“Endless Rush Outdoors is reader supported. We may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase through links from this site.”

Smith Frontier Goggles Review & Test – Great Cheap Ski Goggles

Cheap ski goggles that have good lenses in flat light, big field of view, and lots of comfort.

Smith Frontier snow goggles review

Top Pick – Best Ski Goggles Under $50


Manufacturer and Model: Smith Maze MIPS
List Price: $50
Available from: Smith, Curated, REI, Amazon & more

Overall Score

81/100
Lens Clarity8.0


Field of View9.0


Flat Light Performance9.0


Anti-fog Performance8.0


Lens Swapping6.0


Comfort8.5


Summary

The Smith Frontier goggles are the cheapest ski goggle from Smith Optics. They still have all the great qualities Smith is known for. They do not have ChromaPop lenses but still have some color filtering. They have better than average clarity and low distortion for a flat sheet lens. Their low profile frames give them a wide field of view on par witih most expensive goggles. They have single layer face foam but are still very comfortable to wear. They don’t have any form of swappable lens. Overall, we were surprised at how good they were for a $50 ski goggle.

What we liked:

  • Low cost
  • Good performing lens in flat light
  • Wide field of view
  • Stylish cylindrical lens look
  • Great anti-fog performance
  • Durable construction
  • Includes microfiber bag for cleaning and storage
  • Environmentally friendly packaging

What we didn’t like:

  • No swappable lenses
  • Only single layer face foam

Smith Frontier Product Image

Specifications

  • Lens Type – Cylindrical
  • Fit – Medium
  • Included Lens – 1
  • Interchangable Lens – No
  • Accessories – Microfiber bag

Smith Frontier goggles review and test

The Frontier is the cheapest ski goggle in the Smith product range. It is a basic entry level ski goggle but still brings the performance Smith is known for. It doesn’t have features such as magnetic interchangeable lenses. It does have good lenses, anti-fog performance, and field of view. 

Frontier goggles are considered medium fit for sizing. They are available in regular and low bridge fit versions.

We picked up a pair of Smith Frontier goggles from our local Dick’s Sporting Goods shop. We chose the French Navy with Ignitor Mirror lens. This lens is a good flat light lens. The ski conditions we experience the most here in the Michigan are flat overcast skies. This was the best choice for a 1 lens goggle. 

Frontier static display

Price

The Smith Frontier Snow Goggles retail for $40-$50 depending on the lens option. They are available with 14 different lens and strap options.

Appearance

These goggles have a basic cylindrical lens with rubber frame. They look like what you expect a no frills basic ski goggle to look like. The frame is low profile and doesn’t stand out a lot. 

The frame are available in 5 color options. Black, Charcoal, French Navy, Lava and White. Our review goggles are French Navy.

Smith Frontier on chairlift

Lens

The Frontier goggles use Smith’s Carbonic-X lens material. It is a basic flat cylindrical lens cut from a flat sheet of material. It is constant thickness without any of the more advanced features of the Squad goggle which has a tapered injection molded lens. The Frontier lenses are not labeled as ChromaPop lenses. They do have some color filtering going on. The view is slightly orange from the inside like all the ChromaPop lenses. They have the Smith Fog-X anti-fog coating. 

Frontier lens color filtering

On the mountain, the goggles performed better than I expected for their price. The lenses had good clarity and very few reflections inside. The frame is low profile giving them a very good field of view. The field of view isn’t as giant as the Smith 4D Mag but it’s as good as any cylindrical or spherical goggle out there.

The Frontier goggles are available with 5 different lens options. The lenses and their VLT’s are:

  • Blue sensor mirror – 60%
  • Green Sol-X Mirror – 12%
  • Ignitor Mirror – 35%
  • RC36 – 36%
  • Red Sol-X Mirror – 17%

If you ski primarily in bright sunny conditions, the 2 Sol-X Mirror lenses will be your best choices. If you ski in hazy flat overcast conditions the most then the Ignitor Mirror or RC36 are your best choices. The Blue Sensor Mirror 60% lens is best for dark cloudy conditions or night skiing.

UV Protection

All Smith snow goggles have 100% UV400 protection. Even their cheapest goggle will keep your eyes safe from harmful UV rays on the mountain.

Frame

The Frontier has a basic flexible frame that does a good job of flexing around your face contour. On the insides, it has a single layer face foam. This is one noticeable area where Smith chose to cut corners. Almost every set of cheap ski goggles on Amazon has triple layer foam these days. 

The frames are low profile which helps the goggle have really good field of view. 

Frontier face foam

Anti-fog features

These goggles have all the basic needs to stay fog free. They have a good anti-fog coating on the inside, dual pane lenses, good ventilation, and face foam. The low profile frame and cylindrical lens won’t be as good at defogging as a thicker spherical lens goggle. They won’t look like you are wearing a space helmet either. We didn’t notice any tendency towards fogging while skiing with them. Any fog that did occur while standing around cleared right up when we started skiing.

We haven’t had any trouble with fogging while using these goggles on the mountain. They do a good job of staying clear.

Flat light performance

We have skied with the Frontier on the finest overcast midwest day where the light was very flat. I skied with the Frontier for a couple hours and then switched to a set of Smith 4D Mag goggles with their low light ChromaPop lens. The Smith 4D goggles with their ChromaPop lens brought out a little more depth and clarity but not much. The Ignitor mirror lens did a really good job of bringing out the detail in the snow surface. I would say that the Frontier’s with Ignitor lens are a really good very cheap flat light ski goggle.

Frontier fit with vantage helmet

Comfort

The Frontier’s only have a single layer face foam instead of the normal 3 layers. They were still very comfortable to wear. They do not have the ultra soft inner layer that high end Smith goggles have. I could tell the difference in a blind test between the Fronteir’s with a set of Smith I/O or 4D. I would fail a blind taste test between the Frontier goggle and any other goggle that didn’t have the extra soft inner layer.

Helmet Compatibility

The strap on the Frontier goggle is long enough to comfortably go around a size large ski helmet but just barely. I used them with an Smith Vantage size XL. I had to lengthen the strap as much as it could go. The shape and size of the goggle works well with the helmet with no gap at all. The Frontier goggles will work well with most ski helmets. Their smaller profile frame means they won’t stick out from underneath the brim of most ski helmets.

Frontier side view

Packaging

Smith is using their new sustainable packaging with the Frontiers. They now come in a plain box without any plastic windows or plastic coatings. I really appreciate this change from Smith. We go through a lot of gear here doing reviews and end up throwing away an amazingly large amount of packaging waste. Anytime any manufacturer sticks to recyclable or reusable packaging it’s a stop in the right direction.

Smith Frontier packaging
Smith Frontier Goggles
Smith Frontier Product Image

See Best Deals!

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

The Smith Frontier goggles are a great value for $50 ski goggles.  They give you good performing lenses, anti-fog features, and comfort. They don’t have fancy swappable lenses or more advanced lens shapes. If you are just starting out skiing you don’t need that yet. If you are looking for your first set of ski goggles, check out the Smith Frontier.

Check our guide to the best ski goggles under $50 for other good cheap ski goggle options.

You might also like:

Ski Author

Craig Roberts
Staff Writer | Skiing

Craig grew up in Northern Michigan and spends an unhealthy amount of time these days skiing at Mount Bohemia. He has been known to take more than a trip or 2 out west. His favorite ski destination is Whistler, BC where he goes almost every year. He loves glade skiing and alpine bowls. Craig is a big fan of stand up paddleboarding and camping in the summer. If he can’t be on the mountains he’s out in the woods or on the water.

craig@endlessrushoutdoors.com