While snow goggles from MessyWeekend are priced on the lower end of the scale compared to their competitors, it’s still important to know what exactly you want and need in a pair of snow goggles before you purchase, so you don’t end up with a pair that isn’t quite right for you.
First, here is an overview of their 20/21 goggles. There are two models, three lens colors, and three frame / strap colors. Pricing starts at just €130.
|ACHTON XEp||Black, White||€200||1||Cylindrical||Medium|
|ACHTON XE2 Green Revo||Army, Black, White||€130||2||Cylindrical||Medium|
|FLOAT II XE2 Green Revo||Black, White||€130||2||Spherical||Medium/large|
|ACHTON XE2 Silver Mirror||Army, Black, White||€130||2||Cylindrical||Medium|
|FLOAT II Silver Mirror||Black, White||€130||2||Spherical||Medium/large|
*We are only going to be looking at MessyWeekend’s new goggles. They have mostly sold out of their previous models and won’t be restocking them due to the change of their lens-attachment technology. However, if you have one of their older models, they still have accessories for sale that are compatible with FLOAT and INUIT.
1. Know Your Lens Shapes: Cylindrical vs. Spherical
ACHTON is a cylindrical lens, meaning they curve across your face horizontally but are flat vertically. This shape is has become increasing popular over the past several years, mostly due to the look, which avoids the bug-eye style on many modern spherical models. If you’ve ever used a cylindrical goggle from the ‘70s, you probably know that they are less than ideal for the slopes. However, because the shape has become so popular, brands have been making significant advances in lens technology that are decreasing the negative impacts of the cylindrical shape. So, there’s no reason to hesitate if you’re interested in ACHTON—they are more than capable of holding their own against spherical lenses.
FLOAT II is a spherical lens, meaning the lens curves both horizontally and vertically. The curve is intended to mimic the shape of your eyeball, giving a natural, superior field of view. Spherical lenses do give the goggle a taller profile with its bubble shape. There are many who, as mentioned above, don’t particularly like this look, but keep in mind that they could look less, shall we say, aggressive when worn with a helmet.
2. Ventilation & Anti-Fog Treatments
When warm air from your body heat meets the cold air of the mountain, condensation can form, compromising your vision. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to make sure that the goggles you end up purchasing are well equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at them.
Both ACHTON and FLOAT II feature double-paned lenses, as they don’t fog as quickly as single-paned lenses. Sealed properly, they create a thermal barrier (similar to storm windows) that is more fog-resistant.
All lenses for both models are treated with anti-fog coatings. This coating can wear off, so it’s best to touch the inner side of the lens as little as possible. This includes whipping the lens off with the microfiber bag included with each pair.
The tops and bottoms of both goggle models are equipped with wide vents, the keys to help control fogging.
3. Know the Visible Light Transmission
The lens color serves to filter and emphasize the colors you see. The amount of light that reaches your eyes through the lens is called the visible light transmission (VLT).
Darker tints have lower VLT because less light passes through the lens. The XE2 Green Revo lens has a 15% VLT, while the XE2 Silver Mirror has a 16% VLT. The reduced VLT means they excel on bluebird days.
Lighter lens tints have a higher VLT because more light passes through the lens. Yellow-, gold-, amber-, green-, and rose-colored lenses all offer increased VLT, making them prime choices on cloudy days. That’s why MessyWeekend included a yellow overcast lens (which has a 55% VLT) with each of their XE2 models.
The XEp lens is a photochromic lens (16%-53% VLT), meaning the lens automatically adjusts depending on the weather, rendering an overcast lens unnecessary.
4. Don’t skimp on 100% UV Protection
All of MessyWeekend’s goggles have 100% UV400 (UVA+UVB) protection. Too much exposure to UV in the short-term can give you a painful sunburn on your eyes, called photokeratitis. Long-term, they can damage your eyes permanently. It’s important to know that UV rays bounce off of the snow, even when it’s cloudy, so all types of lenses should have 100% UV protection.
5. Choose the Right Lens Color
As mentioned in the previous section, MessyWeekend offers a photochromic lens. It automatically changes its tint level according to the temperature and UV intensity. The more sun and UV rays, the darker the lens becomes. If it’s snowing or overcast, the tint is lighter. Indoors, they always stay light no matter the light intensity. Additionally, the XEp lens was designed for mountain conditions and, thus, work best in subzero temperatures. This means that the tint will not change as quickly if put in the sun on a warm day.
The XE2 Green Revo lens has a Revo coating, while the XE2 Silver Mirror has a mirror coating. Both lenses have a reflective coating on the top layer that softens the glare by allowing less light to enter. The XE2 lenses work really well on bright, sunny days, but of course, not all days can be nice and sunny, so we include a yellow overcast lens with each of our ACHTON XE2 and FLOAT II XE2 models (as mentioned above).
All of their models feature interchangeable lenses, meaning you can easily swap out different colored lenses to suit changing light conditions. This year, MessyWeekend upgraded their lens-change system, so ACHTON and FLOAT II both have magnetic lenses. In fact, it’s one of the most advanced lens-change systems on the market, allowing for super quick lens-swapping.
6. Get the Right Fit
Make sure to get goggles that fit your face. The fit should be snug (not tight) and comfortable. Between ACHTON and FLOAT II, ACHTON is smaller frame-wise. Both are oversized goggles, which is the most sought-after style currently.
Both models feature frames made from polyurethane, making them quite flexible (a more flexible frame is best for cold temperatures). The frame has triple-layer foam, enhancing venting, and where the third layer that meets your face is moisture-wicking.
If you wear prescription glasses, no need to worry! ACHTON and FLOAT II are designed to fit over your glasses (OTG). (Tip: You can use an anti-fog treatment on your eyeglasses to help keep them clear under the goggles.)