It’s almost mid-January which means we are entering the heart of the ski season here on the East Coast. By now, you will have probably figured out your on-hill kit and what is holding up for another season, and what needs to be replaced. Skis and boards usually last a handful of seasons, jackets last a couple years, helmets live forever – unless you do something silly or it gets too stinky – but goggles seem to be on the replace list for me every year. Googles breakdown from wear and tear, they get fog on the inside sometimes, and the lenses get scratched.
MY GOD, THE LENSES GET SCRATCHED!
My philosophy on goggles is pretty simple: no gaper gap, no scratches. If the lenses get scratched, I have to move on, and because I consider myself a Boss, and a Boss only has the best on the slopes, that means buying a whole new pair of goggles at considerable expense.
Or does it?
Over the past few years, goggle manufacturers have been been pouring money into their R&D departments to come up with the best interchangeable lens system. In the beginning, swapping out a lens was something you only did if things got serious: it was so hard sometimes you would break the frame, break the lens, or scratch the lens, defeating the whole purpose of having swappable lenses. If the light dropped, or the sun came out, or it started dumping, you just dealt with it, and usually your knees, ass, head, or elbows paid the price for poor vision. But, like anything, the game has evolved. Companies now make goggles that switch out lenses with ease, even with the push of a button like the VonZipper El Kabong.
The El Kabong’s Presto Chang-O system utilizes frameless technology combined with push-button extraction to make switching lenses as easy as, well, pushing a button. The lens snaps into place at the brow and nose, and on the sides behind the strap hinges. Hidden behind the strap hinges is a button worked into the frame that when pushed releases the lens. That’s it. It’s that simple. You can even do it without getting finger smudges on the lens.
The VonZipper lenses themselves are top of the line: oversized and spherical for clarity and peripheral vision, and anti-fog. They come in all colors, from black out for the sunniest days, to yellow chrome for the worst conditions. The frames are wide, comfortably plush, vented and light as air; everything you would expect from a top-of-the-line goggle.
Yes, goggle companies are raising the bar, and VonZipper is at the forefront with their push-button lens changing system. Snagging replacement lenses for a goggle you like, trust, and doesn’t give you gaper gap is way easier than buying a whole new pair. If you are replacing your goggles every season, this season go with the El Kabong.