Best Photochromic Ski & Snowboard Goggles: Updated List for 2022

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We are already halfway through the year, and winter is right around the corner!

Still, no one can blame you if you decide to take matters into your own hands and go on a trip to the mountains, even with how sweltering the days have been lately.

However, since it’s summer, a day in the mountains is bound to have the sun up high in the sky while the cold mountain air encompasses you all over.

So, if you want to hit the fresh powder with your skis or your snowboard, then you better have your full gear all ready.

On top of all that, though, you should have your photochromic goggles that are suitable for both skiing AND snowboarding!

Lucky for you, here are five of the best 2022 photochromic snow goggles of your choosing:

5 Best Photochromic Ski & Snowboard Goggles in 2022

Smith I/O Snow Goggles

Many eyewear brands are set to be different since the beginning of the time, and Smith is one of those brands that you could consider to have a history that has left a significant impact in the snow goggles industry.

Featuring a sealed thermal lens with breathable vent foam has cemented Smith as the Oakley of snow goggles.

With decades of passing and enhanced experience in innovation and design, Smith has kept advancing its technology until it finally created the Smith I/O Series.

Now, this series has its signature lens technology: the ChromaPop.

This ChromaPop lens works to give you the best experience possible by “enhancing definition and clarity” despite different conditions.

You can choose from the many-colored lenses available under ChromaPop’s three categories: the ChromaPop Sun, the ChromaPop Everyday, and the ChromaPop Storm.

On top of Smith’s ChromaPop, every Smith goggles have many materials already integrated into them that keep you and your goggles safe.

Let’s start with the outer part first.

Carbonic-X lens serves as Smith’s outer lens material to ensure the wearer has optimum scratch and impact resistance.

Besides that, it has a hydrophobic lens coating that’s well-equipped against any moisture as it disperses the water that gets on the lenses and, instead of having it stay on the surface, the coating will cause the water to bead; up and scatter!

As it’s hydrophilic from the outside, the same goes for the inside, too, as the Fog-X is designed to have a micro-etched surface that absorbs any moisture coming from your heat and disperse it over a wide surface area.

And since it’s physically etched into the surface, it makes it impossible to be wiped away!

What’s more, its spherical design helps tone down the fogging with the help of double-layered lenses.

So that gives it TRIPLE the anti-fog feature!

However, a downside for this is that it’s not Over the Glasses (OTG) design because it’s only a medium fit, so if you’re wearing prescription glasses, you might want to go a size up.

Another downside, which might not be too big a deal depending on your preferences, is that Smith doesn’t have interchangeable lenses.

It’s not too bad since you’ll be stuck with a photochromic lens, after all. But, again, it comes down to different preferences, so look at these snow goggles as a heads-up.

Photochromic snow goggles

ZIONOR X10 Ski Goggles

Since this pair of snow goggles have the biggest spherical lens compared to the other goggles in this list, the ZIONOR X10 can easily give you the ultra-wide, panoramic view you want to have.

Primarily if you have managed to trek up a snowy mountain and want to take the picturesque scenery all in with utmost clarity.

And with how big its size is, you can wear it over your glasses, too! That way, you can REALLY relish nature’s wonders in high definition!

Other than giving you a fantastic view, this lens also makes it possible for you to detach it whenever you want for easy swapping!

What’s more, it maintains a smooth airflow through its two-way venting system that comes with having double-layered lenses.

Because of that, you can enjoy keeping your face toasty and warm while skiing down the mountain at the speed of light!

Also, if you happen to take a tumble in the snow, your face will be cushioned by a triple-layer, solid foam that helps you retain that warmth while absorbing your sweat.

Although your face is cushioned, I doubt the rest of your body will enjoy rolling down the mountain, so make sure you have your complete gear on!

Combined with this anti-fog is UV protection if you find yourself on the peak of a mountain with the cloudless sky up above.

And to lessen more of the sunlight’s effects, ZIONOR has a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) chart available for you to choose between the different colors that go with how much light you want to block through your goggles!

However, the ZIONOR doesn’t come with a hard case, so you’ll have to buy a separate one if you want to keep it safe because it’s not as scratch-resistant as the Smith.

Julbo Cyrius Snow Goggles

Another leading name for the more active eyewear, Julbo, ensures you can enjoy the outdoors as much as you want through its goggle technology.

And you can see that from the Julbo Cyrius Snow Goggles!

Although it has a cylindrical shape instead of a spherical one, Julbo’s minimal frame allows a wide, unobstructed field of vision that the spherical has.

Its double-layered lens goes well with the anti-fog coating to ventilate the air inside the goggles and circulate it outside.

Another feature Julbo has in doubles is its two-layered foam made so soft it molds your facial features the entire time you’re wearing the goggles!

Now, while Smith has its signature lens technology, Julbo has one of its own, too!

The REACTIV lens sees ChromaPop eye to eye.

So, as the name implies, the REACTIV lens reacts to the light depending on the Visible Light Transmission of that particular condition.

It’s categorized into four styles: REACTIV Performance 1-3 Light Amplification (LA), REACTIV Performance 1-3 High Contrast (HC), REACTIV High Mountain 2-4, and REACTIV All-Around 2-3.

Since the Julbo Cyrius has a reddish tint, that gives it the REACTIV All Around 2-3.

The REACTIVE All Around 2-3 has the VLT of 15% to 30%, changing from light to dark depending on the conditions.

The Glare Control technology is what this lens features exclusively, so it has the lowest polarization filter than the other REACTIV lenses as it eliminates 50% of the glare.

Because of this, it makes it easier for you to take in the place without being hindered too much by the glare you get from the fresh powder, even on whiteout days!

Combine this with UV protection, making Julbo another excellent example of visual prowess!

However, just like the Smith, it doesn’t have interchangeable lenses, so you have to stick with these photochromic snow goggles for the entire duration of owning and wearing them.

Bolle Z5 Snow Goggles

For decades, Bolle has been delivering and refining its eyewear technology to give it the top-most quality there is.

And this quality is demonstrated on the Bolle Z5!

Just like the Julbo Cyrius, this one has a cylindrical design for those of you who have a soft spot for the classic snow goggles aesthetic.

Balancing out this classic look is a double-layered lens to promote one of Bolle’s technologies: the Flow-Tech Venting.

This venting system is engineered to encourage directional airflow from inside the lens, which reduces the possibility of moisture building up to maintain its prime condition!

Helping to preserve its quality are the anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings with a double-layer face foam for comfort.

For glass wearers everywhere, this might be up your alley if the ZIONOR looks too bulky for your tastes since this one has a much smaller build!

But the Bolle Z5 has the same issue with the Smith and the Julbo: non-interchangeable lenses.

Still, its photochromic lens does adapt well to both bright and low lights, so that makes it in-between 8% up to 79%.

That’s quite the bargain if you’ll compare it to the ZIONOR!

HUBO SPORTS Snow Goggles

This pair of snow goggles does look a lot like the rest of the snow goggles in the list, doesn’t it? 

Well, prepare to be surprised!

This one has the same double-layered lens as the others, with UV protection and a VLT of 14.1%, making it great for stable light conditions.

Although it’s cylindrical, it can still allow you a 180-degree panoramic view since the goggles’ lens width is 182 millimeters.

Besides that, ventilation is provided when it enhances airflow from the top and bottom of the goggles, which is ideal for snowboarders and skiers!

Cushioning your face is a breathable, high-density sponge layer that can help manage the airflow, along with providing enough room for your glasses to be worn.

Now we know you’ve heard all of that before, so let’s cut to the chase.

What makes HUBO so unique from the others is its PERMANENT anti-fog lens!

Now, instead of just coating, HUBO took it to the next level when it decomposed the anti-fog material and integrated it into the lens sheet itself!

But oddly enough, while you’re protected from the sunlight and the fog, the lens is prone to scratches, so you better take special care of this one!

Things to Consider Before Buying Photochromic Ski & Snowboard Goggles

Photochromic snow goggles

The Shape of Your Lens

Unless you have a sharp eye for detail, you’ll notice that all snow goggles out there have different lens shapes.

The three primary shapes existing are the cylindrical, the spherical, and the toric lenses.

First off, the cylindrical, which out of all the shapes, has a more angular look as the top of the goggles’ face is designed as a straight line. 

And, as stated in its given name, “cylindrical” is a shape with a one-way curve, with the front side being flat to provide that sense of rigidity. 

You’ve seen this shape a lot more in media, be it from some professional snowboarder or that actor from a sports movie.

The cylindrical shape is the snow photochromic goggles classic; the rest of the lens shapes originated from this old boy, so that should give you a more “old school” or “vintage” look.

However, if you’re the type to nit-pick on the proper uses of a pair of snow goggles other than for the sake of aesthetics, then you’ll find the spherical a much more satisfactory shape than the cylindrical.

Compared to its origins, the spherical is curved from left to right AND top to bottom, giving it space for the lenses to bubble out.

And if you didn’t know, this bubble has a perk that comes with it!

Since there’s space for the bubble, that means there’s more room for air inside the goggle.

More air means there’s less chance for it to fog up!

Lastly is the toric lenses (aptly penned as the “best of both worlds”).

While, yes, although its curves are reminiscent of the spherical lenses for that more expansive field of view, the toric doesn’t have that extra space to bubble out.

In that sense, it resembles the cylindrical more than the spherical, but that’s where the similarities end.

To make it short: toric lenses have spherical’s curves and cylindrical’s flat faces.

Let There Be (Low) Light

Although your snow goggles are supposed to change with the light due to its photochromic lenses, that doesn’t mean you should sit back and chill when it comes to the coating.

Sure, the photochromic feature can be a big help in adapting to changes in light, but managing light is another matter entirely when it comes to choosing snow goggles!

Visible Light Transmission (VLT) is something you’ll have to look out for.

The VLT measures how much light should reach your eyes through the lenses, with 0% allowing no light and 100% will have you drowning in it.

All of the snow photochromic goggles on the list give you options to choose between the tints or lens colors available to fit the time of day and the VLT that you’re okay with.

Important tip: the brighter and sunnier the day is, your VLT percentage should be lower!

Extra Coating

Even though you’re probably just out in the mountains for a relaxing hike, you’ll still need to be protected from harsh gusts of wind or chance icefalls.

Having suitable coatings scratches can protect your lens better from getting marks!

And since the warm air that you breathe out can obscure your sight with fog accumulating inside your goggles, anti-fogging is a must, as well!

Unless you have a permanent anti-fog lens already, like the one from HUBO, that is. 

Final Thoughts

Whether day or night, photochromic goggles do wonders for your overall performance in snow.

Since any place you go has light, knowing how to adapt your eyesight with it can give you an edge from the rest of the snowboarders and skiers.

Once you read through the other benefits you can get from these goggles; you’ll be able to enjoy the snow a lot more without worrying about your eyes!

Photo of author


Tessa Reynolds
Meet Tessa Reynolds, who lives in Denver, Colorado. She likes to write about sunglasses, and eye makeup so that she can share her knowledge, and help all the people who need something for their eyes. When she is not writing, you can find her skiing in the mountains of Colorado.