While polarized lenses can be a huge asset to some sports, are they the best choice for your ski and snow goggles? Join SportRx as we reveal how polarized ski goggles work, and whether they're an asset — or liability — out on the slopes.

Table of Contents

A. Watch the Video
B. How Do Polarized Ski Goggles Work?
C. Polarized Vs Non-Polarized Ski Goggles
1. Cons
2. Pros
D. The Answer: To Polarize or Not?
E. Shop Prescription Snow Goggles Online at SportRx

Watch the Video

How Do Polarized Ski Goggles Work?

Before we can determine if you should get polarized ski goggles or not, it's important to understand how they work. Polarized ski goggles have a vertical chemical filter that blocks horizontal light, aka glare. Applied directly to the surface of the lens, this filter reduces harsh light that impacts our ability to see clearly. If done properly, polarized ski goggles can reveal greater clarity and contrast.

Drawing showing how polarized lenses work

How Polarized Lenses Work

Polarized Vs Non-Polarized Ski Goggles

All of that sounds great, right?

In theory, and in some sports, polarization can be a huge asset. However, for skiers and snowboarders, polarized lenses can pose a risk. Let's look at the cons and pros of polarized snow goggles.


When skiing and snowboarding, glare plays a key role in distinguishing ice from snow. Without being able to spot icy patches, you may encounter risky areas you would have preferred to avoid.


When you're on the slopes and surrounded by highly-reflective snow, blinding glare is an unavoidable occurrence. Polarized snow goggles cut through this glare, so you have greater visual acuity. Here are the benefits of polarized lenses on the mountain:

  • Reduced glare
  • Greater contrast & detail
  • More comfortable vision & less eye strain

The Answer: To Polarize or Not?


When considering if you should get polarized snow goggles or not, it all comes down to lens technology. Since not all polarized filters are created equal, our Sports Opticians generally advise staying away from traditional polarized lenses when on the slopes. Standard polarized filters will not allow you to distinguish ice from snow, which poses a safety risk when you're flying downhill.

There are, however, snow-specific polarized lens technologies that excel out on the mountain. For example, Zeal Optimum Polarized lenses are designed for skiing and snowboarding conditions. These lenses reduce glare while enhancing ice and hardpack, so you can make quick judgment calls during the descent.

Sports Opticians also love the fact that the Zeal Optics Optimum Polarized Collection has a 95% polarized efficiency. Typically, non-premium polarized ski goggles will use a lower percentage to achieve some glare reduction. Zeal Optimum Polarized lenses crank up the polarization to a wild 95% while still increasing definition, detail, and contrast of the terrain.

You can also use Zeal Automatic + Lenses which combine Polarization + Photochromic lens technologies. Automatically adapting to changing light conditions, you'll always get the perfect level of tint with the benefits of glare reduction.

Zeal Lookout polarized ski goggles in black with orange shield lens.

Zeal Lookout in Dark Night with Polarized Phoenix Lens

Shop Zeal Optics Lookout

Shop Prescription Snow Goggles Online at SportRx

Need prescription snow goggles? We have prescription snow goggle inserts readily available to match your goggles with a seamless fit and superior optics. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize your perfect Rx insert. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription snow goggles.

Ditch risky online shopping with our See Better Guarantee. Try your polarized goggles for 45 days. If you’re not 100% satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get the best ski & snow goggles online at SportRx today!

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