Dragon Transition X1s Goggles Review

Dragon’s Transition X1s goggles are a very clever piece of kit. For years, manufacturers have been dreaming up various different ways to make switching your lens easier, so you can see better when conditions and light levels change on the mountain.

However, with a brilliant bit of ‘out of the box’ thinking, Dragon’s designers came up with a new idea. Rather than make the rider switch the lens to suit the conditions, why not make the lens change itself? The results are these – light-sensitive lenses which darken or lighten to suit changing weather and light levels.

It’d be easy to be sceptical about this technology, not least because it sounds so futuristic. In fact when we first heard of it, it reminded us of the sunglasses worn by Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that were “designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger” by turning totally black every time the wearer might be about to see something scary. But once you’ve tried these goggles on, you’d be hard pushed to stay sceptical.

“When we first heard of Transitions, they reminded us of the sunglasses worn by Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

The photochromatic lenses, which use technology licensed from a company called Transitions, not only work impressively well, they change impressively quickly. Try these on in a shop and turn out the lights and you’ll see what we mean. On the hill, this means that you don’t have to stop, take your gloves off and fiddle around in your pockets for a new lens every time a cloud covers the sun.

It’s also great for things like tree riding – burst out of a dark forest into a bright clearing and your goggle lenses will change automatically to help you see better. You’ll also be able to pick out your line more easily, as you see potential dangers more clearly (making them in fact the opposite of Zaphod’s sunglasses).

What Transition lenses won’t do – at least at the moment – is change colour completely. You can’t go from a yellow lens to a polarized red one. But with three models available: clear / black, brown / amber and grey / yellow, there is something to suit most conditions you’ll encounter. And if for whatever reason you feel the urge to ride with something completely different, the lenses on the X1s frame shown here are designed to switch out in the old-fashioned way too. In fact, the pop out system that Dragon use on this frame is one of the easiest we’ve ever encountered.

Transitions are also available on Dragon’s NFX and X1 lenses (the X1 being a slightly larger version of this X1s) but this comfortable, lightweight frame offers an excellent field of vision without totally taking over your face and so for us it’s the pick of the bunch.

Dragon Transition X1s Goggles Stats:

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