If you’re shopping on a budget but still want the versatility of interchangeable lenses, look no further than the Bloc Fifty Five, complete with two lenses designed to tackle most mountain conditions.
- Two handy lenses cover most conditions
- Easy to swap lenses
- Four lens pairings available
- Stiff strap
Bloc Fifty Five: first impressions
Bloc Fifty Five goggles are available in four different iterations, each coming with two swappable lenses so that you can pick the double act that best suits you and the skiing conditions you’re looking at (for more on this subject see: how to choose ski goggles for optimal visibility and protection).
We tested out the G553, which comes with one clear, slightly pink-tinted Cat 1 lens ideal for low light and one silver mirror Cat 3 lens designed for bright sun. This combinations makes the goggle ready to tackle most mountain weather, ideal for changeable days in the mountains or if you’re off to ski school and want one goggle to weather whatever conditions each day brings.
For the record, the other iterations are:
• G550 – 1 x Brown tint/Blue Mirror Cat 3 lens and 1 x Powder Cat 1 lens
• G551 – 1 x Dark Brown Red Mirror Cat 3 lens and 1 x All-weather Cat 2 lens
• G552 – 1 x Silver Mirror Cat 3 lens and 1 x All-weather Cat 2 lens
But how did the G553s perform when we put them through their paces for our best ski goggles buying guide? Read on…
• RRP: $115 (US) / £85 (UK)
• Frame colors: Matt Pink (G553), Matt Black (G552), Matt Black (G551), Matt White (G550)
• Lens colors: Various, see main copy
• Lens: Various, see main copy
• Sizes: Medium
• Compatibility: Perfect for anyone after swappable lenses at a pocket-friendly price
Bloc Fifty Five: on the slopes
A well-designed magnetic system lets you clip the lenses on and off in seconds – and it’s a doddle to swap between them even if you’re wearing your best ski gloves and standing halfway down a ski slope, which can’t be said of many (and often more expensive) lens systems.
A wide, foam lining on the frame does a good job of keeping the goggles in place on your face, but we were less impressed with the fabric band, which is surprisingly stiff, and a pain to adjust on the fly.
Still, these represent good value for money – a two-lens goggle for $115 / £85 isn’t to be sneezed at – and you could always consider swapping the band. If you want a wider field of vision, try out Bloc’s similar Sixty Five, which boasts an oversized lens.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.
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