Many people think that ski goggles’ only function is to keep the snow out of our eyes. But, with modern technology invading every field, photochromic ski goggles became a must-have item in your winter sports inventory.
The new photochromic lenses in these goggles change the tint automatically according to light conditions. They clear up in cloudy and dim lights, and they darken to block the light on sunny days.
Since they became a bit more sophisticated, buying the best photochromic ski goggles isn’t an easy task anymore. Today, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to pick your ideal photochromic ski goggles.
We scoured the goggles market to come up with the best options you can find on the shelves. The following reviews will reveal the highlights of these items and why they earned their spot on our list.
Best Photochromic Ski Goggles
Revo RG 7013 Onix Polarized Ski Goggles
Starting with Revo’s RG Onix, which isn’t only a photochromic ski goggle, but it’s also mirrored and polarized to minimize the glare effect of the white snow.
The photochromic goggle offers a VLT range of 12 to 32%, making it a perfect skiing goggle for a bright and sunny day. The mirrored lens reflects most of the sunlight to reduce the glare and selectively pass the blue light for the ultimate level of daylight crisp visibility.
The goggles feature an air vent technology that allows for air circulation through the goggles. This flow of air in and out of the goggles helps in preventing the formation of fog on the lens.
The plastic goggle is lightweight and highly adjustable with a stylish strap. This strap is fitted with silicone beads to prevent slipping while skiing with the goggles.
Revo didn’t sacrifice comfort for performance. The goggles are equipped with three layers of protective foam, allowing you to wear it comfortably for a long time.
- The polarized lens reduces glare
- Triple-layer foam for maximum comfort
- Anti-slipping silicone beads on the adjustable strap
- Only one color choice
Julbo Skydome Photochromic Snow Goggles
Skydome photochromic goggles from Julbo is a large spherical lens with a frameless design for a full panoramic view in all directions. It comes in a variety of REACTIV lenses ranging from all-round to high performance.
These tints offer various VLT ranging from 15 to 72%, making Julbo’s Skydome goggles one of the best all-round photochromic ski goggles in the market. They adapt to different light conditions from low flat light to intense sunlight.
Additionally, the Julbo Skydome Photochromic goggles prevent fog formation due to their excellent design with double lenses and superb anti-fog coating on the inner lenses.
They can also resist the formation of smudges and finger marks on the lens, as these goggles are lined with a hydrophobic material that repels water.
Moreover, the goggles are lightweight with a good ventilation system built into the lenses. They also boast two layers of gentle foam that provides a snug fit on your face. These features make the Julbo Skydome photochromic goggles perfect for comfortable and long hours of skiing.
The greatest highlight about this photochromic ski goggles is that it’s backed with a lifetime warranty!
- Wide VLT range of 15 to 75%
- Highly comfortable to wear
- Built-in lens ventilation
- Lifetime warranty
- Glasses may not fit underneath the goggles
Bolle Z5 OTG Photochromic Ski Goggles
Bolle Z5 is a large ski goggle designed to be worn over the glasses. This means that you won’t have to take off prescription glasses in order to wear them. This makes it a top choice for those can’t see without their spectacles.
The Bolle Z5 goggles are designed with special channels to hold the arms of your glasses tight. This prevents wiggling and provides a snug fit while slicing through the snowy slopes.
If you don’t wear glasses, then you’ll be delighted to know that Bolle’s Z5 offers a VLT ranging from 14 to 44%. This broad array is great for skiing with a clear view in both moderate and bright sunlight.
Moreover, the photochromic goggle is highly ventilated with the FlowTech system. And they rock a silicone strap for an excellent fit and comfort. The goggles feature double lenses with P-80+ technology which prevents fogging on the inside of the lens.
They’re also coated with a scratch-resistant material to enhance the longevity and durability of the goggles. All these high-value features come at an affordable price that won’t wreak havoc on your budget.
- An excellent choice for anyone on a budget
- OTG design is perfect for prescription glasses wearers
- The goggle’s lens resists scratches and fogging
- This model is only available in one color
Julbo Aerospace Photochromic Goggles
With Julbo’s 125 years of experience in making performance eyewear, it’s no surprise that they won more than one spot on our list. Julbo’s Aerospace photochromic goggles present one of the best goggles for changing light conditions.
The photochromic goggles feature a patented technology called SuperFlow. This technology allows the lens to push away from the goggle’s central frame. This creates room for air to flow inside the goggle and pushes the fog out of the goggles.
The Aerospace also comes with two layers of foam padding, so you can enjoy comfortable wear for long hours.
In addition to its comfort features, the spherical double lens allows for a VLT range of 17 to 75%. This astonishing range can protect you from high, moderate, and low light conditions. Similar to Skydome, Julbo backs the goggle with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s errors.
- Excellent ventilation with the SuperFlow technology
- Double layers of cushioning foam for maximum comfort
- Affordable price and a lifetime warranty
- Not good for people with small faces
Smith Optics I/OX Goggle
Last but not least, we have Smith Optic’s goggles with its chroma pop photochromic rose flash lens. The goggles also offer a wide selection of colors to suit your skiing outfit.
The I/OX goggles allow super clear vision under different light conditions throughout the day. Additionally, offer a quick release system to change lenses swiftly and with ease.
Smith Optics boasts a spherical carbonic-x lens with 5X anti-fog capabilities and TLT technology. With these features, you’ll be able to ski without worrying about the formation of fog on your lens.
One of the best things about smith optic’s goggle is that it can fit all kinds of faces. All that thanks to its silicone-backed QuickFit adjustment strap system and responsive frameless design.
It’s also highly comfortable to wear for a long time due to its 3 layer DriWix face foam and helmet compatibility. Moreover, it’s supplied with a Porex filter to prevent distortions in elevation changes.
- Prevents optical distortion with elevation with Porex filter
- Frameless for excellent field of vision
- Prevents fog formation with TLT and 5X anti-fog Technology
- They don’t come with clear instructions
What Makes a Photochromic Goggle Essential for Skiing?
A Photochromic goggle is a crucial item in your winter skiing kit. Not only do they protect your eyes against snow, but they also help you to see clearly in snowy conditions and lights.
These goggles have lenses that adapt their VLT automatically according to the amount of light you have. This is one of the main differences between a regular ski goggle and a photochromic one.
Regular goggles have basic lenses with a single VLT. This means that whenever you want to get the optimal vision in different conditions, you’ll have to change the lens manually.
Photochromic goggles are more advanced goggles, so they can also prevent fogging and insulate your face from the cold, especially when you combine it with a balaclava to cover all your bare skin.
You should also know that photochromic goggles provide excellent protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays are produced by the sun, and they have a substantial ability to pass through the clouds and strike the large stretches of white snow.
While you won’t feel this effect at sea level, due to the white snow, these rays reflect in large amounts into your eyes, which increases its intensity and dangerous effects remarkably.
In fact, according to the American Optometric Association, white snow reflects 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Additionally, for every 1,000 meters you go above sea level, the ultraviolet radiation intensity is increased by a factor of 16%.
Spending long times in snow without proper protection against this immense amount of ultraviolet rays is extremely harmful. First, ultraviolet rays are the main factor for skin cancer, especially melanoma. They can also cause snowblindness and permanent eye damage.
Moreover, they cause photo-aging, in which the skin becomes more wrinkled and blotched due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays.
What is VLT?
VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission. This term refers to the amount of light that the photochromic lens will allow to pass. It’s measured in the percentage of full light.
This means that the higher the percentage, the more light will pass to your eyes, and therefore, brighten your vision. For example, if a regular ski goggle has a Visible Light Transmission of 25%, this means that you’re going to see the world 4 times dimmer than it’s.
This makes a low percentage great for bright and sunny days. Consequently, a ski goggle with a VLT of 75% passes almost all the light, which is ideal for flat or low light conditions, such as dusk, foggy, or cloudy days.
The best thing about photochromic ski goggle is that they have a VLT in a range because unlike regular ones, they can change the amount of light allowed depending on how dark or bright it is.
A perfect photochromic ski goggle should have a VLT range between 15 to 75%. This allows for maximum adaptability and eliminates the need to change the goggle’s lens frequently.
Things to Look For in Photochromic Ski Goggles
Visible light transmission might be one of the most essential features of photochromic ski goggles. However, many manufacturers add some modern features and important specifications to appeal to customers.
Here’s a list of the most important things to put on your radar while shopping for a photochromic ski goggle.
Snow is white and sleek. This makes it highly reflective. As we previously mentioned, white snow reflects about 80% of sunlight’s radiation. This creates a strong glaring effect that can obstruct your vision while skiing.
This is where polarized lenses come to the rescue. Photochromic polarized lenses are coated with a protective layer that prevents the snow from reflecting glare on your eyes.
Not only will this increase visibility and enhance your skiing experience, but it’ll also protect you from accidents caused be obstructed vision due to glares.
Whenever possible, always opt for photochromic ski goggles that feature polarized lenses to prevent glare.
Isolation is one of the important features that many opt for while buying a ski goggle. However, if the goggle completely isolates the air inside the goggle, the trapped air will start to heat up and form steam.
This steam will eventually condense on the inner side of the lens creating foggy lenses, which will obstruct your vision and will require you to take off your goggles to clean it.
That’s why a ski goggle should be partially isolated, allowing for proper ventilation of air in and out. This will help the hot and humid air being exhausted out of the goggles, and keep your goggle crystal clear.
That’s why it’s highly essential to check for the mechanism of ventilation in the goggles and make sure it’s efficient.
Frame and Lens Shape
If you want a clear and wide field of vision, you should go for a spherical lens with a frameless body. This combination extends the peripheral view to the max, so you can enjoy a crystal clear view.
Comfort and Fit
The main point of having photochromic goggles is to be able to ski through changing levels of light, which means you’re going to spend a long time skiing.
Logically, to be able to wear goggles for a long time, they need to be extremely comfortable.
Always check for cushioning and padding on your goggles. A good one will have at least two layers of foam padding or comfortable cushions.
Additionally, go for a fitting goggle with adjustable straps and anti-wiggling silicone beads for a snug fit.
Photochromic ski goggles give you the freedom to have all the fun and let them do the hard work. So, you should think of what you need wisely before going for one.
A photochromic ski goggle should have a good VLT range to work in different light conditions. It should also be well ventilated to avoid the formation of fog. Additionally, it’s essential for the goggle to be comfortable and wiggle-free while gliding through the snow.
For these features and more, Julbo Skydome Photochromic Snow Goggles wins this round in my book. Besides its excellent VLT range of 15 to 72%, it’s also backed by a lifetime warranty.