Even back in the days of Captain Scott and the race to the South Pole, people realised that snow could be bad for your eyesight. Scott and co. may have finished a plucky second (in the approved British fashion) and died in the attempt, but at least they had goggles to stop themselves from getting snow-blindness. Today’s goggles thankfully are more sophisticated than Scott’s, which apparently had lenses “cut from a piece of wood" (no joke!) but they essentially serve the same purpose – to protect your eyes from the glare of reflected sunlight. Here we test four of the finest pairs available.
[part title="Dragon - D1"]
Lens: Red ion
Pros: Firstly, the price. This is a bargain for a good pair of goggles, especially given that Dragon always throw in a spare lens (in this case a low-light one). Their low profile means they’re light too - the opposite of a massive gangster shape.
Cons: These don’t offer the widest field of vision, and the lens is the old school type – it takes a bit of wrangling to pop it in and out when you want to change it.
[part title="DYE - T1 Bjorn Leines Pro"]
DYE T1 BJORN LEINES PRO
Lens: Smoke silver
Pros: The T1 frame is lightweight but still pretty wide, offering excellent peripheral vision. This polarized lens is great in bright light, and it comes with a spare rose-tinted one for grey-bird days.
Cons: Although their lens-switching system is slightly less complicated than the classic one, it’s still not the quickest.
[part title="Oakley - Splice"]
Lens: H.I. Persimmon
Pros: The Splice is a large, wide frame offering great all-round vision. Like most Oakley goggles this features their ‘O-Flow arch’, a bit of reinforced plastic over the nose that’ll stop even the hardest slams from crushing your nostrils and stopping you breathing.
Cons: Oakley don’t throw in extra lenses free of charge, so although the H.I Persimmon one here is pretty versatile, you’ll have to spend another £30 if you want a spare.
[part title="Smith - I/0X"]
Lens: Ignitor mirror
Pros: These are the largest goggles we tested, so offer the best peripheral vision. The strap is also very easy to adjust and has a handy clip mechanism so you can take it off without having to mess up your beanie. There’s a spare lens, and the changing mechanism is pretty quick too.
Cons: They’re quite pricey and anyone with a smaller face will be slightly lost in these – they’re big. Great if you’re going for the gangster look, not so good for women or children.