HYPED: Dragon NFX2

Let’s be honest; up until two seasons ago, a lot of people thought carrying an extra lens to change on-hill was for nerds or people who too easily bought into goggle brands’ marketing tactics.

“You’re really gonna stop and fumble around in the cold so you can have a smudged up lens ‘ideal for the conditions’? Just pick one in the morning and deal with it.”

Sometimes the hassle just isn’t worth it. If that’s the way you think, buying a pair of Dragon NFX2s will change your world. The philosophy, however, remains the same. No one really wants to deal with on-hill lens changes in most goggles. But when it’s easy as the flick of two levers, and you can swap lenses, gloves on, without taking the frames off your face, suddenly this whole “ideal lens for the conditions” thing starts to make sense.

And it’s not just overcast vs. sunny. When you warm up to the idea of carrying a spare, the need to put in a fresh lens after crashing happens just as often as lighting changes, especially in pow. There’s hardly anything more redeeming after a savage tomahawk than a dry lens. Doesn’t matter if it’s overcast and you have to run a dark one; anything is better than trying to see through 80 beads of water as you attempt to regain composure and ignore the chunk of snow sliding south from your lower back.

But even if it took as long to change the NFX2’s lens as it does a traditional goggle’s, its aesthetics alone are enough to make this a noteworthy frame—or lack thereof. Building off the frameless styling Dragon pioneered with its NFX and X1 models, the NFX2’s medium sized and cylindrical look work well on almost any face and mesh easily with helmets. Where much of the design objective for snowboard eyewear seems to be aimed at creating something bold, the NFX2 is subtle and sleek, more Apple than PC.

Of course it has all the tech stuff too: silicon strap backing, triple-layer face foam with fleece lining, anti-fog coating, a lens technology that helps improve contrast in variable light, and an optically correct lens. Unless you have a strong preference for large or spherical goggles—in which case the NFX and X2 are worth looking into—the NFX2 is a versatile and durable goggle with an aesthetic and lens-change mechanism that’s going to be tough to top, even for the brand who created it. So where does Dragon go from here?

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