A few years ago goggles were worn mostly by the gravity loving DH rider. But with the rise of enduro, the number of riders using goggles has shot up, and with it comes new design challenges. Some goggles don’t work with open face helmets, some are too bulky, and some just don’t look right. Because the Smiths are not enduro specific (if there are any enduro specific goggles out there) I didn’t just want to use these goggles with my open face helmet. I ride both downhill and enduro – so really wanted a decent, all rounder pair of goggles that will work and perform well with both types of helmet.
To start off with, let’s talk price. A lot of you may think £59.99 is a lot to pay for some goggles, and it is. Compared to other leading brands the v.2 is pretty similar priced, however unlike the other leading brands Smith Optics include a roll-off system in the package. So that’s £59.99, with goggles, and the roll-off system which normally you’d pay around £20 for. Straight away Smith are ticking the right boxes.
Initially the goggles don’t look like they have a massive field of vision; the frame doesn’t look that tall. Once on the face though, you realise actually the field of vision is in fact really good. Plus the 3 layered face foam provides good comfort and a soft interface no matter how tight you pull the strap.
I first used them with my full face lid, and was impressed with the overall comfort and position. The strap’s silicon strip kept them very secure on the helmet and I had no issues with it moving out of position. The fit was just as good with an open face lid too (in this case a Scott Stego helmet). The goggles sat really well underneath the helmet and didn’t change how low the helmet would normally sit. I have had issues in the past with other goggles combined with a open face helmet where it actually pushed the helmet so high that it wasn’t actually seated safely on my head. But no such issues here. The fit and comfort is good and it works really well with both styles of helmet.
Now, onto vision! Already knowing the field of vision offered is good, the next test was to see how well ventilated the googles are and whether the lenses could stay condensation free. During many rides in all conditions, from cold rain to hot sweaty sun, the goggles stayed clear from condensation. When mud/water splashed on the lens, after a quick wipe with either the goggle bag or a jersey edge the goggles were once again clear and ready to rock for another run.
If the conditions were bad enough to warrant some kind of tear off/roll off system then the roll off kit that comes with the goggles were brought out of the packet. Fitting the roll-off system is super easy, and with the provided instructions it really is a fool proof procedure. Once installed the goggles are once again ready to go. One small issue – not really a huge problem – is that once the roll off system is installed the goggles then don’t properly fit in the goggle bag. You can still use the bag but can’t close the bag fully. As I said: a minor thing.
If you haven’t seen one before: basically this system allows you to keep your vision clear by pulling a cord on the goggle. A clear film is laid across the lens and when the mud gets too much, and you need to restore your vision, simply pull the cord and a fresh layer of film will appear, thus making it possible to see again. I have never used a roll-off system before, I have used tear-offs and not really got along with them. I always found if you put over one film on the moisture would get in between each tear-off and make it even harder to see. So I waited for a wet/muddy day (which didn’t take long) and went out to try out the roll-offs.
The roll off system worked a treat in wet sloppy conditions: once the lens was coated with dirt, and you had the chance to take a hand off the handlebar, a quick pull of the chord restored vision to its former glory. I was really impressed with how the roll offs work and will definitely use them again when I need to. A minor niggle was how little bits of grit can sit between the lens and film – so when you pull the chord you actually scratch the lens – not brilliant. However the scratches aren’t visible with the goggles on but I’m sure after a while and more usage with the roll off system your lenses could get pretty knackered. It may be worth buying a spare lens and keep one specifically for your roll off system.
Overall: The v.2 Sweat-X Goggles are really good: they’re well ventilated and comfy, offer great vision and look nice. A big thumbs up is that they can be used with both styles of helmets and fit well with both. Great value for money too. With a roll off system included in the price you are getting a great all round pair of goggles.
|Tested:||by Dan for 3 Months|