Photochromatic goggles

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Photochromatic goggles

Postby johnnash » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:11 am

I don't see particularly well in low/flat light, so for the last several seasons, I've been using á goggle with changeable lenses, one tinted and one clear. I generally end up switching to the clear lens every day in the late afternoon, and often use it in mid-day if there's any significant cloud cover. I have to say, however, that this is a bit unhandy, and I've noticed that Zeal makes a polarized, photochromatic goggle, which I'm considering. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby Admin » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:25 am

Yup, works well. Check the visible light range on the model you're considering, however, for the model I tested was a bit too dark for me under a thick overcast even when adjusted to its lighest position. Also they're a bit pricey, but I imagine you already know that. I think I'd roll over & die if I casually and negligently scratched the lens of a $200 goggle, which I'd inevitably do.

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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:36 am

This is the main reason you guys usually see me skiing in those dorky but photosensitive prescription glasses. They are almost clear when it's overcast but turn dark enough to handle sun comfortably through March or so. I do seem to have better tolerance for flat light than most people, so I do not wear goggles until conditions deteriorate quite a bit. I've never been tempted to go for expensive prescription goggle lenses, because if it's bad enough for me to use goggles I usually can't see more than 30 feet through the fog and snow anyway. The exception is if I have to wear goggles purely for temperature reasons, which usually means <10F.
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby johnnash » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:04 pm

Yes, Admin put his finger on my main concern -- that even at their lightest, they might not transmit sufficient light. I went to the Zeal website -- which is very informative and interactive -- and it turns out they have a new "extremely low light" model. But even this one only transmits at most 43% of the available light (compared to a max of 33% for their normal photochromatic). That doesn't sound like very much for really low-light (eg, late afternoon) conditions, unless the polarization somehow improves the contrast in these conditions. But my (admittedly imperfect) understanding is that polarization is mainly helpful for reducing glare in high light, not improving contrast.
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby Admin » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:41 pm

Out skiing today I tested Zeal's new photochromatic model, the Eclipse SPPX. That polarized photochromatic model has a range of 41% to 13% transmitted light, and I love 'em. Large spherical lens for excellent peripheral vision and optical clarity. While today was bright and sunny I've also used them at low light now and they cover the entire range with ease. They're pricey (MSRP $200) but it's a single pair of goggles for all conditions.

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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby johnnash » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:30 am

That's interesting. After our previous exchange, I went to Zeal's website, which is vrey good, with nifty interactive tools that let you virtually see what polarization and the photochromatic features do under different conditions. I noticed they had this new model with more transmission. I wondered, though, whether 41% transmission would really be enough when the light is really low. In any case, I don't think I trust myself with $200 goggles. But maybe in a couple of years I can find some on e-bay, which is what piqued my original intrerest. In the mean time, guess I'll just keep carrying 2 lenses with me.
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby skibum4ever » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:13 pm

Don't know if anyone has posted abut this web site yet, but they are having a big sale on Zeal goggles starting tomorrow (they say up to 60% off!).

The site is called "The Clymb", and It is similar to SAC and Tramdock, but for members only. Here's a cut and paste from the invitation info:

I thought you'd like to know about The Clymb. It’s a private sale network that will give you access to insider pricing from an amazing group of outdoor brands. If you climb, hike, run, ride, paddle or ski, you’re gonna love this. Here’s how it works: you accept this invite and The Clymb will hook you up with deep discounts, usually 50-70% off retail, on gear from a different leading brand each week. Each brand’s product is available for 3 days only or until it’s sold out. Membership is free and by invite only. That’s why I’m inviting you.

If you're interested, you can use this http://www.theclymb.com/invite-from/BarbaraKelman to sign up.

I will be checking out their Zeal sale as well, although I have a pair of Bolle goggles that may do the job. Zeal will do it better, I think. :-k
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby aarenlainey » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:40 am

I read your review of the Zeal photocromatic goggle with interest. I have a Birko goggle that was about the same price and is also photocromatic, but offers different light transmission options.

The light transmission on the Zeal ranges from 33% in low light to 16% in bright light. For the Birko, it ranges from 55% to 29%. Because of those figures, I think the Zeal would be better for bright days and the Birko for low light and night uses. I got the information on the Zeal from the website linked to on your blog, and for the Birko I called the distributor at 1800 578 5790.

I should also tell you that while the Birko is OK for occasional use at night, if I know I am going to being my goggles extensively at night, as during a SAR in a storm I take a pair of Oakley goggles for which I have two interchangeable lens, one clear and one organge. There is a noticeable difference in night performance between the clear Oakley and the Birko in low light mode.
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Re: Photochromatic goggles

Postby Pietsm27 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:27 am

glad to read all that, was just considering those goggles
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