SunGod Vanguard POW Goggles
Reasons to buy it: Affordable, customisable, protective and flies the flag for POW
When it comes to making some of the best goggles and sunglasses around, it’s fair to say that Swiss-based SunGod have been knocking it out of the park in recent years. Founded in Verbier in 2013, the company has rapidly made a name for themselves by creating some of the finest eyewear (at a respectable price point for the consumer). The brand’s founders, Zoe Armstrong and Ali Watkiss, wanted to produce affordable products that could go head to head with the heavyweights on performance. As the Vanguard POW Goggles underlines, SunGod has certainly delivered on this objective.
Looking at the lens (the most important part of a goggle, after all), what you’re dealing with is an oversized 4KO snow lens that comes with the choice of eight different lenses. We’ll cover some of the customisation stuff shortly but, before then, it’s worth flagging up – for those not already in the know – that oversized lenses are great for the peripherals. There’s a bit more science to it than simply ‘big window, see more’ but, to save time, we’ll just say the Vanguard delivers a really great field of view.
“SunGod is a Certified B Corporation, and a fully carbon neutral brand”
The lenses on these ski goggles have been optimised to bring out contrast in tricky light conditions, and offer full UV protection from the sun’s nasty rays. Impact protection has also been built into the lens, with triple-layer scratch resistance meaning they’ll be well-protected when you do inevitably decide to throw them into the bottom of your bag.
Right, let’s talk about customisation. Lens swapping has been made simple here thanks to useful magnets that have been built into the internal part of the frame and lens. All you need to do is push the lens away from the frame (with a tiny bit of force), and it will pop out satisfyingly. Simply click the strap off the frame, and switch it for a different one, if you want to customise things further. Why you’d ever want to swap out the limited edition Protect Our Winters one we’ve featured here though, we’re not entirely sure.
Before you order the Vanguard, you’re given the option to get really specific with colour combinations and lens tints. We chose the POW strap for two reasons. Firstly, there can’t be enough people on the hills flying the flag for this essential charity. And secondly, because it’s a good way to emphasise SunGod’s environmental credentials. SunGod is a Certified B Corporation, and a fully carbon neutral brand. They’ve done this by working to minimise their impact on the planet wherever possible (through lower impact packaging, efficient shipping methods, and the use of more recycled materials).
Read our SunGod Vanguard POW Goggles review.
Oakley Line Miner
Reasons to buy it: Excellent peripheral vision, all-day comfort, works well with the majority of helmets, great lens options, they look cool
Saying Oakley knows a lot about ski goggles is like saying rocket scientists know a lot about shooting things off into space, or that brain surgeons know a lot about what goes on inside skulls. When it comes to goggles, and eyewear in general, Oakley = experts. Take the Line Miner, for example. Inspired by the helmet visors of fighter pilots, it’s a product that makes it easier to see what’s going on down below.
By having a cylindrical-style design that’s pulled closer to the wearer’s face than it is with other ski goggles, the Oakley Line Miner really opens things up both in terms of downward-looking and side-to-side periphery. For skiers who like to hunt out dream lines on more varied and unpredictable terrain, this expansion of view will feel like a godsend. Although, of course, there’s a lot to be said for being able to see more of the slightly-out-of-control punters on the pistes as well.
“Saying Oakley knows a lot about ski goggles is like saying rocket scientists know a lot about shooting things off into space”
Not for the first time in Mpora’s history, and not for the last, we’d like to give a shoutout to Prizm Lens Technology. The technology, if you’re not clued up on it already, is all about fine-tuning vision for specific sports and environments. It serves up super-precise colour-tuning, something that obviously has its benefits when you’re moving through wintry mountain landscapes at speed. These ski goggles will also, it should go without saying, protect you from harmful rays (it’s no good, after all, seeing contrast in the terrain if your eyes are suffering for it).
The Flexible O Matter chassis here conforms nicely to your face; even when the temperatures have dropped down into the minuses. If you’re a skier who lives for shredding every moment of day, and you crave a comfortable feel on your face from day’s start to day’s end, you’ll find the triple-layer face foam with its moisture-wicking polar fleece lining incredibly pleasant.
The Oakley Line Miner we’ve included in our guide to the best ski goggles is part of the Stale Sandbech Signature Series. If you know you’re snowboarding, you’ll know that Stale is one of the most stylish snowsport athletes around. Fancy channelling some of his vibe? You can start by getting these on your face.
Read our Oakley Line Miner review.