Prescription goggles: Are they worth the price?

We can all agree that seeing clearly on the slopes is of the highest priority, for both safety and performance. If your eyesight isn’t perfect, you’ll want to do everything you can to see rocks, ice, and other obstacles in your way.

Technology has come a long way in the vision department, and there are luckily more than one option for those trying to bring some clarity back to their winter life.

universal prescription goggle inserts
Universal Rx inserts

Prescription Goggle Inserts:

If contact lenses are out of the question, and you have the cash to spend, prescription goggles generally use quality lens inserts to bring your vision back to 20/20. These tend to fit snug and securely in most brands of popular ski goggle models, and can accomodate people with “weird” prescriptions, as they are made custom to you.

How do prescription goggles inserts work?

Universal prescription goggle inserts are flat, plastic frames that surround custom prescription lenses. The bendable edges of the frame are flexible enough to fit most ski goggles and stay firmly in place. Separate prescription inserts like these are a little pricey (~$90, on top of the cost of your ski goggles), but the benefit is that they can easily be swapped between goggles if you happen to upgrade, or your goggle lenses get scratched, etc.

What about fog?

The chances of the lenses fogging up, from our experience, is just as high as if you were to wear glasses underneath (see below). They are, however, noticeably harder to clean/wipe the front side of the inserts, as removing them with gloved fingers can be difficult.

Goggles over glasses cutout slot

OTG (Over-the-glasses) goggles:

Maybe prescription goggle lenses or inserts are out of your price range, or simply aren’t worth the hassle. You’re still going to need to carry around your eyeglasses for seeing at the base lodge, the drive home, etc. Right?

Everyone has horror stories of trying to fit their early 90’s ski goggles over their frames, but the fact is, ski goggles have come a long way. Many manufacturers are designing and manufacturing goggles that now fit seamlessly and comfortably over eyeglasses of most, if not all, sizes and shapes.

How do OTG Goggles work?

In every general way, OTG goggles are just like any other ski goggle, with a few key differences. First and foremost, OTG goggles have specially-designed cutouts in the side foam (and sometimes the frame itself) to allow eyeglass frames to pass through comfortably. They won’t smash against your face or press into your temples any longer. The other important element of OTG goggles is the larger interior volume, allowing more space for different shapes and sizes of eyeglass frames.

What about fog?

The fogging of both the goggle lens and the inside glasses used to be a large concern, but with the introduction of better anti-fog ski goggle lens coatings, as well as the use of very inexpensive anti-fog solutions, these problems are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Some OTG goggles even have built-in fans for making fog even harder to start forming in the first place. For more formation on fighting fog, check out our guide here.

Whether you’re looking for a simple pair of goggles for the occasional winter vacation, or a professional-level pair to use on the slopes daily, there are more than a few quality over-the-glasses options on the market, in every price range.

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