If you plan to go riding with an open face or off-road helmet, then you’re going to want some top quality motorcycle goggles to protect your eyes. When you’re traveling at speed, your eyes become vulnerable to the elements, road grime, and harsh UV rays. The best way to protect your eyes is to keep them covered.
But what kind of goggles should you buy? Can you wear the same goggles that you’d wear for mowing the lawn? What about that pair you bought for a ski trip last winter? Can you get away with a cheap pair of goggles bought online? Well, we’ve put together a list of the best motorcycle goggles on the market to take the guess work out of your shopping trip, and we’ve added a buying guide that should give you a good outline of what’s on offer, who makes them, and what features you should look out for. So without further ado, here are the best motorcycle goggles currently on offer:
The Halcyon Mark 49 (MK49) goggles are an icon in their own right. These are the goggles for both fighter pilots and motorcyclists alike. In modern times, they might seem to be more form over function, but the reality is that these wonderfully handmade aviator motorcycle goggles offer some of the best eye protection in the world.
Manufactured from chrome plated polished brass and reinforced with heavy-duty hand-stitched leather padding, the Halcyon MK49 goggles aren’t cheap or plastic-y like so many poor imitations out there. These historic goggles can be worn over glasses, excel in the dark, and are especially effective in windy and rainy conditions.
They are quite expensive compared with other models. However, you’re not just paying for an effective pair of goggles. You’re paying for a piece of aviation and motorcycling history, and for a genuinely handmade product. They are worth money—especially if you like retro motorcycle goggles with a touch of steampunk influence.
Brass and leather construction
Genuine vintage production with historic value
Excellent wind protection
Tinted lenses aren’t available
The physical size may get in the way of drop down sun-visors
We’re big fans of Biltwell. They offer no-nonsense apparel at an affordable price tag, with no compromises to the overall quality and finish. These motorcycle goggles are the perfect example of a basic product that does exactly what you want, without any unnecessary bells and whistles. The Biltwell Moto 2.0 motorcycle goggles are tough, durable, ideal for a wide range of riders, and of course, reasonably priced too.
Manufactured from a strong injection-molded plastic, the Biltwell Moto 2.0 goggles feature a large-lens eye port that offers exceptional vision, especially around the periphery, with a strong impact resistant lens made from polycarbonate. The lens is also treated with an anti-fog coating, and is completely removable for easy cleaning or replacement.
One of our favorite things about these goggles is the lack of bright colors or over the top design accents that you usually find on other off-road focused apparel. These motorcycle riding goggles are available in a range of fairly plain but subtle colors, which can complement a dazzling motocross jersey or a toned-down vintage motorcycle jacket in equal measure.
Heavy-duty woven strap
Foam and fleece padding and venting
Can be worn over glasses
May not fit all helmets
Do not come with a storage bag
Lack certain features that more expensive products have
The Bobster brand name is one of the most well-known in the motorcycle goggle industry, and that’s why we have a few of their products on this list. The first one on here isn’t their best, but it’s one of the cheapest pair of quality goggles that you can buy. For a very small price tag, you get a lot of goggle. These are ideal for riders who need something cheap and efficient to do the job.
These economical goggles are small and compact, and shaped in a classic touring style. Manufactured from a flexible plastic, the goggles come equipped with glare-free and shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses that can successfully block UVA and UVB rays. The strap is adjustable, and the actual goggles feature comfortable foam cushioning.
Don’t expect long term longevity from these goggles though. They are excellent for the money but if you’re looking to buy one pair of goggles that will last for years, these won’t be the ones for you. However, they’re so cheap that regularly replacing them wouldn’t be a terrible option.
Next up, we have another cheap and affordable set of goggles. This time they’re from Red Baron. These goggles aren’t in the same league as many others on this list, but if you’re looking for a cheap pair of goggles to keep under your seat or in your saddle bags for emergencies, then they’re a worthy option.
Made from flexible and robust plastic and equipped with shatterproof, scratch-resistant lenses, the Red Baron goggles are strong, comfortable and do the job. The lenses are rated for UV400 protection standards and feature a filter that keeps you doubly protected. They also have a comfortable and secure fit, keeping out road debris, dust, wind, and rain.
These breathable goggles have decent airflow and aren’t uncomfortable to wear. It’s not all good news though. Since they have a tint night riding is off limits; they’re can’t be worn over glasses either. That being said, they’re a good cheap option for both road and off road riders, but they’re not ideal for long term use or anything too heavy duty.
Simple but effective. These excellent goggles from Oakley are some of the best in the business. They’re smart and simple, incredibly affordable, and stamped with Oakley’s seal of approval. As one of the biggest names in the eyewear industry, you can trust in the Oakley brand name. These O-Frame MX goggles are exactly what you’d want from a pair of basic motorcross riding goggles.
These goggles are made from a tough urethane material that can withstand the effects of extreme temperatures, offering flexibility and comfort. The lenses are special Lexan lenses, which are scratch-resistant and reduce the effects of glare and reflections. These goggles have a plush moisture-wicking face foam for added comfort, and a very useful non-slip silicone strap feature that stops your goggles from moving around.
If that wasn’t enough, they’re equipped with race-ready attachments to accommodate separately sold tear-off strips for maximum optical clarity even in the harshest conditions. If you’re looking for professional quality goggles at an affordable price, then look no further. If Oakley motorcycle goggles are good enough for Ricky Carmichael, they’re more than good enough for the rest of us.
Comfortably triple layer face foam
Compatible with other Oakley MX face protection
ANSI Z87.1 rated for impact & EN 1938 MX requirements
Global Vision has been in the eyewear business since the early 80s, and the brand has built a reputation as a name that you can rely on and trust. For this list, we’ve chosen the brand’s Mach-1 motorcycle goggles. They’re not the most expensive, nor the cheapest, that the brand has to offer; instead, they’re reasonably priced, and designed specifically to fir over the top of glasses.
These goggles are manufactured from strong plastic and come equipped with a shatterproof, single-piece, scratch-resistant, polycarbonate lens, which has a UV400 filter for optimum UV protection. The lens is anti-fog too. Molded foam inlays make them comfortable on your face, and a well-made adjustable strap with anti-slip grips keep it secured to your helmet.
The Global Vision Mach-1 goggles are available with a clear or smoke tint too. Also, if these aren’t to your liking, the brand makes a wide range of motorcycle sunglasses, riding goggles, and other goods that you should take a closer look at. They make great Harley Davidson motorcycle goggles that many HD riders swear by.
Next up, we’ve got another product from Bobster. These OTG (over-the-glasses) goggles are an excellent choice for those who need a versatile pair of goggles. They come equipped with interchangeable lenses, with the extra tinted lenses included in the package. If you need goggles to fit over your glasses, and need versatility, then these could be what you’re looking for.
Manufactured from a flexible polyurethane material, with a molded face seal over the frames, and sweat-absorbing neoprene cushioning, these goggles are comfortable to wear and incredibly durable and hard-wearing. The lenses are made from impact-resistant polycarbonate, offering 100% protection from UV damage.
The Phoenix goggles come with three lenses: anti-fog smoke, amber, and clear. These lenses are easy to swap, and offer unparalleled visibility no matter what the riding conditions are. They’re ideally suited to road riding and mild off-roading than full-on dirt biking, but if you’re not going hard they should do the job perfectly, and at an affordable price too.
3 interchangeable lenses
Can be worn over sunglasses and prescription glasses
If you’re looking for a pair of sleek goggles that don’t give you a bug-eye look, then this pair from Pacific Coast is worth a look. These glasses can fit over the top of your regular glasses without any uncomfortable pinching or squeezing, and can be worn over the top of your helmet, or underneath if you prefer.
Manufactured from ventilated plastic, the black frame also boasts soft foam padding that keeps your face protected and stops any wind from getting in. The actual lenses are strong and shatterproof polycarbonate, rated at UV400, protecting your eyes from UV rays, strong winds, and glare. Different lenses are available, including clear, amber, yellow, smoke, and polarized.
These goggles also have the ANSI Z80.3 seal of approval, exceeding the standard UV protection requirements, and the ANSI Z87.1 impact resistance rating too. If that wasn’t enough, they also arrive individually boxed, with a cool nylon case, a cleaning cloth, and a belt clip. Many riders say that these are some of the best motorcycle goggles out there, and for the price, it’s hard to find fault with them.
For our last Bobster entry on the list, we have the Cruiser 2 goggles. These goggles feature interchangeable lenses with three different lens choice included, all-weather protection, a comfortable fit, and a stylish look. For cruiser riders, these are their Harley Davidson motorcycle goggles of choice—and from a brand name with a proven track record for quality.
Built around a polyurethane frame, the Bobster Cruiser 2 goggles are reinforced with a comfy sweat-absorbing open-cell foam liner that hugs the face and keeps out wind and moisture. The frames also have air circulation holes for positive air circulation. The lenses are polycarbonate, with ultraviolet coatings for UV and weather protection. There are three interchangeable lenses included: smoke, amber, and clear.
If you like the sound of Bobster goggles but aren’t taken with any that we’ve featured, we also recommend the Bobster Night Hawk goggles, and Bobster Piston goggles models too. We like the Cruiser 2 goggles because of their sleek design and affordable price! Plus, it comes with a cool carry case and cleaning cloth too.
Interchangeable lenses for visibility in all conditions
Ultraviolet coatings for all-weather protection
Can be adapted to accommodate prescription lenses
Can feel flimsy compared with other products
Air circulation holes can let in water occasionally
The Fox Racing brand name has become synonymous with quality when it comes to extreme sports apparel, and that’s why we’ve put their goggles on our list. There are a lot of Fox goggles on the market, but we like their simpler, entry level Main II goggles best. They’re excellent value for money, in a package that really does the job and does it well.
Made from tough and durable plastic, the frame is reinforced with triple-layer face foam that makes these goggles a joy to wear and keeps out the air, moisture, dirt and grime. It also has a fleece liner for added comfort! The Lexan lenses offer 100% UV protection, offer an expansive unobstructed view, and can be swapped with other lenses. They’re anti-fog and scratch resistant too.
These goggles also feature tearaway compatibility, a non-slip silicone strap, and they can be worn over the top of prescription glasses. There have been reports that the goggles can be a little restricting around the nose area, but unless you have a large nose, they should nice and comfortable. As an added bonus, these goggles include a microfiber goggle bag too.
Lexan lenses offer excellent UV protection
Multi-layer face foam with a comfortable fleece liner
Non-slip silicone strap
Some report that the face foam can degrade over time
Tight nose cover can feel restricting
Fit can be tight – take care to buy the right size
How To Buy The Best Motorcycle Goggles: A Buying Guide
Motorcycle goggles and riding glasses aren’t for everyone, but if you want to wear an open-faced helmet without a visor, it’s important to have something to protect your eyes. Goggles come in a wide variety, and no two brands are the same – and there’s a huge difference in quality from a cheap pair of fashion or dress-up eye coverings to a well-engineered piece of protection equipment. When buying motorcycle goggles, the most important is understanding what they do.
What Do Motorcycle Goggles Do?
First things first: they are there to protect your eyes. Traveling at speed with your eyes exposed will leave them vulnerable to a wide range of harmful substances and objects, including grit, grime, and other road debris, and other things like insects, the wind, the sun, and rain.
Since your goggles will be your eyes first line of defense against these harmful things, you want goggles that can actually do the job. That’s why you shouldn’t buy the cheapest pair that you can find. They might not be able to protect your eyes. But there’s more to motorcycle goggles than protection. Here’s what else you can look out for.
Visibility – Motorcycle riding goggles can improve your visibility. Apart from shielding your eyes from harmful projectiles, they can also help filter out dazzling sunlight, blinding reflections, or the bright headlights of oncoming vehicles. Different goggles have different properties though, so find one that suits your needs.
Focus – Goggles can also keep you focused. A punishing wind can dry your eyes out, make them itch, or make them stream. This can take your attention away from the road, which isn’t ideal. Goggles can also stop sweat and other moisture from getting into your eyes too.
Comfort – Lastly, goggles provide a more comfortable alternative for those who find helmet’s with visors claustrophobic, too restricting, or too hot. Goggles can improve your riding comfort, allowing you to enjoy the ride.
What Types Of Riding Goggles Are Available?
There are many different kinds of goggles available, just like there are many different types of motorcycle rider. Here are the most popular types:
Street Riding Goggles
There are plenty of street riders who prefer to feel the wind against their face rather than cover it up completely with a full-face helmet. Scooter riders, cruiser riders, standard riders, and even the occasional sports enthusiast, can be seen wearing goggles regularly. These goggles are usually quite small, with a smart, slim, and narrow design.
The off-road riding goggles are probably the most popular kind of motorcycle goggles out there. They’re specifically designed to protect the eyes from hazardous conditions. They keep mud and water out, and can withstand a good whack from a tree branch too. These goggles are very heavy duty-perfect for dirt bike riders.
Over The Glasses (OTG) Goggles
For riders who wear glasses, you’re in luck, because there are goggles out there specifically designed for you. These goggles are made for riders who don’t wear contact lenses but need glasses full-time. They fit over your glasses but without pinching the frames and arms into your head, or causing any discomfort. They offer excellent protection, to protect your eyes, and those expensive frames of yours, too.
Prescription Motorcycle Goggles
They’re a niche product, but they exist. If you don’t want to wear goggles over your glasses, you can buy special goggles fitted with prescription lenses. These riding goggles aren’t particularly cheap when compared to others on the list, but they offer excellent eye protection without making your feel uncomfortable, or having to focus on the road in front through more layers of glass than you’d like. They’re also quite rare, but they certainly do exist.
Avoid these at all cost. When we say “toy goggles,” we mean goggles that aren’t specifically designed for protecting your eyes. If you think a pair of $5 steampunk “motorcycle” goggles that you bought off of Etsy will protect your eyes at speed, guess again. They may look good, but if they’re not specially designed for motorcycling, then forget them. Swimming goggles, welding goggles, cosplay accessories, and fashion goggles – leave them at home when you’re going for a ride.
What Are Some Notable Brands?
So now that you know what motorcycle goggles can do, and the different types available, what brands should you be keeping an eye out for? Naturally, we recommend the items on the list above, but if you want to do a search of your own to draw your own conclusions, we recommend typing in these big names to help get your search off to a good start:
There’s one brand that’s got a few entries on our list, and that’s Bobster. Based out of San Diego, Bobster has been manufacturing quality eyewear since 1994, and they have some interesting motorcycle goggles in their range. They make gear for civilians, military personnel, and powersports professionals, so you can guarantee that their products will be good enough for your needs too!
When it comes to sports-related eyewear and eye protection, Oakley is arguably the most famous brand out there. This American brand is based in California, and it has been making performance eyewear since 1975. They offer a variety of goggles with a number of interesting features. We recommend that you give their products a look.
Pacific Coast Sunglasses
Pacific Coast is another reputable manufacturer of motorcycle goggles. The company was first established back in 1984, in California. The brand has a wide range of biker goggles on offer, from regular fits, to Over The Glasses models, with a variety of lens options available. They even have a range of excellent retro motorcycle goggles for nostalgic riders.
The Fox brand name should be well-known to most extreme sports enthusiasts. Launched in 1974 as a mountain bike apparel manufacturer, Fox Racing has evolved into one of the industry leaders of motorcycle accessories and apparel too. Though their products often lean towards the off-road segment, they have plenty of useful products for road riders too.
Global Vision has been selling and producing quality eyewear since 1981. It began life as a wholesaler of sunglasses, but over the years the operation has expanded and evolved. Today, Global Vision manufactures a number of exciting products, including motorcycle safety glasses and goggles, with special polycarbonate lenses, UV filtering features, and polarized options. They’re a leading brand in the goggle and eyewear industry.
Important Features To Look Out For
Now that you know what motorcycle goggles can do, what types are available, and a few popular brands that manufacture them, here are a few key features that you should look out for when you’re shopping for a pair.
Similar to buying sunglasses, when shopping for motorcycle goggles, it’s very important that the lenses offer UV protection. Anything with less than 100% UV protection isn’t worth your time. UVA and UVB rays can be harmful to your eyes, and can cause negative long-term conditions, including cataracts, that can lead to blindness. When it comes to protecting your eyes from UV rays, don’t settle for anything less than the best motorcycle goggles.
Polarized lenses are useful features for motorcycle riding goggles. The lenses block glare and prevent you from being dazzled by sunlight, strong reflections, and brightness in general. They’re also beneficial to riders with sensitivity to light. In general, they can make your ride experience safer.
Anti-fog coatings are essential for riders who want to wear motorcycle goggles. These coatings prevent your safety glasses from steaming up. This is important because if they fog up, you won’t be able to see where you’re going. Anti-fogging spray exists, but it’s better to get a pair of motorcycle goggles with a permanent coating instead.
Ventilation is another important feature. Good airflow prevents your goggles or glasses from steaming up, and prevents moisture from building up. Too much moisture will form distracting droplets and your goggles will become uncomfortable. Good ventilation also helps keep your face cool, too.
Since these goggles are there to protect your eyes, you want them to be as strong and robust as possible. They need to be impact resistant, shatterproof, flexible and comfortable. Similarly, they shouldn’t be too big and bulky, obstructing your peripheral vision either. Look out for scratch resistant and polycarbonate lenses, with foam padding the right areas, and strong, durable construction materials.
Lens Tints – Different riding glasses and goggles have different lens types. Some have clear lens options, while others have tinted lenses for different riding conditions. Different lens properties can improve your vision under certain conditions. For example, if you regularly ride in overcast conditions, yellow lenses may be beneficial to you.
Interchangeable Lenses – In the example above, yellow lenses may be ideal on one day, but they might not be useful the next. Some motorcycle goggles have interchangeable lenses, making it easy for the rider to switch from one lens type to another with ease, depending on the conditions. This is a very useful feature for riders riding in changeable conditions.
Look & Feel – Finally, consider the look and feel of the eye-protection you’re considering buying. If it feels uncomfortable, or has a tight or loose fit, don’t buy that pair. Discomfort is a distraction, which is the last thing you need when riding a motorcycle. The look is also important. If you don’t like the look of a pair of motorcycle goggles, you’ll be less inclined to wear them—and if you don’t wear them, they can’t protect you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wear glasses under motorcycle goggles?
You can wear motorcycle goggles over glasses, but only with goggles that are specifically designed for it. Known as Over The Glasses (OTG) goggles, this kind of motorcycle goggle can be comfortably worn on top of your regular prescription glasses.
Where to buy motorcycle goggles?
Most motorcycle goggles can be bought directly from the manufacturer. However, it’s possible to find great deals using sites like Amazon and Revzilla. If you decide to shop online make sure that you specifically search for real motorcycle goggles; Amazon occasionally shows cosplay, toy, and fashion-style steampunk motorcycle goggles instead.
Can you use motorcycle goggles for skiing?
You can, but there are differences between some motorcycle and skiing goggles. For example, ski goggles typically have better ventilation and improved anti-fog technology to make them operate better at a lower temperature. Professional MX goggles will have motorcycle-specific features such as tearaway lens covers. The size and length of the strap is also a regular difference.
Can welding goggles be worn for riding motorcycles?
Real welder’s goggles shouldn’t be worn for motorcycle riding. The lenses of welding goggles have special filters that protect welders from intense ultraviolet and infrared light. They’re great for welding, but no good for motorcycling.
Joe is a motorcycle industry veteran who has not only been paid for his words on the industry but also to throw a leg over a bike on the track. Besides riding, and occasionally crashing motorcycles, he also likes to build up older bikes in his garage in Germany. He says; "I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…" We like Joe's educated opinion and hope you do too.