The Giro Contact goggles are recommended for those looking for a pair of goggles that easily adapts to changing light conditions with a push of a button. Great for outdoor winter activities of all kinds in all conditions.
- Two lenses included
- Lens changes are quick and easy
- Helmet or head compatible
- Carrying case is bulky
I tested the Giro Contact goggles during the winter of 2015 and 2016 in Northern New Hampshire. The winter had a frustrating lack of natural snow, but I was able to test these goggles while skiing on man-made snow at the local resorts.
Fit & Comfort:
The Contact goggles fit very comfortably. The cushioning around the lens provides a tight yet gentle seal on the users face. The strap provides enough adjustment to fit around a large helmet or thin ski cap and is easy to adjust while wearing gloves.
When adjusted properly there is no squeezing on the face or other discomfort.
The Contact goggles have a handful of useful features designed to allow the user to have a clear and unobstructed view of the terrain. These features include a large field of view, an anti-fog coating on the lens, and a simple lens changing design.
Giro incorporates what they refer to as EXV technology to provide a large field of view. EXV stands for Expansion View and was developed on a principle of reducing frame size to increase the lens. The impact on me was that I noticed I maintained my peripheral vision without much frame blocking my view.
I have had older goggles that had a much tighter field of vision and I would need to frequently swivel my head from side to side to make sure I saw everything coming at me. With the larger lens of the contact goggles I felt much more relaxed while skiing in crowded areas because I could rely on my peripheral vision to see hazards coming at me from all directions.
Since the winter of 2015-2016 was rather warm on the East Coast I had the opportunity to test the Contact goggles in conditions that would lend themselves to fog building up on the lens. These conditions are those were the temperatures are mild to warm, there is moisture in the air, and your activity is causing your body temperature to increase.
Historically I have had problems with goggles fogging up under these types of situation which can be both frustrating and dangerous. I found that the Contact goggles vented air away from the enclosed portion of my face while I was standing still and also provided a gentle flow of air while I was moving which helped keep the area inside the goggles cool. The combination of the design which allowed air movement and the factory application of anti-fog coating allowed for fog free skiing.
The best feature of these goggles is the magnetic connection that secures the lens to the frame. The magnets are strong enough to attract the lens from a distance and lock them into place firmly. The frame provides a recessed attachment point which further increases the security of the lens.
The magnetic connection as well as the simple release mechanism make it extremely easy to change lens. This can be done either in the lodge or on the mountain while wearing big winter gloves. The ability to change lens quickly and easily is beneficial for those long days on the mountain when the light changes frequently.
The case for the goggles has a padded slot that safely holds the lens you are currently not using. While it is a rather compact carrying system it would be too bulky to fit in a pocket. If you are wanting to change lenses while on the mountain it will be easier to carry the case in a pack if you are in the backcountry, or leave it at the lodge for when you are skiing the resort.
The Giro Contact goggles were designed to fit seamlessly with the GIRO Range helmet I also tested this season. I found that curve of the helmet mirrored the curve of the goggles securely matching one to the other. While this is mostly a stylistic feature, it is always nice when companies design products to work together.
I also tested the goggles with an older helmet from a different manufacturer. The fit between the two was also rather seamless. This is nice because it allows the user to either switch between helmets or not need to purchase a new helmet if they purchase these goggles.
These goggles were tested during the winter of 2015 and 2016 in Northern New Hampshire. It was a mild winter with not a lot of natural snow and warmer temperatures. I used the Contact goggles at the resort during day skiing trips that were sunny as well as overcast and night skiing when it was lightly misting.
Having only had goggles in the past with a single lens it was awesome to be able to change the lens to match the conditions when testing the Contact goggles. The all condition lens worked well for bright sunny days as well as when it was overcast. During night skiing and other low light conditions I switched to the yellow low-light lens.
Each lens performed very well in the conditions they were designed for. I also found that the during the early winter, when the sun is at its weakest in Northern New England, I could get away with only the yellow low light lens regardless of cloud cover. Having the ability to change out these lens really was a fantastic feature and kept my eyes comfortable and sharp under any condition.
The Contact goggles can be used in wide range of winter activities from skiing and snowboarding either at the resort or in the backcountry, to snowshoeing and hiking on the cold days when you want more substantial eye protection. I do not know the impact rating on the lens and would encourage those who participate in activities that involve falling ice or rock to contact Giro or do additional research to ensure that your eyes will be safe.
The snow-levels were not great this year, which means I did not get many opportunities to venture away from the resorts for skiing. However, I would not hesitate to take these as my primary goggles into the backcountry because of their wide field of vision and ability to easily change lens to adapt to the light.
I would highly recommend the Giro Contact goggles to anyone looking for a multi-sport, highly adaptable pair of goggles. They worked well in the resort and will work well in the backcountry.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample provided by Giro for testing and review)
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