Expert Review: Zeal Optics Beacon Goggles · 2021

Published on 12/11/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
Sandra Hillen, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Sandra Hillen

All photos courtesy of Sandra Hillen 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.

My take

The Zeal Optics Beacon goggles are good for all skill levels. Being able to see well on the mountain is super important for both experts and beginners. I absolutely love the fit of these goggles. They mesh really well with my helmet. The lenses are crystal clear, and the polarization makes a huge difference when in the snow. In addition, the field of vision is huge, so I don’t feel like the goggles obstruct my vision.

About this gear

  • Model: 2021 Zeal Beacon Goggles
  • Size: Medium fit with a bigger look
  • Does it feature lens replacement?: No, but I can change the lenses.
  • Fit: True to size

About me

  • Helmet: 2022 Smith Holt
  • Wear glasses with goggles: No, I wear contacts when riding.
  • Experience: 20 years of snowboarding.

Test conditions

  • When I bought them: November 2021
  • Days used: 80
  • Lenses I own: I don’t use a replacement.
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny cold days, sunny spring warm days, whiteout blizzards, cloudy cold days, and snowy days.
  • Where I’ve used them: Rusutsu, Japan; Corvatsch, Switzerland; and Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek, Colorado.
  • Terrain: Backcountry, powder days, and resort days.

How they perform

Comfort
5/5
Durability
5/5
Field of View
5/5
Quality
5/5
Ventilation
4/5
Anti Fog
3/5

What I was looking for

I like finding good and clear goggles that make me forget I have them on. I don’t want to be messing with goggles on the hill.

Switzerland!

Why I chose this gear

I like what Zeal stands for, and they are an environmentally conscious brand. I considered the Smith I/Os. I have had Smith I/Os in the past and liked them, but I wanted a change. I liked the no-frame look of the Beacons, and they fit perfectly on my face when I tried them on, so I decided to try a different brand. The Zeal Beacons have Observation Deck Technology (ODT), a tinted cylindrical lens that eliminates glare, and I could tell the difference.

Snowboarding in Japan!

What I love about them

  • Fit: I absolutely love the fit. They hug my face well without gaps.
  • Comfort: The Beacons are so comfortable. I forget I am wearing them. The padding is thick but breathable.
  • Visibility: Visibility is awesome. There is a huge field of view with no interference. They offer lenses for all conditions, so no matter what Mother Nature does, I won’t have to worry about changing lenses throughout the day.
  • Face frame: They offer an Asian fit which contours the foam to specific sections of the goggles to create a flush fit for low bridges. That helps keep the airflow out.
  • Strap: The strap has easily adjustable clips, even with mittens on.
  • Helmet compatibility: I use the Smith Holt, but I have friends who have other helmets with the same goggles, and they are all very compatible.
  • Feature: Wide field of view and great padding for comfort.
  • Durability: They actually do not scratch easily. I have hit a couple of branches, and they still work great.
  • Ventilation: Pretty good unless it's -10°F out. Then I have a little fog up top but nothing significant.
  • Other: I love the “no frame” look. This is a really cool option for good-looking lenses that perform really well.

White out conditions

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Lens replacement: It does not come with a lens replacement, which is tougher to change.
  • Any workarounds? I went inside quickly to let my goggles get to room temperature and dry out. This happened only when it was very wet outside and super cold. I didn’t mind coming in quickly for the fix. This only happened to me one-time riding deep powder in Japan. I was hiking a bit and began sweating a bit in cold temperatures. That seemed to be the issue.

Favorite moment with this gear

I was in Switzerland, and it was a bit cloudy in the morning on the tram ride. After about 30 minutes, the clouds began to disappear, and it was a perfect bluebird day. It was amazing not having to think about what goggles to wear and just being able to grab my Beacons because I knew they were great in variable conditions. I was pumped because it was crystal clear out, and they were comfy all day, even for some beers at Apres.

Value for the money vs. other options

They are a great value. I think the Oakley Fall Line has the Prizm technology, which claims to enhance color detail, but a great polarized lens does the same thing, and Zeal has it.

Final verdict

The Zeal Optics Beacon goggles unlock clear vision. Forget having obstructed views and uncomfortable goggles with a gaper gap. These goggles combine both style and functionality.

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