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Anon Helix 2.0 Review

A traditional style goggle that lacks the latest tech but still vents well and comes with two lenses
Anon Helix 2.0
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $100 List | $69.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Decent price, two included lenses, great ventilation
Cons:  Old school lens securing technology, cylindrical lenses, poor fit on larger faces
Manufacturer:   Anon
By Jason Cronk ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 9, 2020
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Lens Quality - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Ventilation and Breathability - 20% 8
  • Ease of Changing Lenses - 15% 3
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Anon Helix 2.0 has the features you'd expect to find in an entry-level goggle plus a second included lens. We tested these goggles with the blue Perceive bright light lens, which comes with the complimentary low-light amber lens. The lenses have cylindrical construction, which provided us a clear view and a flexible frame that conformed well to multiple testers' faces. We found the ventilation was more than adequate, and we remained fog-free no matter where our testing took us. While these are good basic ski goggles, they pale in comparison to higher-end goggles in our test lineup. For the budget-minded rider or skier who isn't looking for all the bells and whistles, these goggles may be the right pick for you. Our testers found that these goggles work better for smaller face shapes. If you have a large face shape, these goggles might feel inadequate in their coverage.

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Price $69.96 at Backcountry
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Pros Decent price, two included lenses, great ventilationHigh quality optics, easy lens changes, field of visionMagnetic lenses, magnetic facemask, 2 lenses included, great optics, best performance for large facesMagnetic lenses, 2 lenses included, great opticsMagnetic lens for fast swapping, great comfort, clear optics, lower price for higher tech
Cons Old school lens securing technology, cylindrical lenses, poor fit on larger facesPriceExpensive, larger fit not for everyoneExpensive, medium fitNot as easy to swap lenses as other models with magnetic lenses
Bottom Line Solidly performing goggles without any trendy bells or whistlesThe best optics, lens changeability, style, and durability in a medium-fit goggleThis model knocks our socks off with great optics, user-friendly features, and an excellent fit for large facesWith a new magnetic lens system, this is the newest member of a classic and progressive lineGoggles that deliver today's modern technology but at a lower price
Rating Categories Anon Helix 2.0 Smith 4D Mag Anon M4 Toric Smith I/O Mag Zeal Portal RLS
Lens Quality (20%)
6
9
9
9
8
Comfort (20%)
7
9
8
8
7
Ventilation And Breathability (20%)
8
7
7
7
7
Ease Of Changing Lenses (15%)
3
8
9
8
7
Durability (15%)
6
9
8
8
8
Style (10%)
5
7
8
9
8
Specs Anon Helix 2.0 Smith 4D Mag Anon M4 Toric Smith I/O Mag Zeal Portal RLS
Number of lenses included 2 2 2 2 2
Lens tested Blue Variable/Amber Chromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop Storm SONAR Red, SONAR Infared Chromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop Storm Persimmon/Sky Blue Mirror
Lens Shape Cylindrical Spherical Toric. Frame is compatible with both Cylindrical and Toric lenses. Spherical Spherical
Frame size Medium Medium Large Medium M/L
Layers of foam Dual layer Triple layer Triple layer Triple layer Triple layer
Ventilation Full Perimeter Channel venting AirEvac Full Preimeter Channel venting, Outlast Fog Management Face Fleece Anti-fog treated Dual vent with anti-fog coating
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime 2 year

Our Analysis and Test Results

These goggles are a classic goggle design with a low profile, multiple cylindrical lenses and color combinations, dual-layer foam, vents along the perimeter, and an inexpensive pricepoint. While this model falls behind the latest goggle tech of the last few years, it functions fine for those looking to save on ski accessories while still getting a couple of lenses to adapt to light conditions.

Performance Comparison


The Helix 2.0 goggles don't feature the latest tech but still...
The Helix 2.0 goggles don't feature the latest tech but still function fine as entry-level skiing eyewear.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Lens Quality


The lenses of the Helix 2.0 are cylindrical, which is more cost effective to manufacture. The lens's cylindrical nature means the eyewear is flat vertically and curves horizontally, which positions the lens closer to the rider or skier's face. Even with the closer fit, these goggles will accommodate regular prescription glasses underneath. Think of these as "retro" or "old school." After skiing in these a few times, we decided that while the lenses are not state-of-the-art, they are still pretty good. The low light lens almost performed as well as some of the top performers in our test lineup. Both lenses provided a clear view of the slopes without major distortion.

Whether bright or low light, optics were good when swapping lenses...
Whether bright or low light, optics were good when swapping lenses to match the conditions.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Comfort


These goggles were pretty comfy for skiers and riders with small to medium-sized faces but weren't a favorite among larger testers. This is due to the overall shape and curvature of the goggle frame and lens. The flexible nature of the frame does allow the goggle to conform to a greater variety of faces. We found the two-layer foam padding to perform adequately even after several hours. If the shape of this goggle fits your facial structure well, you should be pleased with the Helix 2.0's overall feel.

Ventilation and Breathability


With the lower profile fit, we wondered if that would result in more fogging. We were pleasantly surprised to find fogging was minimal. Like every major goggle manufacturer, Anon uses a multistep process in fog prevention—a proprietary coating that minimizes the buildup of moisture on your lens surface and generous open cell, foam covered vents. The Helix 2.0 has a generous amount of vents that wrap around the entire goggle frame top to bottom. We didn't experience any fogging due to exertion, but just a minimal amount when we were skiing with face masks pulled up over our noses. Ventilation is where these goggles exceeded our expectations and thoroughly impressed our testers.

Circumferential vents provide great ventilation and keeps fogging to...
Circumferential vents provide great ventilation and keeps fogging to a minimum on the Helix 2.0 goggles.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Ease of Changing Lenses


If we were evaluating this lens changing system even a handful of years ago, we would have given them relatively high marks, but with so many advances over the past few years, that isn't the case. While several goggle models in our lineup have magnetic lenses, which provide almost effortless lens swaps with gloves on, even when wearing the goggles, this goggle has the more traditional construction. The frame has a channel with tabs intermittently spaced around the perimeter that lock the lens into place. There is no way to perform a swap while wearing the eyewear, and it was almost impossible when trying to swap lenses with gloves on. These would have been among the easiest to swap in years past, but they don't compare to today's more modern designs.

Lens changes are easy but not as smooth as modern models with...
Lens changes are easy but not as smooth as modern models with magnetic lenses. We found it challenging to swap lenses with gloved hands.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Durability


We do our best to use, abuse, and evaluate gear in hopes of finding any potential issues. After over a month of use, we don't see any signs of premature wear and tear. They look as good as the day we unpacked them. We carefully inspected the lenses, foam padding, strap, and the frame. Should you experience any issues, the Helix 2.0 has a one-year warranty as well as a two-year crash replacement program.

Style


The Helix 2.0 has a traditional framed style that should appeal to skiers and riders looking for a low-key appearance. Even though these are a more classic goggles, they are available in several different lens and frame color combinations to coordinate with your outerwear.

These goggles sport a basic, clean, traditional style. Here we...
These goggles sport a basic, clean, traditional style. Here we tested the included bright light lenses for a single run to see how "low light" they can go.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Value


These goggles are a decent value with good comfort, overall performance, and even include two lenses at a fraction of the price of many other models in our lineup. For a basic goggle, these should provide several seasons of use.

Conclusion


The Anon Helix 2.0 goggles combine affordable pricing with the versatility of two lenses. Those with a small to medium face shape will find the most value in these goggles.

Not necessarily the fanciest but they sure do work.
Not necessarily the fanciest but they sure do work.
Photo: Jason Cronk

Jason Cronk