We're not sure whether these are eye wateringly or reassuringly expensive but one thing we do know is that Austin Smith can really shred on a snowboard so anything he puts his name to must be good, right? Well, the proof is in the wearing and on first look these North Face collab goggles bear all the hallmarks of quality but how do they fare in use?
Smith have added a mechanical latch to the magnetic lens system this season for added security, but we wish they'd have stuck with the original design. We found it almost impossible to remove the lens while wearing the goggles and a little less so with them off, it's a fiddly system to use that seems out of place on such a high-end goggle. The main lens supplied is a very dark black and although we've been sold on Chromapop technology (which brings out detail and boosts tones to give you better clarity of vision) in the past it loses some of its benefits when used on such a dark lens, which can only really be worn on the brightest of bluebird sunshine days. Thankfully Smith are bundling a Storm Rose Flash lens in with the package, which is much more useful for variable light conditions. Everything else about these goggles is as well constructed as you would expect, they're some of the most comfortable we've worn thanks to soft, wicking foam and a moulded area which sits over the bridge of the nose, rather than just squashing it. The tech put into the lens and ventilation system means that fogging is kept to an absolute minimum and you get good field of vision thanks to the frameless design. Overall this is a great goggle only let down by a fiddly lens system. As with other goggles there are plenty of lens options available if you're not sold on the blackout lens on offer with the Austin Smith version.