How cool is this? You’re hitting the slopes while it’s pitch dark outside, there’s almost no one to be seen, only the snow and sleeping animals to keep you company. Night skiing is, by all means, a wonderful experience, who can deny this?
But as wonderful and adventurous as it sounds, night skiing can also be dangerous, especially if you’re not seeing where you’re skiing! That’s why good eyewear, and in particular snow goggles, are essential.
Not all snow goggles are suited to go night skiing, you probably won’t see a single thing if you go night skiing with the same goggles you use for skiing in the sun. You might be inclined to just go skiing without them, because why not? Well, snow goggles are crucial protection for your eyes, even at night, since they do so much more than just blocking the sun.
Where to find these night ski goggles, you ask? Well, in this post I’ll give you an overview of my top 3 when it comes to goggles for night skiing. All three goggles are different in functionality and budget, suitable for different people. It’s up to you to see which one fits you best!
Let’s dive into it!
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Best night ski goggles
Oakley Flight Deck™ Snow Goggles
The Oakley Flight Deck snow goggles are definitely a top choice, both for regular skiing as well as for night skiing. The Flight Deck series is inspired by the helmet visors of fighter pilots, meaning these goggles maximize your field of view. Oakley’s Ridgelock Lens Change System also makes it super easy to switch lenses so that you only need one pair of goggles for your ski trip.
For night skiing, take the Prizm Snow Clear lens with 64% light transmission (VLT). This clear lens is perfect for a very snowy, overcast day but can also be used for night skiing. Some great benefits about the Oakley Flight Deck goggles with their lenses are the glare reduction (also very useful at night when skiing under spots) and the anti-fog coating so that your view remains clear!
These goggles exist in both medium sizes and large sizes so you can choose what fits your face best.
- easily switch between lenses
- glare-reduction technology
- anti-fog coating
- large field of view
- UV protection
- 64% VLT is on the lower side
Wildhorn Pipeline Snow Goggles
You know that a product is good when it is used by the Olympic US ski & snowboard team, right? With this title under their name, it’s impossible to ignore the quality of Wildhorn snow goggles.
The Wildhorn Pipeline snow goggles give you the widest view possible and with their magnetic system, it’s easy to change your day lenses for their clear lens with 82% VLT, perfect for night skiing.
What’s more, the goggles offer 100% UV protection, 70 lens combos, and are fog resistant. But the best part? They are more affordable than for example Oakley goggles. However, if you want to include the clear lens, that price difference might not be as large.
- clear lens with 82% VLT
- 100% UV protection
- lots of lens combinations
- reasonable price
- fog resistant
- used by the US ski & snowboard team
- wide view
- you need to buy the clear lens separately
Smith Cariboo OTG Snow Goggles
Do you really want the clearest view with the highest light transmission? Then you’ll want to opt for the Smith Cariboo OTG snow goggles with their clear lens. This lens gives you a whopping 89% VLT, perfect for skiing at night!
Great about these goggles is that they are specially designed for people who wear glasses (OTG) so can be sure that your glasses fit in these goggles! Plus, the anti-fog technology ensures a clear view at all times.
The best thing about these snow goggles? They are very affordable! Although they lack the fancy extras of the previous two pairs of goggles, they definitely have a good price-quality ratio. And who needs those fancy extras anyway?
If you don’t need the OTG functionality, but you do want an even more affordable pair of goggles with the same light transmission, then I recommend also looking at Smith’s Cascade Classic!
- highest VLT with 89%
- very affordable
- OTG – specially designed for glasses
- anti-fog dual lenses
- not possible to switch lenses
- no wide view
- no glare reduction
What to look for in night ski goggles
When you’re buying goggles for night skiing, it’s important to take into account certain features. These will have a great impact on your visibility and overall comfort when night skiing so you better take note of them! Below, I listed the most important features to look at.
Also called Visible Light Transmission, VLT determines how much light a lens lets through to your eyes. A lower percentage means that the lens does not let a lot of light through. Hence, lower VLT lenses are perfect for sunny conditions. A high percentage means that the lens lets a lot of light through. These higher VLT lenses are perfect for snowy/dark conditions.
Thus, if you’re looking for goggles to go night skiing, it is important to choose those with a high VLT, ideally above 60% – 80%. Most of the time, these night ski goggles will have clear lenses as opposed to colored lenses.
Multiple lenses – swapping possibilities
I suppose that you don’t only ski at night. Therefore, it can be useful to buy ski goggles with the possibility to swap lenses. Most brands have a certain magnetic click system to change lenses. Ideally, you make sure to have a night skiing (clear) lens, a lens for sunny weather conditions, and one for snowy weather conditions.
If you don’t feel like owning too many lenses then you can always opt for a photochromic lens that adapts to the weather conditions! But then you still need a separate lens for night skiing though.
Field of view
When skiing or snowboarding you don’t want your field of view to be blocked on the side. However, most cheaper goggles limit your field of view. Therefore, you want to make sure that the goggles you buy have features that enhance your view.
Generally, there are three types of lens shapes that determine your view. Spherical lenses are curved and provide the most accurate view. Cylindrical lenses are flatter meaning that the field of view is wider, but might also be a little distorted. Recently, a new type of shape has entered the market. Toric lenses are a combination of both cylindrical and spherical lenses that offer you the wide view from the former and the optical correctness of the latter. Therefore, if you have the choice, I would opt for goggles with a toric lens.
Comfort & fit
When wearing your ski goggles it’s important that they fit your face well and are comfortable to wear. Therefore, I cannot stress enough how important it is to fit your goggles before going on the slopes. If you can, visit a physical store to fit or order online and make sure you can return them if they don’t fit well.
Also, make sure to check whether the goggles fit your helmet and your glasses if applicable. Some ski goggles also come in different sizes. Depending on the size of your head and face, you might want to choose different types of goggles.
Compatibility with glasses
As mentioned before, if you wear glasses, it is wise to check whether your goggles fit over them. When researching you’ll see that this is called OTG in ski goggle terms, meaning Over The Glasses. Whenever you see this mentioned as a feature, it means you can be pretty sure that the goggles will fit over your glasses.
There’s nothing more annoying than hitting the slopes and not seeing a single thing because your goggles get all fogged up. Believe me, I’ve been there! Thus, besides VLT, this is probably the most important feature to look at!
When looking at the description of ski goggles, you’ll see that most brands mention their anti-fog technologies. If they don’t mention it, it’s usually a red flag. Most of the time good anti-fog goggles will have ventilation holes below and above to let air flow through and a special coating on the lens. Take note of this!
The main reason for buying ski goggles is that you don’t want to hurt your eyes. Even at night when bright spots might light up the slopes. Therefore, you want to make sure that your goggles and lenses have UVA / UVB / UVC and blue light protection. This is especially important if you also want to wear your night ski goggles in snowy/cloudy weather conditions during the day.
You know that annoying sight when bright light is reflecting in your lenses and distorting your view? Well, that’s exactly what you’re avoiding when using goggles with glare reduction! This is more of an advanced feature for the snow goggles of a higher price category, but definitely something to take into account when buying snow goggles for night skiing!
What color goggles are best for night skiing?
For night skiing, you want to have the highest VLT possible which often translates into clear goggles without color. However, color also has some benefits such as the increase of contrast which might help to see bumps on the slope, etc. This reduces the effects of flat light. Thus, I would say, test it out!
Is it okay to ski without goggles?
Short answer: no. You might be tempted to go skiing at night without goggles but snow goggles do so much more than just blocking the sun! They protect your eyes against damage through snow, wind, cold and stupid accidents. So goggles are crucial for skiing, night skiing included.
I hope that this guide was useful to you in choosing the perfect goggles for night skiing. Whichever goggles you choose, I’m sure they will give your eyes the best vision and protection to have fun in the dark!
If you have experience with one of these snow goggles or want to make another recommendation, feel free to comment below!