I was worried that this review might be a little ‘jumping the shark.’ But we all have our second sports and skiing and cycling are a pretty good mix. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s my second sport by regular occurrence, but it’s certainly the one I enjoy the most apart from cycling. And there’s some synergy. Both can be hideously expensive and, once you’ve done them, both are actually quite difficult to unlearn. So coming back to skiing after a generational departure (I last skied before the birth of my now 17 year old son) it was good to see that, like riding a bike, you don’t really forget how to ski. That said, I never skied well, I lack the grace of my wife in that respect, indeed I tend to bludgeon the slopes to submission on occasion, but I’m ok and I’m going to claim it as my second sport.
17 years ago, helmets were rarely a thing. Goggles were scarce. So my last trip involved some sort of deerstalker hat affair and some mirrored sunglasses with fairings. Very old school. It’s unusual to see helmet less skiers and sunglasses and helmets don’t really have the right look.
Before I got round to getting the googles the helmet came first. After some extensive research I was surprised to learn that Oakley, for no review of googles can fail to mention them, were new to the helmet market. So I opted for the Mod 3 with its modular brim system. Essentially you change the brim to match the size/shape of your goggles. It’s intended (broadly) to be unique to them, so there’s a list of which (of their) goggles go with the large brim and which with the small.
Helmet sorted, next came the goggles. Aldi for the kids, the Mrs picked up some Sinners, I was planning on sharing a pair of Oakley Line Miner with the eldest but SunGod kindly supplied me with a pair of their Revolts for the purpose of this review. The Oakley went to the boy and I used the SunGod. That’s important because I had the opportunity to compare Oakley’s Red Prizm snow directly against the SunGod equivalents. And, as I noted in my previous review of the quite excellent Pacebreakers they really do hold their own next to the mighty Oakley.
SunGod are a custom company. So you get to choose what it is that you want. If you browse over to the SunGod website you’ll see that you get to customise everything. So, there are three frame colours (black, white and a grey), a myriad of straps and 7 lenses. Provided you order early enough in the day DPD will deliver them the next day. Others do customisation but I’m not aware of being able to do so much or so quickly.
Of course, the most important part is the lenses, so let’s start with them. You get to choose from the following, all of which benefit from SunGod’s 4KO snow lenses which are all 100% UV protection and designed to deal with a wide range of conditions. All of the lenses are scratch resistant and the goggles benefit from SunGod’s lifetime guarantee.
- Chrome – silver coloured, ideal for brightest conditions, 9% VLT
- Smoke – a black color, for the brighter days, 17% VLT
- Green – for sunshine and cloud mix days, enhanced for detail 21% VLT
- Fire – an orangey-yellow color, a brown based lens for brighter days, 11% VLT
- Pink – a pink pastel yellowish color, a neutral lens, 23% VLT
- Hi-Vis Blue – a blue lense, best for low light conditions, 43% VLT
- Clear, a shield, 73% VLT
For my trip I opted for the Fire lens and the High Vis blue. The RRP for one lens and googles is £95 which is pretty damn good. Adding a second lens bumps the price up to £135 all in which also includes free next day DPD delivery.
Let’s start with the frames. There’s nothing all that different here from the many frames on the market. It’s your ‘standard’ multiple density foam affair. The flexible TPU (BS standard impact tested) frame moulds to your face. Now, clearly, the not as flexible lens out front will limit that moulding a little but, in practice, these fitted me and my son with only an alteration of the strap. The frame is a mid size, not quite as big as something like the Line Miner but, in use, I found that my field of vision was unimpaired. Indeed, the size of them overall was spot on and I wear a large helmet. They do fit many different sized heads too as is evident from the second part of the review which you will find at the end. Ladies, these are for you too.
In terms of fogging, the Revolts have active vents which seek to keep this to a minimum. The lenses themselves are dual layer and vacuum sealed which assists even further. There wasn’t a single occasion where I experienced any fogging at all, be that out on the slopes working hard or pulling them back on after a cable car ride or lunch break. And there were some pretty inclement days where moisture was ever present or wet snow was making its presence felt. I was pretty surprised, I have to say. The conditions were tailor made for misting up but there was nothing at all. Even with cycling glasses misting is often inevitable only disappearing as you move away. Here, nothing. No need to move off, they’re immediately good to go. In terms of comfort they were great, indeed get that strap tension right (I’m an outsidee by the way) and you really don’t feel like you’re wearing them at all. The silicone grippers are comfortable on hair (or no hair in my case) and also grip the outside of the helmet extremely well if you are an outsidee.
SunGod say that they’ve tested them with a wide range of helmets. The Mod 3 is pretty new so they may not have had the opportunity and, IMO, given Oakley’s efforts to make it a modular system with their own range, the Revolts nevertheless fitted very well indeed. I do think that they would look even better with something like the POC or Giro range. As you can see there’s only the minimal gap between goggle and brim so heat and comfort are maintained but air throughput is still provided for. For next year I’ll probably move to a Giro Ledge or POC Fornix instead, the Mod 3 is a little big and a little snowboardy for my tastes.
Every part is interchangeable, so beyond your customisation you can order new lenses, frames and straps. Being able to swap stuff is easy. So, for example, in relation to the lens you flip up the switch at the side of the lens, pull the lens of its internal carrier, plug the new lens in and return the switches. It’s an absolute piece of cake.
Accessories are provided of course. So I took the microfibre bag to the slopes every day for cleaning and protection. You get instructions and some lovely transfer stickers so I took the liberty of plastering my helmet with them to raise awareness!
So, those lenses. They’re pretty distinctive and there’s something for everyone.
The Fire lens is stunning. Each of the lenses has a line of holes at the top to maximise airflow. There’s some embossed SunGood branding and the overall feel is very premium.
Before you go about choosing your lenses SunGod give you the opportunity to see how each of them looks by playing around with a slider. You can see the effect in the screenshot below. This is an interpretation of how the orange lens looks.
The following pics are fairly typical of weather we had. In the first you can see the weather coming in from the right. In the second, it’s just damned lush. And then there was the run back to Vaujany on the les Rousses red run with howling winds and virtually zero visibility. Still, at least you couldn’t see the drop offs! It’s worth saying that, on the very worst days, when you can’t see a thing, there’s not much that any lens can do to help though opinions do differ. It’s also said that a spherical lens helps as well, and the Revolts are of that type.
So, the orange is designed for brighter days, with 11% VLT and the blue is designed specifically for no or flat light. There was no shortage of the latter. And, the week before my good friend Jon was using the green lens (21%) and his wife the pink (23%). Both of them were very happy with their choices so, between all of us, we had a good idea of how each of the lenses worked.
On sunny days the orange lens is magnificent. It’s just that there weren’t very many of them, one or two, but at least I got to experience how easy it was to change the lens. Definition is excellent when the conditions are right. In fact it’s surprising how much you can get away with with the orange lens. If it does cloud over they still work very well but not as well as a lighter lens, clearly.
The blue lens has a brownish tone to it. In the flat light and overcast conditions it was excellent. When the sun came out and kept popping in and out it was superb. In fact, it might be one of the best all round lenses depending on your point of view. If it had been wall to wall sun, it probably wouldn’t have got a look in. But it became the go to lens of the week and stood up well to everything apart from the most severe whiteout. But, even then, I still think I’d take it over a clear lens as it provides a shade more definition and shields you from the all out whiteness.
Sadly, I have a little bit of bad news regarding the blue lens, it’s currently sold out, such has been its popularity. Ditto the grey frame. So, if you are going soon, get a move on before everything goes! It will return next year so make sure you get your order in in plenty of time.
In the meanwhile though, there is an alternative, and that’s the pink lens. As stated above it’s not quite as bright overall as the blue one. But it’s still a worthy alternative. The slider pic below gives you an idea of what to expect. As you can see it’s that bit brighter than the Fire lens. That’s not unexpected given that it’s allowing quite a bit more light through. And you can read about my mate’s experiences with that lens in the second part of this review below.
And then there’s the green lens, another great all rounder, again, dealt with below.
I’ve been hugely impressed again by the SunGod brand. The Revolts are excellent and more than capable of mixing it with the big boys including the biggest of all. They’re comfortable, there’s zero fogging and the lenses are excellent. The price of extra lenses is excellent so you can easily kit yourself out with 2 or 3 lenses which should see you through the very best and worst weeks.
Don’t take my word for it though, let’s have a look at what Jon has to say.
I’ve been a very satisfied user of SunGod sunglasses for a while now – the Pacebreakers have replaced my Oakleys as my cycling glasses of choice and the Classics are ideal for everyday wear.
After a frustrating ski holiday last year when I spent far too much time swapping between low-light and normal lenses on my Salomon goggles I was keen to get a new pair and so turned to the SunGod Revolts.
The Revolts are an eye-catching design which, like the glasses range, is customisable – in this case you have a choice of various straps, frames and lenses. Following a few weeks of umming and ahhing with various combinations I settled on two designs, one with Snow Green lenses and a pair with Snow Pink lenses for my wife.
The goggles come ready-assembled and fit perfectly with my helmet (POC Receptor Bug) and my wife’s (Salomon Icon2). I’m pretty sure they’d fit with the vast majority of ski helmets on the market. There’s also enough space over the nose bridge so that there’s none of the airway-squashing pressure that I’ve got from some other brands.
Our week’s skiing provided pretty much every light condition you could wish for if you were a professional goggle lens tester. Personally I’d have preferred the metre-plus of snow which fell during our stay in La Rosière to have fallen throughout the night but you can’t have everything….
Our first day was, as you can see, spent in the middle of a snow storm. If I’d wanted a confirmation that I’d made the right lens choice I got it straight away. The green lens provided excellent definition and clarity and despite the pretty awful conditions there was no fogging. My wife’s pink lenses performed equally well.
Day two was slightly better, in as much as it had stopped snowing. The light was flat throughout, but both the green and pink lenses again out-performed expectations, and I felt I got significantly more assistance from my lens that I got from my low-light specific Salomon ones.
We skied the day in light which was no better than the picture shows, and mostly much worse, and apart from a ten-minute period when the visibility was zero for everyone (even my optician mate who was using his favourite flat-light Oakley Persimmon lens).
Thankfully the weather played nice for the remainder of the week and we had three bluebird days. Having done so well in flat light I was a little apprehensive about the way the lenses would cope with bright sun but they were outstanding – not only in terms of visibility but also in protecting our eyes; neither of us had any eye strain whatsoever at the end of the day.
I really can’t speak highly enough of these goggles. They look fantastic of course but most importantly the lenses perform amazingly well and kept me out on the slopes when other goggles I’ve used would have had me heading for the café until things got better – a luxury that us one-week-a-year skiers just can’t afford!