Gear & Beer: Zeal Optics Level Goggle, Julbo Meteor Goggle with Zebra lens, Trapp Dunkel Lager
Zeal Optics Level Goggle
If you’re in need of a new windshield for your car and you live in or near a snowy environment, there is no longer any need to go to a glass repair shop or Windshield World. Zeal Optics has figured out a way to make ski goggles for your car! Just kidding, they really fit most comfortably on your noggin. But the visual field they provide on the slopes is unparalleled, and feels as big as a windshield! The lens is so massive that the frames are barely visible when seated on your face. And they somehow manage this while keeping a relatively slim profile. On the downside, it does kind of feel like you’re wearing a snorkeling mask (depending on how deep the pow is, maybe that’s a good thing?) and I wonder if they should not have just incorporated a nose piece as well. But the foam lining is very comfortable against the skin and its worth it to have a broader perspective on the world. The other interesting thing I noted was that the inside of the lens is so highly reflective that you can see your own eye up close and personal. One can certainly look past it, but to me it was a bit distracting. Finally, and perhaps most important, the frames come in a wide variety of style-ly colors and designs.
$129; C&C Outdoor Store, Waterbury; Equipe Sport, South Londonderry; The Mountain Goat, Manchester Center
Gear: Julbo Meteor Goggle with Zebra lens
It’s hard to go wrong with anything that skiing legend Glen Plake endorses, and this goggle is no exception. While the fit and frame are adequate, though nothing special, where Julbo really stands out from the herd is the quality of the lens. The photochromic Zebra lens adjusts to lighting conditions in as little as 30 seconds, making this lens paramount in variable Northeast weather. Whether you’re shredding on a stormy day with flat lighting or a bluebird day with abundant sunshine, these goggles have all the bases covered. No need to change lenses is a beautiful thing. The Meteor frame has side rails for easier adjustment of the goggles on your face without having to worry about touching the lens, too, allowing for better helmet compatibility. The clasp on the back of the strap is fairly easy to undo with gloves on, but not so easy to undo that it would likely unclasp in a crash. I really could not find much flaw with this product, and it’s consistently made its way to the top of my ski bag.
$180‒200; Ski Rack, Burlington; The Nordic Barn, Stowe; The Boot Pro, Ludlow
Beer: Trapp Dunkel Lager
Pouring a mahogany brown color into the glass, this tasty beverage comes from the brewery of an old family of Austrian origin up in the hills of Stowe. Rich scents of chocolate, nuttiness, and hints of caramel waft upward through the inch of slightly tan foam at the top. A light body and robust taste that closely resembles the smell greeted my mouth and affably shook hands with my taste buds. The finish is pleasantly sticky and crisp with a bit of hops bite. Don’t take my word for it though. Try it out for yourself when it rotates through at American Flatbread, The Skinny Pancake or numerous other locations throughout Vermont.