This season sees snowsports giant Salomon release a goggle range for the first time. The goggles come with three new innovating patents which Salomon claim will offer significant benefit to skiers and boarders. Naturally the Loveskiing team love new and innovating products so decided to put the new goggles through their paces! See what we think of the three unique design features below…
One word… wow! Aesthetically the X-Tend Pro 12 look stunning. The large lens face, the thin, metallic effect, an almost none existent frame combined with a vibrant selection of colours and a funky strap combine to create a fashionable addition to your winter outfit. Build quality is, as you would expect from Salomon; excellent with solid-feeling plastic, a thick luxurious strap and the metal Salomon S that all add a luxurious up-market feel to the X-Tend Pro 12. But what else would you expect in a pair of goggles that cost upwards of £140?
Vision – X-Tend Technology
Possibly the most important functional aspect of goggles is the ability to see. Now you may think that this is obvious but you would be surprised how many people buy goggles based purely on the way they look! This is where the first of Salomon’s three new patents comes under scrutiny. The patented X-Tend form technology utilises a narrow rim combined with a larger lens to provide a greater area of vision compared with other manufacturers’ goggles; 20% greater vision to be precise. We understand that this extra vision is hard to imagine and we were sceptical at first imagining that they couldn’t be that different to Smiths I/O goggle series (they look slightly similar!!). How wrong we were… the difference is astounding! The best way to describe this is to imagine you are wearing a pair of sunglasses on the slopes, the field of vision is something similar to this and unlike any other pair of goggles we have tried!
So the X-Tend Pro 12 offer an unrivaled field of vision but optically they are superb as well. The ‘Surfium’ coating adds improved durability and optical quality to the lens. Salomon offer a wide range of lenses ranging from darkest Black Multi Shining Surfium which allow only 10% of visual light to transmit through the lens; ideal for those picture perfect sunny days; to the Yellow Standard lens that allow a massive 77% of visual light and are best suited to those snowy, gloomy days. All in all, we can’t fault the optical side of the X-Tend goggle range. So far, so good!
If you were to ask me what I view as the single most annoying thing about wearing goggles, it would be without doubt when they fog up. You try to wipe the fog away with your hand but the fog is always on the inside of the lens, so you can’t reach it and to make things worse you’ve probably just smudged your lens!!! Salomon’s second patent, the Thermo Control System (or TCS, for short), tries to counter this issue. It consists of several scoop shaped air vents which create low pressure zones. The low pressure zones pull moisture away from the lens and even from your face to eliminate fogging. Especially useful after a face plant in powder!
The third and final patent is the ‘Custom Frame’. The Custom Frame is a unique material and frame design that is extremely flexible so that it can adapt and mould to any shape head. In essence, this should ensure that the Salomon X-Tend Pro 12 fits snuggly to your face and is thus comfy for however long you spend on the slopes. I feel it is important to note at this point that I normally have a strange shape head and find goggles uncomfortable to wear and cold air always rushes under the goggles which makes my eyes run. However the X-Tend Pro 12 goggles fitted well to my face and I didn’t have this problem. I can’t vouch for all shapes and sizes of head but the Custom Frame certainly worked for me. The strap is thick, padded and luxurious offering comfortable use all day long.
The Loveskiing team have been blown away by the Salomon X-Tend Pro 12 goggles and they have excelled at everything we have chucked at them! The optics are incredible; offering a world beating field of vision and a good range of lenses to cater for all light conditions. If you have a Salomon helmet you’ll also be happy to know that all the goggles match up perfectly to create a seamless look. So we can say with confidence that the Salomon X-Tend Pro 12 live up to the hype, and some…
A 10 out of 10 from the Loveskiing Team