On Trial: Oakley Line Miner XM Snow Goggles
The Tester: Erica Murphy, an avid skier looking for the best pair of ski goggles
The Brief: The minute I pulled the Line Miners out of the box, I knew they were something special. They smelled new, they looked super fly, and they simply just felt luxurious, compared to my cheapo goggles I’ve been using for years. As far as usability goes, the goggle's design leans heavily on improved peripheral vision — the lens is cylindrical and closer to the face, which provides more downward and sideways visibility.
One of the most impressive features of Oakley’s goggles is the Prizm lens technology. It’s some of the best in the business, and I can attest. When you’re on the mountain racing down a black diamond, visibility is so important. It's the difference between carving around a glade or running into a tree, or hitting moguls perfectly versus getting your ski caught in a pile of snow. Overall, the Prizm lenses are designed to "enhance color and contrast so you can see more detail." Check out the videos below to see what snow looks like with and without the Prizm lens.
I spent a couple days with the Prizm Snow Persimmon lenses, and the clarity was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in a pair of goggles. The Persimmon lenses are specifically made for low light, meaning a cloudy day on the mountain with occasional flurries. Typically in low-light conditions, it’s difficult to see any variations in your terrain. It all just looks like one big sheet of ice. I only experienced low-light conditions on my most recent trip. But despite the falling snow, I felt confident that I really was seeing every obstacle in front of me.
It is important to note, though, that in whiteout conditions, goggles can’t work magic. There’s really nothing you can do to improve visibility — you just have to take it slow and suffer through until you find more clear ground.
Oakley’s goggles are made so you can interchange the lenses based on the conditions on the mountain. If you’re hoping to get some bluebird days, you can get lenses made for those conditions, too. The Prizm Snow Black lens is perfect for bright sun. Oakley sells 17 different varieties of lenses, and I definitely recommend switching them up to really get the best experience on the mountain that you can.
Closing Argument: If you’re on the fence about whether or not splurging on some snow goggles is worth it, just go for it. It will improve your experience and it will help you appreciate those snowy, powdery days.
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