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Anon M4 Toric ReviewBest Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review

Best Overall Ski and Snowboard Goggle of 2020

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Price: $131.99 – $270.00

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Toric/Cylindrical

Style: Framed

What We Like: SONAR Lenses, Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech, MFI Face Mask Integration

What We Don’t: Expensive, Difficult to Find in Stock

Burton might be the most well-known name in the snowboarding industry, for better or worse. Anon, Burton’s helmet and goggle lineup, somehow manages to stay clear of most of the anti-corporate hate that is rightly or wrongly aimed at Burton. Anon has long produced great ski and snowboard goggles, but there has always been something missing from their lineup: spherical lenses.

Anon has stuck with traditional, cylindrical lenses, though of extremely high quality. Still, the lack of a spherical option held them back from competing for our top pick. However, that all changed with the introduction of the Anon M4. The Anon M4 features a Toric lens design that gives you the optical experience of spherical lenses with a bit less of the fighter pilot aesthetic. Better yet, thanks to Anon’s new Magna-Tech lens change technology, the Anon M4 is compatible with both Toric and Cylindrical lenses, so you can take your pick!

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Anon M4 Toric

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses, Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive

Difficult to Find in Stock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Toric/Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith I/O Mag

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Top Notch Lenses

Magnetic Lense Change with Locking Tabs

Cons

Pricey

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Dragon X2

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Ultrawide Field of View

Spherical Lumalens Lenses

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Lenses are Not the Most Durable

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Smith I/OX Chromapop

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 70% 70%

Pros

Smith Chromapop Lenses

Great Field of View

Comfortable

Cons

Slightly Behind the Top Competitors in Ease of Changing Lenses

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Semi-frameless

Anon M3 MFI

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses

Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive for A Cylindrical Goggle

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith Squad XL

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Epic Price to Performance

Two Smith Chromapop Lenses

Cons

Not as Well Ventilated as I/O Series

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Oakley Line Miner Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

High Quality

Injection Molded Cylindrical Chromapop Lens

Cons

Only Comes With One Lens

Frame Size: Medium & Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon NFX2

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Spherical Lens Optical Quality in A Cylindrical Package

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Not the Most Durable Lens

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon PXV

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Panotech Lens

Photochromatic Lens Option

Cons

Lens Change System is a Huge Step Back from Swiftlock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 3

Lens Shape: Toric

Style: Frameless

Electric EG3

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Bold Style and Massive Field of View for Riders With Smaller Faces

Cons

Not the Best Ventilation

Too small for Riders with Larger Faces

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Frameless

Oakley Airbrake XL

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Lens Quality

Ease of Changing Lenses

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price Tag

Lens Reflects Frame

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Framed

Oakley Flight Deck Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

Oakley Prizm Lenses

Unique Look

Massive Field of View

Cons

Subpar Ventilation

Only Comes with One Lens

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Lens Shape and Quality

As we already mentioned, the option to run Anon’s Toric lenses in the M4 is a huge part of why the M4 sits atop our list of the best ski and snowboard goggles on the market. While we might not be opticians and the technical differences between spherical and toric lenses go over our heads, the result is that both mimic the shape of your eye, creating a distortion-free experience. Meanwhile, Toric lenses have a bit less of the fighter pilot, bubble-like aesthetic of spherical lenses, thanks to their reduced top to bottom curvature.

Like all premium snowboard goggles manufacturers, Anon has their own take on hi-fi optics and uses SONAR lenses made by Zeiss, which is one of the foremost manufacturers of lenses and optical equipment in the world. Furthermore, unlike Oakley’s Prizm and Smith’s Chromapop, SONAR is the only lens tech made specifically for snow.

With all of the technical jargon out of the way, the view through the Anon M4 is great. The oversized, minimal frame provides an extremely wide field of view, and the optical quality of that view is on par with the Smith I/O and Dragon X2 lenses, which both received top marks for optical quality. Like those goggles, the Anon M4 comes with two pair of lenses, either Toric or Cylindrical. But an extremely unique feature of the Anon M4 is that the same frame accepts both Toric and cylindrical lenses, so you are not locked into your original choice, and can even switch between the two on the fly, should you choose to do so.

Comfort

The Anon M4 is a large goggle, and there are no two ways about it. Furthermore, it is one of the few top of the line ski and snowboard goggles that we reviewed not to be offered in a smaller variant for riders with smaller or narrower faces. Naturally, the Anon M4 fits riders with larger heads and faces very well, but it also fits surprisingly well across the board. This is thanks in large part to a very large nose cutout, which means that riders with smaller faces don’t find the goggles pushed down over their noses by their helmets. Naturally, riders with larger noses also found the M4 to be very comfortable. With all of that said, riders with extremely small faces and/or riders who just prefer a smaller goggle will be better served by the Smith I/O Mag or Smith I/O Mag Asian Fit.

The Anon M4 also features plush triple layer foam with an extremely soft Outlast fleece liner that is comfortable against your face and does a great job of wicking away moisture.

The Anon M4 also comes with an Anon MFI face mask, which uses magnets to seal to the nosepiece of the goggle. Honestly, this is a small quality of life feature, but one that we absolutely love.

Ventilation

Like the rest of the goggle, the Anon M4’s ventilation is top notch. In addition to open cell foam vents across the top and bottom of the frame, the Anon M4 also features open cell foam ventilation on the sides of the frame. Furthermore, the lenses are treated with Anon’s Integral Clarity Technology. Alongside the great ventilation, this resulted in a fog free goggle that is a match for the Smith I/O mag for use in the backcountry when you are sweating from gaining elevation rather than losing it.

Ease of Changing Lenses

While it is a top performer in every category, Anon’s Magna-Tech lens changing technology sets the M4 apart from pretty much every other ski and snowboard goggle on the market. The Anon M4’s lens has a very thin frame built onto it. Within this frame are small but extremely powerful magnets, which latch onto magnets in the goggle frame. This literally makes inserting the lens as easy as holding the lens in front of the frame and letting the magnets do the rest. Meanwhile, the lenses are removed in the exact same way. However, a bit of an angled pull makes them release more easily, as they were made to hold in place from head-on impacts, the type that you might experience during a hard landing or crash.

If you are looking for the goggle with the flat out best and easiest lens change technology on the market, then the Anon M4 is that goggle, full stop. The Smith I/o Mag and Anon Swiftlock are only just behind it, and some riders will no doubt prefer the security that their locks add to the lens. All of that said, we have yet to encounter or hear of problems with the lenses being knocked out of the Anon M4.

Finally, perhaps our favorite thing about the Anon M4’s Magna-Tech system is that its ease combined with the framed lenses mean that you never have to touch the lenses themselves, which should result in a much longer lifespan for these top of the line lenses.

The Bottom Line

The Anon M4 is the ski and snowboard goggle that Anon needed to stake a claim at the top of the ski and snowboard goggle mountain. The Zeiss SONAR Toric lens is on par with the best on the market, while the frame fits a wide range of faces, and Magna-Tech makes for the easiest lens change system on the market. Magna-Tech also lets you keep your grubby paws off of your lenses, and allows you to alternate between cylindrical and toric lenses in the same goggle frame.

Finally, an MSRP of $300 puts the Anon M4 at the top of the price range for premium snowboard goggles, and because they are new and hot, they sell out quick, making deals harder to find. However, when you do find deals, the Anon M4 can be found on sale for as low as $131 for a pair that ships with cylindrical lenses, which you can then upgrade to Toric, or $209 for a pair that ships with two pair of Toric lenses, making them right in line with other premium ski and snowboard goggles’ sale prices.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!