Helmets tend to work best with goggles from the same company. If avoiding gaper gap is a priority, your goggle strap should proclaim the brand of your helmet. So, if you’re picking up a Giro Range MIPS, you should consider their Contact goggle as well.
I tried out the Gerry Lopez edition Contact. It utilizes patterns and colors from the famous surferwithout changing the shape or performance of the Contact goggle. And the shape and performance are excellent.
Giro uses Zeiss lenses on the Contact. They provide great optical clarity and almost no distortion across the entire spherical-shaped lens. The Contact also has all of the features you’d expect on a nice goggle – great peripheral vision, soft, triple-layer foam, and an anti-fog coating on the lenses. And thank goodness those silly split straps with buckles on the back are gone. Now you get an easily-adjustable strap with silicon grippers inside.
But, again, there’s one outstanding feature that sets the Giro Contact apart. Giro calls it Snapshot lens tech. Forget the silly marketing name. What it means is that you can swap lenses with the push of a button. For the most part, the Contact’s lens is held on the frame with tiny magnets. There’s a button on the upper right of the frame that locks the lens into place. Push the button like a camera shutter (thus, Snapshot), and you can pull the lens out. It pops back in just as easily. Swapping lenses has never been this easy. Have other companies done magnetic lenses before? Yes. Have they combined it with an easy-to-use locking mechanism like Snapshot? Giro is the first. Does it need to lock? Probably not, but it makes me forget that my lens is only attached via the magic of f-ing magnets.
I did attempt (unintentionally) to test how solid the connection is between lens and frame. Despite the lens being my first point of impact with the slope during this test, everything stayed in place and no snow infiltrated. I have difficulty imagining a situation in which the lens could pop off.
Giro coordinated with Gerry Lopez on three different models – the Contact, the Balance, and the Block. If you love Gerry’s style but want a better price point, go with the $90, cylindrical lens Block. The Balance brings a cylindrical lens, but drops the Snapshot system to save some money. The Contact comes with two lenses – one full sun and one low-light. It also includes a well-made sack for the lenses with some structure and a divider to keep things separated.
Giro is pushing it on the optics end; the Contact’s Snapshot system is phenomenal. It’s a supremely comfortable goggle with good optics that integrates perfectly with the Range. I was able to fog them, but only after stuffing the vents with snow (see unintentional test, above) and then getting very sweaty while poling/hiking across some powdery flats.
If you’re rocking a Giro helmet, the Contact goggle is a perfect compliment. MSRP is $240. You can find the Gerry Lopez model at Backcountry.com or grab your preferred color from just about anyone.