Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
Perform well for winter mountaineering
on 20 January 2014
These are my first goggles, bought for Scottish winter hillwalking as an essential to protect my eyes when it's a blizzard / heavy hail / biting rain, but also in a white-out to help me distinguish the horizon and any dips / ridges in the terrain. I think (without experience of other goggles) that they're about as good as it gets. I bought Bolle because my lab glasses (Chemistry) are also this make, and the company seem to be of a very high standard in research and manufacturing.
They definitely protect my face very well in extreme weather, allowing me to see pretty well & not get frozen-up eyelids! They fit my face very well, and are also relatively comfortable due to nice soft foam around the whole face-fitting bit. They don't feel as comfortable as not wearing any goggles at all, but I don't think any goggles would! When I'm exerting a lot of energy and breathing hard I can feel the goggles around the top of my nose, and it feels a wee bit restrictive - possibly I could get a better fit, but to be honest I think to get a good fit around the face they probably need to be like this, it's not so bad that I don't want to put them on, in fact it's a relief to put them on in bad weather, a bit like a tent for your eyes!
Again when I'm exerting a lot of energy and also have a scarf around my lower face, they do seem to steam up a wee bit, however this quickly clears - I think it's because the scarf kind of directs the warm & damp air I'm breathing out directly up into the goggles, so I have to get a balance between protecting my lower face and being able to see well. I do think this happens with the best of goggles - I researched these well before I bought them, and not only are they double-lensed (which massively reduces steam-up / condensation), but they also have a hydrophobic coating (which does a similar job to DWR - any water coming into contact with the lens balls up & rolls off). Any steam-up which I have been affected by has not lasted long, I adjust them & my scarf a wee bit & it clears away quickly. The seal in between the two lenses is extremely well-made, there has never been any moisture between the two lenses, that would be a lot more serious!
I chose this colour lens (citrus) over a clear lens (which my partner has in the same goggles) because I had read that a coloured lens actually enables you to see more definition. In other words, in a white-out, the naked eye is not able to make out the horizon or any variation in the terrain.. a coloured lens forces the brain into black&white vision (apparently) which has a higher ability to see contrast - in this way where my partner cannot see anything (in his clear lenses) I can often just make out a ridge, a dip, the horizon, etc. This aspect has been extremely useful to me on many occasions now. The downside of any coloured lens is that because it filters out some of the light (which is what makes it useful in seeing contrast), it does restrict what I can see by headtorch coming off the hills in the dark. I can still see, and if there is extreme weather blowing about & it's dark, I do still use my goggles, however my partner in his clear lenses can definitely see better. It's a weigh-up which, for me, was easily won by the fact that I do a lot more walking in the daytime than the night! Although I do get caught out and need to descend in the dark sometimes, or I'm on a long day which makes a bit of night-time walking inevitable, it's more often that I'm in a white-out and need to gain some perspective on the terrain. That is really important to me, but it's a personal choice / balance to make. I've also found that the coloured lens really helps me to feel less disorientated in a white-out, simply because it's not all bright white / grey anymore (it's orange instead, with a wee bit of variation!).
Enough about lenses! The goggles are very light, seem extremely well-made, and durable. I am really very clumsy and I haven't scratched or broken them yet, that's really quite good for me!! The strap round the head is nice & wide which is comfortable, it's adjustable which is good for a comfortable fit (which is actually quite important because goggles which are too tight really make your head hurt!) There are multiple venting points in the foam, allowing any moisture to escape - as explained previously, this does do the job as well as it can be done. They also come with a wee soft bag which is good for storage to protect them against other stuff in my bag, and is also the perfect fabric for wiping fingerprints etc. off them.
All in all I'm really pleased with them and would recommend to winter hillwalkers as well as skiers / other goggle users. For the price I think they're amazing. Any goggle buyer should do their research, however. before purchasing any goggle because different lenses and different shapes do significantly different things & will suit different needs. The Bolle websites are a great place to start, explaining everything about everything as far as I can see!