When trying to figure out the era of a particular photo or video clip, looking at the rider’s goggles can help to narrow it down a little (in the absence of more obvious giveaways like a neon jacket, XXXL-sized pants or Apocalypse snowboard, of course). For something so outwardly simple - strap, frame, lens - there’s been a surprising amount of variation over the years.
One minute it was sleek lenses that merely covered the eyes (a la James Bond), the next it was massive frames with chunky venting that were de rigeur. Then there was the ‘frameless’ revolution… and so on.
"The leading brands have entered into a lens-tech arms race of sorts, each in pursuit of the best possible visuals"
The good news is that as trends and go, goggle makers continue to improve the functionality of their wares. In the last couple of winters the leading brands have entered into a lens-tech arms race of sorts, each in pursuit of the best possible visuals whilst reducing eye fatigue. There’s no denying that the result is the best range of snowboard goggles in history.
Lens changing systems vary, but on the whole they too have come on in leaps and bounds. Magnets, levers and buttons can all be called upon to get you adapting to the changing conditions in seconds.
That’s a great feature, but more important is the ventilation system. The moisture that naturally escapes your skin needs somewhere to go, otherwise you’re in for some serious fogging. Good goggles should have enough vents to deal with this, as well as comfy foam that won’t irritate your skin.
Among the other features to look out for are anti-warp lenses that don’t get distorted as you change altitude, frame size (every head is different, after all) and helmet compatibility. If you rock a lid, the last thing you want is the dreaded ‘gaper gap’.
Which ones you go for will depend on various things, such as your preferred style of frame and lens, as well as your budget. The good news is that there’s so much to choose from, you’re bound to come across a model that suits you.
Here’s what’s dropping in 2017/18:
Scroll down to view all snowboard helmets, or skip to a particular brand using the links below
Click any image to enlarge
Anon M2 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
This beast of a features strategically-placed magnets all around the hidden frame, giving you that jet-pilot look and the easiest lens-changing system out there.
The lens pops out with a gentle squeeze, but will stay firmly where it should while you’re on the hill.
That’s just one of the Anon M2’s amazing features; check out our full review to find out more.
Anon M3 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
For those who want their Magna-Tech on a cylindrical lens wrapped up in a stylish visible frame, the M3 would be the one to choose.
Also pick up an MFI facemask for unbeatable protection from the elements. The integration is second to none, and your face will have never been happier on the hill.
Dragon D1 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
With a strong retro look, the Dragon D1 is a chunkier alternative to those super-sleek futuristic designs that don’t sit well with everyone.
It’s also unbelievably good value for money, especially with Dragon’s new Lumalens tech.
The D1 is among our top picks for 2017/18, so check out our in-depth review to see if it’s right for you.
Dragon D3 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The D3 boasts much of the same great tech as the D1, but with a spherical lens rather than a cylindrical one.
Should you wear glasses when you ride, there’s plenty of room, and you can pimp it out with auto-changing Transitions lenses if you like.
Dragon NFX Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
This classic frameless cylindrical goggle is largely unchanged for 2017/18, which is a good thing in our book.
You still get the quality armoured venting that keeps your vision uninterrupted whatever happens on the slopes, with help from the lens vents too.
It’s also ideal for those who prefer a larger-fitting model.
Dragon NFX2 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Changing lenses doesn’t get much easier than the ‘Swiftlock’ system found on the Dragon NXF2 - just flick the levers on each side and you’re away.
They look the part too, with a subtle frame and large cylindrical lens. There’s also signature colourways available for the likes of Jamie Lynn, Danny Davis and Forest Bailey.
Dragon X1 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The original Frameless goggle continues to impress us, and with new Lumalens tech it’s better than ever in 2017/18.
The model seen here features a Transitions lens, which automatically adjusts to the light. For the ideal blend of convenience and quality, look no further.
Dragon X2 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The Swiftlock system is also found on the X2, Dragon’s largest frameless goggle.
For those who want the best possible field of vision, it’s definitely one to consider - especially if you also like durable armoured venting and comfy microfleece-lined face foam.
Not into the size? No worries; just look for the scaled-down Dragon X2s model.
Electric Charger XL Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
This new, larger take on the classic Charger has all the benefits of the original.
As eye-catching as it is eye-protecting, the Electric Charger XL looks like it should cost way more than its modest price tag. A truly great-value goggle, this one.
Electric EG3.5 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Electric are no stranger to the large frameless goggle either, but the Electric EG3.5 is a downsized take on their EG3.
With the new ‘Brose lens’ sitting on a tough-yet lightweight urethane foundation, there’s not much room for improvement here.
Unless you really like a large-fitting model, the EG3.5 has you covered.
Electric EGX Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Electric’s only frameless cylindrical design has a seriously sleek look, with no visible vents on the lens.
You still get excellent anti-fogging with the Electric EGX, though, thanks to the array on top, and the Press Seal Technology offers up a unique lens-changing system at a lower cost than some of its competitors.
Electric Electrolite Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The clue’s in the name; this is Electric’s lightest goggle - and perhaps the lightest you’ll find anywhere.
With a pure silicon strap and malleable EVA frame, you’ll barely notice that you’re wearing it.
The lens is also really flexible, allowing you to literally fold the Electrolite in half.
Giro Blok Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The Giro Blok is a favourite of the pro team, which is hardly surprising given its combination of performance and style.
Backed by new Vivid lenses, the Blok is an excellent mid-priced model that serves up excellent definition and comfort.
Giro Contact Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Giro have also been tinkering with magnet-based lens changing systems, and the ‘Snapshot’ is as conventient as they come.
Press the button to release the lens, and let the magnets do their thing to get the new one in place - simple.
As for the rest of the Contact, it’s a badass-looking spherical goggle that gives you an amazing field of view.
Head Solar FMR Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
It may not be brimming with as much tech as others on this list, but the Head Solar FMR represents unbelievable value.
It’s comfortably the lowest-priced pair in our guide, yet our testers weren’t left wanting in any area of performance.
An absolute steal.
Oakley A-Frame 2.0 Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The favourite of Shaun White among others, the iconic Oakley A-Frame still features front vents for reliable clarity in all conditions.
Those needing a larger frame may want to look elsewhere, but for any medium-sized heads the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 remains a fine choice.
Oakley Airbrake XL Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Another long-serving workhorse of the Oakley range, the Airbrake XL is here again for 2017/18.
The lens changing system is both simple and reassuring in its operation - you won’t ever feel like it might crap out on you.
The almost-frameless design is a winner too, making the Airbrake XL as strong as ever.
Oakley Canopy Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The large, spherical lens of the Oakley Canopy sits inside a great-looking frame that maintains its properties even in the coldest of temperatures.
Trustworthy lens-mounted vents keep the misting at bay, and there’s even room underneath for a pair of specs if that’s what you require.
Oakley Fall Line Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
This new model for 2017/18 is an evolution of the popular Line Miner goggle.
Not quite frameless, it’s got a style all of its own, as well as a simple, effective lens changing system.
With a Prizm lens in place, you can expect amazing performance from the Oakley Fall Line.
Oakley Flight Deck Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Torstein Horgmo’s goggle of choice is an oversized spherical beast that, as the name suggests, takes its influence from fighter pilot helmets.
This is way more comfortable, though, and won’t get you as many odd looks as one of those flip-down visors would earn you…
Frameless and easy to switch up, the Flight Deck is a winner.
Oakley Line Miner Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
Popular with pipe slayers Chloe Kim and Scotty James, the Oakley Line Miner gives you no shortage of peripheral vision despite the sleek frame and cylindrical lens.
You can also kit it out with a battery-powered heater system to ensure you never, ever get lens fog. Ever.
Smith I/O Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
This premium goggle inspired a whole range in the Smith line, but for many the original is still the best.
With the high-quality ChromaPop lenses, you’ll get great definition whatever the weather. Changing the lens is a quick, easy and extremely satisfying process too.
Von Zipper ALT-XM Snowboard Goggles 2017-2018
The ALT-XM is aimed at the rider who, were it not for the long-term damage it could potentially cause, would prefer not to bother with goggles.
It’s a hybrid of sunglasses and goggles, designed with weight saving in mind to give you as anonymous a feel as possible.
You really might forget you’re wearing them, which for some will be a result.