Best Budget Snowboard Goggles of 2022

There is a saying, if you can’t see, you can’t ski. That is also true for snowboarding. There are often so many factors in the mountains that can lower visibility. These factors include high winds, fog, flat bright light, etc. Goggles allow you to have clear vision in a variety of low-light conditions. They also protect the eyes making goggles essential in the mountains. There are plenty of options available on the market and you can get one based on your skill level. But a budget pair is sufficient for most beginners and casual riders.

So here is the list of top budget-friendly goggles that you can get without breaking the bank.

1. Smith Range

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

Smith is one of the leading manufacturers of goggle technology. They have a long lineup of goggles that covers almost all kinds of use cases. The Range is an introductory offering by Smith. It is one of the best value and popular goggles. Smith Range is one-third the price of high-end goggles, yet, a decent performer for a decent price. It is an appropriate choice for beginners and casual snowboarders who don’t want to spend much and only want fun. The Range has a cylindrical lens. Although the lens lacks any optical enhancement, it is surprisingly clear. It has a large frame with a classical look that covers the face. The large frame prevents tunnel vision from the cylindrical lens and also provides edge-to-edge visibility. The classical look is an all-time favorite that never gets old.

The Range also features Smith’s proven anti-fog coating. To further prevent fog buildup, Range is provided with vents in-between lenses and a full channel ventilation system. The frame features multi-layer foaming that keeps you comfortable during long periods. But don’t expect it to match the big guns. It provides decent comfort. The only downside with the Range is that it doesn’t come with swappable lenses. You are stuck with the lens you buy. If the lens gets damaged, you would have to change the whole thing. The Range is for few-timers who don’t get out much. If you want a goggle for regular use in varying conditions, spend a little more and get a mid-range pair.

What I like: Great value, affordable, reasonable comfort, and good performance

What I don’t: Comes with 1 fixed lens so no option for changing the lens according to weather conditions

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2. Bolle Freeze

Bolle Freeze
Frame size: Medium
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 1
Style: Framed

Bolle Freeze is a cheap pair of snowboard goggles that provide a good fit, and reasonable comfort, and it’s also equipped with an anti-fog lens. This lens provides great vision considering the price. The Freeze is a basic goggle. It features a thick frame, single foam padding, and a cylindrical lens. That’s it! No fancy optical enhancement, no lens swapping mechanisms, no-nonsense. It’s just a plain and simple pair of goggles. Now, you would say that it would have compromised peripheral vision, tunnel vision, fogging issues, etc. Yes, it has those issues, but so do other goggles on this list that cost up to 6 times more.

So, what these goggles are doing on this list, and who are these goggles for? They are great for first-timers or a backup. They are an excellent option for people who are rough users. You don’t have to worry about them damaging those expensive lenses with optical enhancements. Put them on, and off they go. Think of the protection these goggles would provide in a snowball fight. And you have nothing to lose. Plus, Bolle also offers a clear tint for night riding. How do you like them apples? Their low price is your freedom. Put them on in the snow, and do whatever you want.

What I like: A very inexpensive option.

What I don’t: Not recommended for serious snowboarding.

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3. Zeal Optics Nomad

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

Nomad by Zeal Optics is another great value pair of goggles on this list. It has top-end features for fraction of the price. When you start comparing it to the other entries on this list, you will find this one to be a true bargain. The Nomad is the only entry on this list with a spherical lens. It is hard to find goggles with a spherical lens at a low price. The low price would make you wonder if Zeal Optics would have cut corners on the lens quality. But no, that is not the case. Nomad features Zeal’s Phoenix Mirror lens, and it’s photochromic as well. Zeal claims that the lens is suitable for flat light and partly cloudy conditions. The lens greatly improves peripheral vision and also provides good clarity.

The ventilation along with the anti-fog coating is so good that the Nomad rarely fogs. The Nomad features a traditional lens-changing system. It is not as easy as others, but it is reliable. The multi-layer foam provides excellent comfort initially but becomes itchy after some time. The photochromic lens is only good for mediocre light adjustment. A second lens is also not included in the box. But for the price and performance you get, these are minor complaints that you can easily overlook.

What I like: Good price for a spherical lens, features a durable lens coating, stylish

What I don’t: Only 1 lens included, can be itchy on warmer days

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4. Dragon NFX2

Dragon NFX2
Frame size: Medium
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Frameless

The Dragon NFX2 is a toned-down version of the premium X2 goggles and a successor to the popular NFX. In a broader view, the NFX2 is a basic pair of goggles. Then why is it so popular, you ask? Because it has some tricks up its sleeves that make it one of the best budget goggles. The NFX2 features a basic cylindrical lens. There is no optical enhancement and nothing much going on here. The lens is taller than usual which causes tunnel vision. But that is not what the NFX2 is popular for.

The outstanding point of the NFX2 is Dragon’s lens swapping technology which is among the best in the market. Lens swapping on the NFX2 is so easy and so fast that you would try it several times the first time you get your hands on these goggles. You also get two separate lenses in the box. The padding on the NFX2 consists of a three-layer microfleece foam that wicks moisture away. The padding is very comfortable and it is easy to wear these goggles for long periods. However, the plastics are low quality on the NFX2 which is a disappointment. But it is great for those who change a lot of lenses.

What I like: Comes with 2 lenses, flexible materials, and good ventilation

What I don’t: Can get fogged easily.

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5. Spy Ace

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

The Spy Ace is a great pair of goggles for those looking for a balance between performance and value. It is one of those basic goggles that get the job done and make you feel good about it. For a low price, there is not much to complain about and you get decent performance. The Ace has a timeless retro design similar to the Smith Range. But unlike the Range, the frame size of the Ace is medium with a low-profile frame shape. You won’t have many compatibility issues with the Ace. The padding on the Ace is triple-layer foam which is fairly comfortable. But there are only a few tints and frame color options available which limits the performance and styling of the Ace.

The lens is cylindrical but it is not simple. For one, there is no tunnel-like feel like in other cylindrical lenses. The lens also features Spy’s proprietary Happy Lens technology. Spy’s optical enhancement is not as good as Smith’s Chromapop or Oakley’s Prizm technologies but you would be paying much more for those. You also get two lenses included separately in the box. The lens swapping mechanism is problematic. You would leave a few fingerprints while swapping the lens. But the mechanism is reliable. The flat-profile lens also limits peripheral vision and the vision is not sharp in low-light conditions. But considering the price, these things are nothing to complain about.

What I like: Very breathable, included two swappable lenses, good value

What I don’t: Difficult to swap lenses, average durability

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6. Anon Relapse

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

Anon is another leading brand in the goggle world and the features you get with the Relapse are unmatched. The Relapse is one of the most practical options on the market. It is a competitor to the Smith’s Squad XL goggles. There is only a little price difference but there are features on the Relapse that give it a slide edge. Relapse has a large frame. The styling is retro. Here, in the frame, lies the outstanding feature of not just Relapse but Anon as well; a facemask. Yes! These goggles have a facemask with them. But it’s not just any facemask forcefully added to these goggles as a gimmick.

It’s a cleverly thought-out feature that works and makes things easier. Anon calls it MFI (Magnetic Facemask Integration) technology. It is patented so it’s only exclusive to Anon. The frame of the Relapse has magnets where you can attach the facemask. You don’t have to adjust or take the goggle off to put the mask on or take it off. The lens is cylindrical. But you get Anon’s Sonar lenses by Zeiss which are one of the best optical enhancements in the industry. You also get Anon’s Cylindrical Lens Technology to reduce peripheral distortion, and Anon’s ICT anti-fog coating. The frame has triple-layer foam and you get two separate lenses in the box.

What I like: Comes with great lenses and they are very easy to swap

What I don’t: Poor performance in low light, helmet compatibility is challenging

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7. Smith Squad XL

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

When Smith launched the Squad, it was an instant hit. So, Smith decided to expand the Squad lineup. There are a few models in the Squad lineup but the Squad XL is a budget offering in the lineup. These are massive goggles but with a low-profile frame due to the low price. The frame is basic and has a classical goggle shape with little to no compromise on quality. The massive frame also provides a massive field of view. The lens is cylindrical but it has Smith’s market-leading optical enhancement technology, ChromaPop. It provides excellent color clarity and contrast that makes snowboarding enjoyable. But you get only one separate lens inside. There is also a microfiber storage bag provided with these goggles which makes it easy to store the goggles and clean the lens.

The massive frame size of the Squad XL is its limiting factor. It causes some compatibility issues and also looks awkward on medium faces. This is just about the only problem with the Squad XL. The Squad XL is a good budget option in terms of performance. But when compared to Anon’s Relapse above, the Squad XL starts to feel like a poor value transaction. You get so many features with the Relapse with so little difference in price and performance.

What I like: Good visibility, ChromaPop lenses, and responsive frame fit

What I don’t: The size is large for most beginner snowboarders.

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8. Giro Method

Giro Method
Frame size: Large
Lens shape: Cylindrical
Lenses included: 2
Style: Framed

Giro is another one of the leading goggles manufacturers in the industry. Giro prevails in the mid-range over competitors. Keeping that point in mind, Giro’s Method is a mid-range offering. So, you can expect the Method to be good. The Method is popular among park riders and beginners. It has a large low-profile frame. The lens in the Method is cylindrical but it features optical enhancement using Giro’s VIVID technology by Zeiss. The clarity and color contrast of the lens is great. The lens also features Giro’s tried and tested Expansion View Technology that provides excellent peripheral vision.

The lens is swappable and a separate lens is included with these goggles. The frame has a three-layer foam padding with moisture-wicking capability. However, the ventilation system on the Method is a disappointment. It is more focused on frame protection than on airflow. The limitation of the ventilation system causes fogging in the goggles. The large size of the frame also causes compatibility issues with helmets from other manufacturers. But the goggles are fine with helmets from Giro. But the Method is still a solid performer and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are considering it for yourself, don’t hold back.

What I like: Great peripheral vision, awesome fit, and line up the helmet perfectly

What I don’t: Average fog prevention.

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Best Budget Snowboard Goggles: Comparison Table

Smith RangeLargeCylindrical1Framed
Bolle FreezeMediumCylindrical1Framed
Zeal Optics NomadMediumSpherical1Framed
Dragon NFX2MediumCylindrical2Frameless
Spy AceMedium/largeCylindrical2Framed
Anon RelapseMedium/largeCylindrical2Framed
Smith Squad XLMedium/largeCylindrical2Semi-rimless
Giro MethodLargeCylindrical2Framed

Critical Snowboard Goggle Considerations

How to Choose Snowboard Goggles?

Air is thinner at high altitudes. It filters less UV light. The sunlight reflection on the snow is brighter and more intense which is harmful to the eyes. There is also wind, snow, and debris that can go into your eyes.

Goggles are essential protection in the mountains. Choosing goggles is based on your conditions. But if you are confused about what to look for, this guide can help.

So these are the key things to consider when choosing snow goggles.

Lens Shape

The lenses of goggles come in three shapes; cylindrical, spherical, and toric. Spherical and toric lenses have a slight advantage in terms of performance over cylindrical lenses.


Entry-level goggles have cylindrical lenses mostly. Cylindrical lenses are curved across the face but they are flat vertically. These lenses are easier and cheaper to manufacture. They allow less peripheral vision and minor distortion at the top and bottom of the lens. These lenses also have more glare.

But the advances in lens technology are making cylindrical lenses better. Now, cylindrical lenses can be found even in mid-range and high-end goggles because they provide more clarity and field of view.


Spherical lenses are curved horizontally as well as vertically. The curve of the spherical lens mimics eyeballs when looked at from the side. But they have a bubble-like shape that makes you seem like an alien. Spherical lenses have a slight performance advantage over cylindrical lenses. Spherical lenses have better peripheral vision. These lenses are found in high-end goggles.


The toric shape is relatively new in goggles. These lenses are similar to spherical lenses but the bubble-like shape is less pronounced. They are aesthetically pleasing with a decreased bug-eye look. Performance-wise, these lenses are similar to spherical lenses.

Lens Technologies

There are frequent innovations in lens technologies that result in improved quality and function. With time, there is less distortion, clear vision, accurate colors, and better protection to handle harsh conditions. Several lens technologies dictate the price.

Optical Enhancements

Lenses form a barrier between the eyes and the world. As a result, the optical quality drops. The colors seem faded or even different altogether due to different tints. Optical quality matters in recognizing things along the way, especially, during high-speed riding.

Companies have developed their proprietary technologies or have turned to third parties for optical clarity. Smith’s ChromaPop is the best optical enhancement in the industry. They provide great color richness and color contrast that feels almost natural.

Oakley’s Prizm technology is a rival of ChromaPop. Prizm also allows excellent optical clarity. It enhances item details for better recognition which matters during high-speed riding. Giro and Anon have turned to Zeiss for their VIVID and Sonar lenses respectively. They also develop their lenses in-house.

Optical enhancement is a good feature to have in your lenses. But it is not an essential feature. It only makes a difference in poor lighting conditions. For most riders, optical enhancements are useless. These enhancements are more suitable for committed riders.

UV Protection

Today, almost all goggles have 100% UV protection, even budget options. UV intensity increases with altitude which may cause eye fatigue or even damage to the retina. Eye protection becomes necessary under these circumstances.

Mirrored Lenses

Mirrored lenses are for bright conditions like sunny days. They have a reflective coating outside that allows a decreased volume of light and also decreases glare.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses were originally designed for watery surfaces. But they were found to work well with snow as well. Light reflects intensely at certain angles from some surfaces, especially, vertical light. Polarized lenses cut down glare and provide visual clarity. These lenses also increase contrast and definition. But they are expensive and only found in high-end goggles.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to varying light conditions. These lenses become dark when exposed to strong light allowing less light to pass through. This versatility is an advantage and it is great if you don’t want to swap lenses. But it is better to bring two lenses instead of relying on one. The market is full of goggles that allow swapping lenses.

Lens Tint and VLT

VLT stands for Visual Light Transmission. It is the amount of light that is allowed through the lens. You may only want 10% light on bright sunny days and 100% light during the nighttime. It all comes down to VLT.

Lens tints of blacks, grays, and blues are on the low side of the VLT spectrum. They block out most light. Purple, red, and green tints are in the middle. Clear lenses and tints of yellow and blue are for overcast and gray days.

Double Lenses

Double lenses create a thermal barrier that significantly reduces fogging compared to single lens construction. They are common on all new ski and snowboarding goggles.

Anti-Fog Coating

The anti-fog coating is a hydrophobic chemical treatment on the inside of the lens which prevents fog collection. Poor goggle care can wipe out this coating. To protect the coating and make it last for a longer period, refer to the manufacturer’s directions.

Field of View

Older goggles used to be small which created a tunnel-like feeling. New goggles have a large size with wide and tall lenses and low-profile frames for enhanced peripheral vision. Large-sized frames with good optical quality provide the best view. But to summarize the whole issue, the more money you pay, the better field of view you get.

Lens Fogging

Fogging is a huge problem that has to be addressed. It completely blocks vision which can be dangerous during high-speed riding. But there are some things you can do to avoid fogging. Inspect the frame and look for vents. The more the air passes through the goggles, the less fogging you will have to face.

Make sure the helmet doesn’t block the upper vents. Avoid overdressing as it causes sweating which increases fogging in the goggles. Don’t keep the goggles on all day. Don’t move the goggles to the forehead. The sweat on the forehead can also cause fogging.

The anti-fog coating on the lens gets wiped out. Limit the times you wipe off moisture from the lens. Air drying the lens is a better way to protect the coating.

Frame or Frameless

There is a common argument that frameless goggles – also known as rimeless goggles – provide a better field of view. There is no difference in the performance of framed and frameless goggles. Frameless goggles may make it easy to swap the lenses. But that also depends on the mechanism.

Frame Size

Frame size correlated to head size. According to general guidelines, if you have a small helmet, then you should get a small frame. If you have a large or extra-large frame, you should get a large frame.

OTG Goggles

OTG stands for Over the Glasses. There are several OTG goggles on the market. The Anon Relapse is an OTG goggle on this list. OTG goggles have space between the lens and the face and notches on the side for glasses. But OTG doesn’t guarantee that your glasses will fit inside. Large-size glasses don’t usually fit inside. Small-size glasses are the ones to fit in most cases.

Foam Padding

Padding differs in models based on pricing. Basic goggles come with single-layer foam padding that retains moisture and smell and breakdown quickly. High-end models come with a multi-layer foam that is shaped perfectly for the face. They also have moisture-wicking capability. If you spend a lot of time on the slopes, then you should get the pricier comfortable models.

Helmet Compatibility

An incompatible helmet leaves a gap between the goggle or doesn’t fit at all. Most modern helmets and goggles fit together. But the safest bet is to stick with the same brand helmet as the goggles.