Best Fixed Lens Goggles of 2017
To conduct our Winter 2017 fixed-lens goggle review we worked with a team of seven testers who used these goggles at ski areas and in the backcountry throughout Colorado. Testing feedback came from several hard-charging, aggressive skiers and snowboarders, as well as from several novice skiers and even a few kids (where goggles fit with smaller helmets). Feedback about each of the entries was compared side by side in five main categories: field of view, fit and comfort, anti-fog, lens quality, and features. The Gear Institute Rating is the combined score across all categories, representing the highest overall level of performance.
This year, we awarded the Best In Class title to the Oakley Flight Deck XM. Although the Flight Deck XM didn’t score the highest in each and every category, we found that overall they were the best. The lens quality was sharp all the way to the edges and they worked well in almost all types of light. The foam was soft and had the right amount of sponginess, and they had the right curvature to match most faces. On the down side, the Flight Deck XM scored in the middle of the pack for our anti-fog test, they scratched easier than most, and some of the other goggles in this class came with a semi-hard shell case, not just a bag, which we really liked.
As for the others in the top-five, we really liked the lens quality of the Bolle Gravity, Optic Nerve Nastek, and the Revo Wordsmiths, all of which we highly recommend. In fifth place, the Spy Raiders, squeaked into this elite group based on a couple of key factors: we loved the flexibility of both the frames and the lens, and at an MSRP of $90-$120 we found it to have the best value of any of the pairs tested.
Trending recently are high contrast lenses for improved visibility in flat light conditions and photocromatic lenses to adjust with the coming and going of the sun. We’re also happy to see how most goggles really do fit most helmets (thanks also to the helmet manufacturers) to rarely see that centimeter gap of forehead peeking out between the two.