfortable when you wear them with a helmet. There’s a silicon-based strap that keeps things in place.

The Squad ChromaPop provides enough ventilation and breathability at the top and bottom. The hydrophobic technology lens coating keeps moisture away and makes fingerprints easy to wipe. However, you may feel some steam under high-exertion activities. The Responsive Fit technology allows the frame to adjust according to your face shape. You can make micro-adjustments for a perfect dial-in fit. You can swap between lenses fairly easily once you get used to it. The goggles are fairly durable and should last for a long time.

What I like: Well-built, durable, 2 decent quality lenses included

What I don’t like: Style is very basic, difficult to change lenses

See the Smith Squad ChromaPop

5. Giro Blok

Giro Blok
Frame size: Large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

In addition to ski helmets, Giro has been making good goggles for skiing and snowboarding for some years and Giro Blok is one of their budget options. Despite the lower price tag, it provides excellent performance and great built quality. In collaboration with Zeiss, Giro manufactures lenses what they called ‘VIVID cylindrical lenses’. These lenses provide a crystal clear view near to some premium options on the market. The fit of the frame is large and it can accommodate medium to large face sizes. There’s a 3-layer face foam, which makes it even more comfortable. The goggle is comfortable for longer use.

When it comes to ventilation, the Giro Blok has good ventilation across the frame and it works very well. Rather than the open-cell foam, a perforated layer in the middle of the foam is used for ventilation. Also, the lenses feature an anti-fog coating that prevents fogging and works well until the temperature goes low. The goggle has a standard frame and lens interface that is reliable and works well. This design is shared by many brands and it is known to hold up for years. However, swapping between lenses is a bit of time hassle. Finally, Giro Blok is a good option for someone just getting into skiing or snowboarding. It provides an interchangeable lens (though Giro includes only one lens) option and is relatively inexpensive.

What I like: Fits great with helmets, comfortable for longer use, least expensive

What I don’t like: Very basic style, comes with only one lens

See the Giro Blok

6. Zeal Optics Nomad

Zeal Optics Nomad
Frame size: Medium
Lens shape: Spherical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

If you are looking for goggles with a spherical lens and attractive style, Zeal Nomad Polarized is a good option for you at an affordable price. The lens that comes with these goggles is photochromic and it costs less than most high-end goggles. Also, it is very hard to find goggles with spherical lenses in this price range. These lenses have a slight optical edge over cylindrical lenses, yet they are only found on high-end goggles. But, a photochromic lens can be a deal-breaker for some people. Otherwise, the built quality is great and the view is better than most options in this price tag.

The initial feel and comfort of these goggles are good but for prolonged use, they can be a bit uncomfortable. They feel even more uncomfortable during warm weather, which is one of its downsides. The frame construction is wide and it can fit both wide and narrow faces. The frame is flexible and it reduces pressure points. There is a large vent at the top and two small vents located below your eyes. The vents do a good job of reducing fog and moisture. Changing lenses is not very easy but it becomes quite easy once you get used to it. Considering its price, the Nomad is a good entry-level option for those just getting into skiing.

What I like: Good value for the spherical lens, great look, durable lens coating

What I don’t like: Comes with only one lens, itchy and uncomfortable on warmer days

See the Zeal Optics Nomad

7. Dragon Alliance NFXs

Dragon Alliance NFXs
Frame size: Medium
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Frameless

This goggle is a trimmed-down version of their groundbreaking NXF and the s simply means it’s small. Dragon never mentioned what NFX stands for, but according to some field research, it could mean New French X-plorers. It is the same thing and it is not inferior to their original NFX. The design of the NFXs is bold and it’s also pleasing to look at with the Dragon Alliance’s patented frameless technology. The NFXs goggles come with two lenses; one for bright light and the other for low light, which is a big plus. It is hard to find goggles with lenses at this price point.

The lenses come with goggles are made of Lexan. It is a substance used for making racecar windshields and bulletproof glass. These lenses are thermally formed with greater anti-fog ability. They are also scratch-resistant, provide 100% UV protection, and are durable. Changing the lenses is relatively easy and the frame is comfortable to wear. When you put them on, you instantly feel the soft touch of micro-fleece against your skin. You can tell right away that the comfort is near to some premium options on the market. However, the frame is a bit stiff and it limits the goggle’s ability to conform to a variety of face shapes.

What I like: Feel great against the skin, sleek design looks cool

What I don’t like: Fog builds up when you look down

See the Dragon Alliance NFXs

8. Spy Ace

Spy Ace
Frame size: Medium/large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Framed

If you are an occasional skier and don’t ski too often, the Spy Ace is can be an ideal option for you. This pair will get the job done well if you are a beginner. The built quality is great and the design is modern. Out of the box, the Spy Ace comes with a couple of lens options; one for bright conditions and the other for darker conditions. This feature makes it an attractive choice at this price point. The quality of the lenses is quite decent and it provides great optical clarity. The frame has 3-layer Isotron foam that feels great on the face. The inner part features their proprietary Dri-Force technology that wicks moisture well. The Scoop ventilation system reduces the fog and keeps lenses clear.

The Spy Ace uses the Quick Draw system to swap lenses. This feature is easy to use but not as quick as magnetic lenses. The frame material is polyurethane, which is durable, yet flexible. In this price range, the Ace comes with two lenses. This feature makes it an attractive option for entry-level skiers. However, the durability and lens swapping might not be what you expect but still, it’s worth a look.

What I like: Great value, comes with two lenses, excellent breathability

What I don’t like: Average durability, lens swapping is difficult

See the Spy Ace

9. POC Opsin Clarity Comp

POC Opsin Clarity Comp
Frame size: Medium/large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

If you are into skiing as a sport and participate in ski races, The POC Opsin Clarity Comp is what you need. It is an affordable pair of ski goggles that are designed with sports in mind. The lens has the Clarity Comp technology that has been developed in collaboration with optical industry leader Carl Zeiss. The lens extends far to the side providing a wide field of vision with minimal distortion. The lens also has a tint that enhances contrast and vision for a short period of intensity. The lenses are interchangeable and you can easily switch to the right lens in changing conditions.

There’s an anti-fog and an anti-scratch technology present on the lens that keeps the lens clear as you ride. The frame is soft and has a 3-layer face foam, which keeps your face comfortable in the coldest conditions. The goggles feature high-end ventilation padding to prevent excess airflow inside at high speeds. However, it can be problematic at low speeds because it stops airflow entirely. The frame is made of PU and it is reasonably durable and flexible. The silicone grip inside the strap keeps the goggle in place. It also includes a non-mirror lens and a soft storage bag that doubles as a lens wipe.

What I like: Field of vision is very good, well-built, great optics

What I don’t like: Limited ventilation

See the POC Opsin Clarity Comp

10. Anon Relapse

Anon Relapse
Frame size: Medium/large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Framed

The Anon Relapse is a great combination of classic style and modern technology. If you love classic styles and with modern bells and whistles, Anon Relapse is what you need. The lens technology uses a de-centered injection that tapers the lens to a thinner profile on the edges to reduce peripheral distortion. The frame is low profile and the face foam is up to 40% thinner, which makes an ultra-close fit that eliminates peripheral distortion as well. The frame is made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) which is thoroughly tested on the hills and in the lab. This material is also resistant to abrasion and maintains consistent flexibility in changing temperatures.

The goggle features Integral Clarity Technology (ICT) that delivers crystal clear vision. This technology employs a porous cellulose inner lens surface for water shedding. The Anon’s Full Perimeter Channel Venting allows for maximum venting. This brings fresh air into goggles pulls moisture away from the lens. Both ICT and Full Perimeter Channel Venting work together to provide clear, fog-free vision in all conditions. There’s a non-slip neck strap that keeps goggles in place. You just need to adjust it once and leave it alone. The goggles are also Over the Glasses (OTG) compatible. Anon offers a wide range of frames that can be used with prescription eyewear.

What I like: Good value for money, easy to change lenses

What I don’t like: Helmet compatibility can be challenging, not very clear in low lights

See the Anon Relapse

Best Budget Ski Goggles: Comparison Table

Smith RangeLargeCylindrical1Framed
Bolle MOJOMedium/largeCylindrical1Framed
Oakley Airbrake XLLargeSpherical2Framed
Smith SquadMediumCylindrical2Semi-rimless
Giro BlokLargeCylindrical1Framed
Zeal Optics NomadMediumSpherical1Framed
Dragon NFXsMediumCylindrical2Frameless
Spy AceMedium/largeCylindrical2Framed
POC OpsinMedium/largeCylindrical1Framed
Anon RelapseMedium/largeCylindrical2Framed

Critical Ski Goggle Considerations

Critical Ski Goggle Considerations

A ski goggle is an essential piece of gear that you can have on the slopes. It keeps your vision clear by protecting your eyes in the mountains. At high altitudes, the air becomes thin filtering less UV light and the reflection of sunlight on snow is brighter. Both of these factors are harmful to your eyesight. When skiing at high speeds, you also need protection against twigs and small stones that might come from trees, so choosing the right pair of goggles for your ski adventures become critical.

If you are a beginner and don’t know how to choose ski goggles, here are some of the key considerations.

Lens Shape

There are two main types of lens shapes; cylindrical and spherical. Some brands may use their proprietary terms but the basic type of the lens remains the same.

  • Spherical Lenses: A spherical lens also knows as singlet is an optical lens with curved surfaces that cause light rays to converge or diverge. It gives better peripheral vision and cause less distortion and glare. One of the biggest downsides of these lenses is the high cost. It’s hard to find spherical lenses in cheap ski goggles.
  • Cylindrical Lenses: These lenses have curve across the face but remain flat vertically. They are more affordable than their spherical counterparts but slightly compromise the peripheral vision and cause more glare.

Light Transmission

Lens color works as a light filter for your vision. The amount of light that reaches your eyes through the lens is called visible light transmission (VLT). A lens with lighter color or tint allows more light to pass through and you can say it has a lower VLT. Some examples of low color/tint include copper, brown, and gray. In case, your primary goal is to ski in cloudy conditions, go for a lighter tint lens. On the other hand, darker tints are used on clear sunny days. There are also clear lenses available that are specially designed for nighttime skiing.

Premium brands offer goggles with interchangeable lens options. They are great if you plan to ski in different visibility environments. Changing a lens is much easier than buying a new pair of goggles. Some high-end models come with photochromic lenses that change color according to light conditions. They stay clear in low light and become darker in bright lights.

Fog Prevention

Another major consideration is fog prevention. Fog builds up due to condensation when the body heat meets cold air from the outside. It can be a serious problem and it can greatly reduce visibility. There are different ways manufacturers tackle this problem. One of the common ways to reduce fog is the use of double-layered lenses. This technology is found nearly on all modern ski goggles. Also, if you get a mid to high-range goggle, you may find anti-fog coating on the lens. You can also use anti-fog products on your low-end or old goggles.

Some manufactures use vents to eliminate fog. Wider vents are better at reducing fog but they let cold air in, which can be uncomfortable. Some high-end goggles come with battery-operated fans to disperse moisture. You can adjust the speed of the fan according to your needs.

Frame and Fit

The fit of your goggle is important because it determines the comfort of the goggle. Choose a pair that is not too tight on your face. Some models are suited for larger faces while others are made for smaller faces. You can also opt for a flexible frame and it is best for super cold temperatures. Polyurethane (PU) is a commonly used material and it is flexible.

Padding is also critical when it comes to overall comfort. It stops the frame from pinching into your face. This foam or padding should be thick enough to provide comfort but not too thick to cause fogging. Some premium brands use 2 to 3 layers of thin padding to enhance venting.

Helmet Compatibility

Most modern ski goggles these days are helmet-compatible. But, it’s always a good idea to try goggles with your helmet to ensure that they provide a comfortable fit. Make sure you buy and test your pair a few days before your trip. Don’t shop at a snow resort, most of the time these resorts have limited options with higher prices.

An adjustable strap is also something to consider. It is usually a single sliding clip or an open/close buckle with sliding clips. Look for a strap that is joined by a plastic hinge. That way, the hinge moves instead of directly to the frame, it helps the pressure to be spread more evenly to the face.

If you wear prescription glasses, look for a pair that is designed specifically to fit over your glasses. They are commonly called Over the Glass (OTG) styles. They have some extra space to accommodate your glasses while avoiding pressure on your face from the templates and the nosepiece.

Some Additional Features

There are some additional features that you should consider when getting a new pair. Keep in mind that these additional features do raise the price in some cases. Some premium brands offer polarized lenses that reduce glare from sunlight over snow and water. They may also have digital displays paired with Bluetooth or GPS to display navigation. You can also pair your goggle to your smartphone for real-time navigation within the goggle.