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Feb 25 2015

Review: Smith’s Prophecy Turbo Goggles

 

Smith Turbo Goggles - Gogs that can unfog themselves.

Smith Turbo Goggles – Gogs that can unfog themselves.

In the draught stricken Sierra Nevada, the need for goggles that have the power to keep from fogging up has been less essential lately. Nonetheless, the major reason I’m not a big user of goggles is because I can fog any of them up, and not because I’m trying to fog them, it simply happens. So whenever possible I just stick to sunglasses and keep the gogs in the pack until I really need them. Once I cave and conditions demand it, for me, the only real goggle worth buying is one of Smith’s many models of Turbo Goggles.

The turbo refers to the ability to keep air flow across the lenses so moisture cannot build up, and they insure that airflow with a fan tucked on top to pull air across the lenses. When first introduced to these marvels of modern technology the On switch was in the center of the brim and you could punch it with the back of your hand to toggle it on and off. Pretty cool except, as you might expect, too many folks punched too hard and the goggles tended to break, a costly mistake with a lifetime warranty.

This lock prevents accidentally switching to ON and draining the single AAA battery.

This lock prevents accidentally switching to ON and draining the single AAA battery.

So Smith moved the On switch to a plastic compartment that hooks onto the headband. This solved that issue, but the position switch couldn’t reliably lock so I found that it tended to turn on in the pack, or when jostled around in storage it would switch to on and the batteries would die, then corrode and destroy the contacts so it didn’t work even with new batteries.

I was lamenting the death of my Smith Turbo Goggles this way to a Smith sales rep and she reminded me of Smith’s lifetime warranty. A quick trip to Smith’s website told me how to return the dead pair and I could get a credit towards a new pair. Fortunately the version I had yielded a credit for a new pair that, while not the most deluxe model of Turbo Gogs possible, they were a solid upgrade, from the quality of the lens to the fan, power supply and most notably, the switch.

In the new pair of Prophecy Turbo Goggles only one AAA battery is required, and the switch lock is intuitive and actually works, so when you lock it off it stays off to keep the battery from dying prematurely. It just requires a fingernail to switch it on or off.

The fan pulls air across the inner lens, preventing fogging inside your goggles.

The fan pulls air across the inner lens, preventing fogging inside your goggles.

Here’s the thing, I can even fog up a pair of Smith Turbo Goggles; like on a stormy day when I’m skiing hard and forget to switch the fan to turbo mode at the bottom of a run. At that point I’m perspiring heavily and the output exceeds the venting capacity of the fan and the lenses inevitably fog. No need to give up, just switch the fan to turbo mode and be patient. As soon as you stop producing so much steam the lenses will clear and you’ll be able to see with clarity again.

To me that is the major value in Turbo Goggles. Not that they can’t be fogged, but they can unfog themselves without any help other than to boost the fan speed from merely ON to HI.

Smith
Turbo Goggles
MSRP: $125-$275

© 2015