My eyesight is not too bad. I wear contacts for boating un-familiar Class V and playing in the local beer hockey league, and have a set of prescription shades for things like driving and tennis. But I also tend to wear those same shades skiing a tad more than I should—like when it’s blizzarding out, just so I can reap the prescription benefit to see that catwalk coming. Not any more, thanks to SportRx, a California company that has perfected the prescription goggle insert and prescription wrapped lenses.
With seven different inserts available that sit flush against the goggle lens interior, the company has the highest prescription capability on the market with two goggle options for skiers and riders: the XPF 120 and Oakley Airbrake, both of which feature custom prescription lenses and antifog coating.
The first to get put to the test was the Airbrake. The scene was a frigid, fog-filled day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado that would have usually seen me bashing bumps by Braille. Not anymore. When I first pulled the Airbrake over my head, the results were immediate. The goggle combined tried-and-true Oakley performance coupled with the perfect prescription.
The goggle fit seamlessly with my Smith helmet, meaning no gaper gap. The reflective lens hides the inner prescription lenses, so no one even knows it’s there. The only drawback was getting accustomed to the “tunnel vision” feel of having the prescription inserts smaller than the actual lens.
The next one I tested was the XPF Snow Goggle, featuring a slightly smaller lens than the Airbrake. Because of the smaller lens, there wasn’t as much tunnel vision effect; the prescription inserts took up more of the lens, meaning less of a bordered-in feel. It wasn’t as beefy as the Airbrake, but has a better price point and was almost easier to look through.
Bottom line for both? If you’re tired of trying to awkwardly fit glasses beneath your goggles, dealing with contacts, or, like me, wearing prescription sunglasses when it’s obviously a goggle day, check them out. You’ll see the slopes differently from the moment you pull them on.
Price: XPF $230; Oakley Airbrake $380, including goggle, prescription lenses and antifog coating. SportRx.com