Dragon Alliance have been producing high quality optics since 1993. Since their inception Dragon have introduced a number of innovative products including the first frameless snowboard and ski goggle in 2011 with the APX, now known as the X1. The 2018/19 season saw the addition of Dragon’s PXV Goggle that boasts enhanced peripheral vision technology. Dragon’s ski and snowboard goggles are broken into a relatively easy-to-digest line-up, but with such a huge range now available it’s easy to get lost amongst a sea of tints, technologies and light transmissions. Leaving you wondering exactly which Dragon Goggles lens is best for me?
We’ve put together an all-inclusive guide to help you find the best Dragon goggle lens for you. We’ll explain how Dragon’s lens technology works and take a look at some of our choice picks. Below that you’ll find a detailed table outlining the range, their VLT Percentage and what each tint is best for. Check it out.
The Technical Bit
The Lowdown on Lenses
Dragon produces a wide range of lens choices and many of the Dragon ski goggles come with a bonus lens allowing you to quickly change them to suit either low light conditions or very bright sunlight and sometimes glare. Those goggles that come with a single lens will cover a broader range of light conditions, but we’d always recommend getting kitted out for all possible light eventualities. Visibility, you’ve probably guessed, is critical to your on-hill enjoyment levels, and there’s not much worse than being caught out when it comes to optical clarity.
Dragon’s Swiftlock Technology
In some Dragon models, you’ll see Swiftlock Technology. This easy-on-and-off mechanism utilises a pair of small locking levers integrated into the goggle frame to secure the lens. Simply flip the levers up to release the lens, pop in the new one, and lock it down by replacing the levers to the ‘lock’ position. Dragon’s Swiftlock Technology allows you to rapidly swap lenses and adapt to changing light conditions wherever you are. This system is super easy to use, even with gloves on, but it’s worth practicing before you fire your lens off the chairlift.
Dragon’s goggle lens shapes all fit into two neat categories, with the exception of the 2020 PXV Goggles.
Dragon’s Cylindrical Lenses: are vertically flat but curve on the horizontal axis. The cylindrical lens is definitely the on-trend option for style-conscious skiers and snowboarders. Whilst the end result looks sick, the cylindrical manufacturing process is also pretty cost-effective compared to spherical lens constructions.
Dragon’s Spherical Lenses: are curved on two-axes in order to reduce optical distortion by mirroring the curvature of the human eye. A curve on the horizontal and vertical axis means that spherical lens types are a bit pricier than cylindrical in general, but they also create a slightly larger depth between the inner lens and the wearer’s face. This provides more insulation and increases the airflow around the goggle, reducing fogging and improving the view.
Dragon’s Panotech Lens: is available solely on their PXV Goggle for this season. This proprietary lens shape is supposed to combine the benefits of slick cylindrical style with the optical clarity of a spherical construction. The lens looks cylindrical, but Dragon has utilised a spherical shaping in the direct line-of-sight to create the best-performing and raddest-looking goggle about.
Talking About Transmission
Each Dragon lens is designed to absorb certain wavelengths and intensities of light by utilising different tints and coatings. The light that passes through the lens enters your eye – and that’s what we measure as VLT, or Visible Light Transmission.
Essentially, the higher the VLT percentage, the more visible light can pass through the lens. If you’re after a lens for night riding and really dark days, then a much higher percentage is recommended – from 60-90%+. Conversely, bluebird days will require a low VLT %, some of Dragon’s lenses are available down to 10% VLT.
It’s important to remember that VLT isn’t the only measurement to consider when choosing the right lens. Dragon combines base tints with reflective, or Ionised coatings, that may reflect a large portion of visible light whilst enhancing the light wavelengths you need to see clearly. So, keep in mind that even super-low VLT percentages might be suitable for gloomy days…
Dragon’s Lumalens Technology
Dragon’s Lumalens proprietary technology has been developed to produce super high-definition optical performance in any light condition. This technology is Dragon’s answer to Oakley’s Prizm, Lumalens is designed to deliver enhanced colour vividness by filtering out lightwaves associated with haze and glare but letting in the good ones to increase contrast, vividness and depth perception.
A Few of Our Favourites For 2019
Best Dragon Lenses For Bright Light
Lumalens Gold Ionized
Dragon’s flash Gold Ionized Lumalens replacement google lens packs a serious punch to visible light transmission. At 10% VLT, the Gold Ionized lens blocks out a huge portion of the sun’s glare, but the base tint enhances terrain features, even in the shadows.
Best Dragon Lenses for Flat Light
The Lumalens Yellow replacement google lens works very similarly to Oakley’s H.I. Yellow at 80% VLT. The yellow tint works excellently to accentuate flat terrain features so you can avoid unwanted collisions. Watch out if the sun’s about though as the Lumalens Yellow won’t give you much protection during bright spells. Check out the Lumalens Pink Ionized if you think conditions might brighten up unexpectedly.
Best Dragon Lenses for Changing Light Conditions
Lumalens Red Ionized
The Lumalens Red Ionized sports a relatively low VLT at 28% so you won’t get caught out mixed light days when the clouds shift and the sun blasts. The base tint makes the most of low light zones and accentuates the terrain so you won’t get caught short in the trees.
Dragon Lens Comparison Table
The table below should give you a pretty comprehensive guide to our Dragon Goggle replacement lenses. Remember, unless otherwise stated, each tint is made for every goggle we stock. If you need any further help, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Enjoy!
|Lumalens Tints||Best Use||VLT|
|Lumalens Yellow||A great lowlight lens, the best you’ll get in a whiteout||90%|
|Lumalens Pink Ion||Great on grey days when the light is flat||60%|
|Lumalens Flash Blue||The yellow base tint enhances colours if you’re riding in cloud||51%|
|Lumalens Amber||Excellent ‘all-conditions’ lens for maximum clarity in a wide range of light conditions||35%|
|Lumalens Rose||Ideal for flat light and overcast conditions||35%|
|Lumalens Red Ion||Good for mid to bright conditions||28%|
|Lumalens Green Ion||Ideal for bright days and terrain that creates a lot of glare||25%|
|Lumalens Polarised||Good for sunny/glaring conditions. Available only for X2, X2s, NFX2, X1s models.||25%|
|Lumalens Purple Ion||Middle-range light days when conditions are variable||24%|
|Lumalens Silver Ion||Pefect for bluebird days on the hill||20%|
|Lumalens Blue Ion||Ideal for brighter days when the cloud is threatening to come in||15%|
|Lumalens Gold Ion||The perfect Lumalens for the brightest days||10%|
|Clear||Ideal for very low light and night riding.||88%|
|Dark Smoke||Ideal for the brightest days on the hill. The grey base massively improves the view on big sun days.||20%|