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The Best Ski Goggles For Flat Light 2022 Helpful Guide

Skiing in flat light can add a whole new set of challenges to skiing. The snow surface is hard to see. You can’t tell where bumps or ruts are in the snow. If your out skiing in a large open bowl it can be very disorienting. Flat light conditions include cloudy days, fog, overcast days, and skiing in the snow. Having the right ski goggles can make skiing in flat light much easier. A lens with the correct VLT and color tint can make a huge difference in how you can see. To help you have your best skiing on flat light days, here are the best ski goggles for flat light skiing.

For flat light skiing, we want a goggle with a lens that has 20-60% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) and yellow, orange, or brown tint. Many goggles are available with different lens options. Please choose the lens option with 20-60% VLT if you want to use it for flat light skiing.

Below are our favorite best ski goggles for flat light skiing. If you’d like an in-depth look at all the options and our helpful guide to ski goggles please look below.

Top Pick

Editor’s Choice

Best Value

Best Swappable Lens

Best Under $50

Oakley Flight Deck

Smith I/O Mag

OutdoorMaster Pro

Giro Contact

Wildhorn Roca

  • High definition visibility from PRIZM lens
  • Rimless design for increased peripheral vision
  • Great anti-fog performance

  • High definition Chromopop lens
  • Most goggles include 2 lens
  • Magnetic lens swapping with latches
  • Easy to swap lenses
  • Many lens and colors to choose from
  • Stylish frameless appearance
  • High performing Vivid lens
  • Includes 2 lens
  • Good ventilation and anti-fog
  • Magnetic lens with side latches
  • Low cost
  • Variety of colors and lenses

The top 5 best ski goggles for flat light skiing

We examined several of the most popular ski goggles for flat light skiing available today.  Here are our reviews of the 5 best options available today.  We considered both price, options, and customer reviews in our selections of the best ski goggles for flat light skiing. Below are our selections.

Please see our ski goggle guide, after the reviews, for a lot of helpful information for choosing a set of ski goggles for flat light conditions.

1 – Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Top Pick

Summary

The Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles are a stylish high performing ski goggle. These have a swappable ski goggle lens. You can have lenses for flat light skiing and other conditions. The goggles only include one lens.

The Oakley Prizm technology helps refract light with higher definition. You can see more definition of the snow and surroundings with a prizm lens than with the naked eye. Choose a lens with a VLT suitable for flat light such as the prizm rose or prizm persimmon. The Oakley F3 anti fog coating is one of the best performing in the industry. The high quality foam around the frame feels great.

The Oakley Flight Deck Goggles are one of the best performing ski goggles today. They are high cost and we wish that a second lens was included for the money. Most other swappable lense goggles include a second lens. If cost is no issue these are great ski goggles for flat light or any skiing conditions. This is our Top Pick for best performing ski and snowboard goggle for flat light skiing.

Who are these for?

Someone who wants the best possible lenses and performance from a stylish brand and is willing to pay for it

What we liked

  • Rimless design for increased peripheral vision
  • Great anti-fog performance
  • High definition visibility from PRIZM lens

What we didn’t like

  • Easily scratch lenses
  • Only one lens included

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: One size fits all
  • VLT: 26% Prizm Rose, 38% Prizm Persimmon
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes

2 – Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle

Editor’s Choice

Summary

The Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggle is a great high performance goggle. The I/O goggles have been around for many years and a proven solid performer. The new magnetic lens swap system is a great addition. The old I/O lens system was not something you could swap in seconds on a chairlift ride or standing on the slopes. You can now swap the lens quickly and easily any time you want. The frameless goggle design gives a great field of view and peripheral vision.

The Chromopop lens technology from Smith Optics gives high definition light refraction. This means you can differentiate colors easier and see better. The Chromopop Storm Rose is a great flat light lens and comes as the extra lens for most Smith I/O goggles. The standard paring is usually a mirrored lens combined low light lens to cover you for most days. These goggles have great ventilation and anti-fogging when combined with a Smith ski helmet.

For people wearing prescription eyewear, the I/O Mag XL is one of the best OTG goggles out there. There is an available photochromic lens option as well for those looking for a photochromic ski goggle.

The Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles are one of the best ski goggles available today. I personally have been using I/O’s for years and have always been satisfied with them in any light condition. These are my pick for best flat light goggles.

Full Review

See our complete detailed review of the Smith I/O Mag ski and snowboard goggles here. See our review of the Smith Mission MIPS helmet here.

Who are these for?

Someone looking for high performance goggle lenses and anti-fog with easy to change lenses

What we liked

  • High definition Chromopop lens
  • Magnetic lens swapping with latches
  • Most goggles include 2 lens

What we didn’t like

  • High cost
  • Easily scratched lenses

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Available in Small, Regular and XL
  • VLT: 50% Chromopop Storm Rose, 65% Chromopop Storm Yellow
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes (XL)

3 – OutdoorMaster Ski Goggles PRO

Best Value

Use the Coupon Code ERO15 for 15% off at OutdoorMaster.com

Summary

The OutdoorMaster Pro Frameless Goggles are a great low cost full feature goggle. They are a really popular skiing goggle. I saw a lot of OutdoorMasters while waiting in the lift lines last winter. These goggles feature a magnetic swapping spherical lens. They are also OTG ski goggles for those of us who wear prescription glasses. They feature a polarized lens for to protect you from UV rays and glare reduction. Only one lens is included with the goggles if you buy them from Amazon. A 2 lens combo is available if you buy them directly from OutdoorMaster. Other lenses are also available separately.

These goggles have a double lens with anti-fog coating and ventilation. Their anti-fog performance is okay but not as good as higher cost ski goggles. The magnets attaching the lens are strong enough to hold the lens on through almost any situation. The spherical lens has high clarity and low distortion. It doesn’t have the great color refraction that the Chromopop/SONAR/Vivid/PRIZM have. For the cost, you still get good performance on flat light condition days.

For the best performance in flat light conditions use the purple (30% VLT) or blue (60% VLT) lens. These goggles are an excellent value. They have most of the performance of more expensive goggles at a much lower price. This makes it our top pick for best value in low light condition goggles.

Full Review

See our detailed review of the OutdoorMaster Pro ski goggles to learn more. See our article OutdoorMaster goggles vs Smith to see how these compare to Smith I/O Mag goggles.

Who are these for?

Someone who wants excellent value with good performing, really easy to swap lenses.

What we liked

  • Variety of styles and lens tints
  • Magnetic quick change lens system
  • Variety of colors and lenses

What we didn’t like

  • Lenses not as good as Oakley Prizm or Smith Chromapop

4 – Giro Contact Snow Goggles

Best Swappable Lens Goggle

Summary

The Giro Contact Snow Goggle is another modern high performance goggle. Giro is a well known and respected maker of goggles and helmets for a variety of action sports. The Contact goggle follows all the current trends. High quality spherical lens, magnetic lens swapping, and good anti-fog performance.

The Giro Vivid lens technology is their version of an improved color refraction lens. It allows you to differentiate snow terrain in low light much better than the naked eye alone. You will get the best performance in flat light conditions with Vivid Infrared lens. The lenses are dual pane and include anti-fog ventilation. The ventilation works best when combined with a Giro helmet.

The goggles use a magnets only system for lens swapping that is fast and easy to use. The magnets are strong and will hold the lens on through almost any fall or chairlift incident. Changing lenses takes just seconds similar to other magnet only systems.

These goggles come with 2 lenses with a variety of tints and frame designs. Be sure you choose one of the options that include the Vivid Infrared lens. These are a solid good performing set of low light ski goggles from a very well respected brand.

Who are these for?

Someone who wants high performing lenses combined with a fast magnetic lens swap system

What we liked

  • Easy to use lens swapping
  • High performing Vivid lens
  • Includes 2 lenses

What we didn’t like

  • High cost
  • Lens anti-fog may degrade after a couple years

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Medium fit
  • VLT: 58% Vivid Infrared
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: No

5 – Wildhorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles

Best Under $50

Summary

The Wildhorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles are a good low cost goggle option. They have spherical lenses with magnetic swapping. They have side latches as well for a little extra lens security. They are designed by skiers and snowboarders in Utah and are a sponsor of the US-Ski Team.

These goggles have dual pane spherical lenses with anti-fog and anti-scratch coating. They scratch as easily as any goggles from Smith, Oakley or Giro. Their anti-fog performance is okay but not as good as Smith or Oakley when used with a compatible helmet. Lens clarity is as good as any regular lens. For flat light use the Blaze or Amber lenses for best performance.

The Wildhorn Roca mag goggles are a good value for a swappable lens goggle with good performance. We wish they included 2 lenses with their goggle frame. Extra lenses are not expensive and readily available. They are a great pick for flat light ski goggle for those not wanting to pay the premium of Smith, Oakley, ANON or Giro.

Who are these for?

Someone looking for a great value with good clarity easy to change lenses.

What we liked

  • Magnetic lens with side latches
  • Low cost
  • Variety of colors and lenses

What we didn’t like

  • Lenses are not polarized
  • Does not include a 2nd lens

Ski Goggle Specifications

  • Sizing: Medium to large fit
  • VLT: 24% S2 Blaze, 22% S2 Amber
  • Dual Pane Lenses: Yes
  • Ventilation: Yes
  • Lens Swapping: Yes
  • OTG: Yes
overcast skiing whistler peak

How to choose the best ski goggles for flat light skiing – Helpful Guide

Skiing in flat light doesn’t have to be a struggle. The right ski goggles can make it easy to see on an overcast or foggy day. When it’s snowing we want to get out and enjoy the powder. Don’t let flat light hard to see conditions stop you from getting the most out of your ski day. The right pair of ski goggles can make flat light skiing much more enjoyable. Ski goggles help keep your face warmer and your eyes protected in addition to making it easier to see. What are the best ski goggles for flat light skiing? We will answer all your questions below.

I’ll start with a note about fit. Everyone’s faces are of different shapes. Ski goggles are different shapes also. What is comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for another person. When picking ski goggles, don’t worry if you get them and they don’t feel good. The shape is probably wrong for you. Send them back and try a different pair.

Below are the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of ski goggles for flat light skiing.

VLT

VLT stands for Visible Light Transmission. This is a measurement of how much visible light a lens will let pass through. A VLT of 99% means 99% of light passes through. A VLT of 15% means only 15% of light passes through. For flat light (overcast, cloudy, foggy, and snowy) skiing we want a VLT between 20% and 60%. A photochromic lens will have a VLT that varies depending on light condition. They will get darker in brighter conditions and lighter in low light. Photochromic goggles are a good all around choice for most ski days. They do carry a higher price tag than a goggle with a normal lens.

The below table shows what VLT should be for different skiing conditions.

VLT for ski goggles table

Lens color

Ski goggles lenses that are light yellow, orange and red shades work better for flat light. Those lens tint colors work better at allowing you to see differences in snow surfaces. Look for ski and snowboard goggles with these shades to get better performance in flat light. A clear lens might seem like the best choice since it lets everything through but everything will look as flat as it did without your goggles. Avoid using a clear lens for anything except night skiing.

Prism, Chromopop, SONAR, and VIVID Technologies

Ski Goggle manufacturers have developed lenses with improved color refraction. These lenses give you better color differentiation and depth perception than the naked eye. This allows you to make out features in the snow and background that you otherwise could not. Each manufacturer has different names for the technology but they all work the same way. These lenses are expensive but their performance in flat light is much better. They provide excellent UV protection at the same time. Below is a list of the flat light lens technology from the most popular ski goggle makers.

  • Smith Chromopop – Storm yellow flash, storm rose flash
  • Anon SONAR – Infrared SONAR, Blue Sonar
  • Oakley PRIZM – hi pink iridium, rose, persimmon
  • Giro VIVID – Infrared, Apex

To learn more about Chromopop and Prizm technologies, see the 2 videos below.

Anti-Fog Performance

Fogged up ski goggles will make it hard to see in any conditions including flat light. We want goggles with strong anti-fog performance. For a ski goggle to have good anti-fog performance it must have dual pane lenses, ventilation and an anti-fog coating.

Lens Shape

Ski goggle lenses come in 2 different shapes. Cylindrical/flat or spherical. Flat or cylindrical lenses are flat along their vertical plane. They curve around your face. Spherical lenses have vertical and horizontal curvature. Spherical lenses are closer to the shape of your eye and will have less visible distortion.

If you have never worn a pair of spherical lens goggles you probably won’t notice the distortion in a cylindrical lens. If you put on a set of ski goggles with a spherical lens you’ll notice everything looks a little more clear. Is this feature necessary? Absolutely not. If your budget conscious you can enjoy skiing just as much with flat lens goggles.

You will occasionally see a toric lens shape mentioned. This is a cross between a spherical lens and a cylindrical lens. Most of the lens is spherical but there are some zones with a cylindrical shape. Smith I/O and 4D lenses along with Anon M4 Toric have a toric shaped lens.

Swappable Lenses

Some ski goggles have swappable lenses. You can keep a low light lens in your pocket to switch to as light and weather change. This is perfect for flat light skiing since you can use the same pair of ski goggles for different light conditions. You can keep a bright light lens and flat light lens with you to swap between. Swappable lens ski goggles have a wide variety of swapping methods. The newer versions using magnets are fast and easy to swap. Older systems that use various latches and notches can be a pain to switch.

The easier it is to swap lenses, the more often you will find yourself switching lenses to the best lens for the conditions.

Appearance

Your ski goggles are an important part of your ski outfit. Everyone wants to look good while skiing. All ski goggles don’t go with all ski outfits. Find a pair of ski goggles that you like the looks of and are comfortable. This is another area where the “Goggle Gap” comes in. It looks bad and will give you a cold forehead if you have too much goggle gap.

OTG – Over The Glasses

OTG or Over The Glasses ski goggles have a thicker frame and cutouts in the foam to accommodate glasses. The frame has to be thick enough so that there is room for a pair of regular glasses inside the goggle frame. The lens from the glasses should not be touching the goggle lens. If they are touching you will rub and scratch both the glasses and goggle lens.

The below video has some helpful tips for choosing ski goggles.

You might also like:

For other types of ski goggles please see our complete ski goggle guide here.

selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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