I like to say that I learned to ski before I could walk–in a past life, I actually started a ski-inspired fitness studio! I’m always looking for the best gear to upgrade my ski days, both in functionality and in fashion. I always stuck with the standard Smith or Scott ski goggles and didn’t think much about it, until I heard about Vallon, the ski goggle company taking the US by storm.
What makes these goggles different? Could they really live up to the hype? I am happy to say they definitely do live up to the hype, and I’m sure I’ll be seeing them all over the slopes this season. Here’s why:
1. Functionality… the goggle features actually do what they claim to do
Most importantly, you need your ski goggles to be functional. Vallon checks all the boxes here and are the highest quality goggles I’ve tried. The anti-scratch lenses really didn’t scratch despite a few tumbles (unlike previous goggles I’ve had).
Furthermore, the spherical lens fits my face the best of any goggles I’ve tried, giving me better visibility but also keeping my face warmer on those very cold days. The anti-fog lenses really didn’t fog, despite getting very sweaty on some bump runs (and I’ve definitely had fog issues in the past). Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the triple layer foam that lines the frame molds to my face, providing the most comfortable feel of any goggle I’ve tried. I honestly don’t think I realized that my last goggles weren’t comfortable until I tried these.
2. Style… who doesn’t love a cool retro ski vibe?
I grew up skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, one of the first ski towns in the US, so it’s fair to say that I love a retro look. My dad still wears ski jackets from the 80s and constantly gets complimented, so I’m definitely one for this old school style. I fell in love with the look of the Vallon goggles at first glance. The Freebirds really have the old school ski town vibe, and now I’m always getting complimented on my goggles on the mountain (I just have to step up the rest of the outfit now).
3. Lens selection…there’s a lens for all weather types
Last winter I got into the multi-lens game, after seeing my friends change out their lenses on a daily basis. While I do like being able to change my lens depending on the conditions, I almost felt like my goggles came with too many lenses and none of them were exactly right, especially if the weather shifted during the day.
I’m glad to say that I do not have this problem with Vallon. The main lens they came with worked in most scenarios for me, and you can buy 2 additional lenses: one that’s good for flat light/poor conditions, and one that’s perfect for your sunny day. They really simplify the selection, so even if I need to change my lens, it’s easy to know which to pick, versus deciding from 4+ lenses with my other goggles.
4. Price...these goggles are more affordable than my comparable Smith or Scott goggles
Vallon’s Freebirds goggles are $149 and the Stairways are $135, which are great prices considering the high quality you get. This includes only one lens, but you can buy an extra lens if needed.
I’m super excited I discovered Vallon. I already got stopped many times on the mountain this year by people asking where my goggles are from, so I know they’re going to be everywhere here soon!