Gen Kenny gives the Julbo Aerospace Ski Googles an in-depth review. Are they really as fog proof as advertised?
When the Aerospace goggles first got to us at Mountain Moxie, I was a bit skeptical about how well these would hold up over time because of the initial impression of how delicate the venting mechanism felt.
After 3 months of use, I can say itʼs still holding up fine! There are two separate and very important features to these goggles; the patented venting system and the lens. Iʼll start with the former.
Julbo calls their venting system the SuperFlow System. Itʼs a lens that can be pulled away from the main frame of the goggle, letting air flow through around the whole perimeter. The idea is to pull the lens away when in high exertion mode or simply when the weather gets warm, in order to prevent fog from building up on the lens.
Iʼve found the mechanism works pretty well most of the time, but have fiddled a bit on occasion to close it back up. It seems to have gotten better with time, however Iʼm not sure if its due to getting used to it or the mechanism smoothing itself out. I can now open and close the lens quite easily, even with my big lobster mitts on!
The venting does absolutely prevent fogging while worn on your face, but will not prevent fog build- up if you put them on your head ;-)
At higher speeds (60-80kph) on the downhill, the goggle keeps enough of the fast wind out to not cause tearing of the eyes, but increased airflow is felt.
The Zebra lens is an anti-fog photochromic lens, category 2 to 4. It is touted as being the fastest changing photochromic lens in the world that can be used for both day or night skiing.
I canʼt say if it is actually the fastest photochromic lens in the world, but it does adapt quickly enough to not cause issues in fast changing light conditions like skiing in and out of trees on a bright day. However I wouldnʼt go as far a saying theyʼre good for night skiing, unless its resort skiing on a fairly well lit hill.
For those moonlit forays, these are not the lenses you want to use. I wouldnʼt recommend them for heavily overcast days either. The category 1 to 3 lens would be better suited in that case.
The tint of the lens enhanced most colors other than greens, giving whites a pinkish glow, making bright colors pop even more; especially reds and oranges. The lens is crisp and I found no edge distortion.
At the end of very bright days, my eyes felt good, without the kind of fatigue I feel when wearing lesser quality lenses.
The frame fits very comfortably on my small face and does not press down on the bridge of my nose the way some other goggle models do. The foams used are comfortable and soft on the skin.
I find the peripheral vision to be quite good in closed mode, but looking down, I do have difficulty seeing the chest strap of my backpack due to the nose part of the frame, but thatʼs minor.
The elastic head strap is comfortable even worn over just a tuque and stays in place thanks to the siliconized backing.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION:
Iʼm happy I gave these goggle a good try-out! They are comfortable, provide clear nicely tinted vision, protect my eyes from the sun on long days, and deliver in the fog-free department! I like them best for touring even though I had to get used to the slight loss in peripheral vision that occurs when the lens is in its open position. I like the tint so much I used it as filter for a couple of iphone shots one day!
I wouldnʼt take these goggle on a long expedition because even though the mechanism has been reliable so far, equipment failure on extended trips have grave implications, and weight restrictions would not allow to carry a backup. I may change my mind about that over time though!
Myself and the other testers all highly recommend them, especially for touring in fog prone conditions. Some of our testers even a/b compared them to standard googles and were even more amazed at the difference in fog prevention on the up-track.
We don't seem to be alone in our praise:
Awards and notable mentions the Aerospace googles have received:
- ISPO Best New Goggle (biggest award in the industry)
- Outside (magazine) « gear of the show 2015»
- Gear institute « Best New gear award »
- Gearjunkie “Best Goggle in Show”
- Gearpatrol awarded "Best of outdoor retailer winter 2015”
- Men’s journal : « awesome discoveries from the 2015 winter »
These goggles also come in three other lenses;
- the Zebra cat 1-3
- the Chameleon cat 2-4, anti-fog and polarizing lens,
- and the Snow Tiger cat 2-3 with Glare Control Filter.
Available in over half a dozen colors for the discrete or the bold!
We have also extensively tested the AeroSpace Google with the Snow Tiger lenses. Our testers were unanimously impressed with the fog resistance and comfort of the googles. Good feedback on the Snow Tiger lens but most of our testing was in cloudier conditions and we have not yet had them out on a high glare day. Spring skiing isn't far off though so stay tuned for an update!
For more information, or to purchase, visit Julbo's website.