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Are Ski Goggles and Motocross Goggles the Same? (Explained)

If you are someone who is into heavy outdoor sports such as skiing and motocross then you might have found yourself asking some questions regarding the gears of these sports. One of such questions may include if the goggles used for these sports are similar or not.

Since the eyes are super fragile it is important that you are fully aware of the gears necessary to protect them before using different goggles. 

Are ski goggles and motocross goggles the same?

They are not fully the same because both are used for different purposes and thus are designed accordingly to fit each purpose. Ski goggles usually tend to be better ventilated so that fogging is prevented in the cold temperatures and a different pair of goggles won’t work as well in harsh cold. 

Skiing and motocross are two completely different activities because the weather it is done in has a stark difference. This is the reason the way each goggle is designed varies in many different ways.

One of the key differences includes the fact ski goggles are better ventilated since you will be using them in a very cold environment and it needs to be functioned in a way to prevent fogging.

The lenses for both of the goggles are not that similar either because for skiing you are required to have contrast and for motocross, you do not need that feature as much. 

What is the difference between ski goggles and motocross goggles?

Though the fact still stands that both are goggles at the end of the day that are worn with a helmet, there are some differences that you should be aware of. Each of them is designed in a way to help you carry out the respective sport much more smoothly and comfortably. 

Protection From UV Rays:

Most good ski goggles offer you full protection from harmful UV rays. This is very essential as you need full protection from the harmful rays that reflect off the vast snow surface while skiing.

On the other hand, most motocross goggles are not fully protected from UV rays as it is not a prominent feature needed for motocross. 

Dual Lens:

Ski goggles consist of dual-lens and this is an very important feature as it prevents moisture from seeping into the second lens.

When you are in cold weather, this feature is necessary to prevent fogging and help you navigate your way through more comfortably. Motocross goggles do not tend to have this feature and are just made of a single lens.


Since it is designed for harsh cold weather, snow goggles have much better ventilation compared to motocross goggles.

It is to draw out the heat away from the face in a quicker manner. Motocross goggles on the other hand consist of finer ventilation to stop dust from entering the eyes. 

Periphery Vision:

Snow goggles will provide you a very wide vision that will allow you to see all the areas surrounding your peripheral vision.

This is important because amongst the field of white you are required to make out the bumps and dips in the slopes to protect yourself from accidents.

Motocross goggles only provide you a vision that allows you to see straight ahead because that is what is required from the activity. 


When it comes to these vigorous activities, it is important that you wear proper goggles as normal ones won’t do the job. These goggles are designed with tinted lenses to help increase your visibility and navigate your way through.

It is important that you are able to make out all the bumps and dips to avoid injuring yourself. Both the lenses have different tints to give you the best clarity possible depending on the type of terrain and weather. 

Can you use ski goggles for motocross?

If you are running low on budget, then you can surely opt for using ski goggles for motocross. However, there are many reasons as to why you should consider not doing so.

The goggles are each fixed for providing different functions and you might have trouble navigating comfortably if you use ski goggles for motocross. As a result, especially if you are a beginner to such activities, there is a greater chance of you injuring yourself. 

Reasons why you cannot wear ski goggles for motocross:

There are quite a few reasons you should keep in mind before using ski goggles for motocross as there is a big risk that you might end up hurting yourself. 


Ski goggles are designed to keep airborne snow out of your eyes. Motocross goggles on the other hand are made of stronger material to protect your eyes from rocks, sticks, small branches that might end up flying in front of you from the wheels of the cycle.

It is made to protect your eyes from harsher debris that a ski goggle might not be able to protect you from. 


The one big criteria that you look out for in ski goggles might end up being a huge disadvantage if you use them for motocross.

Ski goggles have large vents to help prevent fogging. If you use this goggle for motocross then dust might enter through these vents and irritate or worse harm your eyes. 


Ski goggles tend to be more tinted to block out the sunlight which might make it quite difficult to make your way through motocross terrain.

The dark lens will not let you properly navigate your way through as you require the proper colored lenses to help see the bumps and trees clearer in such risky terrain. 

Lens Profile:

There is a stark difference between the lens profile of a ski goggle and a motocross goggle.

Ski goggles are convex which allows them to the water or snow on the edges for acuity. They are not suitable for running tear-offs since they don’t have a flat shape. 

Awkward fitting:

Bike helmets are cute lower on the brow which can make it quite awkward to fit the ski goggles in.

On top of that, the straps on ski goggles are supposed to sit outside the helmet and positioning it inside a motocross helmet can be quite uncomfortable to wear. 

Can you use motocross goggles for skiing?

It is highly suggested to not wear motocross goggles for skiing. There are a lot of variables that come into play when you go skiing and a motocross goggle is not well adapted to fulfill all those criteria.

If you are new to skiing you might end up hurting yourself if you opt for motocross goggles instead of proper skiing ones. 

Reasons why you cannot wear motocross goggles for skiing: 

Motocross goggles are not designed for skiing and thus will not give you a comfortable experience while using one. Furthermore, there is a big chance that you might end up damaging your eyesight. 

UV Protection:

Wearing motocross goggles for skiing means that you will not get complete protection from the sunlight whereas you are much more exposed to it compared to biking.

The glare reflecting off the snow around you can end up damaging your eyesight permanently. UV rays are very harmful and prolonged exposure to it can damage your cornea which in turn can cause snow blindness. 


Motocross goggles are single lensed and are not well ventilated with holes around the lens. They do not have the extra insulated layer of foam as well.

This means that in harsh cold conditions like skiing your goggles will fog up badly and not allow you to navigate your way through properly. 


Motocross goggles are designed to block out any periphery vision and only give you access to the vision straight ahead.

This might make it quite hard for you to ski properly as you will not be able to see anything around you and as a result, you won’t be able to watch out for bumps and cracks properly. 


Motocross goggles are made to be used on ground terrain and as a result, it will not give you much clarity in a field of white.

You need a proper tinted lens that blocks out the glare and provides you with a contrast so that you can see the surrounding area in depth and avoid accidents. 

Do motocross goggles have better impact protection?

Yes, because they have been designed to provide you with super tough lenses that can confront rocks, sticks, branches, and other debrises without breaking. They have the highest impact protection and will save your eyes from any kind of disaster. 

Do all motocross goggles fit all helmets?

No, all motocross goggles will not fill all helmets. They are specifically designed to fit bike helmets and will be awkward fitting on others. Even then, it might not fit all bike helmets properly as different people have different head sizes and shapes. 

Snow goggles have been optimized specially to take on conditions such as the harsh glare of the sun and to navigate properly in the icy white terrain. Motocross goggles on the other hand are designed to take on the dirt bike terrain filled with dust, rock, sticks, and branches.

Using any of these goggles for either of the situations means that your vision and clarity will be affected negatively.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Ski Goggles Go Over Helmets?

Do Ski Goggles Have UV Protection?

Do You Need Goggles to Ski? Are They Necessary?

How Long Do Ski Goggles Last?