Snowboarding with Glasses | Your Complete Guide 2024

by Tom

Snowboarding with glasses presents its own set of challenges, but with preparation and the right gear, it’s entirely doable!

If you’re like me and rely on glasses daily, the slopes shouldn’t be an exception. Don’t leave them at home like I (stupidly) used to!

Here’s a straightforward guide to ensure you enjoy your mountain experience without visual hiccups.

1. OTG (Over The Glasses) Goggles

Start with the right equipment. OTG goggles are designed with extra space to fit over glasses, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. Beyond fit, these goggles typically also offer enhanced ventilation to minimize the dreaded fog issue.

While OTG goggles may look like regular snowboarding goggles, they’re designed a little different. 

Their specific features include:

  • Enhanced Ventilation: These goggles prioritize airflow, reducing the chances of your glasses fogging up.

  • Foam Padding: OTG goggles often have multiple layers of foam padding. This not only ensures that your glasses won’t be pressed against your face, but also prevents them from getting jostled or scratched.

  • Foam Notches: OTG goggles often have notches cut out for the arms of your glasses. This prevents them being pressed into your face, or creating damage to the foam. 

  • Adjustable Straps: They come with adjustable straps, ensuring they can be fitted securely over helmets while still accommodating glasses.

OTG Goggle Recommendations

In my long and difficult battle with snowboarding with glasses, I’ve tried over a dozen pairs of OTG goggles. Smith Optics have consistently been the best brand.  

I highly recommend either the Smith I/O Mag XL or the Smith Skyline XL. I’ll drop a link to them below!

2. Tackling the Fog

Fogging is a common issue when combining glasses and snowboarding. I once rode completely off the edge of a cat-track due to misty lenses! 

Before heading out, apply an anti-fog solution to your glasses. These come in sprays or wipes and make a world of difference. Seriously!

If fogging does occur, it’s essential to clear it properly. Avoid using your gloves; a microfiber cloth will serve you better.

3. Securing Your Glasses

Engaging in high-action activities like snowboarding can cause your glasses to shift or slide. Especially if you take a few inevitable slams.

A simple sports strap can help anchor your glasses in place. Otherwise they tend to slop around inside your goggles, or can slide forward against the goggle lens. 

4. Always Have a Backup

Whether it’s a spare pair of glasses or contacts, having a backup is always a boss move. Despite our best efforts, accidents or mishaps happen (trust me), and being prepared ensures they don’t ruin your day.

5. Breather Breaks

If you’re out on the mountain for a while, give both your glasses and yourself periodic breaks. Briefly lifting your goggles to let your glasses air out can help reduce potential fogging and moisture buildup.

Don’t rest your goggles on top of your hat or helmet though… that’s a fast track route to fog city!

6. Prescription Goggle Inserts

Navigating the slopes with prescription needs? Enter prescription goggle inserts. 

What Are They?

Custom-made lenses that fit inside your snowboard goggles, eliminating the need for glasses underneath.

smith prescription snowboard lens inserts


  • Versatility: Fits various goggle sizes and can be switched between multiple pairs.
  • Reduced Fogging: Less material inside the goggle means clearer vision.
  • Budget-Friendly: Can be bought pretty cheaply (usually). 


  • Compatibility: You need to check if they fit your specific goggles.
  • Maintenance: Handle with care, clean regularly.
  • Field of View: The inserts are generally pretty small, especially compared to the expansive goggle lenses of today.

My thoughts? Prescription inserts offer an efficient and cost-effective solution… for some riders. Personally, I’m not a fan. The field of prescription view is often way smaller than you get with glasses, which are closer to your face. 

However, if they suit you, go for it!

7. Considering Contact Lenses: Pros and Pitfalls

For some (myself included), the simplest solution to snowboarding with glasses is to swap them out entirely. Contact lenses can be a game-changer on the mountain.

Here’s what you should consider if you’re thinking of making the switch:

  • Clear Vision: Contacts provide an unobstructed field of vision, providing a view of the mountain in all its panoramic glory.
  • Compatibility with Regular Goggles: Without the need to fit over glasses, you can choose from a wider range of snowboard goggles, opening up more style and fit options.
  • Reduced Fogging: By eliminating glasses, you naturally get rid of one major source of fogging. Contacts don’t fog up!
  • Dryness: This one can be killer! The cold mountain air, combined with the wind, can make your eyes super dry. Use lubricating eye drops (compatible with contacts) at the end of each day.
  • Risk of Losing a Lens: Falls and tumbles (commonplace in snowboarding) could dislodge a contact lens. I even lost one on a windy lift once! Always have a backup pair with you.

Preventing Fog on the Slopes: Quick Tips

Whether you’re a glasses-wearer or not, fogging can hinder your snowboarding experience. Here’s how to keep it at bay:

  1. Anti-Fog Spray: Apply to the inner side of your goggles before heading out.
  2. Ventilation: Ensure goggles have proper vents and avoid obstructing them.
  3. Dry Goggles: Keep the inside of your goggles dry; avoid touching or wiping with wet gloves.
  4. Helmet Fit: Ensure your helmet and goggles align, preventing warm air from rising into the goggles. Incidentally, these are the best snowboard helmets!
  5. Avoid Overheating: Periodically lift goggles on lift rides to release moisture and equalize temperature. Don’t wear them whilst hiking, bring sunglasses!

Stay clear and enjoy your ride!

Verdict: Snowboarding with Glasses

Ultimately, I’ve found that the best solution for snowboarding with glasses is using Over The Glasses (OTG) goggles. Particularly if contact lenses aren’t an option.

Believe me, I’ve tried all of the alternative solutions! Until they manage to affordably put our prescriptions directly into goggle lenses, don’t overcomplicate matters. 

Final Thoughts

While wearing glasses might introduce an extra layer of complexity to snowboarding, it’s far from insurmountable.

By equipping yourself appropriately and being mindful of potential issues, the mountain remains as accessible to “visually-challenged folk” as to anyone else.

Remember, preparation is key. Follow the above steps and you’re ready to tackle the slopes with clear vision!

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