Identifying what the best dirt bike goggles are, depends on a number of factors.
Firstly, what type of dirt bike riding you do is the first point to consider. Motor cross, for example, can be more demanding than just riding trails, so being able to see clearly is important especially when there is a huge jump looming!
Secondly, the environment you ride in can also be a determining factor.
For example, if you ride in a very cold climate then minimising fog within your goggles is going to be important. On the other hand, if you ride in a dusty warm climate then keeping the dust particles out will be a priority.
When buying dirt bike goggles you need to take into consideration how well they fit you face because not enough foam and contour fitting will hurt your face and let in dust. The foam also works to absorb sweat from your brow when riding, so if the foam is of poor quality you end up with sweat getting in your eyes.
PRO TIP: IN REALLY DUSTY CONDITIONS, A LITTLE BABY OIL SMEARED ON THE FOAM OF YOUR GOGGLES WILL HELP KEEP THE DUST-OUT
Best Value Budget Dirt Bike Goggles
For someone starting out in dirt bike riding, I really like the Oakley O-Frame (click to see in Amazon)
They offer a flexible frame construction built with super-tough carbon fibre.
The triple layer foam will assist in sweat removal and the lens is anti-fog, anti-scratch and made from durable Lexan.
These aren’t the cheapest on the market but I think they represent real value for what you get and best of all they look awesome!
Best Value Anti-Fog Goggles
If you ride in an area that is prone to goggles fogging, then the Fox Air Defence MX (View at Amazon)> could be the answer.
I Like these goggles from an ant-fog perspective because they not only have an anti-fog lens treatment but they also have a smart venting system for superior airflow.
The microfiber carry bag is a bonus as this will help to keep the goggles in good condition when not being used.
Best Enduro Goggles
If enduro riding is your thing then you really need a set of goggle that meets all kinds of conditions.
This can vary from dry and dusty to wet and foggy.
The changing condition and environments require a goggle that can go the distance, and in this situation, it is hard to go past the Oakley Airbrake MX (view here on Amazon).
These things are state of the art in terms of technology and have super tough lenses made from plutonite.
They have good breathability and the lenses can be easily switched out should your conditions change ie. going from bright sunlight to dark and cloudy.
Best Dirt Bike Goggles To Wear With Glasses
A number of goggle manufacturers make over the glasses (OTG) goggles. Oakley makes a product called the Oakley L-Frame (click here to view in Amazon) suitable for glasses. They have the same great features of other Oakley products but allow for prescription glasses to be worn underneath.
If you are prone to fogging then you may have to go for an OTG that is better suited to foggy conditions.
Dirt Bike Goggles for kids
If your child is into dirt bikes then he/she will probably already have their own helmet.
Generally, if the helmet is for a child then the goggle size will need to fit into it. Fortunately, many manufacturers make good quality goggles for kids and the good news is they are reasonably priced.
If just starting out a basic pair is all they need and given the cost, you can easily upgrade to a better pair if you need to. Scott Youth (click here to view at Amazon) goggles are a good option for a new rider and come at a reasonable price. These are fairly basic as far as features but they are a good starting point and should your child stay with the sport then you can upgrade when they grow out of these.
How to stop goggles from fogging up
If you currently own goggles and don’t want to fork out for anti-fog upgrades then you could try some anti-fog spray or a fog blocker. These products don’t cost much and they are easy to carry on a ride.
If the sprays don’t work then you can see if your goggles will take a double lens upgrade which can solve the problem without having to upgrade to a new pair.
How to keep dust out of dirt bike goggles
Second only to fog blocking your vision as you ride, is dust! In the Australian climate and plenty of the US, dust can be a huge problem. If you are riding on your own or are in front of a group then it’s not so bad, but when you’re behind someone in dusty conditions then it becomes a problem.
It only takes a small gap between your face and your goggles and voila, in comes the dust. Thankfully there are a few ways to combat this problem.
Firstly, ensure that your goggles are fitted correctly by adjusting the tension of the strap.
Secondly, apply some baby oil on the foam to ensure a better seal between your face and the goggles.
Third, some vaseline or petroleum jelly applied on the lower inside of the frame can help to trap any dirt that might enter the goggles.
And finally, if these three tips fail it might be time to invest in a new set of goggles that has a good seal around your face. The Oakley Airbrake (See in Amazon) would be a good option in this situation.
Roll Off Vs Tear Off Goggles
Prior to roll offs and tear offs you were basically stuck with a dirty lens or constantly cleaning. Both lens systems are designed to keep your view clear. The roll-offs work like the old camera film, you pull a chord and a new section of the lens appears before your eyes.
Similarly, the pull-offs have a tab on one side and you pull off one of the many layers of lenses so that you get a clear view. The pull-offs can be a problem if you end up pulling all the lenses off at once instead of just one.
I have not personally used these systems but I can definitely see the advantage of them particularly if you are into motocross or even enduro riding where conditions can change a lot.
How To Clean Goggles
If you are not using a lens system to keep your goggles clean then manually cleaning is important as you want as clear a view as possible.
For a quick clean simply rinse under water if really dirty then use a lens cleaner. To do a thorough clean completely remove the lens from the goggle frame and then clean all over. Try not to handle the top of the lens when re-installing as you are likely to smudge the lens, handle it on the sides and bottom and your view will be crystal clear when it comes to riding.
Many goggle manufacturers supply a cloth or microfibre bag when you purchase goggles, always use this for storage as most goggle lenses will scratch easily. Some people keep their goggles on the helmet where the face guard extends out. I have found that over time this stretches the elastic band too much and eventually creates a looser fit. Try and keep them on your face or take off completely.
For help in selecting other dirt bike safety gear please click here to access my post on helmets and here for my post on boots.