Leading up to the SIA Snow Show, SNEWS is previewing new trends and products you’ll see at the trade show in Denver, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Today, we take a take a look at the latest in wintersports eyewear. All these stories also can be found in the print or digital flipbook edition of our Snow Show Preview.
While optimized field of vision is still the holy grail of goggles, the oversized look is ratcheting back for 2013-14. Instead, near-frameless looks will be the hot ticket. “The oversized goggle phenomenon seems to have leveled off as people realize the trade-off in poor fit or helmet incompatibility,” says Oakley’s global goggle category manager, Andy McSorley. “Designs are moving toward sleeker, lower-profile dimensions overall.”
For example, Dragon Alliance’s NFX, launched with a limited holiday release, is a wide-view spherical goggle with a truly frameless look. Anon’s Wall-to-Wall Vision technology features a low-profile frame and 40 percent thinner face foam for a close fit and enhanced peripheral vision; it appears in the women’s spherical Tempest. Julbo’s Luna for women features a semi-rimless spherical lens and several choices of photochromic lenses, including the Zebra, which enables a change in light transmission from 42 to 7 percent.
Dragon Alliance NFX
Meanwhile, in the Buck Rogers department, a growing number of goggles feature built-in heads-up displays. Oakley recently launched the Airwave, with built-in Recon heads-up display, GPS sensor, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. It tracks distance, altitude, speed, and vertical. Riders can view jump analytics, pinpoint their location on a resort map, and track friends.
Liquid Image introduces the Apex HD+ WiFi-equipped goggle with HD video camera built in, which streams video to a smartphone for viewing and recording. The rotating camera lens pivots upward by 30 percent.
Liquid Image Apex HD+ WiFi
High-tech goggle pioneer Zeal introduces upgrades to its iON HD Camera Goggle, which made a splash at the show last year. “We have been trying to address the issue of fit for smaller faces without sacrificing style, breathability, or peripheral vision,” says Joe Prebich, Zeal’s director of marketing.
Zeal iON HD
Uvex continues to push the tech envelope with the Apache II Variotronic Goggle. Through advanced LCD technology, lens brightness and tint can be adjusted automatically with a light sensor or manually with the push of a button.
Perhaps these futuristic technologies will give the industry the boost it needs. According to SIA RetailTRAK data, from 2010-11 to 2011-12 the eyewear category fell nearly 15 percent, with $150 million in sales.
New venting features and innovative fit systems also come on line, and interchangeable and photochromic lenses continue to evolve. Bolle introduces the Emperor, a large spherical-lens goggle with a slim frame and Flow-tech venting. Brand-new for Arnette is the Windshield, with a cylindrical frame featuring the “No Blind Spot and Fog Off” technologies.
New for K2 are the PhotoKinetic Pro and Captura Pro. Both feature seamless helmet-goggle integration, Carl Zeiss lenses, and a reduced frame across the nose-bridge for increased field of vision. Building on a successful entry to the U.S. goggle market, Salomon introduces the XMAX, with an interchangeable lens system that prevents fingerprints. The lenses of Dye Precision’s large-fit frame CLK Goggle can be easily swapped out by clicking two hidden buttons. Scott launches its Lens Change Goggle (LCG) with locking lens-sliding mechanisms, tabs, and slots. The company also expands its Fit system throughout the line, including last season’s NAV-R-2 Recon-ready heads-up display goggle, which offers four directional adjustments in cheek and nose pressure.
Oversized goggles, meanwhile, have by no means disappeared. Spy, for instance, offers two new technology-packed large-profile styles. The spherical Doom features brand-new Lock Steady technology for fingerprint-free lens changing. The cylindrical Raider has a modified lens-change system and fog-fighting Scoop vents.
Shred Optics’ Stupefy is a brand-new, oversized spherical goggle with a skinny frame and wide field of view, as well as a small valve to equalize lens pressure.
Design collaboration is highlighted by brands like Smith, which launches the Smith ID (for “Inspired Design”) collection with the input of seven pro athletes, including Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Mark Abma, and Scott Steven. The new Vice is an oversized, semi-rimless goggle with Vaporator technology and 5X Anti-Fog inner lens.
Ashbury Eyewear introduces a revamped Warlock Goggle through a collaboration with outerwear company Holden that features the latter’s signature colors, look, and feel. Sabre, a self-professed “community of psychedelic anarchists,” introduces the Tropical Disaster goggle, featuring a multicolored jacquard strap with “wacky fruit theme.”
In sunglasses, retro styling remains strong, and silhouettes are more midsized and architectural with vibrant crystal colors, translucent frames, and bright mirrored lenses, like in Anarchy’s new Intel, featuring a frost frame and blue mirrored lens. Highlighting Spy’s sunglass collection is the custom-built Stag, a rounded vintage shape with a flat brow, six-base polycarbonate lenses, and metal detailing. Sabre’s line of fashion-forward, lifestyle-inspired sunglasses reinterprets the classics. Carl Zeiss lenses are now found in sunglasses from Shred Optics and Pepper’s.
Some sunglasses up the performance bar with technology borrowed from goggles. Bolle’s new Aravis, for example, has a vented frame and polarized lenses with oleophobic and anti-fog coatings. The new AR2 sunglasses from Lazer Sport boast a slim fit, open lens design, and generous field of vision. The optional photochromic lens includes a layer of synthetic UV-blocking melanin equivalent to 140-SPF sunscreen.
AR2 Laser Sport
These are just a few of the new products to debut at the show. Be sure to check out many more new products and trends in the Snow Show Daily, published live at the show, and available digital format each following day of print on SNEWS.