Sep 25, 2023
Sweet Protection Durden RIG Goggle Review: 2 Winter Seasons of Testing
The Sweet Protection Durden RIG snow goggle has been part of my go-to ski kit for two seasons. It's still going strong. Regarding snow goggles, it’s easy for brands to make claims about lens clarity,
The Sweet Protection Durden RIG snow goggle has been part of my go-to ski kit for two seasons. It's still going strong.
Regarding snow goggles, it’s easy for brands to make claims about lens clarity, contrast, and color. It’s much harder to verify those claims in the real world. Frankly, much snow goggle testing and validation comes down to personal experience and preference.
I personally use a lot of snow goggles. As part of our ongoing tests for Buyer’s Guides, I use a few pairs each season extensively. The Sweet Protection Durden RIG Reflect Goggles have risen to the top of the heap over 2 years of testing.
In short: The Sweet Protection Durden RIG Reflect Snow Goggle has a minimal frame, large field of vision, and exceptional lenses. After 2 years of regular use, my test pair is still in excellent condition and free of scratches. I’ve experienced minimal fogging and good vision even in flat light conditions.
The Sweet Protection Durden RIG snow goggle has been part of my go-to ski kit for two seasons. It’s still going strong.
To test the Sweet Protection Durden RIG Reflect Goggles ($150), I used them alpine skiing for two winters, mostly in Colorado and Utah. This pair of ski goggles saw at least 20 days of use in conditions ranging from warm, sunny bluebird conditions to full-on storm skiing in whiteouts.
They’ve done very well across the spectrum. Because the lens is the heart and soul of goggles, let’s begin there.
“RIG” stands for Retina Illumination Grading. The brand claims it results in increased contrast and minimal color distortion. I’m going to stop right there and say, well, that’s a lot of big words, but it seems to work well. In my long-term test, these goggles, which carry a moderate retail price, consistently earned a spot on my face ahead of many other test goggles from many brands.
One of the biggest points of differentiation, the Sweet Protection engineers moved the strap to the outside of the frame on the Durden. This makes these larger-scope goggles sit more flush with the face. Yet the frame around the lens is a bit more minimal compared to other more cumbersome goggle designs we’ve used over the years.
They have a large no-slip silicone strap and work very well with Sweet Protection helmets. Check the compatibility with your own helmet if possible before using these on the slopes. Note, as well, that this goggle only comes in one size, so it is limiting in that regard.
I mentioned how pristine and clear these goggles have been over back-to-back ski seasons. First off, the foam that lines the vents around the entire parameter of the frame is laminated, which seems to support the material’s preservation.
The lens is also injected with an oleophobic and a hydrophobic coating, which shields the surface from oils — say, from your hands while swapping out the lens — and water smears or fog. Whatever that treatment is, it seems to work.
The Durden RIG is by no means a cheap goggle. While it includes a microfiber bag, the bundle only includes one lens. But it hits a fair price and is among the best goggles I’ve tested for comfort, durability, and lens quality.
These are a larger goggle, so are most fitting for people with medium to large faces. Those who need a small goggle should look elsewhere.
But if they work well on your face and with your ski helmet, the Durden RIG is a top choice. Consider these to be one of the best goggles on the market for downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and any time you need goggles in snowy terrain.Regarding snow goggles, it’s easy for brands to make claims about lens clarity, contrast, and colorSweet Protection Durden RIG Reflect GogglesIn short:Face sizeInterchangeable lensLens shapeStrapCaseManufacturer warrantySweet Protection Durden RIG Reflect Gogglesski gogglesclaimsDurable and FogproofDurden RIGski helmet