Expert Review: Anon M4 Toric MFI Goggles · 2021Published on 09/23/2022 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
Anon M4 Cylindrical Perceive Sunny Onyx Lens. All photos courtesy of Kelvin Hames
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
The Anon M4 Toric MFI Goggles are for the boarder who is looking for a top-of-the-line XL goggle with every bell and whistle included. Even though any skill level could use these goggles, someone who is going to be on the mountain 40-plus days a season will appreciate them a lot more.
About this gear
- Model: 2020 Anon M4 Cylindrical (Smoke)
- Size: One size for all, but it is an oversized fit.
- Does it feature lens replacement?: Yes
- Fit: It fits true to size—being an oversized goggle
- Helmet: 2016 Anon Rodan Helmet
- Wear glasses with goggles: No
- Experience: Six years of snowboarding
- When I bought them: January 2021
- Days used: 50+ days
- Lenses I own: Perceive Sunny Onyx and Perceive Variable Violet
- Weather conditions used in: I have used these goggles in the worst of conditions with five-foot visibility, extreme winds, and heavy snow. I have also used them in the best of conditions with blue skies and good times
- Where I’ve used them: Arizona Snowbowl (Flagstaff), Purgatory Resort (Durango, CO), and Steamboat Ski Resort (Steamboat Springs, CO)
- Terrain: Trees, powder, hike-to alpine bowl, groomers, park—basically everything besides backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a new pair of goggles because the anti-fog liner had run out on my past pair of Smith Squad goggles. At the time of purchasing, I had to wear a mouth covering in the lift lines, making my goggles fog up quite badly. So I was looking for a google that had amazing anti-fog and could change lenses easily.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this particular product for the size, anti-fog prowess, lens quality, and the lens-changing system. I did not really consider any other product, I already had an Anon helmet, so they fit really well together. I previously owned some Smith Squad goggles; and while they look cool, their lens changing is impossible outside when it is cold.
What I love about them
- Fit: The fit for these goggles are great. I am 6’0” and 185lbs. I would say I have a normal to slightly bigger head, but I wanted something with a big lens for better peripheral vision. The strap is also really easy to adjust for multiple sizes.
- Comfort: The foam on these goggles are so comfy, I do not even really feel them while they are on.
- Lens replacement: Yes, all Anon M4s come with a spare lens that usually complements the main lens. Usually one darker lens for sunny conditions and a lighter lens for variable conditions. The lens change is one of the nicest features about these goggles: I am able to change the lens with one hand due to the magnets. And they never pop out—even with the biggest of slams.
- Visibility: The field of view is crazy on these due to their bigger size. I have never felt like my sight has been hindered while wearing them. The lenses that came with the goggles really complement each other. The dark lens is so good for sunny days; while I don’t recommend it, one can stare at the sun for a bit—that is how good they are and they provide great contrast to the slopes. The variable light lens that came with the goggles is also top notch. I have worn this lens in days where there was five-foot visibility; and I’ve also worn them in days where there would be no clouds for a bit and then massive clouds the next moment. They work in any light.
- Face frame: I used the normal frames, but they do also come in an asian fit.
- Strap: I have the normal strap model and think it is great. It is very easy to adjust the sizing. I wear my goggles under my helmet and they are still comfortable and do not change size from the rubbing of the helmet.
- Helmet compatibility: I own an Anon helmet, so the goggles and the helmet fit very well together. The goggles are oversized, so they do fit right up to the brim of the Rodan model. From seeing other people on the mountain using these goggles with other brands of helmets, they always look like they fit and will not have gaping. These goggles fit over the helmet or under, and they even have a model that is under-helmet specific. I have the normal strap version and still wear them under my helmet.
- Features: The magnetic lens change system makes changing lenses so easy that I now actually want to change my lenses when the conditions change. I am able to use both the toric and cylindrical shaped lenses on the same frame. Another awesome feature is the MFI face covering integration. Just like the lenses using magnets, Anon also uses magnets on the underside of the googles. These magnets are used to hold Anon’s MFI line of face masks/coverings/balaclavas in place—especially on the really cold days. This allows the rider to have an integrated face covering without having to tuck something under the goggles. The M4, along with some other models in their line, even come with a lightweight neck tube that works with the MFI tech.
- Durability: These lenses are super durable; I took a hard fall on an iced over snake run one time and landed face first. This is the only time the lens popped out of the frame without me controlling it. The lenses were in fine condition and no scratches to be seen—at least noticeable ones.
- Other: They are one of the best looking goggles on the market. It is subjective, but I love the oversized goggle look and think there are definitely peripheral benefits.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Ventilation: I already mentioned this a little bit, but the goggles are not fog proof persay. The fogging is more prevalent in really heavy snow conditions when standing in life lines. They are, however, very good everywhere else, and way better than the goggles I had before.
Favorite moment with this gear
I have two favorite moments that come to mind. The first being a powder day at my local mountain in Arizona. I had gotten there pretty early to be in the front of the lift line and had a lot of standing around to do. I had already put on my goggles and noticed they were starting to fog up. They were fogging due to the weather, but it was also in 2021— when everyone had to wear a mask in line. Thankfully, due to the goggles’ magnetic lenses, I was able to just pop the lens out, place it in its case, and let them defog for a bit. I do this quite frequently because of my mouth breathing, and it works great.
The second moment was in Durango, Colorado, at Purgatory Resort. The conditions were variable during the day and had started off really bright, so I had my dark, sunny lenses on. After a while, we headed to the back side of the mountain where the shadows were being cast a lot differently, which made the lenses I had on too dark. Thankfully due to the magnetic lens switching, I was able to pop in the variable light lens in a couple minutes on the run!
Value for the money vs. other options
I know, roughly $300 for a pair of goggles is a lot of money, and it can be hard to justify spending that much—especially with so many different options on the market. From my personal experience, these goggles have been one of my best purchases. They have top-of-the-line contrast, lens changing, fit, and visibility. Not having the hassle of levers or taking off gloves is something I really did not appreciate until I had that privilege. In my opinion, they are worth the money—especially since they come with a nice carrying bag, extra hard shell lens holder, and an MFI neck tube. If these goggles are ever on sale or lower than retail value, snatch them up because then they are worth it in a heartbeat. A quality goggle that compares with the M4s are the Smith Squad MAG XL due to their oversized fit and magnetic lens change. Also, there are a couple options from Zeal that would be comparable: mainly the Lookout and the Portal.
All-in-all, for the best-of-the-best goggles with an XL size to them, look no further than the Anon M4. They tick all the boxes and will meet any needs thrown their way—and they will accomplish it with flying colors.