Gearbox: 2024 Goggles

Editors’ Choice: Anon M5S

Built to fit small to medium faces, the Anon M5S pares down the size without compromising visibility. “They’re super comfortable,” a tester said. “I have a narrow face, and they fit really well.” She also raved about the magnetic lens attachment system, “Excellent lenses, super easy to change out,” adding, “Lens tints offered were spot on for a range of conditions.” Plus, the M5S includes a second system of magnets to attach an included face mask to the bottom of the goggle’s frame. Our tester’s sole complaint was incompatibility with her Smith Code helmet. Her solution? “Find a new helmet just to keep wearing them.”

Atomic Four Pro HD Photo Goggles

After losing his goggles, a tester grabbed these. He wouldn’t relinquish them even after finding his lost ones, loving their range. “The photochromic lens changes so fast I barely noticed it,” he said. The semiflexible Live Fit frame and Adaptive LF Tri-Layer Face Foam (a tiramisu of memory foam, standard foam and a wicking fabric) was immediately comfy. And despite their over-the-glasses potential due to grooves in the frame, they didn’t swallow his medium-sized face. “The cylindrical lens has great peripherals without needing to be massive,” he said. His one issue was swapping lenses. He had to tug on the frame a lot to do the swap. “My lens had more fingerprints than an amateur’s crime scene afterwards,” he said. Still, the sealed double lens with effective anti-fogging properties meant he rarely had to swap.

Julbo Razor Edge

Occam’s Razor is the philosophical theory that the simplest explanation is the best one. Julbo’s Razor Edge applies the theory to goggles: Simple might be best. “No spare lens, no problem,” our tester said. The high-contrast, cylindrical, photochromic Reactiv lens had a huge field of vision and adapted quickly to a range of conditions, he said. Julbo’s Reactiv lenses have a range between one and four, one being best for low light. Our tester used the 1-3 lens, which was perfect for the less-than-sunny Tetons. Beyond a great fit with his helmet, the real highlight for him was the Superflow Pro system, a pair of hinges that pop the lens off the frame for air circulation. “No fogging, no problem,” our tester concluded. “I could bootpack in a whiteout in these and the lens would stay clear.”

Scott React Amp Pro

“Clear like an undisturbed mountain stream,” a tester said of the Amp Pro goggles. She tried two lenses: a green-based option that improves contrast without distortion in low light conditions and a white chrome-coated one she called a “daily driver for all but the most extreme weather.” When it was time to swap between the two, a slider on one side popped the lens out. “It’s a low-profile system that doesn’t require touching the lens. Goodbye, grubby fingerprints!” our tester explained. She was happy with the fit, which is rare praise from this small-faced tester. While they fit best with Scott helmets, she noted minimal gapping with most other brands.

Sweet Protection Connor Rig Reflect

Instead of the frame wrapping the lens in Sweet Protection’s Connor RIG Reflect, as in a traditional goggle design, it has places for the lens to clip on top of it. “Periphery for days,” a tester said of the view. He noted that the goggles fit well, though a smaller-faced woman added, “They work with a hat, but squish my nose if I add a helmet.” As for the RIG lens, Sweet Protection attempts to strike another balance: high contrast and low color distortion. “Great definition, but it adds a rose-tint to the world,” said a tester who used the purple Bixbite lens. She did gripe about the lens swap: “Hard to switch without smudging.”

These reviews were originally published in Issue No. 154. To read more, pick up a copy at backcountry, or subscribe to read our gear reviews earlier when they are published in print.

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  1. Jacob Schor says:

    The timing of your review is a bit serendipitous as I recently purchased a new pair of goggles from Amazon. I’d noticed the foam in my former goggles had deteriorated to the point that air rushing in while moving caused flakes tof floam o fly about to the degree I thought there were bugs attacking my eyes. After careful comparison of what was on offer, I opted for the more expensive of two choices, the ones selling for $25.95. I chose the clear lens as often as not when I’m pulling skins I’m already wearing glasses appropriate for the light conditions, that is either dark lenses or something yellow for overcast days.

    While I suspect your choices might perform better, I would forever be worried about their safety. Will they be banged about in my pack, get scratched when I fall, etc. Besides, so much of the time they are stuffed full of snow when I plow my head into the snow when falling, the clarity of the lens hardly matters.

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