I didn’t plan to test out the Aura Goggles from blenders in extreme cold and snow, but I got them just before a recent trip to Big Sky where it snowed 24” and ended up being -18F. I couldn’t have asked for better skiing conditions or better weather variations to conduct a thorough test.
Where To Purchase
The easiest place to buy the Aura goggles is online at the Blenders website or on Amazon. If you’d like to see how they look and feel before buying them, Blenders has retail stores in San Diego, Encinitas, Santa Monica, and Houston. They’re also in major chains across the country like Zumiez, but can also be found in local outdoor shops.
Blenders is primarily a sunglasses brand that was started by a surf coach in San Diego in 2012. They’ve been growing rapidly and have recently expanded into the snow sports space. They believe in bringing bright, bold styles to market at a price that everyone can afford. This mentality extends into their snowsports line, which goes nicely with their motto of designing products to help you “live life in forward motion.”
You can read more about the Blenders story here.
The Aura Goggles
The aura goggles are designed to match the look, feel, and performance of major brands, without breaking the bank. They have three main features:
- Easy Swap Magnetic Lenses – These magnetic lenses are no joke. They feature very strong magnets that gave me so much confidence. They create a great seal with the lens in less than a second and make switching between full sun and overcast lenses a breeze. Usually I don’t even carry a second lens because switching them out is such a pain, but with these lenses it literally takes a second. My only complaint is that it’s hard to do with gloves on, but luckily it takes hardly any time so your hands won’t get cold.
- Triple-Layered Foam-Backed Frames – These frames make the Aura goggles very comfortable. In addition to being super comfortable, the foam is also hypoallergenic and features great venting so your goggles will almost never fog up.
- Full Helmet Compatibility – The Aura goggles feature a strap that fits snugly around a helmet and doesn’t slide up or down, even if you’re out all day. My goggle strap holder fell off my helmet a few months ago and sometimes my old goggles would slip down, but I’ve never had that problem with the Blenders and I’ve taken them out on full days in the resort and in the backcountry.
Other Notable Features
- Hard sided carrying case
- Microfiber cloth bag to keep your goggles from scratching
- Separate microfiber cloth bag for the lens that isn’t on your goggles
- Anti-slip strap to make sure your goggles don’t slide around on your helmet
- Plenty of foam vents to keep snow out and prevent fogging
I’ve tested these goggles in just about every condition you could expect out on the slopes or in the backcountry. Their first outing was during a 24” powder storm in Big Sky, where I never experienced any fogging. The next day, it was -18 degrees and the only time they fogged up was when I had my buff too tight or when I walked into the lodge to warm up. After the big resort days, I took them out on several different backcountry missions in varying conditions. From sunny powder days in Little Cottonwood Canyon to 50+ MPH windy days above 12,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies the Aura goggles kept the wind and snow out of my eyes and allowed me to see everything I needed to.
These goggles deliver in all conditions. They’re well built and have all of the features that you’d expect from a modern ski goggle. The lenses have good clarity and the magnets keep them locked into place when you’re riding. I’ve ridden through a lot of heavily treed areas pushing branches out of my way while going down and have yet to scratch either of the lenses. Based on that I’d say they’re going to stand the test of time. In addition to great lens quality, the frames seem very durable and the strap was easy to adjust and stayed in place all day long. Overall, these goggles are well built and well designed. They even come with a sturdy carrying case to make sure they don’t get scratched when they’re thrown into the back of your car while you’re trying to get your boots off and get warm after a long day of skiing or riding.
These goggles are incredibly comfortable. They have soft foam that keeps the elements out, but is gentle on your face. I’ve worn them for 8 hours at a time on resort days and I’ve never felt like I needed to take them off to give myself a break. The straps do a great job of keeping a tight seal to your face without pulling so hard that it leaves an imprint.
The Aura goggles can be purchased with a variety of different bands and lens color styles. I tested out the Dallas Alice lenses with the black and white band. I felt awesome wearing them. They have a very cool design with almost no lens bezel, which not only looks good, but also improves their field of view. The Dallas Alice lenses are a sky blue color and blend in well with the styles of other major brands right now. If cool blue isn’t really your style, Blenders offers everything from almost full mirrored, to purple, to rose gold and everything in between.
Backcountry or Resort?
These goggles will perform well in the resort or out of bounds. While you’re skiing in the resort they are comfortable enough that you’ll never need to take them off. When you’re in the backcountry, they’re incredibly light and come with a microfiber pouch to make sure the lenses don’t scratch while they’re in your bag. I’ve had them right next to my multi-tool, carabiners, keys and they don’t have a scratch on them. You can feel confident throwing them in your bag for whatever your next adventure has in store.
Recommendation And Overall Thoughts:
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
At only $95 these goggles blew me away. I usually ski with a fairly expensive $200+ pair of goggles and the Blenders were either on par or outperformed them in every category. I was only able to get them to fog up when I was looking down while putting in a big effort touring uphill. The yellow tinted snow lens gave me better than average visibility in 1” per hour snow conditions and the full sunlight lens not only performed well but looked great too. All in all, the only reason I’m not giving them a 5/5 is because there are more expensive technologies like photochromic lenses that the Blenders can’t really compete with at this price point. However, with two lenses and very strong magnets, these goggles swing well above their weight. I would highly recommend them.
Paul Brastrom is an active outdoorsman from Houston, Texas. He recently completed his goal of climbing all of the Colorado 14ers and is continuing to spend his time in the Colorado Rockies. A digital marketer during the week and a mountain biker, splitboarder, rock climber, hiker, runner, and fly fisher when he’s not a work, Paul is at home in the mountains.