We all had a good chuckle last year when, talking up the benefits of his latest goggle, legendary pro Jake Blauvelt summed up his thoughts thusly: “if you can’t see… you can’t snowboard."
Poetry it ain’t – but he’s right, obviously; Mother Nature has ruined many a day on the hill by throwing up blizzards, fog, flat light or – ironically – blazing sunshine. If you’ve not got the right eye protection for the conditions, expect to have a tough time.
"A well-ventilated, comfortable pair of goggles has the potential to become your most useful bit of kit"
Fortunately it’s easy to stay one step ahead, thanks to the vast range of snowboard goggles and lenses available on the market. A well-ventilated, comfortable pair has the potential to become your most useful bit of kit, especially if it’s easy to swap the lens out and swap a dark sunny-day one for a tinted low-light one when the conditions dictate.
Nowadays you can also get models with lenses that automatically lighten and darken, like those of a fighter pilot (but without the flip-down element, thankfully).
As with everything else in this game, shop around and try and get your hands on as many pairs as you can before handing over any dough. Also do some research on how to get the most out of your pair - for example, read our tips on how to stop goggles from fogging.
Without further ado, here are the best goggles to look out for in 2015/16:
Scroll through the list to your heart's content, or skip to your favourite brand using the links below.
All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi
Production: Ed Blomfield / Mike Brindley / Andrew Duthie / Sami Tuoriniemi
Anon M3 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Click any image to enlarge
Anon have really got their magnetic lens change system dialed, and you need look no further than the Anon M3 for a prime example.
Nine connection points keep the lens firmly in place, with an additional four for attaching the included MFI facemask – satisfying ‘clicks’ come as standard.
Anon Mig Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
The Anon MIG goggles are a fully frameless option that are oversized enough to fit over glasses, and also come with Anon’s MFI facemask and rare earth attachment points.
The spherical lenses snap into place quickly, and you’ll get a spare for greybird days, alongside your choice of heaps of tints for blue skies; and all lenses come with antifog tech to keep warm moist air away when the weather comes in.
Snapback tech provides a low-profile alternative for under-helmet comfort – and non-slip silicone grips should keep the goggles locked in place however you choose to wear them.
Anon Deringer Women's Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
A ladies’ model with a super-wide field of vision – the Anon Deringer looks and feels like modern classic.
They’re big enough to fit over glasses, and thanks to venting around the entire circumference you should find that foggy goggle days are a thing of the past.
As with the other two men’s frames we’ve picked out this year, you’ll get the MFI magnetically attaching facemask for perfectly sealed protection against the elements, without compromising your vision; and as with the MIG, their snapback fastening is ready to work under your helmet too.
Dragon NFX2 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
The SwiftLock tech on the new Dragon NFX2 goggles is genuinely quick, with two switches either side of the frame that flick up so you can adapt to the conditions in seconds.
The large-frame design may be familiar to fans of Danny Davis, and his signature colourway that you see here is sure to go down a storm.
Dragon X1s Goggles 2015-2016
Shrink down the oversized Dragon X1 goggles for smaller faces, and you’ll find yourself with the new Dragon X1s – seen here in the signature colourway of Gigi Rüf.
Spherical, snap-in lenses still give a more than satisfactory field of vision, and in-lens venting combines with the shielded vents at the side of the frame to keep things clear without hassle.
Cap it off with hypoallergenic lining on the three-layer foam, and silicone grip in the strap, and you’ve got everything you could possibly need.
Dragon X2 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
As big a field of vision as Dragon have on offer, and SwiftLock tech that make lens changing as quick as possible – the Dragon X2 is definitely one for fans of the oversized frameless look.
Anti-fog treatment and armoured venting keep your vision clear, while added comfort comes from the triple layer hypoallergenic foam padding.
Electric EG3 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
If you’re looking to go for an oversized frameless design, the Electric EG3 is up there with the biggest.
Fitted with a press-locked spherical lens, you’ll find a couple of GI Joe colourways in this year’s collab if that’s your thing – if not, there are plenty of options, all teched out with anti-fog, anti-glare and anti-reflective kit.
Electric EG3.5 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Similar to the EG3 in all ways other than size, the Electric EG3.5 is less tall lens to fit well with smaller faces.
It’s still designed to sit flush with helmets, and features the same push-in lens change system. It's a slightly more compact package overall though, so it’ll be less overwhelming if you have small facial features.
Electric EGX Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Combine the EGV silhouette with a frameless design akin to the EG3, and you have yourself the Electric EGX goggles.
Press the cylindrical lenses into place on these and they’ll seal and stay locked through tough slams – but thanks to their ultra-wide field of vision, you shouldn’t have any problem seeing what’s coming your way.
As with the EG3, the dual layer lenses feature anti-fog and anti-scratch coating to give you durable protection from the sun. Spare lenses come as standard too.
Giro Contact Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Brand new for this season, the Giro Contact goggles are packed with tech! To maximise lens-change speed, they have aligning magnets and a secure locking system – and that’s just for starters.
Lenses by Zeiss fit nicely in the semi-frameless design, which features EXV construction, pulling the lens closer to your face to give a low-profile look, but with a wide field of view.
Made to integrate perfectly with Giro helmets, they’re anti-fog treated, and come with triple layer, fleece-lined foam for comfort.
Nike Command Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Speaking of Transitions, the Nike Command comes in a spherical design and is one of the frames that has helped push the new lens tech forward in recent years.
Of course the goggles are also available with a range of more-traditional two lens combos. All of the Command options come with quick bracket lens changing and a large field of view, with anti-fog (and anti-scratch) lenses.
Nike Fade Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Unfortunately wearing the Nike Fade Sage Kotsenburg signature colourway won’t instantly give you the snowboarding powers of the man himself – but at least with this design you’ll get your own little bit of gold to take home.
Built with a flexible design for comfort and fit, they’re also compatible with Transitions lenses which will do the job if you’re after an adaptive all-in-one goggle.
Oakley Flight Deck XM Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Another new release for this season, the Oakley Flight Deck XM is a scaled down version of the oversized Flight Deck, for riders who like the look and feel of the original, but need it taken down a size to make it work.
You’ll find the same border-free design on the spherical lenses here, with enough room to comfortably fit glasses underneath – and the dual layer anti-fog lenses themselves are available in Prizm options for exceptional contrast perception when you’re charging fast and need to see the details.
Quiksilver Hubble RL Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Cousin to the framed Hubble goggles, the Quiksilver Hubble RL are a frameless set with colourways sported by Travis Rice.
Giving 160° peripheral vision, you won’t be struggling to see out of the sides of these, and a snap in system lets you change between lenses so you can always use the right tool for the job.
Roxy Popscreen Women's Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
If you’re looking for a ladies’ frameless goggle design that doesn’t break the bank, the Roxy Popscreen fits the bill and has plenty of colour combinations to choose from too.
Oversized spherical design comes with double layer foam and fleece for comfort. You may not get a change of lens, but that’s represented in the price.
Roxy Sunset Art Series Women's Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Another set of Roxy goggles on the less expensive end of the spectrum, the Roxy Sunset Art Series are part of a series of items with this eye-catching zig-zag colourway for the coming season.
The classic framed design features a distortion free and shatter resistant spherical lens, which has a photochromic treatment that reacts to sudden increases in light; and simple single density foam with fleece lining provides enough comfort and padding for riders with less demanding needs.
Shred Monocle Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Pay no heed to the name folks, the Shred Monocle won’t have you looking like a gent from the 1800s – instead, it’s a wide angled cylindrical set of goggles with a massive lens for optimum visibility.
Backed by a no-distortion guarantee, the lenses are not only anti-fog but also feature top vents in the lenses with water repellent treatment to prevent clogging and keep air flowing freely.
Despite their size, Shred have made the monocle to work well with all sorts of helmets, and multilayered foam is tapered to give an ergonomic fit when they sit on your face.
Smith I/O Women's Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
With a quick clip in system to hold them in place, and a double latched interchangeable lens, the Smith I/O is a medium fit set of goggles, again with the spherical frameless design.
Highly recommended for an excellent helmet fit – especially with Smith’s line – you shouldn’t find fogging or distortion a problem here thanks to multi-layered lens tech. There's a men's version available too.
Smith I/O7 Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Wide and spherical without being too overwhelming, the Smith I/O7 first came in a couple of seasons back to celebrate seven years since Smith’s first frameless goggle with interchangeable lenses.
Offering a pretty unique dual-axis outrigger system amongst a large pile of top of the line features, it’s not hard to see why it continues to be popular today.
Spy Ace Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
The Spy Ace goggles (seen here in Louie Vito’s personal colourway) come with lens options that are part of Spy’s ‘Happy Lens’ line, designed to give you positive vibes all day as you ride. Relaxing the eyes by making changes in terrain clearer, among other claims…
Make of that what you will, but there’s little doubting that the Spy Ace have got the goods technically – which is bound to keep you cheery in the long run.
The mid size lenses (which were actually quite ample to our eyes), are anti-fog injected, dual layered and scratch resistant, a come with a spare that can be swapped using the Quick Draw system.
Von Zipper JetPack Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Minimal rim, maximum lens – the Von Zipper Jetpack goggles are built on a simple concept with a clean design, giving seemingly limitless parameters in terms of vision.
Moisture wicking fleece keeps them comfortable, while helping out the anti-fog system. Plus the hard coating will provide resistance to scratches when you’re whipping through the trees.
Zeal Forecast Snowboard Goggles 2015-2016
Regardless of what the met office has to say, the Zeal Forecast goggles are ready to tackle a long stream of days out on the mountain.
Built on a classic frame with a few modern tweaks, the Forecast comes with plenty of premium polarised options to reduce glare, and each colourway has its own lens pairing for different conditions.
Built with spherical lenses and a frame that’s meant to last, Zeal test all their own kit out of their base in Boulder, Colorado – so you can bet this is made with serious mountain time in mind.