But with the vast array of brands, models, and technologies on the market, it can be difficult and at times confusing to decide which pair to go for. There are several key factors you should consider when searching for a new pair of ski goggles: field of vision, clarity and optical quality, lens change system, ventilation and fog resistance, fit and comfort, and of course, the price tag. We’ll run MessyWeekend’s latest model ACHTON through these factors.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Field of Vision
As far as goggles go, cylindrical goggles usually take a backseat to spherical goggles when it comes to the field of vision. In case you’re new to this terminology: a cylindrical lens is flat vertically and only curves horizontally (from ear to ear), whereas the spherical lens curves both horizontally and vertically. However, as the style has become more popular over the past several years, brands have been upping their game and designing some great cylindrical goggles that truly hold their own.
MessyWeekend is one such brand, ACHTON one such goggle. The wide lens offers a great panoramic view, and while you can see a bit of the padding and frame when you look down, it isn’t nearly enough to be obtrusive or annoying. If your highest priority is field of vision, then you should check out their spherical model FLOAT II. It’s a bit bigger than ACHTON, so while the difference in performance is relatively small, the fit can be uncomfortable for small-medium faces. Overall, ACHTON hits a nice balance between a manageable size and all-around visibility.
Clarity and Optical Quality
Since we’re looking at two different lenses for the same model, let’s take them one at a time. ACHTON XEp comes with one high-contrast, weather-adapting lens—making overcast lenses unnecessary. The lens automatically adjusts to the right tint needed for the amount of sun shining at the current time in under 20 seconds! This is particularly great if you’re going to be on the mountain late into the day. At its lightest, the XEp has 53% VLT (top goggle), and at its darkest, it has 16% VLT (second goggle).
What about polarization? Well, polarized lenses reduce glare from sunlight reflecting off the slopes and are great when it’s bright out, but they aren’t ideal near the end of the day when long shadows appear on the snow, as they are usually made with a darker tint than most lenses. With the photochromic lens, you get excellent protection from glare during the day as well as clear visibility in low light conditions—all in one lens.
ACHTON XE2 Green Revo comes with two lenses: one for sunny conditions (15% VLT, third goggle) and one for flat light (55% VLT, yellow lens). The high-contrast XE2 lens technology has a violet base and secures enhanced color recognition, unveiling details like bumps, ice, and crud remarkably well both on- and off-piste. All of the ACHTON lenses have 100% UV400 protection and are interchangeable, which is the perfect segue to our next point.
There are many brands and models out there that are in dire need of an updated quick-change design for their lenses. MessyWeekend was no different. Their last-season models FLOAT and INUIT (ACHTON’s predecessor) have a click-in lens change system. Easy enough to do once you get the hang of it, but definitely difficult if you’re wearing gloves on a cold mountain. MessyWeekend took this critique seriously and upgraded their models with a magnetic lens-change system. The frame and the lens are each fitted with an 8-point magnetic system, that securely fixes lens to frame. There is a small tab on the bottom-right-hand corner of the lens, so you can easily remove and change the lens—even while you’re wearing the goggle!
This system is similar to that of the Anon M Series and different from the Smith Mag goggles, which have an extra locking mechanism that requires you to remove the goggles before being about to change the lens. The primary benefit of this system is the little extra peace of mind. Ultimately, both are great, fairly intuitive systems, but Anon and MessyWeekend get a slight edge for speed and ease-of-use.
Ventilation and Fog Resistance
ACHTON’s venting system is extremely effective at generating airflow from all sides. There are vents lining the top and bottom of the frame, while the dual-pane lens helps keep the cold on the outside and the heat of the inside further apart, aiding the anti-fog system. Of course, the inside of the lens is treated with anti-fog coating, so it’s best to minimize the number of times you wipe the lens, as it degrades the coating.
Fit and Comfort
The triple-layer foam is very soft and well-made—meaning no discomfort, chafing, or the need to loosen the straps even after wearing the goggles all day long. Additionally, the frame is quite flexible and molds nicely to your face, with the ability to cinch down snugly and comfortably. Size-wise, ACHTON has a medium fit, which was ideal for both women and men. If large-framed goggles are too big for you—for example, if they tend to push down on the brim of your nose—then ACHTON should be a good fit for you. If you’re looking for a frame on the larger side, again, we’d recommend MessyWeekend’s FLOAT II goggle.
Overall, we’re big fans of ACHTON. It offers excellent optics and fit, it vents very well, and of course, the magnetic lens-change system is incredibly handy (we’ll hopefully be seeing more of its kind from other brands).
The technology of the XEp model is top of its class—the combination of the high-contrast and photochromic technologies gives you a clear-sighted experience on the mountain, no matter the condition. At €200, the price tag isn’t nothing, but given the features you get, we definitely think it’s worth it.
The XE2 Green Revo is priced at €130 and comes with the two lenses discussed above. Both models come with a hard case for safe keeping, a microfiber bag to protect the lens and to be used for (minimal) cleaning, and a couple of cool MessyWeekend stickers. Oh—and last but definitely not least, the design is totally on point. Fresh yet retro. You’ll definitely stand out in a pair of ACHTON.