The new Native Eyewear, Backbowl goggle is a force to be reckoned with on the mountain. Native entered the goggle scene on fire this season, with an array of styles that boast features any alpine or backcountry skier will appreciate. I was fortunate to get my hands on the Backbowl just before I left for a ski trip to Whistler, B.C.
Native eyewear Backbowl Features:
- Wide Field of View
- Fluted Hypoallergenic Triple Face Foam
- Enhale Nasal Nest
- High Efficiency Anti-Fog
- Sealed Double Spherical Lens
- Siliconized Adjustable Strap
Upon landing in Vancouver, BC, I was greeted with a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Not long into my drive north to Whistler, ominous clouds moved in, and shortly after the rain began — standard weather for the region.
Skiing in Whistler can be unpredictable at best, with bluebird conditions one moment and dense fog or precipitation the next . Having the best pair of goggles for this Pacific-Northwest weather is key for a comfortable day of skiing.
What initially attracted me to the Native Backbowl was the ergonomic, frameless shape and proven lens technology.
The Backbowl lens is spherical, which curves along a horizontal and vertical axis, emulating the natural shape of your eye – hence the bubbled look. Spherical lenses provide a greater peripheral field-of-view with increased clarity. The greater surface area allows you to see higher above and below, as well as farther side to side. In other words, the field of vision is HUGE.
I felt almost too comfortable skiing through tree sections knowing that I was able to see the surrounding environment so well.
It’s safe to say, Native went all-in with their SnowTuned lenses. Color-enhancing filtration helps the subtle colors of the snow-covered landscape appear livelier, while selective filters reduce eye fatigue from HEV light. Multi-mirror, hydrophobic, and oleophobic coatings ensure long-lasting quality and works to repel oils and water.
My days spent skiing in Blackcomb consisted of brighter mid-mornings and overcast afternoons ,with light rain. The goggles performed well with their ability to reflect bright light and shed water. On multiple occasions I had to do some uphill booting to reach a good drop-in spot, yet I never experience fogging. This is a great goggle to wear when it’s raining or snowing, and you find yourself in the backcountry with uphill terrain to cover.
I really have never had problems with Native lenses; they are all considered premium options. SnowTuned goggle lenses come standard with a high-efficiency anti-fog coating, providing an astonishing eight minutes of surface-based fog diffusion.
Finally, I have learned to never overlook goggle straps. The strap on the Backbowl is adjustable and stays in place with a silicone interior. I was able to wear the strap comfortably with my helmet and it stayed in place for my entire week on the mountain. It was also very easy to adjust to a smaller size when I shed the helmet for a beanie.
I am a big fan of the steps Native has taken to move away from petroleum- based products. Native is using a renewable and more sustainable, oil from the castor bean. With the use of the castor bean resin, the Backbowl frames are more resilient and durable than petroleum frames and will biodegrade in 3-5 years in traditional landfill conditions. The castor derivative resin also offers a superior strength-to-weight ratio, creating the lightest, strongest, and most earth-friendly materials to date.
Native’s lifetime warranty is one of the best in the industry. They will replace any pair of goggles with no questions asked for a nominal fee. I would highly recommend the Native Backbowl goggles to anyone looking to spend time on-piste or off-piste. I also support manufacturers that are taking the next step to a more sustainable future with a reduced use of petroleum-based products — a huge win for the entire industry. Experiencing both comfort and performance for the entire week in Whistler, I will be using these again for my next trip.
Review by Joe Bustos