Hands-on Gear Review

Julbo Orbiter Review

Julbo Orbiter
Price:  $180 List
Pros:  Lenses change darkness depending on available light, good fit for smaller face, good protection.
Cons:  OkK fit for large faces, strap has limited adjustment.
Editors' Rating:   
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Lens Style/ Material:  Spherica/ lPhotochromatic Zebra
Layers of foam/ Frame material:  3/ Urethane
Ventilation:  Dual Top Vents
Manufacturer:   Julbo

Our Verdict

Julbo Discontinued the Orbiter in Dec 2017.

The Julbo Orbiter is a single pair of goggles that can be worn for any light condition without needing to change the lens. The photochromic lens works well, adjusting to the amount of available light. It is possible to skin up in the dark and ski down in the bright sunlight in this one goggle, without switching out lenses. This is a do-it-all goggle.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Aaron Zanto

Last Updated:
Monday
March 7, 2016

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The Julbo Orbiter II vs. The Orbiter


Julbo has released the Orbiter II; retailing for $200 (up to $220 for some models), the II costs at least $20 more than the previous model. While we have not tested the Orbiter II, Julbo has confirmed that while there aren't many differences, the Orbiter II has updated graphics, colors, and an updated silicon strap. Other than that, they are the same goggle that uses the same frame.

Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the Orbiter II pictured on the left and the Orbiter shown on the right. Plus, keep reading for a summary of updates!
Julbo Orbiter II
Julbo Orbiter

Key differences between the new Orbiter II and the original Orbiter:
  • Price — This goggle has seen a price increase of $20, up to $220.
  • Frame — The new Orbiter II had a smaller frame for a larger field of view.
  • Anti-fog — Julbo added the SuperFlow Anti-Fogging System to the Orbiter II this year, which we're excited to test out since we felt the Orbiter had a small fogging problem.

Hands-On Review


Julbo Orbitor  White Flash Gold  with zebra photochromic lens
Julbo Orbitor, White Flash Gold, with zebra photochromic lens

Protection


This goggle worked well in the sun, wind, and rain. The frame was ridged, but formed well to the face. We did not notice gaps around the edges of the frame. Even at high speeds the wind was not able to get in the sides or the bottom.

Breathability


The Orbiter has a decent coating on the lens to keep it from fogging. The vents at the top of the lens keep air flowing. We did notice that this product fogged when exerting a moderate level of moisture. The air flow was usually enough when descending to clear out the fogging. The frame sticks out from the lens on all sides, trapping moisture on the edges. We found it difficult to clear snow or water off the lens completely. The frame also collected snow and water when traveling quickly downhill.

Comfort


This is a goggle that fits smaller faces well. Our female testers preferred this product. The fit on larger faces is only OK. We noticed pressure on the cheek bones and on the nostrils. The three layers of foam worked well to wick away moisture from the face.
Julbo Orbitor in action on a sunny day. Christine loved the white with gold accents. Unfortunately if the strap stretches she will need to remove the patch to make the strap smaller.
Julbo Orbitor in action on a sunny day. Christine loved the white with gold accents. Unfortunately if the strap stretches she will need to remove the patch to make the strap smaller.
The strap sizing was limited due to a patch. The patch does not allow the strap to be tightened down for smaller heads. Once the strap stretches out it would be hard to use this goggle on a smaller head.

Lens Quality


This was our favorite do-it-all lens of the test goggles. This lens is photochromic. The amount of tint changed with the amount of available light and UV. Don't expect the lens to change darkness on a moment's notice. It can take the lens up to a minute or two, depending on the change in brightness. What this change does allow is skiing a sunny blue bird and a pea soup no-visibility day while keeping the same pair of goggle on. Don't expect to be able to ski from a sunny patch to a shady patch of snow and have the lens change. This lens would serve mountaineers especially well, because there often isn't room to bring two goggles or lenses.
The optics of the lens were high quality, allowing for a great visual experience.

Durability


The lens did a good job of resisting scratches. We did not notice any more scratches than other goggles we tested. The storage bag that came with the goggle did a good job of clearing the lens without scratching. The strap did not stretch out.

Style


The style of the Julbo Orbiter had a slightly European feel. A few of the testers really liked this style. One tester really liked the simplicity of the white and gold. There is a very limited amount of color and style options available for this goggle. If style is your first priority then this would not be the goggle of choice.

Best Applications


This goggle would be the best that we tested for a mountaineer. Because it changes the tint of the lens with the available light it makes a great goggle for any snow adventurer that only has room for one pair of goggles for a trip.

Value


The Julbo Orbiter is a good product for the price considering the photochromic lens. This lens alone makes the goggle worth the price. If you don't need a lens that changes tint, then this would not be worth the price.
Aaron Zanto

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Most recent review: March 7, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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