Salomon XTEND XPLORE6 Goggle
Seb Fish, January 16, 2012
This season the European Alps have been hit with a late, but obscene amount of fresh snow. I arrived in Verbier, Switzerland midway through December to be told by a friend that he had not even seen the sun for weeks. In preparation I got hold of a pair of the new Salomon XTEND XPLORE6 S Goggle with the idea of getting maximum enjoyment from these conditions. Part of Salomon’s first line of goggles, the XTEND XPLORE 6 promised to offer me a new, wider perspective on life in powder fields of the world.
Salomon has gone big with this one, designing a larger lens that enables the rider to a gain a ‘20% greater field of vision’. The thinner frame certainly does allow for a greater field of view, more so than many other sets of goggles I have used in previous seasons where frame size and excessive branding blot out the piste. The orange lens supplied with this set of goggles is designed for low-light conditions and performed exceedingly well when faced with 10-meter visibility and heavy snow, great for those powder days up the mountain.
This same frame design is also intended to maximise comfort. The membrane between the frame and the face foam has been made ‘extremely flexible’ so that the ‘frame [can] adapt to any face shape’. During product testing, the goggles did feel particularly comfortable, although this is in part due to the above-average size of the goggles themselves, as well as the flexible membrane.
The goggles’ fog control system generally worked extremely effectively during my testings in Verbier. Scoops along the side and top vents of the goggles create ‘low pressure zones [which] pull moist air away from the lens and face’. This technique exceeded expectations and I was surprised that the lens refused to steam-up even when I breathed heavily.
However, on a particularly warm, wet and overcast day, I faced significant problems with fog on the lens and had to regularly interrupt my riding so that I could clean off the fog from the lens. This eventually led to me accidentally breaking the lens from the frame as I struggled to remove the moisture from the lens. I was able to repair this defect back to working condition, but it remains an issue that one must into account when cleaning or wiping the lens in order to avoid a disconnect.
Overall, the goggles’ compatibility with other lenses ensures that this neat pair of goggles can be used for a variety of weather conditions. Its comfort and heightened field of view were noteworthy and I would highly recommend this gear to any skier or snowboarder looking to make the most of what has been a fantastic season so far.