Best Goggles for Active Life: Skiing, Snowboarding, Swimming

Skiing is fun. Snowboarding is fun. And even if they are not for you, mountains can still offer you a lot more. Rock climbing, hiking, anything, really. Unfortunately, mountains don’t always offer good things. They can offer dangers as well.

If you thought UV is at its most dangerous at sea, it’s not true. It’s very dangerous, true, and that’s why swimmers need goggles as well. However, high lands are sometimes even more dangerous, and ice is only part of the problem, although it does contribute to it greatly. The thing is, UV radiation is just a lot more intense in the mountains.

You’re about to read probably the most comprehensive goggles review, which will help you to get the best ski goggles of 2017. However, goggles are not only used by skiers. There are many types of them, of which goggles for swimming are probably just as popular and just as needed. And we have that covered, too!

With the help of this review, you will be able to find best goggles for any type of activity, be it skiing, swimming, snowboarding or air ball. We do not discriminate between sports. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or a tourist. What does matter is that you need help at choosing something that should serve you for years and we are here to help you with that.

Best Goggles 2017

NameBestPurposeProtectionWeight 
Oakley CanopySkiingfor skiingMechanical protectionUV protectionGood thermal isulation0.65 lbs. Check Price
Oakley A-FrameSnowboardfor snowboardingMechanical protectionUV protectionGood thermal isulationAnti-reflective0.65 lbs. Check Price
JULI Snow SportsSnowmobilefor snowmobileFog protectionUV protection0.35 lbs. Check Price
OutdoorMasterSnow Activityfor snowMechanical protectionUV protection0.75 lbs. Check Price
Speedo V-ClassSwimmingfor swimmingUV protectionWaterproofFog protection0.3 lbs. Check Price
Aqua Sphere KayenneOpen Wateropen waterUV protectionWaterproof0.21 lbs. Check Price
Speedo Junior SetKids’ Swimmingopen waterUV protectionWaterproof0.55 lbs. Check Price
Arena CobraTriathlonfor triathlonUV protectionWaterproofAnti-Shatter
0.3 lbs. Check Price
Smith Optics I/OMotorcyclefor motorcycleUV protectionFog protectionMechanical protectionWind protection0.5 lbs. Check Price
Lancer Tactical AirsoftAirsoft with Lensesfor airsoftfor airsoftMechanical protectionEye protectionDust protection

0.35 lbs. Check Price
Toonol Tactical ShootingAirsoft with Meshfor airsoftfor airsoftMechanical protectionEye protection0.1 lbs. Check Price
ATV BMXAnti-FogAnti-FogUV protectionFog protectionMechanical protection0.3 lbs. Check Price

People who use goggles

To begin with, anyone can choose to use goggles rather than sunglasses. However, not many people would be willing to. The reason for that is the fact that goggles are too unorthodox for eyewear. They may look cool, but still out of place, especially in an urban setting.

However, for some people, that is a non-issue.

If you like skiing, snowboarding or swimming, goggles are a must for you. As a matter of fact, any active lifestyle will require that you wear eye protection. Even if it’s just cycling or racing.

Unlike sunglasses, goggles don’t have to come with UV protection, and yet it would be preferable to have it. Nevertheless, it is not unusual for athletes to wear clear goggles since mechanical protection of the eyes is their primary function.

And of course, VR goggles can be used by just about anyone, mostly in the privacy of their home. Not because using VR devices is discrediting (although it might be so in some circumstances if you know what I mean), it’s just that they cannot be actually considered eyewear since all they do is obstruct vision. There is an exception to that, of course, namely, augmented reality goggles, but those are rare.

The most important qualities of goggles

Since goggles are similar to sunglasses to the point where they can be mutually interchangeable at times, it is only natural that they are often expected to have the same qualities as the other type of eyewear.

That includes:

  • UV radiation protection. Especially true for skiers and snowboarders, since UV radiation is much more damaging at higher altitudes.
  • Advanced colored filters for contrast enhancement. Amber and red lenses are some of the most popular ones.
  • Polarization and anti-reflection properties. May or may not be useful, depends on the activity.
  • Light intensity reduction. A very basic feature, yet worth mentioning, since not all goggles are designed to reduce the intensity of light; some of them are crystal clear.

Some of the features are unique to goggles and may not be provided by sunglasses, although not all goggles have them.

They include:

  • Critical for winter sports or even wintering.
  • Important for suboptimal weather conditions, protection of the eyes from dust and other small particles carried by the wind, protection from the wind itself, protection from water for water sports.
  • Mechanical protection. Sunglasses, too, may be able to provide such protection. However, their effectiveness cannot compete with that of goggles. Sometimes, the only feature goggles have is their impact-resistance.
  • A better field of view. Not critical, but still important.

Best Snow Goggles

What can be said about snow goggles in general? Nothing that couldn’t be said about sunglasses for winter. Except, well, goggles are much better than sunglasses.

Why?

Because they are warm. They prevent the air from getting to your eyes. And that’s kind of a big deal when it’s cold. There are few things more unpleasant than cold air making your eyes water. A pair of decent goggles will help you with that problem.

Best Ski Goggles 2017

What should we expect from goggles for skiing? The same thing we’d expect from any snow goggles, right?

Well, yes, but not just that. Let’s consider all the factors.

  • The glare from the snow is always the same no matter what you do. It has little importance if you a skier or not. However, one thing does matter. As a skier, you move at a high velocity, and you need to react fast. Which means, if it takes you a second of few to respond to sudden changes because of the intense light, things might be dangerous. You need better protection, better glare reduction, and darker tints. Contrast enhancement is not simply desirable; it’s a must.
  • A higher velocity means a need for purely mechanical protection. If you run into a branch, you risk losing your eyes. Durable goggles can protect you from that.
  • Wind protection. A logical feature to have, and most winter goggles do come with it. However, its importance cannot be underestimated.
  • Thermal insulation. Not a requirement, but still a pleasant bonus.

So, with all this in mind, what can be said about goggles for skiing?

It is best to split them into three categories, so to speak, depending on the skills and thus the requirements of the skier. There is no doubt that very skilled skiers also need advanced goggles, with a lot of contrast enhancement features. Beginners, on the other hand, require entry level goggles, ones that can offer a better mechanical protection but also some other features. Finally, average experienced skiers will do fine with medium-level goggles, a balanced product, safe and comfortable.

Advanced Goggles #1

Oakley Canopy Ski GogglesHaving goggles with a HUD for professional skiing would be nice. Unfortunately, it seems like we’ll have to wait a decade or several before those come up. Until then, we have things like the Oakley Canopy Ski Goggles at our disposal.

These are very advanced goggles, but they also will not cost you a fortune, unlike many high-quality goggles. On the other hand, there’s zero reasons to doubt the quality of this products, after all, these are genuine Oakley goggles. But what features can they boast, other than the fancy brand name?

First of all, they are extremely lightweight due to being made from plastic. That’s safer than glass when it comes to skiing, and the plastic can still filter all harmful radiation out. With the Platonize lens, you get 100% protection from all types of UV rays, including UVC.

Normally, you shouldn’t be concerned with them as they don’t reach the surface of the planet, but there might be a risk of exposure in the mountains. With these goggles, that risk is neutralized. Your eyes have never been safer.

Although the color of the tint has no correlation to UV protection, it can be an important indicator of HEVL protection, that is to say, visible blue light.

It’s harmful enough as it is, and it becomes more of a risk the higher the altitude. The brown-tinted lens filters that high-energy visible light and by doing so enhances contrast, which is crucial for winter sports, especially skiing and snowboarding.

These goggles are highly suitable for cold weather. The three-layer comfort foam for the face is lined with warm fleece, which also helps to wick moisture away. The anti-fog coating is just the icing on the cake.

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Yes
Padding Triple-Layer Face Foam
Lining Moisture-Wicking Fleece
Frame O Matter Chassis
Weight Ultralight

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL Protection UV400
Tint Brown
Extras 100% UVC Protection

Consumer Goggles #1

Spherion Gear Ski Goggles + Detachable Amber LensHow many items usually come with a pair of goggles? Typically, not too many. The goggles themselves, a case and, if you’re lucky, something on top of that, like a cleaning kit. Well, guess what, in this instance, you will get a whole lot more. The goggles themselves, of course (that’s kind of a must), a carrying case, a microfiber pouch you can use for cleaning, a goggles strap, a lens of choice, an amber lens that can be used at night, and, of course, warranty.

All those items, particularly the extra lenses, make this product more or less universal. This is what makes it a perfect consumer product. Not quite the first choice of those who seek extreme skiing, but neither an entry-level equipment.

The amber lens is not meant for use in daytime, contrary to what you might assume. No, in fact, is meant for use in low-light conditions and night.

The latter is exactly the reason these goggles are not for beginners. They can be utilized by pros, however, they are even better suited for average skiers.

The goggles are frameless, which is critical in some circumstances, especially when there is a risk of running into obstacles, as it improves visibility by increasing your field of vision. The very curvature of the lens reduces glare significantly, which is a must for any snow sport. The lens is scratch-resistant and filters all UV radiation, up to UV400. Both the frame and the lens are impact resistant.

Thermal insulation and three-layer comfort foam is undoubtedly something that will help you to make this choice. After all, who doesn’t want perfect protection from wind and snow and cold?

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Yes
Padding Triple-Layer Face Foam
Lining Premium
Frame Impact-Resistant
Weight Ultra-Light

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL UV400
Tint Mirror Lens/Yellow Lens
Extras Anti-Reflective Coating

Entry Level Goggles #1

Bolle Mojo Snow GogglesYou’re not nearly dedicated enough to purchase professional goggles? Not to worry! Perhaps, you don’t exactly need all the qualities they can offer, and buying this pair will help you to save money. That’s kind of important, too. Why waste money on something you don’t need? You might end up returning the product to the seller, not because you are dissatisfied, you simply don’t need all those awesome but hardly needed feature. And that means everyone loses that way. We don’t want that, do we? Which is what makes the Bolle Mojo Snow Goggles just the thing you need if you’re a beginner and do not yet know if you’re going to become somewhat of a pro or not.

The goggles come with an anti-fog technology, even though it is not without drawbacks.  But it’s still effective at reducing fog and improving visibility.

With the outer layer of the lens protected from scratches, your vision will remain clear for as long as you use these goggles.

One of the most distinctive features is that these goggles can be worn all day long, that’s how comfortable they are. Not only will they be warm when it’s freezing cold, but they will also not be too hot, which is sometimes just as important.

Of course, you will be protected from UV rays. That goes without saying. Any goggles meant for winter sports cannot fail to offer it because it would be pointless to make them otherwise.

Warm and windproof, these goggles might be the best choice if you’re a beginner. Do consider that these goggles can be used with a helmet.

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Dual Layer
Padding Face Foam
Lining None
Frame Durable
Weight Medium

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL UV400
Tint Vermillion
Extras Carbo Glass

Best Snowboard Goggles

Requirements for snowboard goggles are little different from those of goggles for skiing. There is some difference but it’s very superficial. Practically all ski goggles can double as snowboard goggles and vice versa. But one thing is always true. Snowboarding is more… acrobatic activity by nature, unlike skiing, although it is possible to be just as acrobatic with skiing or, indeed, any other kind of activity if one puts their mind to it.

Generally, it is preferable to have a pair of goggles with a large field of view or, better yet, a completely unobstructed view. The more durable the lens, the better, since impacts become inevitability when snowboarding.

Oakley A-Frame Shaun White Signature Series Snow GoggleCan you name a brand that makes the best sunglasses and goggles for sports? I definitely can, and its name is Oakley. You might see this name here and now, and not because I prefer them, they are just that good. Notably, this pair. Designed as general purpose snow goggles, they are perfectly suitable for snowboarding as well, in fact, it is the best thing you could find.

What can they give to you? Well, to start with, their visual clarity and the level of provided protection are unmatched. The goggles are a perfect choice for any snow athlete, but even better when it comes to snowboarding. How come? It’s quite simple, really. The mechanical protection is something that cannot be ignored when snowboarding is involved given how often snowboarders do various stunts. And these Oakley goggles can survive even the craziest of them. Not just survive, but also protect you. Which is what they are made for.

The Fire Iridium tint is more than just that. It’s a coating that will help to reduce the glare and reflection. Even without polarization, it can prove very helpful.

  • Before-Oakley A-Frame Shaun White
    After-Oakley A-Frame Shaun White
    BeforeOakley A-Frame Shaun WhiteAfter

Let’s also not forget about the filtering options. The goggles enhance contrast by filtering out a portion of blue light. Expected but definitely convenient.

So don’t hesitate if you have a snowboard and are planning to have some fun on your vacation. Get these goggles, and with them, the best eye protection money can buy.

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Yes
Padding Premium Foam
Lining Premium
Frame Oakley A-Frame
Weight Lightweight

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL UV400
Tint Fire Iridium
Extras Best Performance in Any Light Conditions

Best Snowmobile Goggles

Requirements for snowmobile goggles are very similar to those of skiing goggles. But there is one aspect where you need the best kind of protection. I am speaking about the cold. As unusual as it is, cold can be absolutely unbearable when you’re moving very fast. Which, incidentally, will be the case for anyone riding a snowmobile. They lack cabins, and if you don’t have anything to protect your face with, it means, you’ll have to suffer the consequences.

Goggles for snowmobiles should cover as much area as possible. They should also be compatible with helmets and preferably be unbreakable.

JULI Snow Sports Goggles with Anti-fog UV ProtectionAlthough ventilation makes things harder for those who wear snow goggles, it can still provide better comfort provided you do things right. Or rather, the manufacturer does. Which is exactly the case here. Ventilated goggles don’t have to be freaking cold to wear, and these aren’t. Exactly what you need when riding a snowmobile.

The product is compatible with helmets and prescription glasses (technically, with sunglasses as well, but wearing them under the goggles would be an overkill). The former is not very surprising, as many goggles are. But the fact you can still wear whatever it is you wear to see things helps immensely when you are, in fact, driving, even though not all people use this word when referring to such vehicle as a snowmobile.

The lens is detachable and can be easily replaced with a spare lens that has a different color and tint. A number of them come with the goggles, all suitable for any preferences and light conditions. The visible light transmission score varies between 00-10% and 60-90%, for sunny and cloudy days respectively.

You can even use these goggles at night without impairing your vision.

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Yes
Padding Premium Foam
Lining Premium
Frame Frameless
Weight Ultra-Lightweight

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL UV400
Tint Mirror
Extras Detachable Lens System/Prescription Compatible

Basic Goggles for Snow

Basic snow goggles don’t have to be well-insulated, even though that would definitely be a bonus. You are not expected to move actively when you’re just strolling around. But that doesn’t mean that good snow goggles won’t allow that.

  • Before-Goggles For Snow
    After-Goggles For Snow
    BeforeGoggles For SnowAfter
So, if it’s not insulation, what are the basics? That’s an easy question to answer: it’s all about UV protection and, preferably, UV protection as well. That’s just how it works.Snow can actually be quite dangerous for your eyesight. Goggles that block UV radiation, high-energy visible light and only let a portion of light through are the minimum that you need.

Snow can actually be quite dangerous for your eyesight. Goggles that block UV radiation, high-energy visible light and only let a portion of light through are the minimum that you need.

OutdoorMaster Ski Goggles PROAlthough these goggles are designated as ski goggles by the seller and manufacturer, they are quite good for any kind of snow sports. They have all the features you’d like your goggles to have.  One of them is the wide variety of choices. You can purchase a pair of goggles with just about any VLT. And that’s just the beginning.

The frameless design allows unobstructed view, and it also looks stylish. At the same time, it suitable for anything, from skiing to using a snowmobile. It’s not as good for any of those activities as some of the goggles above, but it’s better than them in that it can easily be used for any of them and still provide optimal results. That’s just how it works.

I’m not even talking about 100% UV protection, that’s a given with snow goggles. What’s more important is that these goggles are equipped with an interchangeable lens system. Not unusual; however, not all goggles have such a feature. And that means you can easily replace the lens rather than the entire goggles when you expect to exercise in previously unencountered light conditions.

If you need it, you can easily wear them over your glasses. The goggles are compatible with all helmets, so there’s that, too. Perfect basic snow goggles!

Goggle Features

Thermal Insulation Yes
Padding Premium Foam
Lining Premium
Frame TPU Frame
Weight Medium

Lens Peculiarities

UVA Protection 100%
UVB Protection 100%
HEVL UV400
Tint Mirror
Extras Prescription Glasses Compatible

Best Water Sports Goggles

Water goggles have only one thing in common. They should be waterproof. Yes, that sounds incredibly basic, but that’s just how things are. The purpose of water goggles is to prevent water from getting to your eyes. There’s hardly anything exciting about that.

Best Open Water Goggles

Open water goggles are not meant for diving but that doesn’t mean it’s okay when they leak. No, even though the swimmer is not supposed to dive in them, they still must remain watertight. One more feature that is a must is UV protection. You can get away without it indoors or, if outside, either early in the morning or early in the evening, however, trying to swim without UV protection under the middle of the day is a bad idea. You will be exposing your eyes to harmful rays that way.

Losing goggles in open water means using them for good. Which is why it is important to use goggles that wouldn’t just slip off your face.

So, since we already know what we need from open water goggles, why not just get to the point?

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim GoggleThe Kayenne goggles will give you everything you need from them and more. How about 180-degree visibility? Well, you can have it. Combined with the 100% UV protection, of course, so there’s nothing to sacrifice. Additionally, they are scratch-resistant, which is usually a redundancy for water goggles, and fog-resistant, which is a nice bonus. That alone makes them decent water goggles for even professional swimmers.

Easy to put on and adjust, the Kayenne swim goggles are also hypoallergenic, which makes them not just convenient and comfortable, that also means you can wear them for a relatively long time, which, again, is important for water sports. Their hydrodynamic profile was carefully designed so as to reduce the drag as much as possible. The goggles also don’t leak, which is “an absence of a drawback” rather than a bonus, but still, that’s a nice thing to know.

You can use these goggles for swimming, of course, but also for rafting and other similar activities, in fact, what they offer is extremely useful for such rough water sports.


Performance

Watertight Leak Resistant
Fit Easy
Long-Time Wear Possible
Shape Hydrodynamic
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV 180-degree
Tint Smoke
Extras Scratch Resistant

Best Swimming Goggles 2017

Based on what kind of swimmer you are, it is possible to single out at least three groups. Much like with goggles for skiing, there are entry-level goggles, goggles for average consumers, and professional goggles. Of course, all of them should have such basic features as fog protection and UV-protection. Although most competitions are held in indoor pools, on the off chance you will be swimming outside, it’s better to be prepared.

But what are the features a newbie doesn’t necessarily need? Well, unlimited visibility, to begin with. While a nice bonus, it is not strictly a must. The same is true for how comfortable goggles are. Unless you’re going to swim for hours and hours, you probably don’t need supercomfortable goggles that, too, would stay comfortable that long.

Advanced Goggles #1

Speedo V-Class Mirrored Swim GogglesSpeedo is not just a name. It is not just one brand of many. If you have any connection to professional sports, you must have recognized the name by now. Indeed, if you’re going to get the bets equipment, Speedo is your first choice. It’s always like, and when you need to get a pair of swimming goggles, it’s still like that.

Now, the Speedo goggles are not entry-level. Doesn’t mean a newbie can’t have them, it’s not exactly hard to use a pair of goggles, however, they may find some of the features redundant.

So what do you get with the goggles? To start with, you get only the best and most hypoallergenic materials. That means more comfort and less prominent marks on the face. The lenses do not fog up (as expected) and they are at least twice as long as any standard swim goggle lenses. You get better visibility and a better FOV.

The goggles are leak-resistant. One more thing to not worry about. And a paramount thing, too. After all, when there’s no risk of a leak, there’s no danger of an unexpected hindrance. That’s crucial for any competitive sport, which is why these goggles are meant for advanced swimming.

Performance

Watertight Leak Free
Fit IQfit 3D goggle seals
Long-Time Wear Comfortable
Shape Hydrodynamic
Weight Ultra-Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Wide
Tint Mirror
Extras Curved Lens

Consumer Goggles #1

Arena Cobra Ultra Mirror Racing GogglesThe Cobra Ultra Mirror are the kind of goggles you can use for more than just swimming. Although they are best suited for swimming, which makes perfect sense, they can still be used for running or cycling. That makes them a possible choice for triathlon, although I would recommend something else if that what you have in mind.

With their hydrodynamic design, there’s almost a zero risk of losing the goggles when swimming. If you do lose them, well, then you have bigger problems to worry about, because that means you’re moving faster than humanly possible, and something’s probably dragging you along. Like I said, a big problem.

Anyways, with these goggles, you have the full pack. You get UV-protection, you get anti-fog features, and you have a full FOV, though not as wide as some better goggles can offer. Still decent.

If you swim almost every day, perhaps, you should consider purchasing them. They will not break your budget, and they will prove quite handy. The more you swim, the better these goggles will be for you.

So don’t waste your time and don’t hesitate before you get them.

Performance

Watertight Leak Resistant
Fit Stable
Long-Time Wear Possible
Shape Hydrodynamic
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Extra-Wide
Tint Red Revo
Extras Changeable Nose Bridge

Entry-Level Goggles #1

Street Tribe Swim GogglesCheap goggles for beginners. Even though they are cheap and meant for entry level, they still offer UV protection and anti-fog film. After all, it’s just impossible to enjoy swimming if your field of view is obscured all the time? And the absence of UV protection might prove hazardous and eye-damaging in the long run.

But, a low price does not mean poor quality. These goggles are quite comfortable to wear and even come with free ear buds to prevent water from getting into your ears.  The silicone straps, nose clip, and suction cup will prevent both discomfort and leakage.

These are good basic goggles for swimming. While the cannot boast any features the other goggles on this list can, they have all the important ones, and that’s exactly what a newbie needs. After all, having more advanced things is nice and all, however, it is also important to make use of them.

Performance

Watertight Leak Free
Fit Silicone Suction Cup
Long-Time Wear Comfortable
Shape Hydrodynamic
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Wide
Tint Amber
Extras Earplugs & Nose Clip

Best Kids’ Swimming Goggles

Kids’ goggles have only one thing separating them from adults’ goggles, and that’s the size. Otherwise, it’s basically the same thing. Although it would be better to come by something made of hypoallergenic materials, which is hardly a challenge this day and age.

Still, there is the style to consider. You don’t want to buy boring goggles for your seven years old, you will need something more or less cartooney. Or, well, otherwise different. So there’s that.

A set of goggles is always better when it comes to children. At leats, that’s what I believe in. And there’s a good reason for that. After all, sometimes kids just don’t want to wear boring goggles. However, goggles that look fun don’t necessarily provide the best swimming features, such as a tight fit.Speedo Junior Goggle Set

Of course, the fact goggles come in a set is not the most important thing out there, but why not take it into account if it’s there anyway?

The Speedo Junior Goggle Set comes with a pair of best fitting goggles, a bright and fun pair, and a hybrid mask, which may have nothing to do with goggles, but is still more than ideal for swimming. In fact, it may even be redundant, but it is good for diving, while no goggles are sufficient for that.

Although the goggles are rather clear, they filter both UVA and UVB rays, keeping you kid’s eye safe from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

The straps do not contain any latex and are not known for causing allergies. The lens comes with anti-fog qualities. A must for proper underwater visibility.

Performance

Watertight Leak Resistant
Fit Secure
Long-Time Wear Comfortable
Shape Basic
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Wide
Tint Clear/Smoke
Extras Easily Adjustable/Set of 3

Best Triathlon Goggles

Thriathlon is more than just a sport. It can be quite difficult for beginners because it’s actually a whole bunch of different activities, of which swimming is an important part. But not the only one, and that’s what makes triathlon special, well, especially, as long as goggles are considered.

Not only do you need protection from water and the sun, you also need some mechanical protection in the event you run into something when on land. Something, that would combine the features of water goggles, protection goggles and, preferably, sunglasses. That’s what triathlon goggles are all about.

U-FIT Performance Swimming GogglesThese U-FIT goggles are exactly what you need for triathlon. Of course, their most important features are connected with swimming. However, it’s more than that They can also give you proper protection for any activity you will be exercising. After all, isn’t that what people get such goggles for? It is.

Arguably, these are some of the best goggles for swimming in general. Although I could still find other examples, that much is true anyway, after all, it all depends on circumstances.

So, what will you get for the admittedly low price? The UV protection is, of course, right there. It should be, just as an anti-fog coating (which, too, is there).But, the goggles are also anti-shatter, and they come with mirror coated lenses. A redundancy for most goggles, it is a splendid feature for

But, the goggles are also anti-shatter, and they come with mirror coated lenses. While a redundancy for most goggles, it is a splendid feature for triathlon.

Extremely durable, clear, and stylish, they are everything you could have possibly wished for.

Performance

Watertight Leak Free
Fit Smart Fit
Long-Time Wear Comfortable
Shape Hydrodynamic
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV 180-degree
Tint Mirror
Extras Anti-Shatter

Best Open Air Sports Goggles

Best Motorcycle Goggles

The primary function of motorcycle goggles is to protect your eyes from the wind. That’s what such goggles were originally invented for. That’s why people still use them to this day. Everything else, including UV protection and impact protection, are but secondary features. The obstructive potential of wind, as pretentiously as that sounds, is not to be underestimated.

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous for you and everyone around you if you don’t wear goggles.

Smith Optics I/O GoggleGoggles for motorcycle should be not just UV-protective or durable. They also must look cool. There’s no denying that; simple as that.

And the Smith Optics I/O Goggles are exactly the thing to give you that. Ultra wide, they give you perfect view of what’s ahead of you, and the lens change system allows you to replace lenses whenever you need to do that. You can quickly change your goggles’ TVL based on the light conditions.

The goggles are suitable for even the harshest environments. And that’s exactly what you need as a cyclist.

Of course, you’d expect such goggles to be compatible with helmets. Well, you’re right to expect that. That’s exactly what you get with these.

But aside from all the light protection features, aside from the large FOV, one of the most important features is basic mechanical protection. It is paramount for riding a motorcycle. Thankfully, the I/O goggles can give you safety as well. Due to the carbonic-X lens and DriWix face foam, the goggles will be able to protect your face from impacts.

Protection

Helmet Compatible Yes
Padding 3-Layer DriWix Face Foam
Fit Dual-axis Outrigger Positioning
Protection Impact and Small Particles
Weight Medium

Lens

UV Protection UVA/UVB
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Unobstucted
Tint Blackout/Red Sensor Mirror
Extras Carbonic-X Lens with TLT Optics

Best Airsoft Goggles

Airsoft goggles are basically simple protective goggles. They don’t have too many features, and neither should you expect them to. They protect your eyes from high-velocity objects, that’s it.

There are two kinds of airsoft goggles: goggles with lenses and meshed lenses. The latter are cheaper and can serve for a longer time, but they are not nearly as convenient as goggles that have actual lenses.

Airsoft Goggles with Lenses

Lancer Tactical Airsoft Safety Eye Protection GogglesAlthough a face mask would always be a preferable option, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume that these goggles are exactly what entry-level players would need. It’s not very fancy, and it simply cannot offer some of the things a mask would, but it does provide some protection, which is exactly what you need when you buy airsoft goggles.

I would not recommend these goggles for paintball without extra protection, but not because they are not durable enough, they are. The problem is, they only cover your eyes and the top part of the face. The bottom will remain open, and we can’t have that, can we? Hence the need for some extra protection.

That being said, the goggles are perfectly suitable for protecting the eyes, so you can still use them, as long as you cover your face with something.

The goggles are padded with foam for extra comfort. Forget about discomfort, just enjoy the feeling of the liner. The goggles are comfortable to wear, and they don’t fog up, which is definitely a nice bonus. It gives you an advantage, even! At least, if your opponent has goggles without an anti-fog system.

Protection

Helmet Compatible N/A
Padding Foam
Fit Adjustable
Protection Impact and Small Particles
Weight Medium

Lens

UV Protection No
Anti-Fog Medium
FOV 180-degree
Tint Clear
Extras Fully Sealed

Airsoft Goggles with Mesh

This is not the usual kind of goggles. Unlike most of the protective goggles, the Toonol Tactical goggles come without lenses, and that makes them a very poor choice for paintball but more than acceptable for airsoft.

However, you should be aware that your eyes will not be protected from weather conditions, dust, sand or any other substance comprised of small particles. These goggles are not very expensive, on the contrary, it’s hard to find something cheaper than them, but they can only protect you from impacts, nothing else.

Toonol Tactical Shooting Airsoft GogglesOf course, when that’s the only thing you need, purchasing such goggles sounds like a good idea.

They can offer a lot of protection for your eyes, which is exactly what you need when playing airsoft. Even better than the best of lenses! At the cost of obstructing your vision, but it’s nothing the human eye cannot adapt to.

If you want cheap and reliable protection goggles, provided you don’t need protection from dust and other small particles, if you expect something like an airsoft bullet will be coming your eye’s way, perhaps, these goggles would really make the best choice.

Protection

Helmet Compatible Non-applicable
Padding No
Fit Universal
Protection Impact Resistant Only
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection Non-applicable: Zero Protection
Anti-Fog Non-applicable: No Fogging
FOV Wide
Tint Non-applicable: No Lens
Extras Mesh

Best Anti-Fog Goggles

Some goggles must come with anti-fog features. That includes water goggles. For some, that is optional. But even though many goggles have that feature, not many of them excel when it comes to practice. Here, I present you the best goggles for those who need a lens that will never fog up.

ATV BMX Anti-Fog GogglesWhen your glasses and goggles fog up all the time, it’s hard to make no accent on anti-fog properties. Granted, a lot of the goggles offered in the other categories do come with such features, however, as good as they are, they are still designed as something else first and anti-fog goggles second. There’s no denying that.

But what else do you get for the admittedly low price? For starters, it 100% UV protection. Nothing unusual about that, of course, but it’s there, as it should be. The lens also has anti-scratch and anti-impact properties, which contribute to its quality. It also helps you to have a clear vision.

The goggles have three layers of foam for thermal insulation. Very efficient for extremely low temperatures. Makes sense, after all, these goggles are meant for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.

The frame of the goggles fits most people. It can fit a ten y.o. child and it can fit an adult. Quite a wide range, is it not?

The goggles are compatible with helmets, and you can easily use them for riding a snowmobile or even a motorcycle.

An excellent choice, especially when fogless vision is crucial.

Protection

Helmet Compatible Yes
Padding 3-Layer Foam
Fit Medium
Protection Impact/Small Particles
Weight Lightweight

Lens

UV Protection UV400
Anti-Fog Yes
FOV Wide
Tint Printed Design (No Obstruction)
Extras Mesh

Guide & FAQ

Goggles are sometimes confused with sunglasses. There is a good reason for that, as they often serve the same purpose: protect the user from direct sunlight. However, there’s more than just that. Unlike sunglasses, goggles cover the eyes completely, often air tight. That may be useful for many things.

For starters, that means zero UV exposure. UV rays are simply not able to reach your eyes from sideways or from above. The goggles would prevent that. Simultaneously, they would protect your eyes from dust, wind, snow, rain and simply water. The field of view is much better than that of sunglasses and only second to that of a helmet.

Goggles are not only made for people. Horse goggles and dog goggles are a thing, although some people might call them sunglasses. But no, that’s not what they are called.

Finally, goggles can be more than just a means of eye protection. These days, VR goggles are now a common occurrence. Although they have little in common with traditional goggles, other than the name, they still are something to consider.

What types of goggle lenses are there?

There are just as many types of goggles as those of sunglasses, and even more, if only because goggles can be used for other purposes.

Let me remind you what types of lenses for sunglasses there are:

  • Mirror-coated lenses
  • Blue blocking lenses
  • Gradient lenses
  • Double gradient lenses
  • Polarized lenses
  • Anti-reflective lenses
  • Photochromic lenses

In principle, there’s nothing that would stop equivalent types of goggles from existing. You can find more if you follow this link. Goggles are not different in this regard.

But, first and foremost, goggles are protective eyewear. Their types are mostly defined by their protective qualities.

Some of the goggle types are very popular, others less so, and we will only mention them briefly.

  • One of the better-known uses is for cold weather. Cold-weather goggles are used for thermal insulation and preventing exposure of the upper part of the face to cold, especially the eyes. Such goggles are usually almost air-tight, and they come with two layers of the lens.
  • Swimming goggles. Must be watertight, cannot be replaced with sunglasses even theoretically. The lenses in swimming goggles should possess a number of qualities (being watertight is one of them), and some of them are simply recommended. That includes UV protection, tint, and, preferably, polarization. A hydrophobic coating would be one of the best features for swimming goggles to have.
  • Open-air activities. That encompasses many types of goggles, including aviation goggles and motorcycle goggles. The requirements may vary depending on the kind of activity. For instance, the higher the velocity of the oncoming flow, the less ventilation is acceptable. Which means you might need airtight goggles.
  • Winter sports goggles are a little bit different both from cold weather goggles and goggles for open-air activities. Of course, everything about them is essentially the same. However, there is one peculiarity. Goggles for winter sports are required to decrease the intensity of light, eliminate glare and enhance contrast. This can be achieved by utilizing tinted polarized lenses, preferably orange.
  • Protection goggles. They are not typically worn outside and are only used to protect the eyes when doing something potentially dangerous. That includes both mechanical hazards and radiation hazards (such as welding).
  • VR goggles. These are not precisely optical devices and thus goggles as such. Rather, they are electronic displays made in the form of eyewear.

What are non-human goggles?

It is exactly what it says on the tin. Non-human goggles are goggles that simply not meant for human use. Who wears them, them? Mostly pets and domestic animals. The most popular of all types are dog goggles, also known as doggles, and horse goggles.

You must have seen hundreds and hundreds of pictures with dogs trying out sunglasses. In most case, those are either collages or staged. However, some of such pictures are the real deal, only, it’s not sunglasses the dogs are wearing, it’s goggles. They are mostly worn by military dogs since they often serve in rather harsh conditions. Nevertheless, UV rays are equally dangerous for all animals, and animal goggles with UV protection may be just the thing your dog needs.

Horse goggles, while popular, are significantly less so. After all, not many people can boast they have a real horse.

Speaking of dog goggles, I can recommend one item for you:

Doggles ILSIt is one of the best dog goggles you could find. Essentially, this is an interchangeable lens system designed for dogs. It’s not very heavy and is, in fact, quite comfortable for dogs of nay size. As you might have guessed, these goggles can offer 100% UV protection. They also have an anti-fog layer (which is often underrated when it comes to animals as most people fail to keep in mind that a dog will not be able to wipe the fog or take the doggles off.
Last but not least, the lenses that come with this system are quite hard to shatter. Even if you actually try, it will still take you some time.

Most important parameters?

Since goggles are protective eyewear, it depends on from what you need protection. If it’s the elements, the weather, or small objects, being airtight becomes one of the more important factors. But if you need goggles for the firing range, for instance, that suddenly has little importance.

That said, there are a few universal qualities which determine how good a particular pair of goggles will be for you.

Is ventilation necessary?

There are precisely three possible situations.

  • Ventilation is irrelevant. It doesn’t happen often, most of the time it matters if the goggles are ventilated or not.
  • Ventilation is required. Mostly true for goggles used for mechanical protection, also possibly for protection from intense light. It might even be a good thing for winter goggles, because ventilation doesn’t mean lack of insulation.
  • Ventilation is undesirable. Mostly true for swimming goggles or other water sports goggles. Also, whenever protection from the elements is required, especially dust, ventilation would stand in the way.

If you’re not sure if you need a pair of ventilated goggles, you probably should get them. The only reason for goggles to not have proper ventilation is if they need to be air tight, and that kind of thing is intuitively understandable.

Are there prescription goggles?

Perhaps, you know there are prescription sunglasses. But then, another question is bound to arise, can there be such a thing as prescription goggles?

The short answer is yes. Prescription goggles are, indeed, a thing. On the other hand, obtaining them is a little bit harder, compared to regular goggles. The best you can hope for are prescription-ready goggles, which means they can be easily converted into eye-correcting ones.

Prescription goggles are usually required for activities where a perfect visual input is critical. For instance, sports. When working with hazardous materials or power tools, it is also important to see what you’re doing, but in that particular situation, you will be able to wear protective goggles over your normal prescription glasses.

Recommended tint for winter goggles?

That depends on how you plan to use the goggles and in what weather conditions. It is not impossible to use clear lens goggles, however, using at least somewhat tinted lenses is preferable. Other than that, there are a few features that could prove beneficial.

Is it safe to use cheap goggles?

It may be safe, but then again, there is no guarantee. It also depends on what your goggles do, what you need them to do. Let’s consider the option where all you need is mechanical protection. In this case, all you need from your goggles is not to break. As long as they don’t, you’re good to go. Such goggles can indeed be cheap, and it’s perfectly safe to use them.

But what if you need goggles for winter sports? Let me tell you what happens: new factors come into the picture.

Should goggles offer protection?

This question is somewhat pointless, although only somewhat. The thing is, goggles, any goggles, are designed for protection. However, they are designed to handle different dangerous factors.  Since most of the goggles reviewed in this article are meant for protection from UV rays, I assume you’re talking about mechanical protection. So should such goggles offer it?

The answer is, most definitely. While it is not something that you will absolutely need, goggles are most used in more or less dangerous situations or even environments. At the very least, goggles shouldn’t be a risk factor themselves, but those of them that are harder to break and protect the eyes better should always be given a preference, even if they lack sophisticated lenses and coating. Basic 400 UV protection is enough (granted, it is the one thing goggles absolutely must have), and before you think about anything else, think about mechanical protection.

 

Author: James Baker

James Baker is a 29 y.o. American constructor and blogger. As an amateur photographer, he has always been fascinated with optics. As a blogger, he pays special attention to eyewear due to his experience with optical devices.

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