This January, I just happened to find myself strapped into a snowboard at Lee Canyon, a small local ski hill outside of Las Vegas, on what very nearly amounted to opening weekend. The mountain had just been blessed with its first snow, the intermediate lift had opened that morning, and excitement on the hill was high.
Higher for me, because I had a shiny new pair of goggles strapped to my helmet: the Opolis Optics ski goggles, which the brand claims are the world’s first fully sustainable snow goggles. At least, as sustainable as ski goggles can be. Launched in 2023, the goggles just won an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award to prove it.
I’ve been a fan of Opolis’s sunglasses for a few years now. My sensitive blue eyes (that can’t leave the house without a pair of shades) were thrilled to put the brand’s newest eye protection to the test. I wanted to find out not only if they’re as sustainable as the brand claims, but also if they perform — because gear can be as sustainable as it wants, but it still needs to work.
In short: The Opolis Optics snow goggles (currently offered in two models) achieve two really important things when it comes to outdoor gear: sustainability and performance. The Opolis Optics hallmark component is its StokedPlastic, which uses recycled ocean plastic not only in the plastic frame components but also in the lenses, goggle bags, and face foam as well. My verdict: it’s safe to say these goggles have a lot more going for them than just sustainability.
- Best for All-around ski/snowboard use
- Lenses included 2
- Frame size 95mm tall, 175mm wide
- Frame fit Large
- Lens shape Cylindrical
- VLT 10-69%
- Weight 5.95 oz.
- Multiple sustainable components
- Highly effective anti-fog (great venting!)
- Secure lens interchange system
- Comfortable all day
- A bit large for smaller faces
- Limited frame color options (white or gray)
Opolis Optics Ski Goggles Review
What’s in the Box & First Impressions
Each pair of Opolis goggles comes with a low-light lens for cloudy days and a main high-contrast lens for bluebird afternoons — both polarized, 100% UV-blocking (UV400), and scratch-resistant. The goggles use magnets to snap the lenses into place. They’re also helmet-compatible, and they come with a soft lens bag and a high-quality zippered storage bag, both also made of StokedPlastic.
Here are the details on each lens included with either of the two models:
- Main blue lens: VLT 69.3% (Category 1)
- Low-light lens orange: VLT 10% (Category 3)
- Main orange lens: VLT 36.4% (Category 2)
- Low-light lens ice blue: VLT 12.8% (Category 3)
- An additional low-light lens (rose tint) is sold separately.
The goggles come in two colors: White Out and Grey Wolf. I don’t mind the neutrals because that means they’ll match whatever outrageous color combo I’m rocking with my outerwear. Opolis’s StokedPlastic goggles retail for $250, which puts them on the pricier end. But as we’ve found before in ski gear, you often get what you pay for, and that rings true with these.
What Makes Opolis Goggles Sustainable?
First things first: Opolis isn’t the only brand to use recycled materials for its products. Plenty of ski goggle manufacturers, from Scott to Zeal to Coral, do too. But what makes Opolis goggles unique is not only the small brand’s control of the entire manufacturing process from beginning to end, explains James Merrill, founder and CEO of Opolis Optics, but also where the materials used to craft them come from.
While many brands use rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) sourced from plastics collected from the recycling, or even from preconsumer waste, which boasts slightly less eco-hero status, Opolis utilizes partners it calls “waste advocates” in Indonesia and the Philippines to collect plastic directly from the ocean.
That means when Opolis uses terms like “ocean plastic,” they mean it. (Some brands may use terms like “ocean-bound plastic” to imply they’re removing water bottles from waterways, but are really just removing it from the waste stream.)
Opolis then transforms that plastic into all the parts and pieces of its goggles. This is what makes up the brand’s patent-pending, industry-first StokedPlastic, which is blended with plant-based castor oil.
Each pair of goggles contributes to the removal of approximately 10 water bottles from waterways and landfills. And yes, they’ve been tracking its impact. “Since the launch of the company in 2020, Opolis has removed 380,000 water bottles and counting from oceans,” Merrill said.
Opolis Ski Goggles: On-Mountain Review
On the mountain, the goggles performed admirably — not just during downhill snowboarding, but also during sweaty uphill hikes when carrying a board to a practice slope. While a bit of condensation built up in the corners of other goggles, the lenses in the Opolis goggles stayed moisture- and fog-free. That’s thanks to vents on the top, bottom, and sides of the goggles.
The double-layer foam is also different from all other goggles on the market — it’s made from recycled ocean plastic as well. The foam and goggles were comfortable on my face, but perhaps a smidge big on my peculiarly small head.
On the flip side, a fellow tester with a more prominent nose had more difficulty getting them situated comfortably. So, Opolis could do well to improve with regard to face fit and sizing. That said, they seem to suit a range of face sizes (medium to large fit).
I found the lens clarity and overall optics comparable to goggles I’ve tested and used from Scott and Atomic. Visuals were clear, and the field of view was wide. The lenses proved to be anti-scratch, anti-fog, and waterproof.
On the mountain, the goggles stayed put on my helmet for hours of riding thanks to the non-slip grips that run the length of the band; the band was easy to adjust on the go. Opolis also chose to make the straps removable and replaceable.
The frames themselves feel sturdy and incredibly well-made compared to other goggles in a similar price range. They come with two lenses, also standard among goggles these days. The lenses are easy to swap out: Just lift the small tab on the lower corner of the goggles away from the frames and pull outward to disengage the magnets holding them securely in place.
And they are secure. The first time I tried to swap the lenses, I was worried I was going to break something. But I never came close. Moral of the story: if you take a tumble or drop your frames, your lenses will stay put. They don’t rely on magnets alone and won’t pop out unintentionally. And as a bonus, those mirrored lenses are sleek to the max.
Opolis Optics: Conclusion
For a versatile and well-made ski goggle that fits most faces, the Opolis Ski Goggles are an excellent — and supremely sustainable — choice. There are a couple of different lens options and a secure frame, making it an all-around solid-performing snow goggle.
While they may be a bit more expensive than other goggles, skiers and boarders committed to sustainability will likely find the cost a small price to pay for gear that makes a positive impact. Best of all, the Opolis goggles will be ready to play (and stay out of the landfill) for a good long time.