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Smith vs. Oakley Snow Goggles for cheap

Braving cold weather to get some outdoor time during the winter months, whether it be skiing, hiking or snowmobiling, can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, unsafe. Thankfully, the right gear will keep you warm, comfortable and safe in any conditions and when it comes to winter sports eyewear, two companies, Smith and Oakley, dominate the market. With dozens of models and loads of innovative technology in their lineups, choosing between the two is easier said than done. Keep reading this complete comparison and buying guide to learn more about both brands and which one is right for you. 

What makes Smith snow goggles unique?  

While both Smith and Oakley make premium snow goggles, Smith has its roots in the ski industry and it shows. Founded in 1965 by avid skier and outdoor enthusiast Robert Smith, Smith Optics has been pioneering winter sports eyewear for the better part of a century. In addition to their almost unparalleled pedigree, Smith has a deep rooted set of values that drive their company. Smith’s stated brand values are activism and sustainability, and the brand has been adhering it’s community responsibility program, CoRe, for years now. From the design stage to the moment they are delivered to your door, all Smith products are optimized to reduce carbon footprint and protect the environment. In fact, in all of their manufacturing operations Smith states that they consider all inputs and outputs, including energy, water and chemical usage, in terms of limiting environmental harm. 

Smith has created a community of like minded individuals within their customer base, and when  you get a pair of Smith snow goggles you can rest assured that they are as sustainable as can be. Plus, although they’re not cheap at the higher end, Smith goggles are slightly more affordable than Oakley goggles. 

Best high-end Smith snow goggles

Quick Take: These goggles are purpose built to help intermediate and expert winter athletes take their skills to the next level on any terrain. 

What you’ll love: The 4D MAG Goggles feature Smith’s latest optical technology, making them the ideal choice for anyone who wants a pair of premium goggles capable of handling any conditions. The lenses on these goggles contain Smith’s unique ChromaPop technology, which filters two specific wavelengths of light to enhance contrast and reduce flat light. By helping you see more clearly ChromaPop helps keep you safer on the slopes, trail  or road. Last but not least, as the name implies, these goggles include Smith’s awesome ‘MAG,’ or magnet, lens changing system. Rather than the cumbersome clips snow goggles usually use to secure the lens to the frame, the 4D MAG uses a series of small magnets that allow you to change your lens in well under 30 seconds. 

What you should consider: As Smith’s flagship goggles, these aren’t cheap and don’t go on sale too often either. Furthermore, getting replacement lenses, which is one of the main attractions of the Smith 4D MAG goggles, is quite expensive. 

Best budget Smith snow goggles

Quick Take: Don’t let the price tag fool you; the Smith Range goggles are durable, functional and ideal for anyone who isn’t interested in the latest technological luxuries. 

What you’ll love: With an ultra-wide field of vision and a robust ventilation system, the Smith Range goggles punch well above their weight class, especially when you consider their price. These goggles feature a classic cylindrical lens that allows you to use your peripheral vision to your advantage. Another must-have feature on the Smith Range goggles is the dual layer moisture-wicking frame foam, which works with the unique anti-fog coating and ventilation system to keep your face warm and dry and your lens fog-free. To top it all off, these goggles are designed to integrate with Smith helmets, allowing you to effectively direct airflow away from or towards your head. 

What you should consider: Swapping your lens in and out with the Smith Range goggles will take at least a few minutes, which means you may not have time to do it on the chairlift, for example. 

What makes Oakley snow goggles unique? 

In contrast to Smith, Oakley has its company roots in motocross. Founded in 1975 by James Jannard, his first product was a motorcycle grip. However, this by no means indicates that Oakley can’t make an amazing pair of snow goggles. Within 5 years of its founding, Oakley built a reputation for manufacturing premium, high performance action sports eyewear. Today, Oakley can draw on more than its own pedigree thanks to the fact that Oliver Peoples group, a renowned designer eyewear manufacturer. Plus, you can trust that Oakley’s goggles are built to the highest standards because they’re built to US Military standards, which involves rigorous durability testing. 

Quick Take: Designed in conjunction with world champion ski race, Aleksander kilde, these goggles are ideal for anyone who likes to push their personal speed records each time they head out to the slopes or trails. 

What you’ll love: As Oakley’s flagship snow goggle, the Flight Path is packed to the brim with awesome features. To begin with, most Flight Path models, including the limited edition Unity Collection, have lenses equipped with Oakley’s patented PRIZM technology. Similar to Smith’s ChromaPop, PRIZM lenses are designed to filter out the wavelengths that our eyes are most sensitive to, thus enhancing contrast and clarity. Another practical design feature on the Flight Path goggles is the spherical construction of the lens, which allows for a great upper field of vision. Having an increased upper field of vision means you can still see in an aggressive stance. As an added benefit, these goggles are unisex and are available in three sizes which means that you can match with almost anyone! 

What you should consider: As you may expect for a flagship model from a well-known brand, the Unity Connection Flight Path goggles are quite expensive. Another thing to consider before purchasing these goggles is the fact that unlike the Smith 4D MAG, the premium features on the Flight Path aren’t universally useful.

Quick Take: Boasting an attention-grabbing vintage look and all the features you need to have a good time outside during the winter, in any conditions, these goggles offer a great bang-for-your-buck. 

What you’ll love: These goggles give you everything you need to hit the slopes on your ski or snowboard or trailblaze on a snowmobile. With an extra-wide lens and a low profile brow construction the Target Line goggles maximize field of vision without sacrificing helmet compatibility. In addition to the standard anti-fog coatings, the lenses on the Flight Path have Oakley’s patented HDO (High Definition Optics) system that works to eliminate color distortion and flat light. 

What you should consider: The anti-fog coating on the inner lens is notoriously difficult to maintain. Another thing to keep in mind before purchasing the Target Line goggles is the fact that no matter what size you choose, they’re designed to have a jumbo lens, which may not fit all faces. 

Oakley Snow Goggles

Oakley Snow Goggles