We grew up in a skiing family. Occasionally you’ll see this come out in some of our gear preferences (we’ll talk more about that in future posts). But, this month, I decided to go from a typical Smith ski goggle to a true sledding goggle…the 509 X5 Sinister Goggle.
Please note that we have no vested interest in any of the products or companies being reviewed–if we ever do, we’ll clearly state any connection we have. We attempt to stay as unbiased and neutral as possible. We simply want to pass on what we have learned. We also hope that you’ll share your experience with the products we review in a comment at the end of the review.
The picture below shows what was in the box. They come with some information about the goggles as well as maintenance tips, instructions for changing lenses, instructions for removing the nosemask, and a few pointers on how to keep from fogging up. They also come with a warranty registration card, a 509 product brochure, and most importantly, the goggle bag that is recommended for wiping the lenses.
Cost: $70-$90 depending on the exact frame you purchase. They can be found for less if you shop around.
Perceived Quality: Right out of the box this goggle looks and feels very high quality. You can tell that 509 takes pride in their product by looking at the packaging, included contents, and documentation/warranty. 509 touts what they call the “industry leading warranty.” Directly from the 509 website:
Goggles: Lifetime warranty on frame, strap, nosemasks, outriggers, hinges, trim pieces against manufacturers defects. 1 year warranty on lens & foam against manufacturers defects. Normal wear and tear from typical use is not covered.
Goggle Lenses: 1 year warranty against manufacturers defects. Does not cover scratches or normal wear and tear use.
The goggle frame and straps feel sturdy and well made. In taking out the nosemask, it does seem that the insertion tabs could be worn out fairly quickly. I would not recommend removing the nosemask unless you really need to. Otherwise, all seems to be functional and strong enough to hold up over time. To this point, the goggle seems like a great product for the money.
Aesthetics: The frame, lens, and color look awesome. The mirror on the lens seems to be somewhat dim, but they still look great. The detail work, such as the “509” print on the lens and the black “509” buttons (??) on the lower portion of the frame/top center, really add to the overall impression of the product. I am not a huge fan of the strap logo/design, but I don’t have any big problems with it. I do like the fade of black to yellow down the frame. Great looking goggle.
Comfort/Fit: With two layers of foam, the goggles feel and fit well against the profile of your face. I noticed a significant improvement in the seal against my face from previous goggles. They settle nicely inside the helmet opening. The only complaint I have is that the foam around the nose area is pretty tight. I have a small/medium nose, making this problem potentially even more concerning for some riders. I felt like my nasal flow was being hindered. Hopefully the foam will soften and become “worn in.” Until then, I have to note this as being somewhat annoying, otherwise a nice feeling goggle.
Fog Rating: In comparison to other goggles I’ve used, these are the best. This is likely the result of the excellent seal created by the foam. While they did fog at times, it was much more difficult to do than with any other goggle I have used.
Lens Color: The pictures below provide a good illustration of the lens color. I have no problems with this particular tint. If you don’t like yellow tints, you will want to look at another tint–509 has many others in the Sinister model.
Durability: We do not rate this category until after one season’s use. Check back at the end of the season for an analysis following significant use.
Final Thoughts: 509 has a good reputation and a strong warranty. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better goggle for the money. We’ll see how I feel after a year of back-country mountain riding, but for now I would definitely recommend the 509 X5 Sinister goggles.
Let us know what you think by commenting below!