The 12 Best Motorcycle Goggles & Sunglasses of 2021

Sep 22, 2021

Category: Gear

Just like with cars, in motorcycling’s infancy, goggles were widely utilized by riders, though as time marched on and new full-face helmets and visor-equipped 3/4 models began appearing on the scene, goggles largely fell out of favor in mainstream moto circles and would primarily be relegated to the off-road riding realm. For decades, this is the way that things would remain, however, not long after the turn of the millennium, modern-retro motorcycles would see a tremendous influx in popularity, giving way to not only a host of cafe racer, bobber, and scrambler models, but also an ever-growing selection of vintage-inspired riding gear to accompany these old-school-looking production bikes — very much including riding goggles and sunglasses.

The moto world’s continued proclivity for all things retro means there are now more moto eyewear and optics options to chose from than ever before. So, while this can make for a more intimidating shopping experience, the good news is that there is a small handful of models that stand head and shoulders above the competition, affording superior comfort, vision, protection, and technology. And it’s this shortlist of products that we’ll be exploring today in this guide to the best motorcycle goggles and sunglasses currently on the market. Below, we’ll be touching on what factors to consider when purchasing moto eyewear, as well as how to decide which is right for you, and our picks for the dozen finest pairs that money can buy.

Moto Optic Options

Riding Goggles Vs Riding Glasses

When purchasing moto eyewear there are two main options, glasses or goggles. Both will perform the same task of shielding your eyes from the wind — and usually the sun —, however, goggles offer the added benefit of a seal against the wearer’s face, resulting in better protection from not only the wind, but also water, dirt, pebbles, mud, and other grime. Goggles are also a better choice for more off-road-focused riders, as they afford superior protection and coverage and usually come in more durable forms.

Unlike goggles, motorcycle-specific sunglasses also offer a good deal of utility and can be worn whether on or off the bike, giving them a bit more value and giving you more bang for your buck. Goggles, however, do often come with the ability to have their lenses swapped out on the fly, allowing them to suit a wider array of settings and conditions. One final point worth mentioning is the fact that motorcycle glasses and sunglasses tend to be compatible with just about any style of helmet on the market, as where moto goggles only work with a fraction of today’s lids, more specifically brain buckets of the enduro and 3/4-style varieties.

Spectacles & Specifications

The 10 Most Important Factors To Consider When Buying Riding Goggles Or Glasses

Though there are dozens of different factors and variables to take into account when shopping around for riding goggles or glasses, at the end of the day, there are really only ten areas one needs to think about before pulling the trigger on their purchase. So, with this in mind, we’ve briefly broken down each of these key elements directly below.

Helmet Type: Modern sunglasses will comfortably fit underneath the vast majority of moto lids, though the same can’t be said for riding goggles. Goggles require either a 3/4 or enduro-style helmet with an open eye-port that can accommodate a goggle’s frame and an area for running the strap around the back of the shell. For these reasons, you’ll want to use your helmet (or helmets) as something of a jumping-off point to guide your moto eyewear purchase.

Lens Construction: One of the most crucial factors to consider on any pair of moto-specific goggles or glasses is the lens type. Often composed of materials like polyurethane, crystal, and polycarbonate, quality lenses will typically boast anti-scratch and anti-fog protection. However, what ultimately distinguishes moto eyewear from regular run-of-the-mill items is the former’s immense resistance to breaking and shattering. Many of these lenses are also offered in clear or tinted versions and in a variety of colors, a good number of which are mirrored or reflective.

Light Protection: On top of wind, dirt, and grime, motorcycle eyewear has to shield its wearer from the sun’s rays. This means employing both tinted lenses, many of which offer UV protection. Widely utilized by endurance racers, there are also yellow-tinted lenses that are proven to bolster contrast and reduce eye fatigue. Today’s sector also includes goggles and glasses with adaptive Transitions-style photo-chromatic lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight.

Lens System: Different lens colors and tints are intended for different conditions. Well aware of this, most of today’s moto goggle brands now offer models with easy-to-use quick-release lens change — or “lens retention” — systems that allow the wearer to swap out different lenses on the fly, as needed. There are even a few high-end riding glasses models that boast swappable quick-change lenses.

Frame Construction: Next to the lens material and retention system, the most important part of a pair of goggles or glasses is the frame that they are constructed around. Just like with the lenses themselves, the companies making today’s moto eyewear typically utilize materials that are lightweight yet incredibly rugged and immensely resistant to shattering. This includes rugged polycarbonates, advanced composites, and proprietary constructions like NXT (an insanely shatter-resistant material that’s often used to produce helicopter windshields.

Style: While you should be considering areas such as lens and frame constructions, there’s nothing wrong with letting your decision be at least partially guided by your aesthetic taste. The good news here is that modern moto goggles tend to come in a relatively enormous range of color options and different designs. There are also tons of different straps that can be swapped out, all boasting different patterns and designs. It’s also worth exploring some of the limited-edition versions of existing goggles from moto lifestyle brands like Deus Ex Machina, Troy Lee Designs, and Fast House.

Padding & Seal: A goggle’s overall comfort and seal are both owed to the type of padding used. It’s common for today’s goggles to employ multi-layer, multi-density foam padding that increases comfort while keeping the elements out. And, while most high-end glasses will come with plush padded noses and ear-tips, there are also a few moto-specific sunglasses that have fully padded frames that create a goggle-like seal.

Technology: Alongside photochromatic lenses, there are quite a few other proprietary lens types and technologies that are utilized in today’s industry such as Oakley’s PRIZM and 100%’s HiPER and PEAKPOLAR lens tech. These cutting-edge technologies afford their wearer superior vision through bolstering contrast and other Toric changes to the lenses.

Additional Features: For more specific or hardcore riding applications — such as winter riding or racing — manufacturers offer ultra-specific pairs of moto eyewear that come equipped with special features. This includes posts for competition-style tear-offs and rolling or heated lens systems, just to name a few. If you plan on racing or taking on a lot of cold-weather riding, we’d highly recommend looking into some of these supplementary features.

Safety Ratings: More than merely claiming to be shatterproof, many of today’s most reputable moto eyewear manufacturers have received official government safety certifications or ratings that give a more objective sense of a given model’s safety or shatter resistance. The most common of these is the standard CE rating.

Roeg Billy V2.0

Almost certainly the best budget-friendly pair of moto-specific riding glasses on the market, the second generation of Roeg’s Billy sunglasses are CE-rated and feature a chunky polycarbonate frame with molded nose pads that houses a set of UV-protected REVO crystal lenses. The Roeg Billy V2.0 is also offered in a range of different frame and lens color options.

Frame Construction: Polycarbonate
Lens Material: REVO Crystal

Purchase: $33

Biltwell Overland 2.0 Goggles

Biltwell’s take on a top-shelf pair of high-performance riding goggles, the Overland 2.0 is comprised of an injection-molded thermoplastic frame paired with CNC laser-cut polycarbonate anti-fog lenses and a three-phase BioFoam eye-port padding setup with sweat-wicking quilted fleece Lycra touchpoints. Sold with a clear replacement lens, and a poly carrying sack, these CE-rated goggles also sport a woven elastic strap with embossed synthetic leather mounts with hand-stitched detailing.

Frame Construction: Injection-Molded Thermoplastic
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $80

Fuel Coyote Goggles

Born out of a collaboration with Ethen Goggles, Fuel’s new Coyote model is a modern pair of moto eyewear that’s inspired by the optics of 1960s desert racers. Italian-made, the Coyote goggles boast a multi-density foam padding setup with a COOLMAX layer, and a curved, UV-protective lens that is light sensitive and will automatically darken when exposed to sunlight. These goggles are also compatible with Ethen’s artisan-made swappable straps.

Frame Construction: N/A
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $85

100% Barstow Goggles

One of the most popular and influential retro-style goggles of all time, 100%’s Barstow model combines old-school aesthetics with the eyewear outfit’s typical array of modern materials and construction techniques. Offering ample ventilation and protection from the elements, the Barstow features anti-fog and anti-scratch Dalloz Optics lenses, an embossed frame pinstripe with a genuine metal vintage snap, a triple-layer fleece-lined face foam configuration, and a strap with leather, canvas, or suede trim.

Frame Construction: Polyurethane & Metal
Lens Material: Dalloz Polycarbonate

Purchase: $95

Baruffaldi WindTini Plus Glasses

A more technical and performance-oriented version of Baruffaldi’s typically old-school-inspired offerings, the WindTini Plus is a wraparound-style pair of moto-specific riding glasses that pack an ultra-rugged Grillamid TR90 chassis mated to an elastic band and special aerated foam and hypoallergenic Hytrell padded contact points that create a goggle-like seal. This pair also comes with a trio of additional rods and lens sets that can be swapped out on the fly.

Frame Construction: Grillamid TR90
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $105

100% Daze Glasses

Though they resemble your average pair of high-end sunglasses, 100%’s Daze model is actually a thoroughly calculated pair of riding glasses thanks to the use of highly-shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses housed in an equally hardwearing Grillamid TR90 chassis that’s outfitted with rubber-tipped temple and nose pads. In addition to being offered in more than half a dozen color options, the Daze glasses are also available with 100%’s proprietary HiPER and PEAKPOLAR-tech lenses.

Frame Construction: Grillamid TR90
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $110

Ruroc Berserker Goggles

After more than ten years of producing ski goggles, Ruroc has harnessed its knowledge and expertise in the space to deliver what is unequivocally one of the most advanced and high-tech pairs of goggles on the market with its Berserker model. Highlights on this pair include a polycarbonate lens that’s mounted on a quick-release retention system and has been bestowed with flow-coated anti-fogging technology. The Berserker’s silicone strap is also secured via a magnetic FIDLOCK buckle.

Frame Construction: N/A
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $119

100% Armega HiPER Mirrored Lens Goggles

The latest and greatest top-shelf pair of off-road-specific riding goggles from the undisputed leader of the moto optics space, 100%’s Armega goggles boast an impressive array of envelope-pushing features such as a bonded, dual-injection frame construction with contouring compression seal technology, force air intake ports, a sweat collection management and drainage system, and a perforated triple-layer face foam setup. Paired with an ultra-wide 48mm strap with silicon bead grips, these goggles also pack 100%’s proprietary HiPER contrast-enhancing 2mm-thick shatter-resistant lens that’s set on a six-point locking tab quick-change system.

Frame Construction: Co-Molded Two-Piece Dual-Injection
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $120

Oakley Airbrake MX Goggles

Another thoroughly cutting-edge take on a pair of MX goggles, the Oakley Airbrake consists of a rigid exoskeleton frame with a flexible O Matter faceplate, a moisture-wicking triple-layer fleece face foam setup, and pure Plutonite lenses mounted on the Switchlock quick-change system with an F3 Anti-fog coating. Both ANSI Z87.1 and END 1938-certified, this pair of goggles is also available with Oakley’s proprietary PRIZM lens tech and is compatible with the eyewear brand’s Race Ready 5mm Roll-Off canisters (two of which are included with each pair sold).

Frame Construction: Composite
Lens Material: Plutonite

Purchase: $131

Klim Edge Goggles

Released in February of 2021, the Edge Off-Road Goggles are touted by Klim (pronounced “climb”) as being the world’s first pair of frameless riding goggles. Offering a class-leading field of view, the Edge features a fog-free dual-pane lens with 3M gaskets, a quick-release slide-locking magnetic lens locking system, and thru-lens foam filtered vents supplemented via perimeter frame vents. Boasting an ANSI Z87.1 impact safety rating, these UV-protective goggles also feature a streamlined design that reduces the buildup of snow or mud.

Frame Construction: Two-Part Outrigger
Lens Material: Polycarbonate & Cellulose

Purchase: $170

509 Aviator 2.0 Ignite Goggles

When looking to engineer an ultra-advanced pair of off-road riding goggles for cold-weather conditions, 509 turned to a military-derived lens-heating technology, ultimately giving way to the second generation Aviator goggles. Built around a soft frame, these goggles sport a heated Ignite Toric Lens, the brand’s 5MAG lens retention system, and a DC fan to further bolster airflow and anti-fogging capabilities. Capable of heating the inner lens to 104° F, this system also has multiple power/heat modes and up to five hours of battery life.

Frame Construction: N/A
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $175

Skram Threes (Transitional)

Unsatisfied with the available riding glasses that were on the market, diehard moto enthusiast, entrepreneur, and founder of the Distinguished Gentlemens’ Ride Mark Hawwa set out to create the ultimate moto-specific eyewear outfit, resulting in the Skram brand. Developed from the ground up specifically for riding duties, the Skram Threes feature a shatterproof acetate frame with ultra-scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses. UV-protected, the Skram Threes come in a myriad of different frame and lens color options (including Transitions lenses), and can also be specially ordered with prescription lenses. Legitimately built to last a lifetime, this versatile pair of glasses can also be proudly worn when off of the bike (or really in any setting).

Frame Construction: Cellulose Acetate
Lens Material: Polycarbonate

Purchase: $199

The 15 Best Vintage-Style Motorcycle Helmets

Don’t yet own a goggle-compatible riding lid? Then be sure to cruise on over to our guide to the best vintage-stlye motorcycle helmets for over a dozen full-face, enduro, 3/4 and cafe-style brain buckets.

HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

More From Gear

Featured Image

Hot Wheels Rolls Out an Ultra-Detailed Mid-Engined V8 Batmobile RC Car

A 19.5", 15-mph remote-control version of the Ash Thorp-designed Batmobile.

Posted By

Oct 20, 2021

Featured Image

Royal Enfield Marks Its 120th Anniversary with a Run of Hand-Painted Helmets

12 custom-painted full-face & 3/4-style lids each limited to 120 units.

Posted By

Oct 19, 2021

Featured Image

Bellroy Launched Their Lightest Bags Ever with Their Lite Collection

The Australian brand made a line of bags that are as tough and sustainable as they are lightweight.

Posted By

Oct 19, 2021

Featured Image

Vans Bulks Up for the Cold with These Gore-Tex-Clad All-Weather Boots

The SoCal staple's all-weather boot wasn't intended for skating.

Posted By

Oct 19, 2021

Featured Image

The 12 Best Work Boots You Can Buy in 2021

The finest footwear engineered specifically for putting in work.

Posted By

Oct 19, 2021

Featured Image

Fjällräven Is Finally Letting You Customize Your Own Kånken Backpack

The new program allows customers to choose from 14 different colors to make their bags uniquely theirs.

Posted By

Oct 18, 2021