Versatile, high-performing snowsport goggles that offer excellent wide-angled vision so you can see a fifth more of the slopes and trails than other models enable.
100% UV protection
Photochromatic lens option
Polarized lens option
Large visibility with no distortion
Available in prescription
Not totally flush with non-Zeal helmets
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Zeal Optics Hangfire: first impressions
The standout feature with the Zeal Optics Hangfire Ski & Snowboard Goggles is the brand’s Observation Deck Technology (ODT). This allows wearers to see 20% more of the slope below them than is usual with most ski goggles. This, paired with the goggles’ spherical lens design (designed like the shape of an eye), all but eliminates visual distortion and also ensures great peripheral vision.
• List price: $129-$249 (US) / £110-£216 (UK)
• Frame colors: Dark Night / Fog / Moray / Roots / Coral / Cordillera / Wildwood / Macaw
• Sizes: Medium
• Lens options: Photochromatic / Polarized / Molecular Mirror
• Lens colors: Automatic / Jade Mirror / Phoenix Mirror / Alchemy / Dark Grey / Persimmon Sky Blue
• Compatibility: Downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding
These goggles provide 100% UV protection, and are available with the option of Zeal’s Polarized Automatic + RB (Rose-Based) technology, which adjusts to changing light conditions, so that you don’t have to swap your lenses or goggles if the light changes. They are also available in non-adjusting lens options – such as mirror lenses and more transparent styles – and with these lens types wearers can change them out according to the conditions if desired.
Many frame styles are available too, so it’s possible to mix-and-match a frame color with a lens style to find an ideal combination for you. Zeal Optics Hangfire goggles are helmet compatible, but they aren’t always perfectly flush against non-Zeal helmets.
Zeal Optics Hangfire: on the slopes
I first tried on the Zeal Optics Hangfire Ski & Snowboard Goggles at Outdoor Retailer when the company had wearers stand on a platform to experience the effect of the Observation Deck Technology (ODT). which allows you to see 20% more of the slope below you. It was impressive to experience then, and even more so out on the snow while skiing down a slope.
With a variety of frame colors and lens style to choose from, I went with the Roots frame and the Polarized Automatic + RB lens. I prefer to not switch lenses in differing light conditions, so Zeal’s technology – which changes automatically – is ideal for me. I’ve tested the goggles in both low light and very sunny conditions, on the same day even, and they transition effectively.
I’ve been wearing a Sweet Protection helmet with these Zeal goggles, and while the Hangfire goggles are helmet compatible, there is bit of a visual gap between them, though air doesn’t get through. I think it would be ideal to pair the Zeal goggles with a Zeal helmet.
The medium size of the Zeal Optics Hangfire Ski & Snowboard Goggles seem to provide a “just-right” size for most, and I really like how broad the coverage and vision of the goggles are, yet they don’t seem too large on my face as a female.
I don’t notice the goggles when I’m wearing them; there was no vision impairment, no fog and no air coming through (though it’s always handy to know how to stop goggles from fogging and how to clean goggles, just in case). The best goggles are the ones you don’t think about because you’re not messing with them at all, and that has definitely been my experience with the Hangfires.