I'll have to disagree with you on that Spherical comment. The difference between a spherical lens and a flat lens is night and day. It's not about the material (plastic). It is about the manner in which the lens is thinned.
If you were talking about a material with a high refractive index, then this would be true. These are thin, plastic lenses... and *not* camera glass. At the end of the day, the question is "Is that tree/rock actually where it appears to be looking through these lenses". The answer is yes. Given the small vertical FOV angle (i'd say about 90º) with snow goggles, there's little reason to pay the extra $$ for a spherically shaped lens. Its a case of diminishing returns. Do the calculations yourself if you don't believe me.
I'm not saying flat lenses are going to ruin your experience (at least at your local hill, can't speak for backcountry), but once you ride a few times with a spherical lens, you won't want to go back to a flat lens.
I don't have a problem with this statement. Like anything else, its complete personal preference.
I also disagree with your comment about shops carrying either Smith or Scott, but not both. I can only speak for Michigan, but I see both Smith and Scott regularly. The company I work for owns 7 brick and mortar shops and we carry all major brands. Scott beats Smith on for their entry level flat goggles, but Smith outsells Scott's spherical thanks to the I/O and I/Os.
I have only been in one shop (in Breckenridge, actually) that had enough goggles in there for me to suspect that they just might carry EVERY major brand (this place was bursting at the seams with goggles). All the other ski shops and sporting goods stores I have ever been to carry one or the other in their individual locations. To date, I have never seen a Scott goggle share a shelf with a Smith goggle.
Another thing to consider with buying spherical is the anti-fog. Since spherical goggles are more expensive, they utilize better anti-fog technology. Take Smith for example. They burn the anti-fog coating into their spherical lenses. Their flat lenses just have basic coating. Along the same logic, the more expensive spherical series goggles will have a much better design. This means better ventilation to further fight condensation and fog.
Not quite. Check your product listing yourself - Smith Optics : Technology
- Smith uses the hydrophobic coating on their spherical AND regulator series lenses. I have 2 pairs of regulators, they are most certainly cylindrical lenses.
Goggles are definitely not created equal. Spherical is superior to flat for many other reasons than just the curvature.
Only in your mind. I am not knocking your preference, but don't incorrectly inform others that they are getting some huge advantage with a spherical lens. The fact is that they are not. An unnoticeable difference in aberration and an few degrees more on their FOV (field of view), depending on which frame they buy.