Style is good. Function is good. When style and function combine, it’s great. Enter the Native Eyewear Backbowl goggle. Native is already a well-known brand in performance eyewear but they’ve revamped a few goggles with some notable new features, including an innovative new anti-fog technology.
Native Eyewear Backbowl Goggle Features:
- Wide field-of-view
- Large fit
- Fluted hypoallergenic triple face foam
- Enhale nasal nest
- Sealed double spherical lens
- Siliconized adjustable strap
- MSRP $129
See your way on the slopes
The Backbowl goggles have a huge profile – they’re attention-grabbing, rimless things with a big fat Native logo on the side. So they certainly grab your attention, but do they have the chutzpah to back it up? These to-be-released goggles have been my standard all-condition goggle since late January. Testing has been done at resorts in Northern Idaho with all of the slew of conditions that you’d expect from the Northwest – frigid, bluebird days as well as damp, pea-soup ones.
Of particular interest to me is the new anti-fog coating that Native has been applying to their ‘SnowTuned’ lenses. This line, new for 2016, is specifically engineered to delay fogging for eight minutes. That’s a full 7.5 minutes longer than the industry standard, Native brags, but they’re short in details to back up exactly how they accomplish this. So, without any idea of the science to work with, I relied on good old-fashioned testing.
In truth, the goggles performed admirably. I can actually say that, during my testing, I never fogged up significantly. The actual result was fascinating – it was almost as if the lenses were changing color slightly where fogging would normally have happened, but there was no opaqueness whatsoever. I have no idea how they accomplished this, but it must have to do with their multi-layer, vacuum deposition molding process.
Anti-fog is only one part of the package, of course. There are also generous vents on the top and bottom of the lens. The top vent, in particular, runs the entire length of the lens and is sealed to keep out any offending snowflakes. The foam is comfortable and designed to mold well to your face – they’re just as comfy as you’d expect premium goggles to be.
The strap is the last critical piece. The interior has a siliconized band to help the goggles stay in place on a helmet. It’s a great touch, and it does its job well. I suspect that the silicone will wear away over time, since that seems to happen inevitably with siliconized pieces, but even then the retention clips on your helmet ought to do the trick. The strap length also adjusts remarkably easily.
It’s hard to find any complaints with the Backbowls. One could be that the rimless design offers no protection for the lens should you drop and scratch it, but that’s what you get for this particular style. I haven’t had enough time with these goggles to get a sense of long-term durability, but the key failure points like foam attachment and strap keepers are sturdy. What’s more, Native has an excellent lifetime warranty.
- The antifog is rad
- Comfortable for long days
- Excellent ventilation
- Strap helps you forget you’ve ever had trouble with straps
- Lighter goggles for backcountry stuff are out there
The Bottom Line: Native Backbowl Goggles
There isn’t yet much information available on the Backbowls, but keep your eyes peeled for the release of the entire SnowTuned 2016 line. The anti-fog alone is worth it, especially if you’re a steam engine like I am.
More: Visit NativeEyewear.com