Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Gear Review: Zeal Eclipse SPPX Goggles

These goggles have excellent optics and the best-in-test ventilation.
Zeal_Eclipse_eclipse_SPPX_140x75.jpgGear Review: Zeal Eclipse SPPX

The Eclipse SPPX impressed even our most discriminating gear grump, who praised the excellent optics and best-in-test goggle ventilation: During one particularly wet ski tour, Zeal’s top-of-the-line SPPX lens—an acronym for Spherical Polarized Photochromic—was the only one in the group that didn’t steam up (an anti-fog agent is fused directly to the inner surface when it’s made, not applied afterward).

The photochromic lens (it changes according to ambient brightness, letting in 14 to 43 percent of visible light) makes this version of the Eclipse suitable for both bright, high-altitude sunshine and flat-light conditions. “The change isn’t instantaneous, but it adapts quickly enough to let me ski between bright, open meadows and shaded trees without flying blind,” reports one Colorado tester.

Because it lets in more light than even the best all-purpose goggle tint (like the Julbo’s, below), the SPPX offers better visibility in dim and late-afternoon conditions. And it’s polarized, so it cuts through glare and eliminates eyestrain.

Peripheral vision is outstanding, affording a greater range than any other goggle we tested, and the spherical shape (which mimics the eye’s curvature) delivers sharp, distortion-free optics. Nitpick: The foam lining the frame absorbs moisture; let it air-dry after each use.

$220
5 oz.
zealoptics.com

Leave a Reply