Julbo Cyrius Review
Cons: Expensive, fixed lens
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|Pros||Photochromic lens tech is great, medium fit, flexible frame, great for tree-skiing||High quality optics, easy lens changes, field of vision||Magnetic lens for fast swapping, great comfort, clear optics, lower price for higher tech||High-tech, innovative ventilation, lens adapts to light conditions, good looks||Inexpensive, durable, multiple lenses included|
|Cons||Expensive, fixed lens||Price||Not as easy to swap lenses as other models with magnetic lenses||Potential for durability issues, comes with only one lens||More basic styling, lenses aren't the easiest to change|
|Bottom Line||An all around goggle which includes a photochromic lens for most any condition||Outstanding and innovative eyewear that is at the top of the heap in almost every category||A frameless goggle with all of the features you'd hope for but at a lower price||Unique for its ventilation system, this model allows you to leave your sunglasses at home on backcountry pursuits||An affordable and functional goggle, this pair feels good on your face and keeps your wallet padded|
|Rating Categories||Julbo Cyrius||Smith 4D Mag||Zeal Portal RLS||Julbo Aerospace||Smith Squad ChromaPop|
|Lens Quality (20%)|
|Ventilation and Breathability (20%)|
|Ease of Changing Lenses (15%)|
|Specs||Julbo Cyrius||Smith 4D Mag||Zeal Portal RLS||Julbo Aerospace||Smith Squad ChromaPop|
|Number of Included Lenses||1||2||2||1||2|
|Tested Lens||Reactiv Photochromic||Chromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop Storm||Persimmon/Sky Blue Mirror||Snow Tiger Photochromic||Chromapop Sun, Yellow|
|Layers of Foam||Dual layer||Triple layer||Triple layer||Triple layer||2-layer Dri-Wix|
|Ventilation||Air Flow||AirEvac||Dual vent with anti-fog coating||SuperFlow movable lens system, plus non-specific venting incorporated into frame||Not specified|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The majority of our test goggles are equipped with interchangeable lenses that increase their versatility by allowing skiers and boarders to tailor their eyewear to light conditions. That versatility is a wonderful thing for long days out in the mountains, but the Cyrius utilizes a cylindrical photochromic lens that provides similar versatility through one single (double construction) lens.
We bought the Cyrius with the Performance 1-3 option for the lens, which has a claimed VLT of 17-75%. This level of light blocking is meant to provide protection for a wide variety of light conditions. We put the Cyrius to the test, wearing them in conditions from bluebird and bright to late day and overcast, and found the Performance 1-3 lens provided solid optics for all but the brightest and darkest times. One of the most challenging environments for goggle performance, our testers really enjoyed the constantly changing lens while skiing trees on sunny days. The lens rapidly adjusted to the lighting, which made for more enjoyable skiing and less eye fatigue at the end of the day.
While we weren't able to test every lens option available with the Cyrius, there are two others available, the High Mountain 2-4 with a VLT of 5-20% for the brightest mountain environments and also the All Around 2-3 with a VLT of 15-30% for good overall protection when things are on the bright side.
Even though goggle comfort can be subjective, there are some features that make a comfortable fit more likely for more riders and skiers. Things like a frame with some give, medium fit, a wide and grippy strap, and some nice cushy foam are some of the basics. We found most goggles tested have all of these features, and the Cyrius is no exception.
The medium-sized frame, which already has a relatively flexible nature, also sports several slits on the upper half, which provides an even greater degree of flexibility. This allows the goggle to flex and adapt to different sizes and shapes of faces. In addition to the pliable and comfortable frame itself, we found the Cyrius is also padded with a two-layer foam cushioning system that further helps mold the goggle to facial contours. Some of the other high-end goggles in our test included three-layer padding, but with the combination of a softer frame and the two layers, we didn't notice any remarkable difference between the two styles.
We found the strap to be a nice generous width that is equipped with three low profile silicone beads that ensure the Cyrius stays in place. The strap also includes dual adjusters to make dialing in the proper fit even easier.
Ventilation and Breathability
The most comfortable and stylish goggle with the latest and greatest optics also needs good ventilation to keep your field of view clear. After testing, we found the Cyrius is one of our top performers when it comes to ventilation and breathability.
There are several features that ensure adequate airflow through the Cyrius. The top of the goggle is a split frame design with a wide strip of air-permeable foam, which allows generous ventilation. In addition to the large ventilation area up top, the lower portion of the frame has two ventilation ports on each side. To further add to keeping that fancy photochromic lens clear, Julbo also treats their lenses with an anti-fog coating on the inner lens.
If breathability is a major concern for you, whether it's frequent snow sliding on warm days, hiking in your goggles, or high humidity environments, the Cyrius should be on your list. Moisture moved quickly and effectively from inside to outside the goggles, better than most of the test bunch.
Ease of Changing Lenses
When it comes to changing lenses out, the Cyrius is the easiest…wait, the most difficult…well, the thing is, it's a fixed lens. This may be good, bad, or indifferent, depending on your perspective. On the one hand, we do enjoy the one and done lens selection for the day through the photochromic lens. On the other hand, what about when the conditions fall out of the range of that adjustable lens? Without the ability to swap lenses, you have to make due.
The other issue with the single lens is with potential damage and wear. It's not as easy as picking up a replacement lens and popping it right in. Julbo does have a lifetime warranty and reportedly will replace lenses if you send your goggles back to Vermont. If you have more than one pair of goggles, this may not be a big deal, but if you don't, this may be a deal-breaker for you.
We found that right out of the box, the Cyrius has a solid, although lightweight, feel, and we expected our pair would stand up to testing. After putting our goggles through the paces, we are pleased to say they came out unscathed.
Thankfully our fixed lens emerged without a single scratch even after being stuffed into our ski packs repeatedly. We did keep the goggles in the included stuff sack, which includes a semi-rigid support that mimics the lens shape — no need to send our test pair back to Julbo for replacement.
Another common wear point is the goggle strap…goggles of the past had a tendency to lose their elasticity over time, especially when worn with a ski helmet. Over two months of skiing in these goggles, the strap looks A-OK. Assuming you take reasonable care of your gear, the Cyrius should provide several seasons of use, but if you should run into any issues, remember the Julbo limited lifetime guarantee.
Eyewear style is a tough one to quantify, but we can say the Cyrius has a nearly frameless design, which has proven popular over the past few years. With that being said, the design isn't over the top futuristic like some of the other options in our test lineup, and the Cyrius maintains a traditional shape. This might be a large advantage to many and an equally boring disadvantage to others.
For skiers and boarders who want to match their eyewear to the rest of their kit, the Cyrius is available in several strap and lens color combinations. There should be something for everyone when it comes to color and style. The Cyrius is a happy medium between traditional and modern.
Since the Cyrius is somewhat unique in the single fixed lens construction of the goggles, judging value is a little more complicated. The lens quality, breathability, and nearly universal fit definitely score high marks, but the lack of lens interchangeability might be a pretty big strike for some skiers. However, not having to keep an extra lens in your ski jacket is valuable to many folks, too. The fact that the Cyrius comes in on the higher end of the price spectrum makes the value factor less too. If you're looking for a top-performing photochromic lens and don't care so much about price, the Cyrius is an impressive pair of goggles.
The overall fit and comfort, in conjunction with the highly effective photochromic lens, make the Cyrius a favorite among testers, especially the backcountry crowd. With the one and done lens, you're not toting around and babying an extra lens in your ski touring pack or jacket pocket all the time. For skiers who are looking for a lightweight and flexible fit with great single lens protection, the Cyrius might be the right choice for you.
— Jason Cronk
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