Visual clarity is paramount when it comes to getting down the hill in one piece, and moreover, simply enjoying your time in the mountains. Having a basic understanding of goggle tech will help to ensure that your next purchase is one you’ll be happy with.
Oakley introduced the Flight Deck goggle with PRIZM lenses in 2014. Four years later, we turn to this goggle time, and time again. The Flight Deck goggle draws inspiration from the helmet visors worn by fighter pilots. The end goal for Oakley was to offer the widest field of view while remaining fully helmet compatible. They hit that nail on the head; the large frame size and clean, rimless design yield a field of view that’s very tough to match, in our humble and correct opinion. The PRIZM lenses also provide enhanced detail on the hill, and thereby extreme optical pleasure. We recommend Sapphire or Torch Iridium PRIZM for a wide range of light conditions.
Dragon’s NFX2 has been one of our absolute favorites for the past few years, and now the addition of Lumalens technology takes that love to a whole new level. The lens filters certain colors of light to increase clarity and contrast and thereby reduce eye fatigue. The result is safe, enjoyable vision no matter what kind of snow environment you find yourself in. The new lens tech is complemented by a sleek, frameless design; easy-to-use Swiftlock lens-changing system; plush, triple-layer, hypoallergenic face foam; and an anti-fog coating that is 200-percent stronger than Dragon’s previous iteration.
The act of skiing spreads happiness across the world, and Spy’s Happy Lens technology—included with the Ace—only serves to make shredding that much more enjoyable. Long wave, mood-uplifting blue light passes through the lens easily, while harmful rays are blockaded. Smiling, yet? Additionally, the Ace has a user-friendly quick-change lens mechanism and comes with a sunny day lens (Happy Silver Spectra) and bonus flat-light lens (Happy Yellow w/ Lucid Green) for when conditions are truly gray.
POC cuts no corners when it comes to product design and the all-new Orb goggle is a testament to the brand’s reputation. The near-frameless, massive spherical lens is unlike anything the company has ever offered; it boasts top-notch peripheral views—and if there’s one thing we know skiers love, that’s just it. It comes complete with POC’s new contrast- and color-enhancing technology called Clarity and a lightweight, durable Grilamid frame paired with delightfully-comfortable, triple-layer face foam. The Orb is available in an assortment of bright colorways, rounding ‘er out as a winner in our book.
Skiers who dig big, spherical-lensed goggles will ogle over Zeal’s Portal RLS. Its design is akin to a fish bowl, providing a crazy-wide field of view that you can enjoy via a variety of lens options that are fit for different light conditions. The real pièce de résistance of this goggle, though, is its Rail Locking System; users simply slide lenses in and out via two tracks in the frame, making swap-outs easy as can be.
The Airflux is ideal for backcountry and resort skiers alike. Whether you’re on the skin track or sitting in the steamy gondola, you are the master of your vision; the lens can be pulled forward ever so slightly from the frame, allowing air to seep through to regulate temperature and prevent fogging. The spherical photochromic lens also adapts to the light conditions, allowing you to be at the top of your game no matter Mother Nature’s mood.
Abominable Labs made major upgrades to the original ABOM ONE goggle with the all-new ABOM HEET. The goggle still features a battery-powered lens-heating system that mirrors the defroster in a car, eliminating fogging. This time around, though, the package is 44 grams lighter than the ABOM ONE, boasts a sleeker, slimmer profile and also an “environmental sensor” that adjusts the heat as needed and also powers the battery unit down automatically to conserve battery life.
All it takes is one quick glance at the EGX to see how incredible its field of vision is. Its oversized, frameless design allows you to see everything from slithering snow snakes and untouched powder stashes to the occasional out-of-control Jerry on your five o’ clock, bound to intersect your line, causing a disastrous collision. If conditions change from sunny to snowy the EGX’s quick-change lens swap mechanism—which mirrors the function of a ziplock bag—has you covered.