For snow and ski lovers, skiing poses a unique set of challenges for the eyes. On sunny days, the brightness of the sun is amplified by the high altitude further exposing you to UV light. The eyes are subject to cold and wind, and on some days the light can cause terrain to play tricks with your brain. Skiing or snowboarding at any altitude requires you to protect your eyes effectively.
We have all had days where the slopes are so bright they make us squint. On bright days, sunlight reflects off the snow intensifying brightness to your eyes. During cloudy days, it is always difficult to see much which implies that your eyes could use some assistance to navigate through the turns and terrain. Ski goggles for children are specifically made to shield their eyes from the brightness of the sun and the unseen UV rays, the effect of dry air hitting the eyes, and to better allow kids to navigate the terrain they encounter.
An important byproduct of the best ski goggles is that they also keep debris like flying snow or ice from entering the skiers eyes…. so they are just as much about safety as comfort.
The best ski goggles for children should focus primarily on protecting their eyes, reducing the damage of the sun while at the same time creating a safe field of vision for making it down the hill. Despite the fact that most ski goggles significantly reduce UV light, there is a condition called snow blindness caused by the reflection of light off the snow. Snow blindness is one of the major causes of ski incidences, particularly among children.
Speaking of UV light, be sure to get goggles that block it. We asked the American Optometric Association, whose President, Dr. Samuel Pierce O.D., suggested to insist on lenses that block 99% to 100% of UV rays. Fortunately, the goggles from most reputable brands meet that standard, and each pair of goggles that we profile below certainly does.
The market for kids ski goggles today is what we would call a buyers market. You can get quality goggles at reasonable prices. Today’s goggles are made in many different sizes and shapes, and are highly-compatible with kids ski helmets so fit and comfort are maximized. A good helmet / goggle combo will leave a child safe, comfortable, and feeling like they look like the next great ski racer.
With so many brands to choose from, parents often face the challenge of selecting the best ski goggles for children. The instinct might be to buy based on the best price, but you should consider more than just the price tag.
There are several factors that you might consider before selecting ski goggles for your kids. Good fitting goggles allow children to have a greater field of vision that eases the process of navigation. In a similar manner that skiers and snowboarders pay a lot of attention to the process of buying a helmet, buying ski goggles should be no different. Children goggles are uniquely designed to be less bulky and at the same time fit close to the face. The simple design means that most children ski goggles are relatively cheaper compared to adult ski goggles.
Lens Shape, Technology and Tint
There are different goggles available in the market in different sizes, shapes and design for your kids. The lens shape too is different among different brands dependent on your preferred style and preferences. There are two common lens shape that are; cylindrical lens and spherical lenses. Modern technology in sports equipment technology has allowed manufacturers to design brands that allow lenses to be shaped both vertically and horizontally.
Spherical lenses are considered better for most skiers since they allow for better optical clarity and a wider field of view. Junior googles are often made from double layered lenses separated by a rubber or silicone. The double layer is meant to trap heat and prevent the google from fogging up. The tints on the lenses of ski goggles for children are suited for different weather conditions. There are those that are meant to reduce the amount of light and overcome the navigation challenges associated with skiing under very bright conditions.
There are many popular ski goggles for children, made by brands we trust, sold both online and from reputable ski sports gear shops. We feature a number of our favorites below, all of which meet the standard for blocking UV rays that we insist on, and are known to be effective goggles on the slopes for kids skiing in many conditions. Note that while we generally talk about skiing, all of these goggles are perfectly suitable for snowboarders as well.
The Odoland Youth Ski Goggles
The Odoland Ski Goggles are generally suitable for children aged 8-16 years. They are the best budget option if you are not looking to spend a ton of money, and most parents aren’t because kids often tend to lose, damage, and outgrow the goggles faster than adults do. The long lasting lenses have a double layer creating a thermal barrier while at the same time providing a wider view for kids when skiing. The anti-glare feature of the lenses protects your kids’ eyes from the direct glare of the sun. The elastic belt strap can be adjusted to suit your comfort and is made to fit most helmets. These goggles can be for multipurpose usage. Whether your kids are skiing, snowboarding, jet skiing or paintballing, the amazing product no doubts gives you value for your money. The Odoland Youth Ski Goggles are purchased together with a cleaning soft cloth, a pouch and a user manual. Find here on Amazon.
- Low price
- Good for older children
- Not a sophisticated lens or wide field of vision
- Not as good for very young children
Anon Tracker Kids Fit Goggles
Anon is one of our favorite makers of ski helmets, and they make a pretty good goggle too. They are worth the cost if you want a goggle that your child can use hard all winter long.
A well-fitting pair of kids goggles that incorporates fun designs, the Anon Trackers have been a big hit with kids and parents alike. The Trackers have quickly become one of the more popular ski goggles on the market today, with over a dozen designs for both and girls alike. Great for both skiing and snowboarding (after all, they are made by snowboarding maker Burton) the Trackers are highly adjustable, increasing the odds that they will fit your child even as he or she grows and gets new helmets. We have seen them work well on 2 year olds, and all the way up to 12 or 13 year olds, so they have a wide range of effective use. Burton’s ICT technology helps keep the lenses free of fog, and seems to do quite an effective job on the slopes. If you feel you need to upgrade to something warmer or built to fit over glasses, the Anon Relapse is the next step up from Burton. It tends to keep the face warmer, and can completely seal to the included facemask, which attaches to the Relapse if needed. It is also built to fit over kids glasses. Find the Tracker here, or the step-up Relapse here. The Relapse is a great option if you have the budget for it, and provides even better lens quality and fit.
- Effective anti-fog technology
- Lots of colors
- Runs a little on the smaller side
Zionor Lagopus Kids Snowboard Skate Ski Goggles
If you are looking for style without a hefty price tag, then the Zionor Lagopus Ski Goggles might fit the bill perfectly. They are also quite inexpensive. While they might not have the long-term durability of the Anon, POC, or Bolle, for a child who might only be skiing 5-10 days per year (or is prone to losing their ski gear), these can be a great budget investment. These solid goggles are made from durable material coupled with an innovative design that screams stylish. The solid warranty policy also means that any non-intentional damage of the goggles guarantees a replacement. The lenses offer 100% UV protection during winter sports while offering a clear vision for users all day long. These goggles are compatible with your sports gears because of the extra-long head strap that is compatible with helmets of different head sizes.
Zionors have become quite popular due to their inexpensive price point, and we are glad to see them holding up pretty well given the budget pricing. A great option if you are not looking to break the bank on the goggles. Find them here on Amazon.
- Good budget option
- Good warranty
- May not have the high-end comfort of other brands
Smith Daredevil OTG Kids Goggles
If your child needs to wear glasses while skiing or snowboarding, the Smith Daredevil OTG goggles are probably a wise choice. OTG = Over the Glasses, and allows people to wear glasses over prescription eyewear. Most people find this is a far better — and more economical — choice than trying to invest in prescription goggles. We did an entire piece on it, here.
We like Smith’s products, and find that they are a manufacturer who does a great job of keeping the price down on their products. It is a testament to their efficiency. We find these goggles to be durable (important if you are trying to protect those precious glasses) and they do a good job of staying fog-free. As with any pair of goggles, though, after a while they may begin to show some fogging.
The youth fit is going to work well up until just before the pre-teen years, and then you might need to find something a little larger. These goggles are really designed for young children, primarily in the 3-to-8 range (our opinion, not Smith’s) although every child is different on face size.
- Best option for kids who put goggles over glasses
- Great for younger children
- May be tight on older children
POC POCito Goggles
(Find here on Amazon). We kind of saved the best for last, we are big fans of the POCito. POC makes some of our favorite adult ski goggles, but they also make a great line of kids ski goggles called the POCito. If you have a child who will do lots of skiing this winter, this goggle might be the right one for them. The POCito is really geared toward young children, we would say that it fits those from 4-9 the best. This clever goggles uses the same polycarbonate lens that many other good goggles do, but we have always noticed that the POC design tends to provide a bit more facial coverage which can be especially nice for those skiing in areas where wind or cold tend to be more of a factor. The anti-fog treatment tends to work well and last for a long time, and the color choices are fun for kids — including a bright orange and bright pink in the last model year. Perhaps our favorite feature is the lens design, which allows adults to see the chidrens’ eyes more clearly and be able to read their expressions — important if you are trying to teach a child how to ski or snowbaord.
One note – which this goggles works well all-around, it tends to be at its best when combined with the POC kids ski helmet.
- High quality
- Great field-of-vision
- Excellent with POC helmet
- Can be a little more expensive
Youth Ski Goggles FAQ
How Long Will My Kids Ski Goggles Last?
Assuming they do not outgrow them, expect the goggles to last one season for an avid skier or snowboarder, or a couple seasons for someone who is not as active. Many of the nicks and damage to goggles occurs when not skiing — in the car, on the bus, or in the ski gear bag — so it helps to use the hard or soft case that probably comes with the goggles.
I See Different Lens Color Options — Which One Should I Use?
If you are only going to have one set of lenses, it is best for them to have medium tint. There is actually a measure called VLT – or Visual Light Transmission — that measures the amount of light that is let in. Cloudy days call for a higher VLT % (like 80), and sunny days warrant a lower VLT % (like 25). For an all-purpose goggle, go with something in the middle, or around 50-60.
Are Kids Ski Goggles the Same as Snowboard Goggles?
Yes. They are the same.
If you are looking for a full stable of ski equipment, be sure to check out our family ski gear checklist. It will give you a low-down on everything you need for a good alpine ski trip, from kids skis to making sure you have the right base layers. There is a lot to invest in when you begin skiing, but the good news is that most of the gear can last for a long time an (if you have multiple skiing kids) be handed down from child-to-child over the years.
For those of you looking for adult ski goggles, we have you covered there as well. Check out out piece on the best adult ski goggles, and don’t miss our special feature on the 3 best flat-light goggles as well.
An entirely different subject that we get lots of questions about is how you should use ski goggles in conjunction with regularly glasses. We interviewed an eye doctor and wrote-up our recommendations. You can find that piece here.
If you have any experience with the products we reviewed, feel free to comment.
Paul Miller is the Founder of Family Skier. He is an advanced skier and has extensive experience with family travel and ski schools. An accomplished skier, he has skied in 15 states and provinces and 6 countries. In addition to FamilySkier, his writing can be found on many ski-related websites, and as curriculum for many ski clubs in North America.