When you are skiing or snowboarding the wrong eyewear can quickly ruin your day. But what if your goggles adjusted to the conditions so vision was always perfect? In this review of Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens, I put the light adjusting goggles to the test.
I have always taken two pairs of ski goggles on snowboarding holidays, and chose the most appropriate pair for that day by looking out of the window. I never bother taking the second pair out with me, so if the conditions change I end up getting too much or too little light to my eyes.
But so far this season I have ridden for 16 days with just one pair of Julbo Universe goggles. In snow, rain, blue skies, early evening, flat light, white out and even 90 kph winds hurling ice crystals in my face. So I feel I’m in a good position to write a review of Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens.
Review of Julbo Universe ski goggles
The Universe goggle is Julbo’s most popular, and I could instantly see why. The frame is as minimal as possible giving you a large field of vision – Julbo claim up to 30% more than traditional goggle styles.
I am used to similar style goggles by Oakley and found these Julbo Universe frames to be as good and possibly slightly better. With an unrestricted field of view you have better peripheral vision, meaning you can spot other slope users, obstacles or features to hit sooner.
The Universe is designed for average to large faces, with an extremely flexible frame. I find it fits my large head well, and the frames flexibility means it conforms perfectly to my face. The dual soft foam creates a good seal without pressing on my face or nose too hard.
It uses an air flow system combined with a ventilated lens to avoid misting up and the lens is also treated with an anti-fog coating. On the whole I have not fogged up. The exception during two hours of avalanche training, when in terrible conditions we were digging holes and staging mock rescues and everyone’s goggles fogged up.
These days compatibility with a helmet is important and Julbo do this in two ways. Firstly using a sturdy and two way adjustable silicone strap that sticks to your lid keeping goggles in place. Secondly the straps are attached to extendible outriggers that sit out from the goggle slightly helping them fit within the face area of the helmet.
Ski goggles with photochromic lens
With the frames working wonders, it is time to switch the angle of this review of Julbo Universe ski goggles to the photochromic lenses. As with all top goggles they use a spherical lens to maintain perfect vision.
But unlike most other goggles the Julbo Universe use photochromic lens that adjusts to the conditions. For my goggles I chose the Zebra lens that ranges from category 2 to 4 – cat. 1 is for extremely low light and cat. 4 for extremely bright light, so these are suitable for anything but night riding or an extremely low light blizzard.
They take just 0.3 seconds to go from cat, 2 to 4. Meaning they change in a blink of an eye. In sunny conditions you see this happen when you go from light to shadow, which is a great help when skiing or snowboarding.
To make this review of Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens really useful here are the conditions in which I have snowboarded.
Bright sunny day
Absolutely perfect sunny skies needs goggles that let less light in to avoid you getting eye strain, a head ache or even permanent eye damage. The Zebra lens handles this perfectly, adding a dark brown and slightly golden tint to the light that gives great definition.
When the clouds come in the Zebra lens lets in more light. The best testament to the goggles is that I couldn’t really tell the difference under cloud to bright conditions. Definition is extremely good due to the light brown golden tint.
During snow the Zebra lens becomes a category 2 letting through just enough light. In this situation the golden tint maintains definition on the slope so you can still ski or snowboard with confidence. Compared to my riding partners I could see a lot better.
Deep shadow / Low light at the end of the day
Again when in shadow or dark conditions the Zebra lens allows less light through meaning your eyes get the same amount of light. Again definition is extremely good due to the light brown golden tint.
White out / Heavy fog
A very heavy white out is what Cat. 1 lenses are made for. The Zebra lens can only go down to a Cat. 2, but I found it did the job well. Obviously I couldn’t see as well as I liked but I could see well enough for the conditions and again better than friends with mid range goggles.
In a couple of situations visibility was about as bad as you can ride in. Seriously strong winds with flying snow/ice crystals or pea soup style fog where up, down, left and right all merged into one. But the Zebra lens still meant I could see enough to snowboard even if I had slowed down considerably and had the odd ‘am I moving?’ moment.
Of course when skiing or snowboarding it is rare that the conditions are the same all day. In fact they often vary greatly between the top and bottom or a run run, or just going from light to shade. So in variable conditions – which is pretty much all the time – the Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens are fantastic.
Review of Julbo Universe ski goggles: Conclusion
For me the Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens are a game changer. You no longer need to decide what goggles to wear at the start of the day, fiddle with lenses on chairlifts or deal with unsuitable goggles for the conditions.
But it is not just the lens that is the star. The frame is comfy, well ventilated and works well with helmet or beanie. It also has a large field of view improving peripheral vision through its clear spherical lens.
To conclude this review of Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens, I would say they are the best goggles I have ever had. When you are on the mountain the wrong eyewear can ruin your day, but likewise the right goggles can make it even better.
I hope you found this review of Julbo Universe ski goggles with photochromic lens useful. To find out more or buy some for yourself visit: www.julbo.com