New To Ski

Best Ski Goggles For Bright Sun (Bluebird, Low VLT)

by Simon Naylor | Updated: October 27th, 2022
ski goggles for bright sun

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Looking for the absolute best ski and snowboarding goggles for bright sunny days with no cloud cover? I’ve got you covered.

After many hours of research, I’ve narrowed down the absolute best ski goggles for sunny days. I’ve picked goggles and the corresponding lens that does the best job at blocking out sun glare, improving contrast, and bringing out the colors of the mountain – so you can see the landscape ahead, and react to the contours of the piste and ski safely.

Top 4 Best Ski Goggles For Bright Sun

  1. Smith Optics Unisex I/O (Best All Round)
  2. Oakley Flight Deck XM (Best Lens)
  3. Julbo Skydome (Best Photochromic)
  4. WildHorn Rocas (Best Budget)

1. Smith Optics Unisex I/O MAG

My Top Pick

This is one of my favorite pair of goggles from Smith Optics. It’s got the latest in ChromaPop technology for a sharp contrast. The Red Mirror lens with a 9% VLT is perfect for full sun and will block out all the glare when skiing or snowboarding directly into its path.

My favorite thing about these goggles is that you get 2x lenses bundled when you buy it. So despite the high price tag, you’ll get the lens for bright bluebird days (Red Mirror) and also a lens for flat light days (Storm lens with a 50% VLT).

Awesome Features

  • ChromaPop high contrast crystal clear vision.
  • 2x lenses one for bright light and one for flat light days.
  • Interchangeable lens system so you’re always prepared, no matter the weather.
  • Medium fit responsive frame design that works well and comfortably fits most face shapes.
  • Available in an Asian fit for those with flatter nose bridges.

Downsides

  • Some reviewers note that the lenses are susceptible to scratches.

Where to Buy: Check Price on Amazon

2. Oakley Flight Deck XM

Best Lens

The Oakley flight deck is wide-angle large spherical goggles that use the latest in Prizm® technology for clarity, high contrast, and incredible depth perception – with a high but justifiable price tag.

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The Black Iridium lens has an incredibly low VLT of 5.5% which block-outs bright light for a high contrast vision. This is the lowest VLT goggle and the best for the brightest days on the slopes. If you want a lens that works well in bright conditions and some cloud you can jump up in VLT (lets in more light) to the Saphire Iridium with a 13% VLT.

Awesome Features

  • Prizm® technology for high contrast and clarity in the sunny glare.
  • Interchangeable lenses.
  • Black Iridium lens block out glare which is perfect for bright sunny days.

Downsides

  • None reported yet!

Where to Buy: Check Price on Amazon

3. Julbo Skydome Photochromic

Best PhotoChromic Lens

This is the only Photochromic lens on this list, which has advanced lens technology that adapts to different light conditions. The VLT changes which mean as you ski in the shade or the sun, the lens tint gets lighter or darker.

The lens is interchangeable and you can swap it out with different photochromic lens which adapt across a different range. The best lens for bright light is the Cameleon lens which changes from 5-20% VLT – meaning it works perfectly when some cloud rolls in or you ski in the shade.

The Julbo Skydome is a large spherical lens with a rimless frame design that provides crystal clear vision. It’s not cheap, but the Photochromic lens technology is truly revolutionary.

Awesome Features

  • Lens adapts to light changes. The Cameleon lens with a brown color tint changes from 5-20% VLT.
  • Exceptional anti-fog coating and eternal hydrophobic layer prevent watermarks or smudges.
  • Thick and moisture-wicking padding for comfortable all-day wear.

Downsides

  • Not cheap!

Where to Buy: Check Price on Amazon

4. WildHorn Roca Ski Goggles

Best Budget

Official suppliers of the US ski and snowboard team, WildHorn makes great ski gear at a very decent price tag. The Roca ski goggles are my budget pick for the best bright light ski goggles.

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Although not as sophisticated as the prizm or photochromic offering from Smith and Oakley, the WildHotns do a decent job of blocking out glare and increasing the contrast. For a bright lenses pick the Arctic White lens that has a low VLT of 8%.

For a slightly higher VLT of 13% for partly cloudy days, try the Stealth lens.

Awesome Features

  • Interchangeable lenses – swap out lenses in seconds.
  • 11 lens options. Arctic White & Ice Blue (8% VLT) are the best for bright sun.
  • Large spherical goggles with a wide rimless vision.

Downsides

  • Some reviewers mention that they can scratch easily. (Always use a soft cloth)

Where to Buy: Check Price on Amazon

Understanding VLT

The key thing to know when choosing ski goggles is that different lenses block out different amounts of light. Manufacturers measure the amount of light that is let in through the lens using the VLT or Visible Light Transmission. The lower this number the more light is blocked and the less light is let in.

ski goggle VLT graph

When skiing on bright sunny days, you want to block out as much light as possible whilst also letting in enough so that you can clearly see the path ahead. After many years of testing and tweaking ski goggles brands have arrived at a range of lenses across the VLT spectrum that is optimized for different light conditions.

The higher VLT lenses let in more light and work best in flat or low light situations, such as when skiing in overcast or whiteout conditions. A mid-range VLT works best in mixed weather from cloud to partial sun.

Photochromic lenses

Some lenses used advanced Photochromic technology to automatically adapt depending on the brightness of the sun.

man wearing ski goggles

These Photochromic lenses are more expensive but give you better clarity across a range of weather without having to change the lens. As you ski from the sun to the shade the lens will automatically lighten and vice versa. If you’re interested in Photochromic lenses I have included my favorite pair in the list below, for more reviews check out my full review here.

How To Prevent Goggle Fog

  • Invest in a quality pair of goggles.
  • Don’t overheat or get sweaty under the collar.
  • Don’t tuck in your balaclava too far.
  • Keep your goggles off your bare forehead.
  • Shake snow from the vents to allow air circulation.
  • Have a soft cloth on hand to wipe your goggles.

I wrote a full guide to prevent ski goggle fog here.

More Goggle Reviews

I have spent many hours reviewing the best ski goggles for different skiers and snowboarders. Check out my full list below:

About Us

NewToSki.com is where over 1 million people a year come to learn more about skiing. I share everything I wish someone had told me when I was learning to ski. My name is Simon & I've been skiing since 2005. This winter, our family is taking a 3-month camper ski trip across the Alps. If you enjoy our articles, please join the free email club. We'd love to have you.
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