Gear Review, Episode 1. Goggles
If you're a diver, then you will know that what you have over your eyes can make or break your dive. The story is much the same with ski/ snowboard eyewear, fogged up goggles are just simply no fun. The development of more rimless or partially rimless googles have been dominating the market last few seasons. It will be the same this season, with moves to easier interchangeable lenses. Here we will highlight some of the best offerings for the 2022/2023 season. This review is more a kin to a desktop literature review than a double-blind randomised trial, so exercise your own judgment! There are some notable omissions that were not conscious but rather goggles that warrant a serious look, such as the Anon M4 and the Giro axis that uses Zeiss to make its lenses (hat tip to you Zeiss loupe and microscope users). That said, here are my hot picks if you are looking for an upgrade.
LENS SHAPE- SPEHRICAL
CHANGEABLE LENSES- YES COST- €269
Smith have always been giants in the goggle sphere and this year the evolution of the 4D mag is their greatest offering in my opinion. Most notable is the magnetic location system of the interchangeable lenses that is in this model and filters down the line. This should makes switching out your lenses faster. It comes with a second low light lens, which we would expect at this price point. The two other trade marked features are the ‘chroma pop’ a colour filtering system to give you HD vision by removing the cross-over blue-green-red light that confuse your retina. In addition, the improvement in ‘Bird's eye’ curvature of the lens which in theory gives you 25% more peripheral vision. It comes in some permutations for smaller faces. Smith have boosted their green credentials by removing plastic from their helmet and goggle packaging, and the goggle sock is made from recycled water bottles.
LENS SHAPE- CYLINDRICAL
CHANGEABLE LENSES- YES COST- €160-200
Dragon alliance has always produced goggles with heaps of style and this year is no different with straps in collaboration with pro snowboarders the colour ways are a sneaker heads wet dream. It packs more than just a punch on the style front. The dragon interchangeable lens system is called a swift lock which has locator around the frame and a small lever either side is great. The goggle has been around since 2014, but still packs a punch with the new evolutions. The luma lens technology is a clarity filter to give you better vision on the slopes and the lenses are all treated with an antifog and scratch treatment. The goggle comes with both a low light and your blue bird day lens. A great addition is the armoured venting that you get above the top of the goggle to prevent moisture getting in on the super deep powder days or when you take a tumble.
FLIGHT DECK - PRIZM
LENS SHAPE- SPHERICAL
CHANGEABLE LENSES- YES COST- €230-210
The flight deck has been around for a number of years also, but has regularly been a favourite of skiers and snowboarders alike. Its styling is inspired by fighter pilot helmet visor. Hence, the rimless design and bevel does give unparalleled peripheral vision. Coupled with the patented ‘prizm’ lens light technology, it gives great overall experience and will rival the smith birdseye and chroma pop. Disappoingly the lens changing system seems a little out dated and clunky to use. Furthermore, you only get one lens with this google so do bear in mind you are looking at shelling out another €70 for a low light lens option.
LENS SHAPE- CYLINDIRCAL
CHANGEABLE LENSES- YES COST- €180
The SPY Marauder is a truly fameless lens. Its deadbolt magnet replacement system is a real draw. This goggle comes up as a men's medium to large, and so is suited to the bigger face. The Happy lens technology claims to let in the good rays as well as filtering out the bad ones. The double foam and anti-fog coatings should all make this a super comfortable all day goggle. The marauder elite is the slightly upgraded version that has a curve at the base of the goggle that will increase that peripheral vision in the lower 1/3rd of the goggle and bridges the gap between the truly spherical or cylindrical shape.
What ever you choose, we wish you happy riding!