Best Ski Goggles of 2013

Best Ski Goggles of 2013

Devon O’Neil takes an close look at this year’s best ski goggles. After a thorough field test, here’s how the top five compare.

Smith Vice

1Smith Vice Stay Rad Red Sensor

The Vice will compete with (and likely perform superior to) any goggle in its category. And with its functional and attractive size, you don’t look like a magnified horsefly. This is a high-performance spherical-lens goggle with flair. The Good: Simple and straightforward with high-quality construction; plenty of peripheral vision. The Bad: Although it’s an interchangeable-lens goggle, it only comes with one lens — you have to order additional lenses from Smith if you want that versatility (or spring for the high-end photochromic lens). Retail Price: $110 – $170 depending on lens. Gear Institute Rating: 91

To read the full report, click here

Oakley O2 XL

Oakley-O2xl

Oakley produces a solid goggle in the O2XL despite the affordable price range. That’s a win for the consumer. This goggle works particularly well for hybrid adventures like snowmobile skiing. It’s a flat-lens goggle at a fraction of Oakley’s usual cost. The Good: Excellent field of vision; above average fit. The Bad: Oakley has some of the top eyewear technology in the world, but if you want it, you’re going to have to spring for a more expensive goggle; there is no do-it-all lens option with this model. Retail Price: $70-$100 depending on lens. Gear Institute Rating: 88

To read the full report, click here.

Zeal Tramline

ZealTramlineGoggle2014So long as it fits your face, you will likely be happy with the Tramline, especially if you splurge for the exceptional Automatic lens. The goggle looks good and feels good, and fogging was never an issue. It’s a sleek new medium-fit goggle with a more flexible frame. The Good: Fits average face shapes like a suction cup; with Zeal’s patented Automatic photochromic lens, it becomes a one-goggle quiver; roomy feel. The Bad: Frame construction a bit bendy; expect a 2- to 3-minute transition period for the photochromic lens. Retail Price: $109-$219 depending on lens. Gear Institute Rating: 88

To read the full report, click here

Scott LCG

1Scott-LCG

The Scott LCG is intent on challenging Oakley’s Airbrake for the title of best interchangeable-lens goggle on the market. It’s not there yet. It’s a spherical- and interchangeable-lens goggle with a wide field of vision. The Good: Large field of vision; cozy fit on medium to wide faces; included extra lens with foam-molded carrying case. The Bad: The lens-change system wasn’t flawless; a few times it took a bit of tinkering to achieve an adequate seal with the new lens over the bridge of the nose. Retail Price: $185, including an extra lens and lens carrying case. Gear Institute Rating: 87

To read the full report, click here

Optic Nerve Boreas

1Optic Nerve Boreas

The Boreas has a ways to go before it can contend in the interchangeable-lens category with heavyweights like Oakley, Scott and Smith. It could use a burlier frame and more technologically advanced lens-interchange system. It’s a spherical—and interchangeable—lens goggle for medium to large faces. The Good: Proprietary mirror-lens technology (putting the mirror on the inside of the goggle) works like a dream on sunny days. The Bad: Not enough integration between the lens and the frame; I never felt like I was guaranteed to have a flush seal. Retail Price: $119, including an extra lens. Gear Institute Rating: 81

To read the full report, click here.

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