Goggles, Snow Gear

10 Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles Under $50 (2017)

Why should you wear goggles while skiing or snowboarding?

Skiing/snowboarding goggles are essential to a great day on the slopes.

They help to provide clear vision while protecting your eyes from the sun, snow, wind and rain.

If you forgot your goggles at home, you might as well not go on the slopes because you’re just an accident waiting to happen.

Riding without goggles is like driving your car at night with a cracked windshield, during a thunderstorm, with your headlights turned off.

Our example might sound a bit extreme, but you get the idea; SKI/SNOWBOARD GOGGLES ARE IMPORTANT.

Since this equipment is such a vital part of your skiing/snowboarding gear, you might be asking yourself, where do I even begin?

What’s the difference between a $10 pair of goggles and a $300 pair of goggles?

What’s the most/least amount I need to spend, in order to get everything I need for a great day on the mountain? In this article, we’re going to tell you the best goggles just under $50.

We feel this is the best price point for ski/snowboard goggles because it comes with just the right amount of features to protect you from the elements, while also protecting your wallet.

Before we give you our recommendations, it’s important that you understand all the features that typically come with skiing/snowboarding goggles.

This way, you can make an informed decision on what features matter most to you.

Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles Under $50 in 2017 (Top 10)

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Ski or Snowboard Goggles?

Goggles come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are design to give you better vision, some are made so you can wear your prescription glasses underneath, and some are created to make your life easier with interchangeable lenses.

Knowing what features are important to you could save you time and money.

Do you need some goggles just to get you through one day on the slopes, or are you going to go multiple times in a season?

Is it snowing? Is it a cloudy day or sunny day? Do you intend to wear your prescription glasses with the goggles?

You need to ask yourself these basic questions before purchasing your goggles.

Here are some of the features that you may want to look into, when purchasing your ski/snowboard goggles.

Features:

Shape of lens – There are normally 2 shapes of lenses your goggles will have. If you’re only going skiing or snowboarding for a day or just a few hours, you might be able to get away with only using a cylindrical lens.

However, if you plan on going multiple days during the season, it might be wise to spend a little extra money on spherical lenses. Here are the differences:

  • Cylindrical – Curves left to right across your face but are flat vertically which can increase glare and reduce your peripheral vision
  • Spherical – Curves horizontally and vertically. Just think of a sphere where part of it was cut out and formed to fit your goggles. It costs more but the benefits are well worth it. You’ll have less glare and better peripheral vision.

Ventilation/ Anti-fog – The last thing you want your goggles to do is fog up on you due to bad ventilation.

Condensation builds up in your goggles because they’re constantly battling the outside weather (cold) with your body temperature (warm).

I remembered when I first started skiing and snowboarding; I bought the cheapest goggles I can find, BIG MISTAKE. My goggles were constantly fogging up and I had to remove them from my face every 15 minutes just to wipe away the condensation.

Thankfully, the lenses nowadays have multiple features to help reduce the chances of your goggles fogging up, here are just a few:

  • Vents – These also help with preventing a build up of fog. The larger the vents on your goggles, the less fog, but be careful, there is a catch. If your vents are too big, more cold air can come in and irritate your eyes and face.
  • Double-layered lenses – The extra layer of protection can create a thermal barrier if sealed correctly. This is now the industry standard as it helps to reduce fog build up in your goggles.
  • Anti fog coatings – Higher end models typically come standard, as they should. You wouldn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for goggles and have them fog up on you. However, if you buy cheap goggles, chances are they won’t have this feature but don’t worry, there are anti fog sprays you can buy.
  • Fans – Believe it or not, some goggles come with a built in fan that’s powered by a battery. Is this aluxury feature or a necessity? You decide.

Visible Light Transmission (VLT) – This describes the amount of light that passes through your lens. Just think of it like the lenses on your normal pair of sunglasses.

Some are darker than others, thus blocking or allowing a certain amount of light in.

The majority of lenses out there will be rated on a scale of S0-S4 with S0 having the lightest shade, perfect for darker conditions, while S4 has the darkest shade, perfect for sunny days.

  • Lighter color lenses allows more light (high VLT), which is perfect for cloudy days (Gold, yellow, amber, green, rose-colored lenses)
  • Darker color lenses allow less light (low VLT), which is perfect for those sunny days (Brown, Grey, and copper-colored lenses).
  • Clear lenses are used for nighttime riding

Extra features:

  • UV Protection – Protect yourself from UVA, UVB, & UVC rays. I wouldn’t recommend ever buying goggles that don’t have this feature, but you’re in luck, because almost all goggles in the market comes standard with UV protection. Just remember even if it’s a cloudy day, UV rays can still bounce off the snow and damage your eyes, if not protected.
  • Polarized lenses – This helps reduce the glare from the sun, snow and water.
  • Photo chromatic lenses – This feature automatically changes the tint on your goggles to the amount of sunlight available, thus eliminating the need for “interchangeable lenses.”
  • Interchangeable lenses – You can change out your lenses according to the light conditions. Some goggles are easier than others to change. The most convenient ones use strong magnets to attach the lens to the frame of the goggle. We highly suggest having 2 lenses in your arsenal; one for bright sunny days and another for cloudy or foggy days.
  • Mirrored lenses – This is a coating that reflects more light so the sun doesn’t blind you on those sunny days
  • Advanced technology – We’re in the 21st century, which means technology has made its way into our goggles. There are goggles in the market that have a digital display for GPS and performance, thanks to the power of Bluetooth.
  • Helmet compatible – It’s always smart try your goggles on when wearing your helmet. This way you can get a full grasp of the fit and comfort. Also, most helmets come equip with a secure strap to hold your goggles in place, which is perfect if you ever take a nasty spill.
  • Over the Glass (OTG) – If you have to wear glasses driving, then we suggest you do the same for skiing and/or snowboarding. OTG goggles in the market will allow you to wear your goggles over your prescription glasses.

Now that you have an idea of what features are important to you, let’s take a look at the best ski/snowboard goggles under $50.

1. ZIONOR Lagopus X4

This is our choice for best ski/snowboard goggles under $50. Zionor has only been around for 8 years but goggles are their specialty. They pretty much only make 4 products; ski & snowboard goggles, helmets, swimming goggles and swim caps. I personally like companies like this that have only a few items because it gives them more opportunity to focus on their products.

They have several different models of the Lagopus X series and every one of them is amazing, but we’re going to talk about the X4 model. When these were first release, some of their lenses retailed at over $200, but since then, the price has dropped because they’ve introduced newer models, but the X4 still has everything you need. Some of the must have features I look for are spherical lens, double lens protection, anti-fog & UV protection, and a good ventilation system. These goggles have all of that, plus my favorite feature: Magnetic Interchangeable Lenses.

Features I like:

  • Spherical Lenses
  • Double Lens Protection
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection
  • Magnetic Interchangeable Lenses w/ 17 different lens options
  • 2-way Ventilation System
  • Impact Resistance Frame

 

2. OutdoorMaster PRO

Outdoor Master is a great company that makes affordable and reliable outdoor equipment. That’s their main mission, they want to make the outdoors more accessible by making quality products at an affordable price. How are they able to do this? Well, for starters they cut out the middle man. The sell directly to the customers through their website and Amazon so it’s rare you’ll find any of their products in a retail store.

I own a pair of these myself and they were worth every penny. It has all the standard features you’d want in a pair of goggles, but it is also an OTG (Over the Glass) style. Typically, OTG is the standard now in the industry but even if you don’t wear glasses, buying an OTG does not impair your vision at all. I always suggest to people, even if you don’t wear glasses, buy an OTG style goggle because you never know when you’ll need them for yourself or for your friend to borrow.

Features I like:

  • Spherical Lenses
  • Over the Glass (OTG)
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection
  • Magnetic Interchangeable Lenses w/ 20 different lens options

 

3. OutdoorMaster STANDARD 

You’re probably wondering, “wait a minute, didn’t you just talk about OutdoorMaster goggles?” The answer is yes, but the ones we’ve already discussed were the PRO models. This is their standard model that costs less than half but still has come nice features. It still has UV protection, OTG and unlike the PRO model, these goggles have a frame, which we think looks pretty cool. The downside is that the standard model does not have interchangeable lenses but the lenses are double layered and has an anti-fog coating to help with the condensation.

Honestly, if you’ve never been on the slopes before and you just need a pair of goggles to get you through the day, we recommend buying a pair of these. If you know you’ll be back on the mountains for multiple days, spend another couple of bucks and get the PRO model.

Features I like:

  • Dual Layer Lenses
  • Over the Glass (OTG)
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection

 

4. Copozz G2

Copozz makes ski/snowboard goggles that are FDA & CE approved.

Even though, the Copozz G2 is about the same price as the other goggles we’re going to review, I feel these are the fanciest. Mainly, because of their lenses are made in Italy. However, another key feature that sets them apart are their magnetic interchangeable lens technology. These goggles hold lenses with 10 magnetic points as oppose to their competitors who typically only have 8 magnetic points. So it’s definitely a lot more secure, but if you want me to be honest. Magnetic interchangeable lenses are pretty secure to begin with, so having an extra 2 points of magnetic contact doesn’t hurt but I don’t see a HUGE benefit from it.

These goggles come with all the necessities such has spherical lens, double lens protection, anti-fog and UV protection. You can’t go wrong picking up a pair of these and if you are a known to be clumsy, the extra magnetic points might help keep those lenses in place.

Features I like:

  • Spherical Lenses
  • Double Lens Protection
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection
  • Magnetic Interchangeable Lenses w/ 10 magnetic points of contact
  • Impact Resistance Frame

 

5. JULI

What’s interesting about JULI eyewear is that the company started in 2008 as predominantly a sunglass company. They still are sunglass company but they’ve expanded their business model by making ski & snowboard goggles along with swimming goggles.

Even though they started in the sunglass industry, I don’t see that as a disadvantage. The JULI goggles can do pretty much everything its competitors are capable of. I actually think it’s a benefit that they’re in the sunglass industry because that keeps them a step ahead of their competition, since they already have a vast knowledge of lenses.

The best part about the JULI goggles is that the majority of their interchangeable lenses are in stock. So if you’re looking for a specific color or VLT, you might have a better chance finding it; however, there is a catch, these ARE NOT magnetic lenses, so it could take some getting use to with regards to changing your lens. That’s why I like magnetic lenses so much, they are very easy to change out especially when you’re wearing gloves. The non-magnetic versions are just a secure and good, but I just like using magnetics; it’s cool and more fun to change out.

Features I like:

  • Spherical Lenses
  • Double Lens Protection
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection
  • Sweat absorbent padding
  • Interchangeable lenses (non-magnetic)

 

6. Yakaon Y1

Yakaon started in 2014 by researching, developing, and producing cell phone & tablet cases and accessories. Since then, they’ve introduced ski & snowboard goggles, swim caps and cycling gloves to their product line.

Don’t let their original product line fool you, these goggles are Amazon’s choice for a reason. These spherical lens goggles will do more than what you need on the slopes. Like many of the other goggles featured here, the frame is made from durable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material. This material is flexible yet durable. You can’t go wrong with these goggles but just like the JULI goggles, these are non-magnetic interchangeable lenses.

Features I like:

  • Spherical Lenses
  • Double Lens Protection
  • Anti-fog & UV Protection
  • OTG (Over the Glass)
  • Interchangeable lenses (non-magnetic)

 

7. Bolle Mojo

Bolle probably has the richiest history in the ski & snowboard goggle industry. They started in 1888 in France by manufacturing combs and hair ornaments. After helping out in WWII by molding nylon, they introduced safety goggles and ski goggles in 1955 and the rest is history. Nowadays, Bolle makes several different products but the heart of their operation is still ski & snowboard goggles.

The Bolle Mojo ski goggles are Amazon’s top choice for good reason. They’re low in price, functional, and just looks cool. The only issue is that their availability on lenses is limited and these are not interchangeable lenses. But with such great reviews and a low price point, who cares? If you’re not fancy, these could be your best option. The cost will vary depending on which lens you get but they’re typically under $19.99.

Features I like:

  • Anti-fog lens
  • Double Lens Protection
  • Carbo Glass
  • Flow-tech venting

 

8. Traverse Varia

Traverse Sports is located in Los Angeles, CA and their parent company is Westridge Outdoors. Westridge Outdoors is also the parent company of Critical Cycles, Retrospec Bicycles, and Ten Toes Board Emporim.

Low price, 6 lenses to choose from, and a 1-year warranty, these goggles have everything you need except the interchangeable lenses. But, if you don’t care about that, we think these are the best goggles to buy. For those sunny days, we recommend buying the Obsidian with Phoenix Lens, because the colors just look downright awesome.

Features I like:

  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane frame
  • Dual Layered spherical lens
  • Anti-fog & scratch resistance technology
  • 10 built in vents

9. JULI OTG Standard

These are the more basic version of the JULI goggles we listed at #5. Although it may lack features compared to it’s more advance version, it certainly makes up for it with style. In fact, I’ll go ahead and deemed these goggles as the most stylish on our top 10 list. It comes with spherical lens but also a sleek looking frame, which sets it apart from the rest.

Like I stated earlier in this article about JULI eyewear, starting as a sunglass company has more advantages than disadvantages. The company definitely used their experience with styling sunglasses and translated that knowledge into ski & snowboard goggles. Style, functionality and affordability are the reasons these goggles made our top 10 list.

Features I like:

  • Spherical lens with frame
  • Interchangeable lenses (non-magnetic)
  • Double layered lens with anti-fog coating
  • Durable TPU frame

 

10. Smith Optics

If you know anything about snow gear then you’ve probably heard of Smith Optics. This company is pretty much the godfather of ski & snowboard goggles. They were the first to introduce interchangeable lens technology, and created two new ventilation system to revolutionize the anti-fog sector of the ski & snowboard goggle industry. Besides that, Dr. Smith was the first to develop a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam goggles. When you think of ski & snowboard goggles, Smith Optics should be on the top of your list. But you’re probably wondering why Smith Optics is not on the top of our list for Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles under $50. It’s because the majority of their goggles are well over $50, and they’re worth every penny, but the Smith Optics Scope will get you through a day in the snow.

Depending on the color choices and lens, you can find majority of these goggles under $50. These do have anti-fog lenses and are cylindrical. However, they are not rated with UV protection and also they are only single lens.

Features I like:

  • Cylindrical Lenses
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Well known ski & snowboard goggle company
  • Air Flow Ventilation System

 

In conclusion, we feel spending about $50 on a pair of ski/snowboard goggles is the perfect way to find your entry level to intermediate goggles. Just make sure you have the essentials such as UV protection, ventilation, & anti-fog coating. I prefer having interchangeable lenses because you never know what kind of weather you will run into when you’re on the mountain. It could be bright and sunny at the base of the mountain but at the top, it could be pouring with snow, so it’s wise to always be prepared.

 

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