Choosing a Pair of Ski Goggles

Compare Regular and Over-the-Glasses (OTG) Ski Goggles

a skiier wearing goggles and a helmet
Andre Schoenherr / Getty Images

There are myriad issues you need to consider when purchasing a pair of ski goggle that will meet your requirements. The most important thing to consider when you buy ski goggles is whether you will be able to see properly, especially if you wear corrective lenses. 

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Compare Regular and Over -the-Glasses (OTG) Ski Goggles

For those who don't wear eyeglasses, regular ski goggles are a good choice. They are smaller and more compact than the goggles which fit over your glasses. If you wear eyeglasses, over-the-glasses (OTG) goggles are the best option.

Remember to bring your glasses with you to try on goggles, if you plan on wearing them while skiing. If you are wearing contacts while ski goggle shopping, keep in mind that you may want to ski while wearing your glasses, on occasion. When that's the case, you will need the larger-sized over-the-glasses goggles.

There are a wide variety of goggles in all price ranges and in differing tints. For your first pair look in the $40+ price range (maybe a little more, if you buy OTG). Tints are for varying sunlight conditions and the tint determines how well the contours of the mountain stand out. Yellow or yellow/brown tints are the most popular and will work well at all levels of sunlight.

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Fitting Your Goggles to Your Helmet

Ski goggles should fit comfortably over your helmet. They shouldn't be pinched or tight on your face. Goggles that fit correctly over your helmet should be able to rest comfortably on the top of your helmet, as seen in the photo. However, when pulled down to cover your face, they shouldn't feel too tight.

There should be enough adjustment length in the goggle strap to guarantee that the goggles will fit any size helmet. There is a strap in the back of the helmet that holds the goggle strap in place. Make sure the goggle strap has adjustment room there also.

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Goggle Shopping and Adjustment

When ski goggle shopping, don’t hesitate to ask the salesperson if you can try on a display helmet with the goggles you like, to make sure the goggles fit correctly. After all, if the goggles are too loose, they will not keep the snow and wind out of your eyes. If they are too tight, they will be uncomfortable. So, it's extremely important to find goggles that will fit you when you're wearing your helmet.

Be sure to try on several pairs of ski goggles before you buy, to see which offer the best fit. Don't be afraid to ask if you can take the goggles outside the store to see how well the tinted lenses work in natural light - goggles come in a variety of different tints, and it's important that you find a tint that works best for you.

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Prescription Ski Sunglasses

Prescription ski sunglasses work best for calm days on the slopes. While they do look cool, not all sunglasses will keep out wind and snow. A good wrap-around pair with foam padding, like these, can cost over $100. Sunglasses should protect against at least 95 percent of the UVA and UVB (ultraviolet light) rays that can cause a sunburn.

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Goggle Guide and Prescription Lens Inserts

Prescription Lens Inserts can be both safer and more comfortable than wearing your eyeglasses under ski goggles.  Here's a guide from SportRx that explains all you need to know about how and why you'll see and ski better with Prescription Lens Inserts - starting with why risk losing or breaking your expensive and trendy eyeglasses and frames in a 'yard sale' wipeout?