Electric EG3 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Electric is a California based company with roots in the skate, surf, and snowboard scene, and they've been making snow goggles for a number of years. They've been at the forefront of style and often helped to set trends like the bigger is better and frameless goggles that are currently quite popular. Their EG3 goggle is a good example of that, with a massive frameless lens style that pushes the envelope a little bit. They're nothing groundbreaking mind you, they are just big and bold and, pardon the pun, in your face. We tested the EG3 against the best goggles on the market, read on to find out how these trend-setters stacked up.
The EG3 comes with two spherical double lenses for bright and low light conditions. The model we tested came with the Brose-Red Chrome bright light lens and the Pink lens for low light conditions. These spherical lenses provide a nice clear distortion-free vision with a huge field of view. They both perform well, although we noticed that they don't quite bring up the contrast or provide as much definition as the lenses made by Oakley, Anon, or Smith. Don't get us wrong; they are nice lenses, they just don't quite reach the high bar set by the manufacturers with the best lens designs and technology. Beyond that, the lenses have a hard coating that resisted most scratching during testing although we managed to put two tiny little dings in the reflective coating on our Brose-red chrome lens.
We found the Prizm lenses of the Oakley Airbrake XL and A-Frame 2.0, the Chromapop lenses of the Smith I/O Mag and I/OX, and the SONAR lenses of the Anon M4 to increase contrast and enhance definition in all light conditions and generally outperform the competition. Electric's lenses have a more similar performance and quality to that of the POC Lobes, and Zeal Nomad, and they outperform the goggles with cylindrical lenses like the Dragon NFX, Giro Blok and Smith Squad.
Despite the large appearance of the EG3 goggle due to the look of the frameless lens, the goggles have a medium fit. They taper significantly from the lens to the face, and they have one of the smallest face openings of all the models we tested. Testers with large facial structures felt cramped by these goggles while those with medium or small faces felt very comfortable while wearing them.
For those who fit into these goggles, the triple layer face foam was soft and comfortable and the overall shape of the frame didn't result in any pressure points. The strap is nice and wide with plenty of adjustability to fit around helmets, plus two silicone beads to keep it where you want it. One thing we didn't like about the strap design is that it connects to the frame close to the face foam making the strap have an abrupt transition as it comes around the edge of your helmet. For this reason, we feel the EG3 works best without a helmet or worn with the strap under the helmet like many people do these days.
Ventilation and Breathability
The ventilation of the EG3 leaves a little to be desired. They have a very burly and robust frame design that appears ready to withstand a header or two, but this results in less airflow through the vents on the frame. The EG3 has vents on the top and bottom of the frame, but instead of large open vents like you find on most goggles, they have a number of smaller holes perforated through the frame material and backed with a thin open cell foam. These smaller holes simply limit the airflow compared to the more open designs found on most of the competition.
The lenses are treated with an anti-fog coating to further reduce fog build up. Additionally, the lens of the EG3 is a bit further from your face than on other goggles due to the thick frame design. Fogging in the EG3 was rarely an issue, but we would definitely recommend taking these goggles off for extended periods of uphill hiking.
The frame vents on the EG3 are similar to those on the Dragon NFX with perforated frame material covering the open-cell foam. If you seek more breathability, the Oakley Airbrake XL and the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 have more drafty designs that allow for significantly more airflow. The Anon M4, Smith I/O Mag, and Smith I/OX also perform somewhat better due to their more traditional non-armored ventilation.
Ease of Changing Lenses
Electric has put a somewhat unique press-seal lens system on the EG3. This is basically a gasket that runs around the entire perimeter of the goggle lens that presses into a groove on the frame. It is quite easy and painless to switch the lenses with this system, although you are pretty much guaranteed to get fingerprints all over the outside of the lens.
Testers found this system to be among the easiest in the test, and lens changes can easily be performed in under a minute and even while riding the chairlift. That said, they can't quite compare to the incredible simplicity of changing the magnetic lenses on the Anon M4 of the Smith I/O Mag, or even the Switchlock lenses on the Oakley Airbrake XL. The press-seal lens system is much easier to use than the traditional notched lenses found on goggles like the Smith Squad, Giro Blok, or Zeal Nomad.
The EG3 appears to be a very well made set of goggles. Everything about their construction appears to be made with durability in mind. One of the most notable aspects is the armored frame vents across the top of the frame which protect and prevent you from damaging the light open cell foam beneath. The press-seal lens attachment system also seems quite robust. The lens has a hard plastic rim on the inside around its perimeter that presses into a groove on the inside of the frame. It would be a challenge to break or damage any part of this lens attachment system.
The face foam on our test pair is still in excellent condition, as is the strap and its silicone grip. Our biggest concern with the durability of the EG3 is the lenses which stick out more than most and have a shiny reflective coating. During testing, we managed to put two minor little dings in the lens which we attribute to their bulbous shape and more pronounced profile that is more prone to making contact with just about anything.
The EG3 has one of the boldest looks of all the models in our test selection. These goggles have a completely frameless design, with a very large spherical lens with a bright reflective "Brose-red chrome" finish. This style has grown in popularity in recent years and is becoming a lot more common at the resorts. Depending who you ask, they either love it or hate it, we think that perhaps its a bit of an acquired taste.
This style is most similar to the Dragon NFX, although those goggles don't have a spherical lens. The Smith I/O Mag has a mostly frameless look as well, although those goggles are much smaller overall and strike a little more of a middle ground style-wise.
These goggles can be used anywhere by anyone, but we feel they are best suited to the skier or snowboarder trying to make a statement with their eyewear. They are big and bold, if you want to stand out from the crowd this is a good place to start. Their smaller face fit lends itself well to small to medium size facial structures. Due to the location of the goggle strap connection, we feel these goggles are better for people who don't wear a helmet or who wear their helmet over their goggle strap.
At a retail price of $200, the EG3 goggles don't come cheap, but they are far from the most expensive goggles in the test. We do feel that these goggles are a good value for the consumer seeking that big, bright, frameless lens look, as strange as that may sound, but goggles are part fashion accessory for many riders. Additionally, they appear to be highly durable, plus they come with two easy to change lenses for bright and low light conditions. If you seek the best value in the test we feel that is the Smith Squad which has a more classic look but comes with two lenses for half the price of the EG3.
Due to the unique and somewhat polarizing style of the EG3 it won't be for everyone, but there are plenty of you out there who are specifically after this look in a goggle. For those of you, the EG3 has a medium fit, a durable construction, and comes with two easy to change lenses for bright and low light conditions. We feel there are better goggles on the market, but they cost more and don't quite have the bold looks of the EG3.
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