It’s a big world from the top of a mountain; you gotta take it all in. The foothills undulating to the south; to the north, taller peaks reach for the sky, inspiring your next objectives. See that crown on that south-facing aspect you’d been thinking of checking out; see those trees hard to your right with the terrain trap gully. This is all almost important as your line right below. A lot of goggles limit what you see to right in front; not the case with Native Dropzone Goggle’s wide, double-spherical SnowTuned lens. Take it all in; that’s part of the reason we do this, after all.
Recently trying them out in bluebird, cloudy and actively sleeting conditions, they illuminated the rolling world of early-season backcountry, when sharkfins pop out of the bony snowpack, threatening to ruin your winter. Even on the near-whiteout days, their lens tech allowed me to see through my Dark Gray Polarized SnowTune almost as clearly as through anybody else’s Yellow.
But the thing is, it’s also got about the easiest lens change interface you could imagine so if you want to dial that vision shade on the fly, you won’t be messing around with your facehuggers as your hands get colder and the storm gets nastier. Just hit a button, swing the lens out like the cowboy door at your friendly neighborhood bar, slide the next option in, done. And unlike most other goggles I’ve played with, the button mechanism ensures the lens isn’t going anywhere.
If you don’t fall, you’re not riding hard enough. The problem is a mach 5 faceplant exacts a nasty toll on your goggles. Enter Native, whose lens changer ensures that you won’t put the new lens in half-assed (a mistake voted most likely to ensure that you lose your lenses in a nasty digger) and whose frames are made out of castor beans instead of petroleum, making them more resilient (and of course biodegradeable and good for the environment, blah blah blah). It’s because of this unique approach to conscientious creation that Native can make the bold statement that their “frames are made of the lightest, strongest, and most earth-friendly materials available in the world.” They’ve been a trusted name for outdoor athletes since the ’90s for their sunglasses and their goggles are poised to pop up on the faces of the most elite mountain athletes. Plus it’s always cool to support a brand doing things differently.
Throw in a hard case, a little goggle bag and a low-light lens coming standard with the already-unbeatable Dropzone ($178.95) and you’ll never google another goggle again.