We don’t often spend a lot of time comparing goggles. For the most part they all seem pretty similar and the most comparing we do is picking the set the foam has fallen off of the least since we last stuffed them in our gear bag. That all changed recently when a set of CAN-AM ADVANCED TEC E-CHROME goggles arrived. The E-Chrome goggles promised fit, comfort and features like we hadn’t seen before. They were right!
There are goggles with clear lenses, tinted lenses, and holographic image lenses but the most important features for us are how they fit and the field of vision. Some goggle maker’s glue on multiple layers of foam, but that only pushes the frame further from your face, effectively narrowing your field of vision. We hate the tunnel vision effect. Too much foam also has the unwanted effect of increasing pressure on the nose which restricts your air intake tracts, and just like with our motor, we want all the unrestricted air flow we can get.
The Advanced Tec E-Chrome goggles offered by CAN-AM feature patented technology on the lens system which can change shades for different light levels. This is similar to some prescription glasses which offer the same ability and have been a welcome feature for those with light sensitivity problems. The CAN-AM people didn’t stop at the lens however, and the frames are made from flexible urethane that forms to the contour of your face, and the strap is attached to the frame by a hinge. As the strap wraps around the sides of the helmet on most goggles the frame is pulled away from your face creating air gaps, but the hinge on the CAN-AM E-Chrome goggles allow the frame to follow your happy, but mildly pizza bloated mug instead. Finally, the foam itself is hypoallergenic triple-density foam for comfort, shock/sweat absorption and reduced skin chafing. Pity they don’t make riding pants as well! Moisture is kept to a minimum by careful placement of vents and rather than only one lens element like on most goggles, the Advanced Tec E-Chrome goggles offer dual lens elements with anti-fog and ant-scratch coatings for longer life and the clearest vision possible. The latest technology always carries a premium price however, and the E-Chrome goggles come in at a price far above anything else. At a MSRP of $249 they even rival quite a few very good helmets. We’ve always been a big believer in riding with the best protection we could get however and the new E-Chrome goggles promised exactly that. It was time to give them a try.
Track and Trail
Before you slip on the Advanced Tec E-Chrome goggles you need to turn them on. On the left side goggle strap there is a small battery pack that recharges from UV light, On/Off switch, and a rubber sealed button to change shades. We flipped the little switch to the On position and slipped them over our helmet. The goggles were comfortable on our nose and didn’t restrict breathing or cause a narrowing of our field of vision. So far so good! Immediately the tinted lens had the effect of taking a little strain off our eyes in the afternoon sun. It was easy to see clearly, and lens quality and coatings actually made our vision a little better than it would be without the goggles on. Turning toward the bright sun we pressed down on the rubber button and the lens instantly darkened, much like it does on our welding helmet. This really cut the harsh glare off any bright surfaces but left you with very clear vision. It was much easier on the eyes! The rest of the goggle was pretty much like any other in function, although the foam sealed up nicely against our face, but it was hard to ignore the auto shading lens. The button at the top of the battery pack is well sealed in rubber for protection, but to protect the lens from the grit that is bound to get stuck on it we would like to include a tear off-system as well. You can probably add an aftermarket one easily, and we recommend it strongly.
In bright conditions such as glaring sun on the dunes, snow, or on a trail that constantly goes from dark shadow to full sunlight the CAN-AM Advanced Tec E-Chrome goggles work like no other. We really like them! While pricey they do work excellent and you need to evaluate the price of protecting your eyes as much as you do your head when shopping for a helmet. In either case you can’t grow a replacement.