Top 5 Best Photochromic Ski Goggles For Sunny Days 2024

A lot of effort in skiing usually comes from the eyes. Most people think the limbs do most of the work, but whether you’re skiing at night or the day, your eyes deal with a lot of strain.

Clear goggles are good enough for blocking dirt or snow from getting into your eyes while skiing, but it’s not enough. Skiing underneath the sun for long periods will damage your eyes unless you take precautions. 

Skiing with clear goggles looks like a tremendous practical measure to take. However, it isn’t as easy on the eyes. These glasses will protect you from physical threats, but not as much when it comes to radiation.

As someone who skis frequently, I can attest that skiing can result in long-term injuries if you don’t gear up correctly. About your eyes, improper equipment can lead to damage from ultraviolet rays.

Aside from the usual articles of clothing, photochromic ski goggles are the right choice to make when it comes to the safety of your eyes. If you haven’t already made your pick, allow us to show and review five goggles to assist you in your next ski trip!

5 Best Photochromic Goggles For Skiing In 2024

Quick Overview:

Goggles Images Feature Check Price
 Bolle Nova Ii Gradient Photochromic Goggles 100% UVA/UVB PROTECTION  Check Price
 Smith I/O MAG S Snow Goggles TLT lens technology  Check Price
 Bollé Z5 OTG Goggles P80+ Anti-fog & Carbo-glass Anti-scratch treatment  Check Price
 Smith Skyline Snow Goggles Fog-X anti-fog inner lens  Check Price
 Julbo Skydome Snow Goggles with Photochromic REACTIV Lens REACTIV VLT: 17% – 75%. 100% UV A, B, C Protection Check Price

1. Bolle Nova Ii Gradient Photochromic Goggles – Best Overall


  1. Comfortable
  2. Light Protection
  3. Air Vents
  4. Adjustable

The Bolle Nova II Gradient ski goggles are a tremendous pair to grab if you prefer having a helmet. They’re compatible, so you can fit them in the right with your favorite helmet and go out for a ski adventure!

With the feature of air vents all around the frame along with an anti-fog coating, the goggles make sure you face zero fog when you go out to ski, even in the harshest weather. I have worn these goggles while it has been snowing, and regardless of the conditions, the Bolle Nova II Gradient shines through.

With a double-layer foam seal, you can be left assured, knowing these goggles will stay sealed on your face without becoming too tight or uncomfortable.

Another quality I like is that Bolle Nova II comes with anti-scratch lenses, which allows the skier to truly have a fun skiing adventure without worrying about falling and breaking or scratching at their goggles.

These goggles come with two lenses- one made for low light and the other for bright light. Both lenses provide a clear-cut view of the environment, but the bright light goggles don’t offer the best view in low light, and neither do low light goggles perform efficiently in bright light scenarios.

Another qualm I have with these goggles is that the lenses are not switchable, so you can only use one lens in a pair. This proves to be expensive if you have fluctuating weather conditions and want to be prepared for skiing despite the weather.

  • Anti-Fog lensnHelmet compatiblenAnti-Scratch lens
  • Lens not interchangeablenNot very photochromic

2. Smith I/O MAG S Snow Goggles – Runner Up


  1. Bright and Low Light ChromaPop Lens
  2. Helmet Compatible 
  3. Anti-Fog Inner Lens

The Smith I/O MAG S allows a lot of peripheral vision with its build. The spherical design helps create a clear-cut view of the surroundings. In addition to viewing possibilities, this frame cut also reduces the amount of distortion found in cylindrical frames. This new design molds and follows the eye shape of the skier to make sure your vision is not skewed.

The air vents in Smith’s goggles are fantastic, as there hasn’t been one moment when I had to stop skiing to wipe up my lens or squint due to fogging. It adjusts well to sudden changes in elevation too, which is especially great for skiers.

The frame is highly comfortable, as it settles nicely on top of your nose and stays there. Moreover, the foam is also a treat since it cushions your face, and I have not found it uncomfortable or tight.

These lenses are pretty much drop-safe, and as a clumsy person, this has been very helpful because I am yet to find a single scratch from the countless falls I have had with this on or even just dropping it from my hand. 

The frame and build of the goggles are durable and hold up a pretty long time as I have had these for a very long time, and they still look pretty much brand new, which shows how much care has been put in while making these. 

Another thing I like about Smith I/O is that the straps are straightforward to take on and off, reducing a lot of time spent to clip them on.

While the lens changing system makes sure that the lenses stay protected and leaves the user assured that they will not fall off, the use of magnets and locks could be considered slightly complicated and require exertion of pressure.

  • Distortion-free peripheral visionnLenses pick up tiny detailsnLenses are very securenVenting system is highly effectiven
  • Switching lens is difficultnNot scratch or smudge-proof

3. Bollé Z5 OTG Goggles – Budget Pick


  1. Anti Fog Lens
  2. Anti Scratch Lens
  3. Flow-Tech System
  4. Double Density Foam
  5. Over The Glasses Fit

The Bolle Z5 OTG goggles are a fantastic choice to buy if you wear glasses. The double-layer face foam is incredible at cushioning your falls and face as well. Being someone that needs to wear glasses at all times, the Bolle Z5 was basically like winning the lottery to me! 

They fit well with glasses and keep them snug, but not so tight that it feels like your glasses are being squashed down. They work even if you don’t wear glasses without making you feel like there’s a lot of space between your eyes and the lens.

These goggles come with a low-tech system that allows air to flow through the lens freely to prevent fogging up. Along with that, it also comes with an anti-fog and anti-scratch system ensuring that your goggle lens will stay safe and precise.

As the goggles are made for skiers with glasses, it has a more oversized fit. This allows the user to gain peripheral vision while skiing, so you can stay on the lookout for your surroundings!

The strap on the goggles is comfortable and fits nicely on the head. Moreover, it is also compatible with helmets due to the silicone lining on the belt. You can easily attach the strap to your helmet, and the silicone will stick to your helmet for your entire ski trip!

A feature I don’t like about these goggles is they do not come with interchangeable lenses, so you will have to choose your lens type carefully or buy a separate pack for different lenses. 

Another issue I have noticed is that sometimes the lenses come up defective, probably due to ill-quality manufacturing. The goggles’ frames have air bubbles on the film, which distort the skier’s view, which can be pretty fatal.

  • Effective for skiers with glassesnComfortable fitnAnti-Fog nAnti-Scratchn
  • Sometimes defective manufacturingnLenses are not interchangeablen

4. Smith Skyline Snow Goggles


  1. Rimless Design
  2. Spherical Lens
  3. Anti Fog Inner Lens

Smith Skyline XL snow goggles come with a rimless design and a spherical shape, expanding the area for skiers and allowing more use of peripheral vision. Along with that, these goggles come with a ChromaPop lens, ensuring that you will have a detailed observation of your surroundings.

The photochromic lens helps greatly in bright and cloudy weather conditions, but there is slight trouble when it comes to darker and snowy days. Usually, they are very effective in pointing out obstacles and providing a detailed overview of my surroundings.

The goggles come with a lens changing system, but it isn’t very efficient as it requires a relative amount of force to swap between lenses, which may be hard on the lens itself, as it is hard not to scratch and smudge it yourself while changing.

The anti-fog system is practical in preventing fog by diffusing the air through air vents on average days.

The goggles score high marks in the comfortability section, as they cushion your face without squashing the frame in your face. It comes with a triple-layer foam seal, so you know you will not feel uncomfortable regardless of how long your ski trip lasts.

The straps on the goggles are adjustable and compatible with a helmet, and the user can easily snap it on and off with a simple click of the QuickFit system and silicone strap that holds onto the helmet.

The durability and quality of these goggles are outstanding. Made with high-quality products, it ensures maximum comfortability and protection. The anti-scratch system is pretty compelling- you can hold onto these for multiple seasons with only two or three scratches on the lens that will have little to no effect on your vision.

However, the anti-fog isn’t very effective when it comes to damper than average days- it gets to the point where you may have to take the goggles off to navigate your way because the fog build-up can make the lens completely unclear.

  • Highly comfortablenDurable nHigh quality of product
  • Doesn’t adjust well in bright lightnAnti-fog system not efficient

5. Julbo Skydome Snow Goggles with Photochromic REACTIV Lens


  1. Lightweight
  2. AntiFog Coating
  3. REACTIV Performance
  4. Dual Density Foam

The Julbo Skydome snow goggles come with panoramic vision, which may be one of its best qualities. This lens type provides a vast range of visibility. Along with its frameless design, you can watch any obstacle that comes in your way or by the side.

The lenses come with polarized photochromic settings, which makes them very efficient in adjusting to the surroundings. When going from high altitudes to sudden changes in the weather, the lenses are relatively fast in adjusting your vision.

The anti-fog system on the inner surfaces of the lens is produced, along with additional air ventilation openings clearing up fog quickly in almost all weather conditions.

These goggles come with dual-density foam that sits comfortably on your face, preventing chafing and burning of skin and coming with a shock absorption system. The foam also absorbs your sweat, which is especially helpful if your last goggles were prone to slipping due to work.

The straps on the goggles are compatible and will fit easily onto any type of helmet you wear. The silicone straps will ensure that your goggles will stay in place and leave you reassured they will remain stuck. 

One problem I faced was that the goggles were a tad too large to frame my face completely, but this issue was solved when I attached them to my helmet. The spherical shape adjusts better to a rounder surface, hence being more suitable for a helmet.

  • Shock AbsorptionnDual-density foamnPre-Shaped framenAnti-slip strapn
  • No option to replace the lensnToo large sit on face securely


What is a Photochromic Lens?

Photochromic lenses are found in goggles meant for outwear, specifically for fluctuating weather conditions. Photochromic lenses are used in goggles to darken in the event of exposure to the sun.

 When you go into harsh sunlight, your vision is impaired- meaning you cannot view your surroundings as efficiently as you are usually able to. This is when photochromic lenses come into play. These lenses will darken when exposed to bright light and help you see correctly.

Why should I buy Photochromic Goggles?

Photochromic goggles are usually used by people who require glasses to reduce eye strain and glare from the sun. They essentially do the same work as sunglasses- when a photochromic lens undergoes a chemical reaction when faced with ultraviolet radiation and darkens up. But unlike sunglasses, photochromic lenses revert to a clear lens when removed from sunlight. 

This makes it better than sunglasses, as it removes the hassle of taking out and keeping sunglasses in the event of walking in the sun. Photochromic goggles are a great invention to get for yourself if you frequently ski, as clear goggles will leave you squinting to find your footing, while photochromic goggles will do most of the work for you!

If you work with the ski patrol, photochromic goggles are a must-have for you since you won’t be able to stay on the lookout properly if most of your time is spent trying to adjust to the fluctuating weather.

Along with that, if you frequently ski with just clear goggles, your eyes are at a pretty huge risk. So much eye strain and ultraviolet radiation can result in fatal injuries and pressure for your eyes. Photochromic glasses not only make your work easier but protect you from long-term exposure as well!

Things to Consider When Buying Photochromic Goggles

Skiing is a highly exhilarating sport. The thrill of gliding through the snow could only be described as magical, but if you don’t have the right gear with you, the experience may not be as enjoyable as you anticipate it to be. Here are some conditions and features you should make sure to keep in mind when buying photochromic goggles:

1. Adjustability

One of the first things to look for before buying photochromic goggles is to make sure they adjust reasonably quickly. If the lenses in your goggles don’t change fast enough, you could be left wearing goggles with darkened lenses in a low-light environment. 

This can quickly put you at risk, especially if you’re skiing. If the lens does not adjust quickly, it can leave you temporarily blind, and you are at risk of taking a heavy fall or crashing down.

2. Anti-Fog System

It is essential that your photochromic goggles come with an effective anti-fog system, or your vision will be left impaired regardless of how fast your goggles are at adjusting to their light exposure. 

If goggles do not come with an excellent anti-fog lens, air can fog up inside your goggle frames and impair your vision. It would help make sure that your lenses effectively absorb all the moisture and clear out the fog.

3. Air Ventilation

Your photochromatic goggles need a fast-acting and efficient air ventilation system, especially when it comes to activities as rigorous as skiing. Skiers require a relatively high amount of stamina for skiing, as not only is it hard on your muscles but it is also done in high altitudes, which leads to shortness of breath.

All these situations leave the user breathing heavily, so if your goggles do not come with air vents that work effectively, your glasses will fog up, and you could quickly be left blindsided.

4. Anti-Scratch System

Goggles that come without scratch-proof designs are not worth buying for skiers. Skiing is a sport that can easily lead to many falls and crashes, especially if you ski in places that aren’t kept up and managed by ski lodges. 

Even if you ski in safe conditions that come with cleared-up spaces, you can easily scratch your lenses while changing them if you have interchangeable lenses that aren’t scratch-proof. Goggles with scratches will not be as effective in providing a transparent and efficient photochromic effect.

Along with that, it is also essential for your goggles to drop safe, as even if you ski in clear surroundings, falling is a frequent event. On top of that, if you’re just a clumsy person and dropping things comes naturally to you, look into buying a pair of goggles that are drop safe.

5. Interchangeable Lenses

Photochromic lenses aren’t usually all completely effective, and some are made for special conditions- such as bright light and low light conditions. When you buy photochromic goggles, you should make sure that they’re interchangeable to stay prepared for any type of condition.

Along with that, even if you buy goggles with lenses with a withstanding guarantee, if you scratch or break them, you will have to buy a new pair of goggles for just a broken lens. If you get a couple of photochromic goggles with interchangeable lenses, it’ll be less expensive in the long run.

 In addition, you should make sure that the goggles you buy can be switched without less effort and stay secure. 

6. Durability

Photochromic goggles need to be durable and manufactured with high-quality products. If the frame of your goggles is not secure enough, your lenses can fall off fairly quickly and break down. Along with that, it is essential that if your goggles are helmet compatible, they need to be secured tightly enough to prevent drops. A silicone strap comes a long way as it will stick onto your helmet and stay glued to it compared to a belt-like belt.

7. Comfortability

Goggles need to be comfortable to wear with layered foam to prevent chafing on the skin of your face. Photochromic ski goggles need to be attached to the front securely, so no air comes in and fogs up the lenses, suggesting that the frames of goggles need to be cushioned but so tight that it forces the skier to take their goggles off after a while.

Final Thoughts

Buying photochromic ski goggles can be a relatively difficult task, especially if you’re a skiing newbie. However, once you start researching and taking advice from professional skiers, you will quickly decide and make your decisions when it comes to buying a pair of efficient and effective goggles. The compiled list of photochromic ski goggles with their advantages and disadvantages will certainly help you buy one that fits and exceeds your expectations!

Mitchelle Lynn