What are the best goggles for mountain biking? We brought together five pairs from 100%, Dragon Alliance, Julbo POC, Scott, and put them in the hands of our goggle aficionado and all-round jumpy rider, Rob Mitchell, to see which ones we’d recommend for UK mountain bikers. Over to Rob for the full review!
We know Scott for many things; mostly for bikes – but Scott also makes a heap of clothing, protective gear and footwear. For this review, we’re looking at a pair of its goggles, and more specifically, the Prospect model.
Scott makes no less than 11 different models of goggles, ranging in size, shape, and intended use. The Prospect model we have here is more aimed towards the MX market – but has the same attributes we’d look for in an MTB goggle. So let’s get into it, and see what this aggressive looking pair of goggles are all about.
Spec Talk For The Scott Prospect Goggles
Available in a dazzling 10 different colour ways, there is apparently a pair of Prospect goggles for us all. On test here, we have the white and red model, with the orange chrome works lens.
Sticking with the lens, Scott uses its TruView single WORKS lens on the Prospect, with the NoFog Anti-Fog lens treatment, to keep that huge lens clear of steam build up and fogging.
Scott also offers the Prospect with what it says is ‘the largest field of vision on the market’ – which is achieved by three factors. First up, the lens perimeter, where Scott has increased the lens height, and dropped the nose piece, to offer a huge field of uninterrupted view. Frame thickness and lens curvature also help to offer a wide range of view.
The Prospect goggle also uses Scott’s own Lens Lock system, which uses 4 locking pins to ensure the lens is secure as hell when in position. This also helps to make changing lenses as efficient as possible.
The goggles use a three-layer foam system, comprised of two foam layers, and a fleece layer. The first layer of foam aims to halt any sweat dripping down into the goggles, while the second layer and fleece ensures a comfortable and precise fit on the face. The Prospect is also a platform that allows users to run both roll-off and tear-off lens systems, dependant on preference. The outriggers on the Prospect pivot to make sure these goggles are as compatible as possible with a wide range of helmets (and head shapes).
In the box, you get a neat microfibre bag, a spare clear lens, and the detachable nose guard. For their size, the Prospect goggles sit at a very reasonable weight of 138g.
On The Trail
When on your head, these goggles do feel as big as they look. The lens is massive, and the surrounding frame is just as large. With open face helmets, the frame does feel exceptionally wide – yet with the Giro Chronicle and 661 EVO AM that I’ve been testing them with, they have worked well. The more angular shape of the goggles, especially the flat section across the top of the frame, mean the fit with the contour of a helmet isn’t quite as good as other goggles.
Once in position though, the big beefy strap makes sure they feel as secure as possible.
The mirror coated lens has a blue tint to it, which has performed really well during the test. On brighter days, that mirror coating reflects the sunlight well and stops it from penetrating the goggles and interfering with your vision too much. Out in the open, especially under grey skies, the blue tint lifts the colours of the trail, making features stand out. In the woods however, the mirror coating isn’t the best, and visibility is very dark.
Another note to make is about the lens mounting points on either side of the lens. These are two large pins on each side that keep the lens securely in place. I have found that when riding, these become quite visible in the corners of your eyes. Now, with a clear lens, this wouldn’t be an issue – but with the lens on these being an orangey mirror coated lens, the colour passes through the clear pins and puts orange spots in the corner of each eye, which is quite off putting when you’re riding.
The bottom of the frame is also visible at all times and again in this specific colour way, the bottom of the frame is white, so it’s very noticeable in your field of vision.
The height of the lens on the Prospects is however, huge, which pushes the nose piece down nicely and keeps it out of the way. Again, the top of the frame feels small and disappears nicely when the goggles are in position. When you take these goggles off after a long ride, be prepared to need 10 minutes to let your eyes adjust back from the blue haze.
After a decent stint with the goggles on, riding on a relatively mild and grey day up in Northumberland, I did start to get a strip of fogging which ran the full width of the goggles, and came down around 1/3 of the lens. This really didn’t clear when riding either, which was frustrating, so I had to take the goggles off, and strap them round my bars to clear, while I carried on riding. If you’re an uplift rider though, I doubt you’ll encounter many issues at all.
Comfort & Compatibility
The three layer foam system makes these goggles really comfortable for their size. Compared with other large framed goggles, these don’t push down on your cheeks quite as much as the others. I’ve comfortably worn these for around 45 minutes without need to remove them, but I reckon that’s about the limit. If you’re an uplift rider, or a normal trail rider, there shouldn’t be cases where you’d need to wear them for longer than that anyway.
On open face helmets these goggles do feel quite wide, especially on newer lower-profile trail helmets. On the full face I’ve been testing them with, the goggles sit tight and secure.
There’s no hiding from the sheer size of these Scott goggles – they’re huge. If you’re riding everyday trails or trail centres, these may not be the pick for you. If however, you’ve got some multi-stage enduro or even DH races planned, then these could be the answer.
They’ve got heaps of tech in the lens, and plenty of features to adapt to different scenarios, in the shape of tear offs and the removable nose guard. On darker trails, that mirror coated lens struggles to keep up with the change of light, and some of the other features do cause a bit of interruption when riding. On open trails and fair weather days though, that huge lens offers a vast field of vision, and the blue tint works incredibly well.
|From:||Scott Sports, scott-sports.com|
|Tested:||by Rob Mitchell for 3 months|