Ski goggles aren’t just for bad weather. A good pair will help protect you from frostbite and sunspots. Plus, ski goggles can enhance your vision regardless of the weather and lighting conditions. But the most important step is picking the right lens color.
That’s why we’re reviewing the best lens colors for skiing and night skiing in every type of weather! Now, let’s get started.
The Best Lens Color for Skiing in Every Environment
When picking out a ski lens, you’ll want to consider the weather, lighting, and conditions. Since different lens colors allow more or less light to reach your eyes (commonly referred to as visible light transmission or VLT), you’ll want a lens that compliments your environment. That means lighter lenses with a higher VLT for night skiing and darker lenses with a lower VLT for sunny conditions.
Now let’s jump into the best lens colors for the most common conditions skiers face on the slopes:
(Plus, check out our handy infographic below)
Daytime & Sunny
The best ski lens colors for bright, daytime, and sunny conditions are black or bronze. That’s because black and bronze lenses typically have a lower VLT and help to block out maximum sunlight. For sunny days, we’d recommend a VLT between 5% and 20%.
Since darker lens colors have a lower VLT, black is a great choice. Most black lenses average a VLT of about 7.5%, which is perfect for blocking excess sunlight and reducing eye fatigue. And black lenses offer excellent UVA protection. If you’re looking for the darkest possible ski lens, we’d recommend black.
Similar to black, Bronze offers a dark lens color for sunny conditions. But brown or bronze can be more versatile, offering better contrast and color perception than black lenses. If you feel like your black ski lens is taking all the color away from your vision, we’d recommend changing it up to bronze!
Overcast & Cloudy
The best ski lens color for overcast and cloudy days is pink or rose. Since overcast days typically have less sunlight, you’ll want a lighter lens that makes it easier to see. We’d recommend between a 25% and 60% VLT for overcast days, depending on the cloud coverage.
Pink and Rose
Pink and rose color lenses fall in the middle of our VLT range for overcast conditions, typically with a 35-40% light transmission. This means your goggles won’t seem too dark with clouds, but your eyes will still be protected. And the pink or rose tint will provide some contrast-enhancing against the white snow on the mountain. This color is also great for dusk or dawn skiing when there isn’t much light.
Snow, Blizzard, Low-Light, and Night Skiing
The best ski lens color for snow, low light, or night skiing conditions are yellow or clear since these lenses let in maximum light. We recommend a VLT of 65-99%, depending on the amount of sunlight.
While the pink and rose lenses mentioned above can also work, these can sometimes be too dark depending on how heavy it’s snowing or the time of night.
Yellow lenses are great for blizzards and heavy snow conditions since they provide a warm appearance to your environment and contrast the white snow. That means you’ll be able to spot details such as irregularities and bumps on the ground despite low visibility. Plus, with a VLT typically around 75-90%, yellow lenses still protect your eyes from glare and harmful UV rays while allowing you to see.
For night skiing or low-light conditions, you’ll want a clear lens that lets in plenty of light. Since these conditions have little to no sunlight, you don’t want a lens with any tint. Instead, a clear lens will protect your eyes from debris, keep your face warm and provide clear vision as you head down the mountain.
All-Around Lenses / Most-Versatile
If you prefer having one all-around lens for your ski goggles, we’d recommend red, green, or blue. These lens colors work great in sunny, overcast, and even snowy conditions, meaning you won’t need to change your lenses constantly. For an all-around lens, we’d recommend a 15-30% VLT which works well for most conditions.
Red-colored lenses are one of the most common on the market and for good reason. These lenses are very versatile, working in a variety of conditions from sunny to overcast and even snowy days. Red tint also sharpens perception and increases color definition to better spot obstacles and other skiers. Plus, a red lens will give the environment around you a warmer appearance. These reasons are why you typically see some of the best ski goggles available with red lenses, like Oakley’s Prizm Snow Torch.
Similar to red, blue lenses are versatile on the mountain. And a blue tint helps to provide contrast against the white environment around you. If you prefer a cooler lens tint, we’d definitely recommend blue ski lenses in your goggles. We’ve worn our blue goggles on bright blue bird days and snowy blizzards with no issues!
Finally, green lenses are an equally great all-around lens choice since green tint is perfect for filtering out excess light and reducing glare. These qualities are crucial for protecting against eyestrain in bright sunlight. Furthermore, green helps sharpen depth perception and increase contrast. These characteristics help enhance visibility in medium-light and partly sunny conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Polarized Lenses Good For Skiing?
Yes, polarized lenses are great for skiing since they prevent glare and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. As we’ve detailed in our guide to how polarized lenses work, polarization stops light rays that reflect off of bright surfaces like snow. Not only does this halt pesky glare from hurting your eyes, but it actually helps sharpen contrast and increase your visual clarity.
And if you’re looking for the latest in eyewear, check out Oakley’s Prizm Snow lenses, which offer glare-reducing technology while enhancing color and contrast!
Are Clear Lenses Good for Night Skiing?
Yes, clear lenses are ideal for night skiing since they protect your eyes while still allowing light. To ski safely at night, you need optimum visual acuity. Clear lenses do not distort colors, darken your environment, or affect depth perception. Instead, they give you a clear field of vision. The goggles also help protect your eyes from debris and other projectiles.
Clear lenses are also a good choice for over-the-glasses (OTG) goggles. But don’t forget extra features like adjustable straps, anti-fog coating, and scratch-resistant coating.
Finally, consider getting ski goggles with interchangeable lenses. You’ll avoid purchasing a separate pair for each light condition. Instead, you’ll only need to stock up on different colored lenses that match your current skiing conditions.
Have a Question?
Want to know more about the best lens colors for skiing? Or have a question about your lenses, goggles, or sunglasses? Let us know in the comments below.