When thinking about SPY’s Happy Lens Technology, thoughts are invoked of some mountain town meets Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory type of scene. Not because the Bravo goggles with Happy Lenses cause hallucinations. In fact, they feature great optics. It’s just a funny thing to think about: that looking through a particular lens will make you happier. SPY explained it like this: “the Happy Lens is designed to allow in the sun’s “good” rays (long-wave blue light) while still blocking the “bad” rays (short-wave blue light and UV rays). Research indicates exposure through the eyes to these “good” rays brings about a number of positive physiological changes, including elevated mood and increased alertness.” Testers were certainly happy with the Bravo’s performance, claiming sweeping peripheral vision from the spherical lenses. SPY includes an extra lens with each pair of goggles as well, so testers got a taste of a sunny day lens and a flat light option. They also confirmed that the Bravo fit well with a number of different helmets. The Lock Steady lens change system appears to have its roots in the dirt bike world where riders peel away lens layers after mud and debris obscure their vision. These lenses aren’t disposable in that way, however once the lock is unhinged, removing the lens follows a similar side-to-side motion. It’s simple and easy to use, according to testers, so long as you press in the tab beneath the lever on the left side of the frame before trying to disengage the lens.
RAD: Makes your happy place even happier. BAD: Foam over the vents feels thin and susceptible to punctures or tears.
|Bang For Your Buck||
Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by evo.com
Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it’s in here, it’s been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.
Meet Our Testers:
As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn’t testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.
Mike Horn’s first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That’s a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike’s been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that’s not quite up to snuff.
A New Hampshire transplant, Devin’s Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.
Billy Brown covered new tech for this year’s guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.
A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.
Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek’s whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.
From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.
From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.