I recently got a chance to check out the Glade Optics Magflight goggles. I saw a lot of advertising and mentions in Blister Gear and Outside Magazine and decided to check them out. I contacted the folks at Glade Optics and Curt Nichols hooked me up with some goggles to try out. The MagFlights have an incredible field of view and a slick magnetic lens system. Keep reading to get the full rundown on the Mag Flight ski goggles.
For 2023, the Glade Magflight has been replaced by the new Glade Fathom. It is a similar design with some improvements like available photochromic and toric lenses.
About Glade Optics
Glade Optics was founded by Curt Nichols, a self professed ski bum from Mad River Glen, Vermont. He now lives and runs Glade Optics in Breckenridge Colorado. From watching his YouTube Videos and seeing responses on Social Media, Curt is a really enthusiastic skier and carries his enthusiasm into this company. He seems to truly love both the mountains and his company brand and what they are making. We could use this kind of personal attention and enthusiasm from more skiing related companies. I have no doubt we will see more great things come out of Glade Optics in the future.
Glade Optics MagFlight Snow Goggle Features
Glade MagFlight Goggle Set
- HUGE FIELD OF VIEW – large lens and low profile frame gives incredible peripheral vision
- GREAT ANTI-FOG PERFORMANCE – Proprietary anti-fog system that includes a professional grade coating, ventilation on the top and bottom of the goggle, and dual lens technology
- EASY SWAP MAGNETIC LENS SYSTEM – Change lenses in seconds with magnetic lenses. 10 magnets hold the lens on through the worst yardsale fall
- LOW LIGHT LENS INCLUDED – Magflight includes a bonus second lens that is good for low light and flat light conditions
My sample MagFlight goggles came with the Rose color lens (VLT 18.7%) as the standard lens. All MagFlights include a second low light yellow lens. I can’t find the published VLT for the low light lens but I would guess it’s around 60-70%. The MagFlight goggles are what you would consider a large fit or size goggle. For smaller faces and those who like smaller goggles, there is the Glade Optics Challenger goggle.
MagFlights are a premium goggle and retail for $159. Currently, the only place to get them is directly from Glade Optics. For that price, you get the goggle frames, 2 lenses, and 1 microfiber bag for the goggles. One of my very few gripes with the MagFlights is that they don’t give you anything to store the second lens in. Goggles from Smith, Oakley, Anon, OutdoorMaster, even $30 goggles from Amazon all give you a second bag, hard case, or another way to store the second lens.
The MagFlight frames look like a fairly standard TPU construction. The materials and attention to detail look on par with any other $100-$200 quality goggle out there. They are soft enough to conform to your face when putting them on. They are bendy enough to make it easy to change the lenses without being too bendy.
They have triple layer foam on the face. The inner layer is standard foam you find on most goggles on the market. They don’t have a super soft inner layer like Smith IO goggles do or a cinch in the nose foam. The overall foam feel is on the firm side. My friend described them like this. He felt they had an aggressive let’s get to it feel when putting them on and not a soft huggy feel.
The frame sticks out around the lens the entire way around the lens giving it a framed appearance. They are not a frameless appearance where only the lens is visible when you are wearing them. Only black frames are currently available. Some other other color frames to accent the lenses would be a nice add in the future.
The MagFlight goggles have a cylindrical lens or flat lens. The lenses are very high quality with very little distortion. I was skeptical as I hadn’t skied with a flat lens for a long time. I have had nothing but spherical or toric lenses for the past several years now. I don’t see any obvious distortion at the tops, sides, or bottoms of the lenses. No distortion zones or bands that I find on most spherical lenses out towards the edges.
The focus and clarity are really good. It is as good as most other high end goggles on the market today. They are a noticeable step better than other popular low cost goggles.
Right now there are no extra lenses available for MagFlights. If you are looking for photochromic lenses, check out the Glade Optics Adapt goggles.
Field of view
Field of view with these goggles is excellent. This is the area where these goggles really shine and are true top performers. They have a bigger field of view looking down then either of the 3 large frame toric lens goggles that I have. I let my friend ski with them a while and he was wowed by how much peripheral vision you get out of them.
Bright light performance
My first ski day with the Mag Flights was on a really bright, blue sky day without a cloud in sight. This happens about 2 days a winter in Michigan so I got really lucky. The 18.7% lens does a good job of making your eyes comfortable in bright light. I had no trouble at all seeing contrast in the snow terrain. The lens all have 100% UV400+ protection to keep your eyes safe. The mirrored flat rose lens just looks cool on a bright day.
Flat light performance
This past week we took a couple of days skiing at Nubs Nob. The conditions were a wintery snow sleet mix, white overcast, completely blah drab day. The worst dull flat light conditions you can get kind of day.
I tried out the yellow low light lens to see how it would work in these conditions. It does pretty well. The lens doesn’t have any blue filtering going on to help enhance the surface definition. I would give it an 8 out of 10 for flat light performance. There are better performing goggles out there for flat light including the Adapt from Glade Optics. The MagFlight low light lens is better than most average goggles out there.
These goggles have all the standard anti-fog features you have come to expect. They have double pane lenses with anti fog coating and a healthy dose of ventilation. I had no issues whatsoever with fog on our wintery mix, humid, muggy day at Nubs Nob. Those were the kind of conditions that would fog any poor performers. I didn’t get any fogging while standing around or looking down and breathing into my facemask. I have nothing but good things to say for the anti-fog performance with the MagFlight.
Lens swapping system
The MagFlight goggles have 10 magnet sets on the lens and frame to hold them in place. The lens sticks to the frame as well as any other magnetic lens goggle I have tried including the Anon M4. It takes just seconds to switch lenses by bending the frame to release a corner of the lens and then pulling it off. No latches or other unnecesary hardware holding the lenses on. Most people could manage a lens swap with their gloves on if they had to.
When I am swapping lenses with the goggles on, it helps to pull the goggles down a little from my helmet brim when putting the new lens in. The frame tends to get caught in my helmet brim and the lens doesn’t seat in the top of the frame. Pulling the goggles down helps the lens not catch on the helmet brim. Then push the goggles back up into your helmet.
Ski Helmet compatibility and appearance
I tried the MagFlights out with a couple of helmets for compatibility and appearance. The goggle strap has silicone beads so that they don’t slide on helmets. I tried the goggles out with the following helmets. Anon Echo MIPS, OutdoorMaster Diamond MIPS, and Giro Nine-C. The goggles have small to no gap with all the helmets I tried.
Overall, I really like the look these goggles give you. Flat lenses are becoming more in style these days. The reflective mirror flat lens has a very aggressive look on the snow.
See the below images to see how they look with different helmet designs.
OTG – Over The Glasses
They work with smaller sized glasses. I have what I would call small to medium frame glasses. I have a strong prescription and my lenses look a mile thick on any larger sized frames. I tried the MagFlight’s on with my glasses on. The frames are a tight fit on the sides and I feel like my glasses lens are bumping against the goggle lens while wearing them. I can put them on for a few minutes to try them out but I couldn’t comfortably wear them to ski all day with my glasses on. If you wear glasses while skiing, an option worth checking out is the Glade Optics Gamma OTG goggle which is designed for OTG use.
Glade Optics MagFlight Ski and Snowboard Goggle summary
Glade MagFlight Goggle Set
What we liked
- Largest field of view of any goggle I have tried
- Cool mirrored flat lens look
- Good anti-fog performance
- Includes low light lens
What we didn’t like
- No storage bag or case for extra lens included
- Only works OTG with smaller glasses
I really enjoy skiing with the Glade Optics MagFlight goggles. They are excellent performers on bright light days and good on flat light days. They have the best field of view out there and really good anti-fog performance. They have a stylish aggressive look to top it off. They are a good value for the money when stacked up against Oakley or Smith goggles that cost $50-$100 more than these. They would make a nice addition to anyone’s ski gear. I would definitely give me a look if you are in the market for a new set of ski or snowboard goggles.
You might also like:
- The Best Ski Goggles Gear Guide – Reviews, Ratings, and More
- Buying Skis vs Renting. The Best Option For You
- Glade Optics Adapt Ski Goggle – Great Under $150 Photochromic Goggles
Staff Writer | Skiing
Craig grew up in Northern Michigan and spends an unhealthy amount of time these days skiing at Mount Bohemia. He has been known to take more than a trip or 2 out west. His favorite ski destination is Whistler, BC where he goes almost every year. He loves glade skiing and alpine bowls. Craig is a big fan of stand up paddleboarding and camping in the summer. If he can’t be on the mountains he’s out in the woods or on the water.