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‘Venting’ Ski Goggles Work For Uphill & Down

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[leadin]Ski goggles tend to fog up when a wearer breaks a sweat, especially when moving uphill in cold weather. Julbo has come up with a solution that involves a movable lens.[/leadin]

Testing the Julbo Aerospace on Mount Elbert

The Aerospace goggles, which hit the market this winter, can be opened or closed — the lens snaps out, canting a quarter-inch away from the frame to allow for unrestricted airflow around the lens.

Goggles Don’t Fog When Skinning

The main point of the Aerospace is that skiers who travel uphill don’t need to remove these for skinning. Many skiers just switch to sunglasses when working uphill, as goggles tend to fog up fast in this scenario.

I tested the Aerospace over four occasions and have not yet had any problems with fog. Testing took place:

  • Climbing 14,400-foot Mount Elbert in snowshoes (clear, 20º F day)
  • Skinning hard uphill at Loveland Ski Area (at night in temps around 10ºF)
  • Alpine skiing (from bitter cold and dry to moderate snowfall just below freezing)
  • Casually skinning in Rocky Mountain National Park in light snow

As I noted, the goggles haven’t fogged in any of these conditions, although I have yet to give them a good test uphill in a full-on blizzard. That’s the one time I think even these goggles could have a tough time.

Excellent Goggle Lenses

Beyond this unique ventilation tweak, the Aerospace is a solid goggle with excellent lenses. And for its hefty $240 price, they’d better be.

Julbo Aerospace goggles (with Sweet Protection helmet)

But as with many things, here you get what you pay for. I tested the black “Snow Tiger” model, and so far have been blown away with the clarity and contrast in these lenses.

Julbo calls these “photochromic and anti-glare lens (category 2 to 3) for all-mountain riders” and I agree entirely. Category 2 to 3 means these are designed for mid-to-high levels of brightness, and are generally a good choice for most daytime conditions on the snow.

Ripping down the mountain from sun to shade, I noticed that I never really lost sight of the subtle gradients of snow. Even in flat light, these lenses helped me suss out bumps from groomed terrain.

‘Superflow’ Venting System

To use the venting on these goggles, you pull on four little tabs near the corners of the lenses. This causes the lens to pop away from the frame, giving great ventilation.

Julbo Aerospace

Time to turn and burn downhill? Just push the lens back onto the frame and it forms a tight seal like traditional goggles.

Julbo Aerospace Summary

For skiers who don’t mind shelling out big bucks for a goggle that can go uphill and down, the Julbo Aerospace is a solid choice. I’ve been impressed after several days of testing.

The alternative — a pair of sunglasses for uphill and goggles for decent — is in many ways cheaper. But for all-day wear, these are solid goggles and most users should come away satisfied with the investment.

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