When your goggles fog up on the slopes, there’s not much you can do. Rub with a cloth? That just spreads the moisture around and leaves wet streaks. Lick it? What’s wrong with you? Abominable Labs launched a Kickstarter last year to bring their ABOM goggles (then F-BOM) to market. The result is the best self-defogging goggle on the market.
What makes the ABOM goggles stand out is the complete integration of the entire system. If you look at the goggles, they appear, outwardly, to be completely normal goggles. Everything is smoothly included in the design. There are no protrusions, no humps, bumps, or warts. coughOakleycough
In order to make this design work, the system had to be integrated in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the everyday operation of the goggles. In other words, you need to be able to forget that the battery and defroster are there. Here, ABOM succeeds. Rather than use a removable battery pack like Oakley does with their Inferno system, ABOM makes the battery disappear into the frame. Charging is accomplished via a microUSB port on the bottom of the frame with a rubber cover that easily opens and closes and stays in place.
ABOM’s defrost is called KLAIR. Why they feel the need to yell their trademarks, I can’t say. Defrost is available in two modes. One is continuous, low-power defrost, called Active Mode. The internal battery will last up to seven hours in low-power mode, enough for a full day of turns. We ran it for three, but didn’t push it; there was juice left. In Boost Mode, available in addition to Active Mode or by itself, the ABOMs give you an on-demand defrost that lasts for ten minutes. ABOM says the batteries can last for up to seven days if you only use Boost Mode. Math says that is possible if you Boost six times per day over those seven days. That seems reasonable. Defrost works as advertised and keeps the lenses fog-free, even when you direct your breath right into the bottom of the lens on a cold day.
Because the system is completely integrated, there are no wires to accidentally unplug and nothing to snag or break. Inside the frame, a small LED just inside your field of vision indicates whether the system is activated and what mode it’s in. Yellow for Active Mode, blue for Boost Mode. A single button on the side of the lens, near the strap activates Active with a long press and Boost with a short press. A long press then turns everything off.
Considering everything involved in the defrost system, I was surprised to see how easy it was to detach the lens. ABOM didn’t provide a second lens for our test, but it would be relatively easy to swap lenses on the fly
Is the ABOM heavier than a traditional goggle, yes. Is it heavier than its competitor, the Oakley Line Mine Inferno? Actually, no, it’s not. It beats the Oakleys by an full ounce – 8.5 oz ABOM, 9.5 oz Oakley. In fairness to Oakley, you can remove the battery and have a 6 oz goggle. For comparison, the Giro Contact weighs 5.625 oz . All that said, I never felt like there was extra weight on my face while I skied with the ABOMs.
Especially given that this is a first-try product for Abominable Labs, the ABOM goggle is a triumph. We look forward to seeing more from these folks and, as technology improves, we expect them to be leading the pack on integrated defrost systems with smaller and better systems.