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Vision Quest: Bright Light

posted: 12/19/2001
by Helen Olsson

1. Adidas Yodai (LST Trail Silver lens) $110; broke into the U.S. goggle enterprise two seasons ago with a champ. The Yodai has a sleek profile, but its cleverly designed spherical lens yields an enormous field of vision—so you'll easily spot that guy in the Kansas City Chiefs jacket on your flank. gripes: With just a fraction of the distribution of the major brands, Adidas goggles may be hard to find. props: An antifog coating and a vent system that encircles the frame kept the Yodai from steaming up during testing. Comfort: 5 Peripheral Vision: 5

2. Oakley A Frame (Black Iridium lens) $120; oakley.comAfter several years on the shelves, the spherical A Frame still rules. Oakley's secret? An ergonomic frame shape, an inner-lens material enameled with a proprietary antifog coating, and one of the best venting systems on the market. gripes: Though the A Frame offers a respectably wide view, its field of vision isn't as good as the Adidas and Carrera models. props: The A Frame has a great seal, blocking all wind and moisture.Comfort: 5 Peripheral Vision: 4.5

3. Marker Laser (ESP Full Flash lens) $105; markerusa.comAfter 51 years in the binding biz, Marker has branched out with a goggle line. They claim that the Laser's spherical lenses will actually improve your reaction time (by reducing distortion). While we couldn't verify this claim on the hill, the Laser afforded the crispest vision—and least amount of glare—of the bright-light lenses tested. gripes: The frame's shape inhibits upward peripheral vision. props: Despite its diminutive size, the Laser has an enormous field of view—the ideal choice for pea-headed skiers. Comfort: 5 Peripheral Vision: 4

4. Briko Kronos (Amber lens) $120; briko.comLike other spherical goggles, the Kronos' curved lenses really do reduce distortion. (Testers reported a high-definition view—and hardly any glare, thanks to the ray-deflecting mirrored lens.) If your season pass is at a particularly sunny resort, then this shady lens is for you: It lets in only 19 percent of light. gripes: The MOMA-worthy, bright-blue frame seems to glow—which distracted some testers. Unfortunately, the other seven frame colors are equally loud. props: The low-profile strap hinge pivots easily for seamless mating with most helmets.Comfort: 4 Peripheral Vision: 3

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