Gear Review: POC Lobes goggles

When it comes to ski season, most people immediately jump to the newest skis, but even the best pair of skis will not do any good without a good pair of goggles. The POC Lobes goggles provide maximum visibility, comfort and style. Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz designed the goggles with a lens that snaps onto the frame as opposed to the traditional style with the lens set into the frame. By mounting the lens on the outer edge of the frame, POC was able to greatly increase visibility. The lenses are made so that they stay firmly in place, but are still easily exchangeable. The lenses are tough so they do not easily crack. One would only need to change lenses if the conditions change.

The goggles cost about $150 and are well worth the money. They are expensive, but come with several different lens options. When choosing a color, consider the light conditions. Buy a yellow lens for flat light days, a darker, reflective lens, and an orange lens for most days. The lenses on this pair of goggles will not fog unless filled with snow. Keep the extra lenses close at hand to make a quick change on the chairlift.

Despite their good features, these goggles can be bulky on the face. Make sure to have a helmet when buying them. They can appear slightly buggy because of how the lenses work, but are comfortable because of the extra room the design provides. The interior foam is lined with a smooth layer that is comfortable on the face, causes no irritation, and keeps the wind flow to a minimum. The goggles are well ventilated and come in several different colors to fit any ski outfit.

Another, albeit lesser quality option are Shred goggles. From previous experience, the lenses on Shred goggles tend to scratch easily. The reflective coating added to the outer lens needs another layer or a clear layer to protect it from scratching. Although these goggles come in many neon bright colors, the colors chip off and will sun bleach. When buying the Shred helmet to match the flashy goggles, be wary. A year of skiing will lead to a dark ring around the helmet where it has not been sun bleached.

The inner layer of foam will peel off eventually, leading to many duct tape fixes. The soft layer that touches skin can cause irritation and the ventilation is terrible. Fogging will most likely happen, especially if skiing or boarding in nasty conditions. If it is snowing, there will be snow in the goggles by the end of the day. The lenses are hard to change and if they are changed, they will probably pop out. Additionally, if a skier hits a tree or other hard object, the probability of cracking a lens is much higher with the Shred goggles than with the POC goggles. Price wise, the Shred goggles are over priced for the quality at $150 for a new pair. When buying goggles, a buyer generally gets what he or she pays for, but with Shred there is a markup like a designer bag. Another brand for the same price will most likely be of better quality and will be much more satisfying in the long run.

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