Gear Review: Julbo Titan Goggle w/ Photochromic Lens
Light responsive lenses let you ditch your spare while improving vision in all conditions
Photochromic lenses are like magic, changing in response to light. You first wore them as a nerdy kid with glasses, excited about new technology, and looked silly when your lenses were too dark after coming in from recess. Then you grew up, dropped out of Harvard, and changed the world while wearing those photochromic glasses. Julbo's Titan goggle with SnowTiger lenses is the Bill Gates of winter. Once overlooked, now running the game.
To be vaguely precise, photochromic lenses react to fluctuations in light conditions thanks to a responsive coating which darkens in sunny weather and lightens as clouds come in. Julbo, the mountaineer's most reliable choice for glacier glasses, now offers a variety of photochromic lens options for snow goggles as well. The recently introduced options contain an oil-repellent coating to ward off finger marks, snowflakes and even the dreaded raindrop (tho let’s be real, if it’s raining, go have some hot chocolate in the lodge).
In order of decreasing sun protection, Julbo has the Camel, SnowTiger, Zebra, and Zebra Light lenses. The SnowTiger is the only one with glare control, which you're going to need if you intend on reading an avalanche beacon or GPS in the backcountry. And for you resort riders, these same lenses will cut the glare on your phone too.
Unlike the many brands that take the old school approach of offering multiple lenses in order to handle variable light conditions, Julbo offers just one, since theirs adjusts automatically. Not only is it convenient, it saves precious pocket space and the pain of trying to change lenses on the chairlift. And besides, with everything from a shovel, probe, repair kit, skins, and water in our pack it's inevitable that extra lens will end up scratched or bent.
Thanks to a minimalist frame design, the Titan goggle offers an insanely wide field of vision. And though it’s designed for wider faces, they fit perfectly fine in our standard-size helmet. Though if you’ve got a particularly small noggin, we suggest giving the thinner Universe a shot.
$220 from Julbo