There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
The Product on Trial
Andrew Bettlach, a wannabe pro skier with a passion for powder
I may not have the best skiing technique, but I'm certainly not the worst skier on the mountain either. I took my first ski lesson at 4 years old, and skiing has developed into one of my greatest passions in life — more so than any other outdoor activity like cycling, hiking, backpacking, or golf. Every year, from January through March, I make zero plans that don’t revolve around skiing (sorry, family, but this shouldn’t be a surprise) because I'm just that obsessed.
Ski goggles keep your eyes from tearing up, protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and act as a windshield for your eyes when you’re skiing. A quality lens will help define changes in snow conditions and terrain features, and filter out the appropriate amount of light depending on the strength of the sun’s intensity. You wear safety glasses when firing up power tools in the workshop, so show your eyes the same love when ripping around the mountains.
Ski goggles come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. For detailed info about what we look for in a pair of goggles, check out our review of the best ski and snowboard goggles here. Put simply, we prioritize characteristics like fit, shape, lens technology, lens-change system, fog-resistance, style, comfort, and venting. Fortunately for anyone searching for high-quality goggles in the mid- to high-end price range, Anon’s sub-$200 Sync checks all those boxes.
• Frame: Large, over-the-glasses compatible, unisex
• Shape: Cylindrical
• Lenses: Two cylindrical PERCEIVE lenses included, supreme fog resistance
• Quick-Change System: M-Fusion magnetic system is simple, intuitive, and fast
• Price: $200, on the high end of midrange
The Sync is loaded with performance technology, as described here by Anon: “The Anon Sync Goggles offer the terrain defining-clarity of PERCEIVE optics and the convenience of our M-Fusion magnetic latch system to secure and guide lenses into place. Full-perimeter venting ensures maximum airflow for a clear, fog-free view in all conditions. They are over-the-glass compatible for wearing with eyeglasses and include a bonus lens for cloudy conditions, plus a microfiber bag for storage and lens cleaning.”
I put the Sync through the wringer in all types of conditions — from warm, bluebird-groomer days to blistery, sideways-snowing pow days. So let me fill you in on what I think of each of these goggles’ key features.
The unisex frame is on the large side, with a wide periphery that reminds me of a wide-angle camera lens, and with space for your prescription glasses underneath. The frame is durable, lightweight, low-profile, and flexible, which means they fit snugly against my face, integrated nicely under my helmet brim, and never felt bulky.
They have a cylindrical shape, which curves from side to side to reduce peripheral distortion. This shape is one area that allows Anon to price these goggles lower, as many higher-end goggles feature spherical lenses that also curve from top to bottom to maximize vertical optics. I personally feel that the difference between the two lens shapes is minimal, and really only noticeable when you try both types side by side. I also prefer the style of a cylindrical lens, so for me, this is not necessarily a compromise — and if the goggles are cheaper because of it, sign me up.
The Sync comes with two lenses: one for sunny days, one for low-light conditions. Their PERCEIVE technology claims to maximize contrast and clarity in nearly any light condition. When wearing the PERCEIVE Sunny Bronze lens on a clear day, I could see far and wide without squinting, experienced very little eye fatigue, and I felt as if I was wearing a high-definition filter for my eyes.
On cloudy, low-light days, I found that the PERCEIVE Cloudy Burst lens helped define even the smallest variation in terrain, so I could ski confidently without worry that some bumps or chops might randomly appear and knock me off my feet.
The Sync offers solid fog resistance by combining their premium anti-fog lens treatment with ample full-perimeter venting channels on the top, bottom, and sides. I did experience very minimal fogging when my face mask completely covered my nose, but I've yet to find a pair of goggles that won't fog with my mask fully covering my nose, and this was easily remedied by pulling the mask down slightly to allow some air circulation.
Speaking of face masks, these goggles sync effortlessly with Anon’s MFI face masks. MFI technology is a magnetic interface between a lightweight, breathable face mask and these goggles, which allows you to snap the mask into place to cover your nose for a tight seal. I was skeptical, but I was immediately impressed by how often I used and appreciated this feature when trying to regulate my face temperature. It’s one of those things that you don't know what you're missing until you try it, and now I wish every pair of goggles had this capability. This has become my new go-to goggle-and-face-mask combo on super cold days.
Swapping lenses when light conditions change is simple, thanks to what Anon calls M-Fusion: Just place the new lenses close to the frame and feel the magnet literally pull them into place, then close the latch to lock them down. When compared to Anon's M4 goggles, this is one extra step to change lenses, but it’s by far one of the easiest lens-change systems I’ve ever tried. And with a bit of practice, I’m even able to swap lenses with my glove liners on while riding the chairlift. This kind of efficiency is rare at this price point, which is a feature that I feel really sets these goggles apart from other similarly-priced goggles.
I have a hard time stomaching that the new norm for good quality goggles is anywhere from $200-$300. But I am thoroughly impressed with how much quality and performance Anon packed into these goggles at such a competitive price, and I think they will quickly become some of the most popular goggles at your favorite ski resorts because of their incredible value and style.
The Closing Argument
I’ve worn Anon’s Sync goggles in all kinds of conditions — from sunny and clear to snowy and windy. As someone who has traditionally worn other goggle brands, I am now a firm believer in Anon. The large frame provides unobstructed peripheral vision so I can easily spot oncoming skiers.
The two PERCEIVE lenses are some of the clearest and high-contrast lenses I’ve ever used. The M-Fusion lens change system is second to only Anon’s M4 (which costs over $100 more), and I can manage it from the chairlift. Fogging was minimal and fleeting, and was easily combated by adjusting the MFI magnetic facemask. For under $200, you won't find another goggle that's nearly as dialed with performance and style.