Riding goggles are largely similar, delineated slightly by the ease of swapping lenses, clarity, and the field of vision. This pair of Quickshift MTB goggles from Julbo includes a unique feature with their removable lower cheekbone padding that lets in more air for warm rides at full tilt.
The Switch Air System consists of two magnetized sections of the goggle frame that can easily be removed and reinserted whenever you like. Removing the foam sections increases airflow while also decreasing the amount of padding that touches your face. All that cooling does come at a price, with more dust and insects able to enter the ocular safety bubble. The added airflow may be too much for folks who are wearing goggles because the wind in their eyes causes vision issues. If you tend to weep with the wind, a pair of Julbo Session MTB goggles that lacks the removable inserts might be a better option.
While the vent inserts stay in place well while riding they can pop out if you slide the frame over a helmet for storage on a climb, and reinstalling them will require pulling over briefly.
On all other fronts the Quickshift MTN goggles are a great way to protect your eyeballs down fast and dusty descents, or any time there are clouds of insects that regular riding glasses can’t quite forestall. The double-pane lenses help prevent fogging, and they stay clear where a lot of others won’t.
Similar to the brand’s sunglasses, the optics are very good, with very little fishbowl-effect in the peripheral. The lens is broad enough that I don’t get distracted by the frame, and it sits a little closer to the face which also opens up the field of view. I’m not able to fit these goggles over my glasses, which is true of every other pair of MTB goggles I’ve tried, but the foam protection around the frame keeps my contact lenses from being blasted by air and drying out.
A flexy frame allows riders to swap the lens in under a minute, which is a welcome feature if you arrive at the mountain to find different weather than what was predicted.
Skin-soft lining makes up the only touch point on these goggles, and they feel like a smooth extension of your own skin. All of the rougher foamy padding that created protection between your face and the frame is separated, and doesn’t touch skin.
The long strap has plenty of material to wrap around my size XL helmet, or to cinch down on a far smaller lid, and it has the usual silicone strip to hold it in place. The strap attaches to the frame in a forward position, near the lens, allowing the frame to sink back into a full-face helmet comfortably.
In summation, the Quickshift MTB goggles offer a cool solution to hot faces that may work well for some riders, and all of their other technical aspects are on par with the best goggles we have tested. Priced at €195 (available at evo, Backcountry, and other online retailers), they are not the most affordable option, but they are a top-quality product that’s worth a look.