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Is It Better to Wear Goggles or Sunglasses When Skiing

  • Filip 

Ski goggles provide more protection to wind and snow but are a bit bulkier than ski sunglasses. Both goggles and glasses will protect you from the sun. Goggles keeps you warmer on cold days in the slopes and goggles are often the preferred choice for alpine/downhill skiers. Skiing sunglasses are often seen used by cross country skiers.

Ski goggles

Skiing can be an incredible adventure sport to indulge in. It requires a lot of skill and balance to be able to maneuver your skis through different types of terrains covered in snow. Thousands of people all over the world travel to ski resorts and other adventure destinations where they can take part in this thrill and heart racing activity. However, as is in case with most adventure sports, skiing also requires special clothing and gear. This is to ensure that the person does not get hurt in case of a fall or impact with obstacles.

Ski goggles or sunglasses are an important part of a ski gear. These accessories are important to improve overall performance and also protect your eyes at the same time. There has been a lot of debate on choosing the better of the two; goggles or sunglasses. In this article we shall talk about choosing the best option for your eye safety. Read on to find out more.

Importance of ski goggles or sunglasses

Ski sunglasses or googles are an essential piece of accessory to protect your eyes from the rays of the sun. It also acts as a shield to protect your eyes from snow glare. Skiing takes place usually in high altitudes. Thus, the UV rays of the sun are much stronger and the reflection of the sun from the snow is brighter. Lenses of these two should be polarized to protect from the harmful UV rays. This ensures the skier sees colors more vividly and has a perception of the surrounding terrain.

The lens should also be chromatic in nature to be able to adjust to different light conditions ideally. This helps to give a clear view of the landscape and thus minimize chances of accidents. Snow can also sting when you are moving at a fast pace and can hurt your eyes if it comes in contact with it. Thus, these two accessories help to keep a clear vision when you are navigating down the slope. They form an important part of a skiing gear which keep the skier’s eyes safe and helps them to ski more safely.

The debate between googles or sunglasses can be put to an end by determining the uses of both and their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between either of them depends upon the user and the situation. There can be instances where one would definitely need to put on goggles while skiing and there can even be days and places where a sunglass can suffice. The list of pros and cons for both googles and sunglasses can help you decide.

Ski googles

Ski or snow goggles are one of the most popular choice of eye accessory for the average skier. They are also a must in snow sports. They are designed to protect your eyes from the cold and wind. They also increase your vision and your chances of safety when you are hurling down through the snow. Snow googles also come with an elastic head strap which helps to keep them secure. Not all googles are the same. Some of them have UV protection and even have lenses which are photochromatic and can change the lens color depending on the ambient light. Whereas some goggles offer just basic protection.

Advantages of ski goggles

  • Goggles can provide a wide field of vision. The googles can provide a full view of your surrounding panorama than sunglasses.
  • Googles tend to cover most of the upper part of your face, hence giving you better coverage than sunglasses.
  • The strap present in goggles provides a snug fit which would not come off easily.
  • Googles tend to restrict air flow to the lenses. Hence, they do not fogged as easily as sunglasses.
  • They are stronger and more durable than sunglasses. Hence, they will not break due to impacts or crashes, thus effectively protecting your eye in all situations.

Disadvantages of ski goggles

  • Goggles are generally bulky.
  • They can be a bit too warm for the eyes causing discomfort in some people.
  • The lenses of googles are not too versatile and glasses can be a better option under very sunny or bright conditions.
  • The goggle has to be put on or off with the strap present, making it not a easy task at all times.

Ski sunglasses

Ski sunglasses are a special type of sunglasses which are made especially for skiing purposes. They are easy to wear and do not come with any straps, although the latter can be attached as part of an extra accessory. They provide more coverage than your typical sunglasses. Glasses can come both polarized and photochromatic just as googles.

Advantages of ski sunglasses

  • Sunglasses are light weight, comfortable and provide a better aerodynamic experience than googles.
  • If you have power in your eyes, it is pretty easy to find prescription sunglasses, unlike goggles.
  • Sunglasses do not fog up easily as air flow does not get restricted.
  • They can be ideal if the user has other plans down the slope for different recreational activities
  • They are easier to remove and put on again then ski goggles.

Disadvantages of ski sunglasses

  • They do not seal the face like googles do, hence there are chances of it sliding down your face.
  • They can provide a greater risk of cold and air irritating your face and eyes.
  • They do not keep your face warm enough like googles.
  • Not all sunglasses are compatible with different kinds of helmets.


Choosing sunglasses or googles can come down to individual preference and the kind of snow sports the person is participating in. Sunglasses can be an excellent choice for cross country ski trips whereas goggles can be ideal to ride down the snowy icy slopes. Sunglasses can also be perfect for ski enthusiasts and snowboarders. Beginners and professionals can opt to go for googles. The main aspects to look out for are photochromatic and polarized lenses. The rest only comes down to individual style and the features which can cater best to the user.