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Low Light & Night Ski Goggles: Detailed Buyer’s Guide + Our Top Picks

by Grant Draper

If you’ve read any of our other goggle guides, you’ll know different lenses suit different conditions. Today, we’re going to cover low light and night ski goggles. In the next few minutes we’ll explain:

  • What you need to know before making a purchase
  • The best ski goggle brands for night time riding
  • Our top pick.

Bottom Line

VLT (visual light transmission) should be your main concern when buying night ski goggles. You want a high VLT rating, which means as much natural light is let in as possible. For instance, you want a (low) 5-30% for sunny daytime skiing, but a (high) 90-99% VLT rating for skiing in the dark. Although a lot of clear lens ski goggles are suited to night skiing, there are plenty of tinted options too.

We’ve recommended top brands below, but after tonnes of research, we couldn’t find a better set of nighttime ski goggles than the popular Dragon PXV2, and we found a great deal on them here.

Night Ski Goggles and VLT Ratings

The single most important thing to consider before choosing ski and snowboard goggles, is the VLT rating of the goggle’s lens. 

VLT stands for visual light transmission; that’s the amount of natural light a pair of goggles will let in. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The higher the VLT rating, the more suitable they are for night skiing (90-99% for instance)
  • The lower the VLT, the more suited they are to daytime skiing (tinted lenses with 20-30% VLT rating for instance).

Put simply, you want a low number VLT rating for daytime skiing (that lets in less light, so you’re not blinded), and a high number for night skiing (to allow in as much light as possible).

There’s a full guide to ski goggle VLT ratings here. 

Night Ski Goggle Brands

In the next section we’ve covered what we consider to be the best night ski goggles based on cost, VLT rating, ease of changing lenses, ventilation, comfort and more. But, we know skiers and snowboarders have their own preferences when it comes to brand, design and of course, budget always plays a factor. 

Not choosing our pick for the best night ski goggles? No problem. Just make sure you stick to the respected snowboard and ski goggle brands mentioned on the list below, and you’ll get good prices on them here

  • Atomic
  • Bolle
  • Dragon
  • Electric
  • Giro
  • Oakley
  • POC
  • Salomon
  • Smith
  • Spy
  • Von Zipper

The Best Low Light and Night Ski Goggles

Dragon PXV2

dragon pxv2 goggles for skiing with their best tinted lens

For sunny days on the slopes, I tend to veer towards brands such as Oakley and Smith. However, after hours of research I can’t find a pair of night time ski goggles I’d be buying over the Dragon PXV2. They’re the most suited for purpose, at the best price point. 

So, if it’s night time ski goggles you’re after, these are the ones you should pick. And, here’s why…

For a start, we’re mad for a large frameless design. On goggles like this, it’s not uncommon to get 10-20% extra peripheral vision in comparison to goggles with a standard frame. And, the frameless design makes switching out lenses a breeze when you change from skiing in the light, to low light, and even dark. 

And to top all that off, you’ll get not just a set of nighttime ski goggles (that are helmet compatible by the way), but also a 2 year warranty!

Cost

If you want good ski gear, it’s not going to come cheap, period. If you’re looking for the very best night time ski goggles from Dragon, then they’re going to cost you. There are regular deals on offer, with prices sitting in the $230-250 range depending if it’s high or low season. 

The best deal on the Dragon ski goggles we could find was here

Colors

Color choice isn’t usually our highest priority, but it is here. Some of the tinted lenses on offer with the PXV2 range aren’t suitable for low light or the dark, so double check the product specs before making a purchase. Although these aren’t clear lens ski goggles, they’re still suited to night skiing.

Here are a couple of lens types (included tinted PXV2s) that are suitable for skiing in the dark:

  • Camper​/Lumalensslvrion​+Lumalensyell
  • Coolgrey​/Lumalenspinkion​+Lumalensdksmk
  • Corduroy​/Lumalensredion​+Lumalensrose
  • Inferno​/Lumalensredion​+Lumalensrose
  • Mauve​/Lumalensslvrion​+Lumalensltros

If you go to this page and scroll down the “specs”, you’ll see a chart which explains which color and lens type is suitable for low light and night skiing. 

Quality Lens Tech

The majority of the cost of a ski goggle is directly related to the quality of the lens; and the Dragon PXV2 goggle’s lens is packed full of technology. 

For starters, you’ll get a panotech lens shape, which runs with the curvature of your face. Combine that with the frameless design, and you’ve got an excellent field of vision allround. 

Next, you’ll get anti-fog properties that rival the best in the business. You can have the best goggles in the world, but if they fog up, they’re as good as useless. 

The lens on the Dragon night ski goggles comes with an anti-fog coating, which tends to last a lot longer than the standard coating on lenses from other manufacturers, and it also helps to repel water, oil, dust, dirt and more; keeping them scratch free!

An important note that whilst skiing or snowboarding in the low light or dark is certainly less blinding than in the sun, it doesn’t mean UV rays aren’t still there, and wearing a high VLT goggle (letting in all natural light), without UV protection is dangerous. Of course, the Dragon ski goggles come with 100% UV protection; so they’ve got you covered.

Super-Fast Lens Changing

Most skiers and snowboarders have a few sets of goggles, or at least interchangeable lenses. They might use a photochromic lens in the day (which adjusts automatically to light conditions), a low VLT lens at peak sun (which is tinted and blocks light), and a high VLT lens at night (letting in all natural light). 

That’s all great...assuming your lenses are easy to change. And let me tell you, on a standard framed ski goggle, they’re not!

As expected with a night ski goggle costing upwards of $200, you’ll get a quick release lens changing system (Dragon calls it a Swift Lock) which you can see here. Coupled with the frameless design, changing a lens within 30 seconds is an absolute breeze. Flick two levers up, remove the lens, insert new lens, flick the levers down and you’re good to go!

Anti-Fog

Fogging on ski goggles is bad enough in the daytime. Couple body heat with dropping temperatures on an evening or at night time and you can get serious fogging problems, ridiculously quickly. And, that’s another reason we’ve chosen the Dragon PXV2s as the best night ski goggles.

We’ve already spoken about the anti-fog coating on the lens. The triple layer face foam isn’t just comfortable, it helps to wick away sweat and condensation. That combined with the armored venting means fogging is a thing of the past.

The Best OTG Night Ski Goggles

Dragon RVX OTG

white over the glasses OTG RVX goggles from Dragon

We’ll keep this section super-quick, for the simple fact that the Dragon RVX OTG night ski goggles are essentially, the same as the PXV2s mentioned above. The main difference is that the RVXs are specifically designed for those looking for over the glasses goggles.

If you wear glasses when skiing, you’ll want a specific OTG goggle. They generally have a much larger frame to accommodate glasses, which also helps to stop your glasses steaming up. 

The best deal we could find on the RVX OTG goggle package is here

Looking to ski in the light and dark? Alongside the Dragons, we’ve got a cool post covering the best OTG ski goggles for the day time here that’s worth a quick read. 

In Summary

And that’s a wrap...our guide to night time ski goggles, including a recommendation for the best on offer the Dragon’s we found a great deal on over at this store.

Want to read more skiing guides? Bookmark our ski page and drop by soon, we’re constantly updating this site with skiing tips and product guides.

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