Julbo Aerospace Goggles for Ski Touring — Review

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 21, 2015      

As I sit below the ski boot wall of the local ski shop, Cripple Creek Backcountry, it’s pretty obvious as you look up at the shiny new Pebax and poly slippers then slowly let your eyes scan towards the floor to the used boots, everything has changed and updated over just the four years this young shop has been open. Everything except goggles.

Department of plas-tech, at the office, Julbo testing.

Department of plas-tech, at the office, Julbo testing.

When Julbo’s Aerospace goggles landed on my doorstep this June I was pretty sure they would just collect dust on my shelf. Just-another-goggle…

Nope! (Full disclaimer: Yes Virginia, we do have Julbo as an advertiser here on the world’s most popular ski touring website. This review was written before that happened, and as usual we would have nixed the product for review unless we liked it. We liked it.)

Since backcountry ski season went on till July this year in Colorado, the Aerospace goggles saw some heavy punishment from sweat and UV rays.

Machinery that moves the lens out from your sweaty face.

Machinery that moves the lens out from your sweaty face.

Aerospace goggles are the first downhill AND uphill skiing goggle. Lou, is this true?! Call it BS, but I kid you not, I ski toured uphill with the Aerospace goggles on my face skinning and climbing up several 14’ers and mid-day Colorado corn harvesting missions where temperatures approached 90 degrees. A simple latch, known as the Super-Flow system, lets you space the lens away from the frame, almost floating on four pins in front of the frame. I simply could not get them to fog.

Personally a huge fan of photochromatic lenses, these goggles don’t disappoint in that area either. Under spring and summer sun with intense shadows they performed better than all of my scratched sunglasses combined. Easily spotting crevasses and transitions in the snow, the patented Zebra lenses change their tint in split seconds. (The same lenses featured on the Aerospace are also available through Julbo’s sunglasses line.)

These will be my absolute go-to goggle. I can’t wait to lose my assorted goggle lens collection in the deep dark recesses of my Land Cruiser, and with one single goggle, Aerospace, be assured I’ll be able to see everything this winter — both uphill and down

Be on the lookout for the ultimate ski touring goggles for freeride, side-country, and even ski mountaineering racing this winter.

Here’s more from Julbo Shop for Julbo Aerospace.


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35 Responses to “Julbo Aerospace Goggles for Ski Touring — Review”

  1. Lou Dawson 2 October 21st, 2015 11:31 am

    Googles or goggles? That is the question…

  2. Scott October 21st, 2015 12:51 pm

    So really? You think they would work for skimo races??
    Tell me a bit more of a reason to spend the extra $$$

  3. Lou Dawson 2 October 21st, 2015 1:04 pm

    Scott, I think Joe was speaking in generalities about skimo racing. Would depend on the racer/style/weather etc. Lou

  4. Joe Risi October 21st, 2015 1:28 pm

    @Scott I see no reason why not. They literally “float” in front of the frame.

    Sure maybe not the best solution for sunny days or overcast ones but if it was puking I’d reach for these. Even on the down you can leave them fully open and ski. Ideal when sweat is pouring off your face and your sunglasses are fogged to poop and your snow blind.

    Besides every ounce counts and these will make your wallet lighter!

  5. Max October 21st, 2015 1:31 pm

    Do you have to put this little plastic layer on top when in “uphill” mode? What does that do, stabilize? or just protection? and if this is not mandatory, does the sun get in your eyes with the layer out?

  6. Joe Risi October 21st, 2015 1:44 pm

    @Max I ditched the black cover. It is only supposed to fit when your touring you have to carry it when your downhill skiing. It’s supposed to cover the opening when the lens is floating. Purely protection.

    I didn’t have an issue with sun or wet snow coming into the goggle. I suspect on a subsequent design the “shield” would float on top of the frame as well.

    Or just let Louie III take it to Solidworks and you’ll have a 3d printed version this afternoon 😉

  7. Max October 21st, 2015 2:42 pm

    Nice, thanks. I fight with foggy googles all the time, generally take it off while touring because I take my helmet off anyway. Have you heard of Abom? they developed an electronic solution to the problem. not for touring but generally to keep the googles fog free.

  8. Ed October 21st, 2015 2:46 pm

    I see one size on the Julbo website – XL – are these OTG?

  9. DavidB October 21st, 2015 4:52 pm

    Joe, I have a small face and these goggles look enormous. Do they come in various sizes?

  10. swissiphic October 21st, 2015 6:05 pm

    hmmmmm….finally competition for the Smith fan operated goggles? hard to a/b comparo them on the same sweaty face while uphilling in coastal zero degrees dumping wet wind driven rain/snow worst case scenerio conditions…conditions that tested the smith’s but did not best them….. Until they pass the coastal test, unconvinced…..

  11. mikeh October 21st, 2015 6:59 pm

    The goggles shown in the picture has the cameleon lens which changes from cat 2 to cat 4? The zebra lens is a non-polarized version correct?

  12. Charlie Hagedorn October 21st, 2015 7:07 pm

    Another vote for swissiphic’s request: How do they do in 100% humidity when it’s pouring/sleeting?


    The PNW.

  13. MarkB October 21st, 2015 7:40 pm

    Has anyone tried these over small eyeglasses yet? For those of us who don’t do contacts and can’t see without prescriptions, this could be a nice tool.

  14. Wookie October 22nd, 2015 2:56 am

    Nice idea. Not sure I’m ready to drop that much cash though, especially for mirrored, scratch-destined googles.
    It doesn’t appear so – but is there a version without mirroring? Two reasons:
    – non mirrored lenses don’t get scratched as easily
    -mirrored lenses are super-aggro IMO. I prefer a more relaxed nuance to my curmudgeon-ness.

    Oh yeah: is there a mounting point for my Go-Pro? (Preferably WITH my two meter-long gimbal-mount.)

  15. Jon October 23rd, 2015 7:00 am

    I like the idea here, but haven’t heard about “optics.”

    I’ve paid more for Julbo sunglasses in the past because they seem clearer and sharper than alternatives. But going up, with lenses popped out, wouldn’t the optics be hurt? (I.e., like wearing a pair of regular glasses too far from your face)

  16. Lithomancer October 23rd, 2015 8:30 am

    The lens is pretty rigid, doesn’t seem to flex or distort at all, so the optics seem unaffected by focal distance. My glasses do not fit between my face and goggles, and they’re small and hipstery.

    I have a small face and they look bro-y, but not ridiculous (I use the lady model “luna” that is a touch too small).

    I really like the “snowtiger” lens. It’s not fully polarized, and polarization seems more disorienting than glare reducing to me on snow. I’ve used the zebra light a lot in the PNW and I still think they’re the best for that zone, but the darker snowtiger work well in sunnier climes.

    Disclaimer: I bought the goggles, but not retail, julbo is good to guides.

  17. GregM October 23rd, 2015 9:05 am

    I have tried the aerospace over my glasses and they fit well enough. I have a small face and my glasses are small wire framed models.

    I also want to give the zebra light lens a thumbs up! Its light enough to night ski or ski with a headlamp and it gets more than dark enough when it gets bright out. I was on rainier this summer on some blinding days and the zebra light was plenty dark.

  18. Jon October 23rd, 2015 10:11 am

    – Older eyewear with the NXT lenses (“Zebra”) had a problem where the darkening would be activated by cold weather–does anyone know if this has been fixed?
    – I’m curious to hear input about how much of a difference it makes to go from sunglasses to a full goggle (especially for a contact lense wearer).
    Personally, even the difference between no-glasses and sunglasses can seem minor to me when sun isn’t an issue (seems to depend on humidity levels).

  19. J_Killgore October 23rd, 2015 9:20 pm

    I used the aerospace end of last season during the never ending wet spring and was seriously impressed. One of the most expectations-exceeding products I’ve come across. I ditched the black cover too. I found myself partially closing the lens in the direction of snowfall and wind. This worked perfect. Y

  20. Jim Milstein October 25th, 2015 12:18 pm

    I haven’t skied with the Aerospace goggle, but I’ve fiddled with it. As Killgore says, the lens can be snapped closed on one side and can be left open on the other. Furthermore, when open, the lens can be closed down part or most of the way on either side or both sides, but not snapped fully shut. In other words, you’ve got a lot of venting options to suit conditions inside and outside of the goggle.

    The Zebra Light lens when fully light is hardly dark at all; when exposed to bright sun it appears to darken about two stops.

    My wire-rimmed glasses fit inside, but I’d probably not risk interior scratching since they are not strictly needed. Just more surfaces to fog, anyway. Of no interest to solo skiers, but they look pretty cool.

    When did goggles get so expensive?

  21. JB November 25th, 2015 6:31 pm

    I have a spare pair of the Aerospace goggles if anyone is interested. Brand new, only tried on once to learn they don’t fit my face very well.

    Will sell at a hefty discount. Drop me a line if you’re interested.

    w o a h i t s j b – g m a i l – c o m

  22. Peter L December 4th, 2015 8:38 pm

    I just received mine (disclaimer – I did not pay retail) and they are already sold to a buddy as they are HUGE! I hope they make these with a smaller frame size for people with pea sized heads (faces)!

  23. Jon December 5th, 2015 6:03 am

    I tried a pair, and though the venting works as advertised, I found there to be two “quality of life” type issues that made them a return. When the lenses are deployed out (for venting), there was some sort of internal reflection across the middle of the lens (happened even in relative shade) that seems like would drive you to psychoses over time Second issue isn’t the fault of design, but I found that no matter how well they vent, it’s not fun having a big hunk of foam on your face when your working aerobically.

  24. Lou Dawson 2 December 5th, 2015 7:35 am

    I’ve been testing them as well. I think they’re excellent overall but nothing is perfect. My biggest concern is the lens “opens up” too easily. It needs a more positive locking system. The ease with which they open accidentally is not not only inconvenient, but in full conditions such as high winds and spindrift in a mountaineering situation, it could be a safety issue. In those situations you need goggles that seal to your face and stay put under abuse. If a blast of wind fills your goggles with snow in the middle of a third class rock climbing move, well, the rest is not pretty…

    Kudos to Julbo for “reinventing” the goggle, but this seems to be a “first generation” product.


  25. Me December 6th, 2015 10:39 am

    Interesting observations from Peter L an Lou. I found them to be smaller than other pairs of goggles I own. As far as opening too easily, mine aren’t like that. I did find you could think they were closed but one side wasn’t fully clipped. When I close mine I do one side first then the other. When you clip the second side you will get a satisfying click. They only clip on the top so I only push on the top. Pushing the bottom as well only makes it tougher to close. With that said, mine are fairly new. Maybe the clips wear out over time.

  26. Dave Steiner August 26th, 2016 10:48 am

    Really? They changed color in seconds from light to dark. I didn’t have that experience at all. Cloudy day with these looked like a total storm was coming in. They never change in the cold, its just not possible with a photo (light) chromatic lens. ITs marketing hype. if you take it from a dark warm environment like the goggle bag and put it in the sun it will change to dark, but if clouds come, it will just stay dark. Once that lens gets cold it will stay dark.

  27. Jim Milstein August 27th, 2016 7:12 am

    Used the Aerospace goggle all last season, except for sunny warm spring days (glasses for those). Love it. For my eyes, the Zebra Light photochromic is just right. The venting options mean they stay on my face uphill and down. Likewise the CAMP Speed helmet, which is so well vented that it’s cooler than a mesh bill cap when worn directly on the naked head.

    I really like not having to put stuff on and off. The less gear fiddling, the better.

    Only criticism is that the lens, like all goggle lenses, can get scratched skiing through tight trees. With expensive goggles, that gets expensive. I wonder whether the lens can be replaced for less than the goggle.

  28. Lou Dawson 2 August 27th, 2016 9:36 am

    Jim, I’d agree, for a lot of situations they’re pretty danged nice. I’m looking forward to having an excuse to use them! Lou

  29. Jim Milstein August 27th, 2016 11:27 am

    From Julbo directly, this goggle is now at $170, down from $230. I’ve requested price info on replacing the lens. Mine is lightly scratched after about seventy days with it in the backcountry, often sporting about in the trees.

    To answer Lou’s problem, as long as both sides of the lens are clicked shut (second click is quite audible), they stay closed, . . . desirable for descents and nasty weather. Earlier comment is correct about pressing the top corners only to close. As with all gear, familiarity helps.

  30. Jim Milstein August 30th, 2016 9:03 pm

    Julbo speaks! Customer service says the Aerospace lens is not sold separately, nor will they replace a scratched one as a repair. However, they will sell a replacement goggle for half price if you ask nicely. That’s what a lens would cost, if they sold the lens separately. This is a glass half empty vs glass half full situation.

    Also, Aerospace goggles are out of stock. Check back in a month or so.

  31. Pablo August 31st, 2016 2:18 am

    Yeah, i’ve used aerospace this past winter too and I love it. As Jim Says is great to not put in-put off all the time. Even in resort I used to “open” vents on the lifts and get some nice breeze on my face far much better tan put it on my forehead .

    For this coming winter, there will be a new vented Julbo goggle, the simplier and cheaper Airflux model which is an Aerospace frame with non photochromic lenses: Spectron2, 3 and 4 and a polarized 3.

  32. Enrique February 15th, 2018 1:36 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m on a search to find a new pair of goggles with good performance in low light/storm/flat out conditions, and I am not sure about photochromic lenses (especially after comments about the lens not going lighter when cold!).

    For those of you who have used the Zebra Light or the Zebra Light Red, how does the contrast of these goggles compare in a flat-out day to the Oakleys Prizm Rose or Hi-Pink, the Dragon Lumolens Pink Ion, Smiths Chromapop Storm, Giro Vivid Infrared…?

    Does anyone know if they are high-contrast lenses like the ones I mentioned?


  33. Jim Milstein February 15th, 2018 2:17 pm

    My lens is a Zebra Light. In low light it’s about one stop darker than clear, which is pretty good. However, the color balance is more or less a neutral grey. For high contrast you want a color balance toward the red end of the spectrum to make the bluish shadows in the snow appear darker. This only works when the sky is blue. I have no experience with any of the other lenses Enrique listed.

    I haven’t noticed the photochromic change being slowed by low temperatures. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.

  34. Enrique February 16th, 2018 6:23 am

    Thanks Jim! That was fast. Julbo has already released a new version of the Zebra Light called “Zebra Light Red” which on paper should do what you mention, bring a red tint. Anyone with experience with these or with the other lenses?

    Thanks again

  35. Jim Milstein February 16th, 2018 7:46 am

    Here’s the thing, Enrique. The reddish, amber, or yellow lenses enhance contrast only when it’s sunny. In flat light . . . not so much. I prefer less tint for that reason and also because the world looks better that way.

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