Oakley vs. Smith – Which One Should You Choose?

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It perhaps doesn’t really matter your budget or experience level, there is still one or two other great pair of goggles waiting out there to be laid on. As technology is advancing and things getting smarter by the way, the dominance of interchangeable snow goggles is still ever strong especially in the high-end markets.

The company Oakley are not new in the snow goggles market and have been a major player since 1983. Over time, they have refined and developed even more sophisticated technology around their lenses. In their line of releases, the PRIZM is the most recent and have been in incubation for well over one and a half decade. PRIZM is dubbed by Oakley as a revolutionary lens technology which superbly improves visibility and contrast through a very wide range of illumination and light conditions.

On the flip side is Smiths of whose major lens technology is the ChromaPop. Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology offers a fantastic level of visibility, contrast and clarity over a wide range of lighting condition with their eleven lens colors. Just as Oakley, Smith is also a well-known player in the snow goggles industry having being in operation since 1965. They pioneered the development of the first ever goggle that features a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent.

Both of these lenses are well similar in a number of ways but while their distinction can be a little subtle, they are sure different in some ways. For instance, the Oakley snow goggles come with sufficient level of space in between the lenses and the user face. This of course afford users the opportunity to put on glasses beneath the snow goggles. This isn’t so peculiar to the Smith’s as they are most ideal for precision inserts.

A thing about the Smith’s ChromePop is that you have a choice of two lenses and this adds to their high versatility. More interesting about the Smith’s is that it is easy to swap between both of the two lenses. However, if you are keen on enjoying a wider range of vision, we will give it to the prism technology; so, the Oakley’s is a better choice at that.

Oakley Flight DeckCompatibly With a Wide Number of Helmets Including Giro, POC, etcPRICING
Oakley Airbrake XLSwitch Lock Technology For Rapid Lens InterchangeabilityPRICING
Oakley Airbrake (A)Plutonite Made Lens For Enhanced Protection From Radiations and Harmful LightsPRICING
Smith Optics I/OXHigh Compatibility With Many HelmetsPRICING
Smith 4D MAGAirEvac Integration СystemPRICING

In buying your ski gears, where you probably need help the most might be on purchasing your snow goggles. Your sight might as well be your major vantage point and as such, you need the best pairs to grace your vision. We have prepared this guide to guide you, to help lay your back quietly down with a pipe waiting to sip some juice as you are about to make the choice that will shoot your snow experience to a better height.


1. Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Judging from an optical appreciation of lenses, it is safe to say the Oakley Flight Deck stands out. It is certainly one of the best you will find out there and the reasons are not farfetched. If you are settling for Oakley, chances are that you had settle for this, but who knows. (#winks)

The Oakley Flight Deck goggles are inspired by the visors of fighter pilots’ helmets. They are rimless but with plastic frame and plastic lens. It provides one of the widest range of views and peripheral vision. With this goggle, you can easily see the mountains from all angles, whether side to side, above or down. It combines with the Oakley PRIZM lens technology to provide an incredible mix of style and performance.

As per dimension, it features six inches high and five inches wide. One interesting feature of the Oakley flight Deck is its F3 anti-fog coating. With this feature, the lens is kept wiped clean of fogs and ensure your vision is not compromised while in the snows. It comes with superb frame which seamlessly carves at the temples so as to provide enough compatibility for prescription glasses to fit in.

The Oakley Flight Deck also comes with a ridge lock lens system, a feature that allows for rapid and seamless lens replacement. It features a full lens seal and will carry on perfectly well even in harsh conditions without breaking. The goggle come with electrostatic Microclear bag specifically designed for its cleaning and keeping.


  • Rimless design
  • Wide range of compatibility with prescription glasses
  • Compatibly with a wide number of helmets including Giro, POC, etc
  • Comes in up to 22 color contrasts
  • Electrostatic Microclear bag for cleaning and safekeeping


  • Comes with only one lens
  • Not budget friendly

2. Oakley Airbrake XL Snow Goggles

The Oakley Airbrake XL is the favorite of many snow goers and is as such a top choice for even new users. It comes in a spherical lens shape which features the PRIZM technology just as it is with Oakley goggles. Like the Oakley Flight Deck, the Airbrake also comes with a number of selections of PRIZM lenses to choose from. However, the Airbrake XL comes with double lens tints for flipping conditions but and at a higher cost. The Airbrake as we have tested and verified is very durable; it will perform exquisitely well in resisting fog while providing comfort as you wear all day long. Thanks to its soft interior.

The Oakley Airbrake comes with a Switch lock technology. What this feature helps you achieve is quick replacement of lens. It helps you interchange the lens as seamless as possible without breaking a sweat.

Furthermore, it comes with a streamlined frame design which allows for fantastic compatibility with all kinds of helmets. It is designed with dual-pane lens and also comes with F3 anti-fog coating for superior fog resistance.


  • Double lens tints for changing conditions
  • Anti-fog ability
  • Switch lock technology for rapid lens interchangeability
  • PRIZM lens technology


  • Very pricey

3. Oakley Airbrake (A) Snow Goggles

The Oakley Airbrake (A) is another sensational goggle with exquisite performance and strength. It comes in the line of the Airbrakes from Oakley with promises of accompanying through the thick and thin of the snows. It is built with a rigid outer construction which securely implements the switch lock technology for quick lens replacement. It also keeps the goggles less distorted and well protective. Unlike other Oakleys, the Airbrake (A) doesn’t really come in varying color contrasts.

It is also designed with a non-rigid O matter faceplate, a feature that allows the goggles to lap easily and effectively to your face. But the O Matter strap outriggers are superbly flexible and allows for a superior fit whether you have a helmet on or not. Even so, it goes perfectly well with most helmets.

The PRIZM lenses coming with the Oakley Airbrake (A) helps to effectively control light reflection by finetuning into colors that are self-adapted by the lenses to provide you unparalleled visibility and clarity. The double lenses it comes with are optically adjusted and feature high definition optics (HDO) that affords you of crisp clarity irrespective of the angle of vision. The lenses also come with anti-fog coating which ensures your vision is not compromised when under the fog. More interestingly, the lenses material is chiefly plutonite, a material notoriously known for offering unmatched protection against UVC, UVB, UVA as well as other dangerous blue colored lights.


  • Rigid outer construction for less distortion and improved durability
  • Dual lens tins featuring PRIZM technology
  • Plutonite made lens for enhanced protection from radiations and harmful lights
  • Anti-fog coating for easy fog removal
  • Rigid O matter faceplate for superior attaching to the face


  • Doesn’t come in varying color options


4. Smith Optics I/OX Goggle

Perhaps you have got that kind of face that’s quite wide and you need a goggle that will offer the best optics and a rapid lens replacement technology? The Smith Optics I/OX goggle might just be the right one to go for as they have dominated that category for over along time even till now. The goggle features a rimless design and offers a sufficiently large range of vision. It really competes well with the best of the Oakley and is as such a top choice by many too.

The Smith Optics comes with a fast release lens change system, a feature that helps you to replace the lenses just as fast as you can without breaking a sweat. The lens as a low light and bright light ChromaPop performance tints. They make the goggles just about perfect for wear under almost all light conditions. The inner lens is Spherical carbonic and is incredibly anti-fog at a 5-times rate as compared to many other goggles out there. More interesting is the fact that the snow goggle features the TLT lens technology, an addition that allows the lens to help you achieve a crystal clear and crisp vision. The frame design is responsive and conforms well with your face, the goggle is medium fit and comes with QuickFit strap adjustment system. This system comes with a clip buckle that allows you to customize the fit of the goggles to your head, whether you want it very tight or somewhat loose.

The Smith Optics also features a tri-layer DrWix face foam which doubles as a nice padding to enhance comfort. This way, the touch regions of the lens face are not caught in friction and as such maintains a comfortable experience. More features are the AirEvac integration system which helps to cut down fog buildup, Silicone Backed Strap, Ultra-large, as well as rotating outrigger positioning technology.

The snow goggle is built with a patented Porex filter that prevents the lens from distorting when descending the slopes or switching elevation. The goggles come with a protective electrostatic microfiber bag which also doubles as a lens cleaner.


  • Replacement lens sleeve
  • 5-times anti-fog power
  • High compatibility with many helmets
  • Very responsive fit frame construction
  • Three-layer DriWix face foam padding for enhanced comfort


  • Available only in medium fit

5. Smith 4D MAG Goggles

When you talk about versatility, it’s one of a number of things this goggle brings to the market. The Smith 4D MAG is another phenomenal snow goggle with promises of high performance and superior visibility across a wide range of light exposures.

The Smith 4D offers a Smith MAG replacement feature which allows for seamless lens replacement. It comes with both dull light and bright light ChromaPop performance lenses just as it was with the Smith Optics reviewed above. With this feature, it offers a Birdseye vision, a representation of how sharp and crisp the clarity level of the lenses are like that of an eagle.

It comes in medium size and also features a QuickFit strap adjustment system. Its clip buckle ensures the goggles stay attached to your head without being shaky. The goggle is well versatile as it comes in an interchangeable series and will go well with almost any type of helmet.

In a bid to enhance comfort and to not jeopardize your performance levels on the snow, the goggle has been designed with a triple-layer Driwix Face foam. This foam provides a level of padding between the goggles and your face. In addition, the goggle comes with a hardcase for storage and with a microfiber bag. Going for the Smith 4D MAG will as well bring a great value for your bucks.


  • Ultra-wide silicone backed strap
  • Of great quality and construction
  • Triple later Driwix face foam padding
  • Birdseye vision
  • AirEvac Integration system


  • Not ideal for small and large heads


With any of these goggles, you can be sure you have got the right companion for your next adventure on the snow. To boost the performance of your helmet, the right goggles is needed and with any of these reviewed goggles, your vision in the snows has never been better. A quick thing to take note is that, if you are the type that uses prescription wears, we will advise Oakley. This is because Oakley goggles provide a bit of space in between the lens face and your face and thus allows for wearing prescription glasses beneath them. All in all, the Oakley and Smith are an incredible snow gears which are fit enough to give a significant boost to your adventures on the snow.

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