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Old 01-12-2011, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Never purchased goggles before... need help

Okay so at my local resort they have a pair of goggles for $65 (i dont exactly remember the brand but I think they were a pretty prestigious brand like Spy or Smith or something along those lines) and a pair of Dragon DX online for $40

What exactly makes the goggles more expensive? Would I be would I be wrong in buying the cheaper ones online?? the-house says that the suggested retail is $60 for those so maybe they are worth about the same?

What makes certain goggles more than others? Will I be fine with the less expensive ones?
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Goggles are a personal choice. I work on a mountain in retail and sell a lot of goggles. I'm not familiar with the dragons but smith makes a few ok basic goggles for about $40. They usually have a pinkish lens (rc36 or something like that) that is good for various lights-- I use that lens for sun and slightly cloudy. One basic difference is the lens. The cheaper ones have a (flat) cylindrical lens and as you spend more you get a (rounded) spherical lens. Less distortion although you might not notice it a lot. I think it's good to try on a lot of goggles because they have different shapes and some will feel more comfortable than others-- If you can, go out or walk to a window and look at the snow through a few different lenses and see which one you prefer. Try on some of the more expensive ones as well for comparison.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The thing about goggles is that you have to put in a couple of days/hours of riding before you know what you like or don't like in a set. It is a little bit hard to know what to look for before you've done that, but here are some questions you can ask.

I call these the four fundamentals of goggles:

Do the goggles fit your face properly? Are they too big? Are they too small (which can limit your vision)?
Do they fit too high on your face because the cut out for the nose bridge is too small (which can mess with your breathing when you are breathing heavily) ?
Do they fit too low on your face because the cut out for the nose is way too big?
Are there gaps where the foam does not press against your face or your cheeks properly (this might mean that you need 'asian fit' goggles that have extra gasketing)?

Can you see properly out of the goggles? (check to make sure that you have a good field of view in both vertical and lateral directions)
Are the lenses double-paned? (pretty much a necessity for most conditions)
Do they have an anti-fog coating on the lenses? If not, do they need an anti-fog coating on the lenses? (some goggles do not)
Will the straps adjust to the proper size to accomodate a helmet or your head?
Do the goggles have to fit over prescription glasses?
Do the goggles fit below my helmet properly?
Are they more prone to fogging than other types of goggles

Are they spherical or cylindrical lenses? (This is not important to most people)
Do they have have adjustable venting in the lenses to help control fogging?
Are there different shades of spare lenses available for different conditions?
How easy/difficult is it to swap lenses?
Are the frames discontinued?
Do the goggles come in a micro-fiber bag you can use to clean them off?
Do the goggles come with spare lenses?

Do the frames come in a color that you like?
Are there lenses that come in a shade that you like?
Do the goggles make you look like an astronaut or a 1980's hot-dog skier?

In the end, it is the feature-set and trendiness that makes certain goggles cost more than others. Smith I/O, Oakley Crowbars, and Electric EG2's are some of the more popular top-of-the-line goggles. They sell for up to ~$180 during ski season, but regularly drop to half of that (or less) during off-season sales.

A ~$40 pair of goggles from a respectable brand will work just fine. YOu can usually get a better deal if you buy last-season's goggles from discount shops where they usually sell for half off and then you can use the money you save to buy spare lenses. I got some Smith Phenoms for $40 at Marshalls this past fall, and spent $25 on a clear lens for night riding.

Its always better to try on different sets goggles. Most ski shops have a pretty decent selection... but almost no one keeps asian fit goggles in stock.

Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses! but just a couple more questions...

So is it best to buy in person instead of online?

And the ones online are here: Save on Dragon DX Snowboard Goggles Powder/Amber/Plaid Ski Goggles Goggle Snowboards Snowboarding Gear Equipment
are those decent goggles? I just have a feeling those won't last..

and the ones at the shop at the resort have a blue lens.. when I go up this weekend to board ill check the brand
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is best to try on first to make sure that they fit your face ok and won't caus any issues with visibility because of how and where they fit.

Goggles last a long time. The frames are mostly flexible plastic and rubber, so they hardly ever break. If something happens to the lens, then replacements are usually $20-$35.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay so you think it would be best just to buy them in person?
and what would be the best shade of lens for me? I don't live by any big mountains (i actually live in St. Louis where they have a nice resort with a couple terrain parks and runs that aren't as tough as a real mounatin but still can get some speed, but I plan on snowboarding in Colorado soon) and I ride all day from 9 in the morning until 10 at night... I will probably just take them off at night and put them in my car instead of buying clear lenses in order to save money

but my main question is what color lenses work for what conditions?
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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anon has a pretty cool online visualizer that lets you see how their different lenses look under different conditions: Anon Tech

u can click on the different lens thumbnails to see how they look and then on the boxes under the visualizer to change lighting conditions. the names of the lenses are exclusive to anon, i think, but the function is the same across all brands. this might help you get an understanding of what you need.

i have anon hawkeyes and use a blue solex for bluebird days and a blue lagoon in all other conditions, though i've found the blue lagoon to be pretty good when it's bright out too. the blue solex is terrible after the sun drops.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Snowboarding Goggles Info

I find a lot of the more expensive goggles are just a waste of money. Unless there is some gimmick like a fan or heater you just need a pair that will let you see in bad light won't scratch and don't fog. Usually this can get done around 40-50 dollars. More info Snowboarding Goggles
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