Great looks, great lens performance and two spare lenses ready for any weather conditions make the Vallon Freebirds a quality choice for skiers and boarders looking for versatility.
Good quality lens
Good field of vision
Spare lenses available
Spare lens not included
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Vallon Freebirds: first impressions
Vallon do a fine line in handsome, retro-inspired mountaineering sunglasses and their Vallon Freebirds goggles are no different.
It’s worth noting here that there’s a new Freebirds goggle available for 2022, but only one spare lens is available for that model this winter, so we reckon it’s worth picking the classic Freebirds for now, which have two optional extra lenses available. We also like that Vallon commit to a 1kg plastic clean-up for each pair of Freebirds sold.
But how did they far under test conditions for our Best Ski Goggles buying guide? Read on…
• RRP: $157 (US) / £116 (UK) / €139 (EU)
• Frame colors: Blue / Black / Off-White
• Lens: CAT 3, 15% VLT
• Lens colors: Smoke- and orange-colored lenses available separately
• Sizes: Medium-large
• Compatibility: Good performance and looks make these a crowd-pleasing goggles
Vallon Freebirds: on the slopes
The Freebirds may have a retro feel but their technology is bang up-to-date, with a wide spherical lens providing a sweeping, unimpeded field of vision and ZEISS lenses which provide great clear quality. The included CAT 3, 15% VLT lens is ideal for sunny to clouded conditions (for more on this subject see How to choose ski goggles for optimal visibility and protection and How to stop ski goggles from fogging).
A spare lens isn’t included, but two interchangeable hues are available for £29 each – Smoke, a 13% VLT suitable for bright and sunny conditions, and Orange, a 36% VLT for poor conditions. We reckon it’s well worth investing in both, as then you’ll be covered for the most changeable of ski days or for a multi-week winter trip with all three stowed in your backpack.
The silicone-backed strap is also great – it’s easily adjustable over both a beanie and a ski helmet, and helps keep the Freebirds nicely flush with a helmet lid. The frame is lined with enough foam to keep the goggles comfortably away from your face, although it’s a pity they aren’t glasses-compatible.
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.