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Goggles

Zeal Hatchet 2018-2019 Snowboard Goggles Review

The Zeal Hatchet snowboard goggles are new for 2018/19 offering all the tech of the established Zeal Portal but with a cylindrical frame. These are available with three levels of lens tech, from standard to photochromic (that’s the ones that change their tint to match the available light), hence the price range.

Unless you do opt for the photochromic, you’ll have to change lenses at some point, and the Zeal Hatchet goggles have a unique system for swapping on the go. The lens slides out via the top of the frame, and the new one comes in the same way.

“These are available with three levels of lens tech, from standard to photochromic”

A magnet holds the bottom of the new lens in place, resulting in a ‘frameless’ look that feels extra secure. Peace of mind, then, but there’s also an added bonus that our tester discovered (see below).

The lens itself has a tough coating that protects against scratches, and an anti-fog system to boot. Vents on both the top and bottom help to keep things clear, and the triple-layer face foam sits nicely on your face.

Fans of a spherical lens should hunt down the Portal, but for everyone else the new Zeal Hatchet is worth checking out.

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahonwhitelines.com

“Whilst there’s been an explosion of magnets, clips and latches in goggle tech over the last few years, seeing ZEAL’s fresh take on lens swapping – Rail Lock – in action wowed me with its ease. It’s more guided than any other clip system – a good thing because playing around with stuff on your face whilst wearing mitts is deceptively hard – and also feels more secure than anything using magnetic fastening.

“It’s possible to simply crack the lens upwards a tiny bit to let more air flow into the frame. This allowed me to keep wearing the goggles when hiking without them steaming up to fuck”

The best bit though – and I’m not sure if this is a purposeful design element or a happy accident – is that it’s possible to simply crack the lens upwards a tiny bit to let more air flow into the frame. This allowed me to keep wearing the goggles when hiking without them steaming up to fuck. Simply a revelation.

Unfortunately, the pair I had gave me a little distortion that oddly warped the piste in front of me whilst riding, making them far from an ideal choice. To be fair, I passed them on to a friend to verify it, and he had no complaints. In fact, he loved them, so it could just have been me, though I’ve not experienced the same with any other lens.

All in all, a mixed bag of great and not-so-great from my perspective, but if you love hiking and can try on a pair in store then you should definitely give them a go!”

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