With a massive field of view and a lens that handles all conditions well, the SHRED. Simplify widens your shredding perspective – now with improved anti-fog technology
UPDATED REVIEW:SHRED. supplied us with an updated version of their flagship goggle, the Simplify, and we put the new improved anti-fog coating through the Japan Grabs review cycle all last winter. This meant everything from weeks of deep powder days, with often low-visibility and high moisture content days, through to scorching spring piste burners. Read on to see how SHRED. made their flagship goggle even better…
Goggles are one of the most important pieces of kit on a powder day – as anyone who has been forced to ride without them can tell you. Not being able to see is a sure way to transform the best day of your life riding powder into one of the most frustrating. In come SHRED. , with goggles combining the latest tech – a massive wide-view field of vision and contrast boosting lenses – with a simple classic style.
The Simplify goggles are SHRED.’s flagship goggle. They are instantly recognizable from their ultra wide shape, and the large ‘SHRED’ logo on the strap. Simplify goggles feature ‘Shredwide’ tech, which extends your peripheral field of vision to 146°, which is pretty impressive. Basically, it means that your vision won’t be blocked by the frame.
The SHRED. Simplify take cylindrical double lenses, rather than spherical, which is not surprising considering the amount of real estate the lenses take up on your face. The lenses offer 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection.
With the Blackout Frame came a Plasma CBL green lens which is the most commonly used lens in SHRED.’s lineup, due to it’s great versatility. It’s rated at 15% VLT which would normally indicate a lens suited for scorching sunny spring days. However, SHRED.’s Contrast Boosting Lens (CBL) tech takes a different approach. The CBL lens works by amplifying the contrast between light and shade to improve your vision, rather than increasing the amount of light let through the lens to your eyes. This means you can get low-light performance from a lens that traditionally is only good for bright conditions. Finally, there is the NoReflect tech which minimizes internal reflections.
The Simplify goggless use SHRED.’s 1-2-3 Lens Changing System, where you can change lenses in three easy steps. With the Plasma CBL Green lens proving itself to be an outstanding all-conditions lens, I didn’t feel the need to ever switch out lenses. However when did I try change lens, it wasn’t clear just how easy it was until I stopped trying to wrestle with the huge lens and watched the tutorial video here …then it was a matter of seconds! If you’re not the type to read instructions, I really recommend you watch that to make it easy and avoid damaging your prized peeper-protectors.
Size and fit
Recognizing that face sizing can vary from person to person, SHRED. have made a sizing chart for their goggles. Looking at the chart below, we can see the Simplify’s fit best on someone with a head circumference of 55 to 63cm. Basically, if you fit a medium to extra-large helmet, then the SHRED. Simplify should fit you great. By the way, SHRED. says that their goggles are compatible with every helmet on the market. I only tried them with Smith and Anon helmets and was happy with the fit. If you do try them on in a shop, remember to bring a beanie or helmet for the proper sizing check. You’ll be surprised at how massive they look on your bare head – having your regular headwear on will make them look normal. They are obviously a sizeable goggle, but they aren’t ridiculously big on my 54cm head and while the field of vision is huge, the frames are only marginally bigger than most other modern large-framed goggles.
While they fit fine with just a hat, the goggle strap is definitely sized for helmet use. Around my hat (and smaller head) it was close to doubled-up at the shortest length on both sides, with the ‘SHRED.’ branding under the length-adjuster buckle. The 2020 Simplify now has a smaller ‘SHRED.’ logo on the strap, which looks better for this.
The silicon grip stripes on the strap hold it in place really well – sometimes almost too well if you are used to whipping your goggles off easily – but on deep days where goggles coming off could mean them filling up with snow or at worst, kissing them goodbye, the extra grip is well appreciated.
The face foam on the inside of the frame is called ‘Whipped cream multilayer face foam’ which refers to the special moisture wicking fleece of the top layer. I found it comfy on hot days – the fabric is like a soft chamois and it didn’t have that acrylic foam feeling that can get itchy and uncomfortable on really hot days. The tapered foam sealed well around my narrower face. Although the soft inner fabric visually became a bit creased over time, it has was comfortable against the skin on warm or cold days.
How do they perform?
When you first put them on you might not notice the large field of vision – that’s because the world looks just like when you don’t wear goggles. It’s not until you go back to wearing more traditionally-sized goggles that you really notice that when staring straight ahead, you can see the edge of the frame in your field of vision. When I put on the SHRED. Simplify, it’s wow, where is the edge of lens? It’s a brave new world of endless vision.. well, ok, maybe that’s going a bit far but the field of view is huge.
We look sideways… so wide is good
As snowboarders we stand sideways so peripheral vision is doubly important. Sure, we turn our heads but the edge of our field of vision is often where the action is at. Whether it’s spotting rogue skiers over our front heelside shoulder while carving soul lines down a groomer, or twisting to spot that landing when spinning, we tend to look sideways at crucial times. The extra meters of real world space I can see at either side of my vision with these goggles is not just a welcome luxury to have but could also help you react more quickly to hazards too.
I didn’t get any of those distracting internal reflections that can ghost into your vision on really bright spring days, so the NoReflect tech must have been doing its thing. After using the Simplify’s for two full seasons, I’m not sure I can go back to goggles without this kind of tech and field of vision!
The thing I was most looking forward to testing was the Plasma CBL green lens. I was sceptical how a 15% VLT lens could handle the white-on-white of powder days, so I used the Simplify’s in the stormiest of powder days – the kind of days which keep you going through the long summer months. To my surprise, the lens performed really well! It was bright and full of natural colours – no unnatural lens tint here – and I never found myself thinking “I wish I had a brighter lens in”. The extra contrast and clarity they have, helped me make out features in near-white out conditions, and on overcast flat light days.
On sunny days at first I was worried, “Oh no! I’ve still got my powder lens in…” but the fact that it’s still a 15% VLT lens meant that my eyes were not in danger of getting fried at all. If I knew I was going to ride in strong sunlight all day in spring, I might pick out a traditional mirror lens, but those days are rare. Even on sunny backcountry days hiking for lines, there are sections in the shade, plus end of day shadows can make it very dark in mirrored lenses. Knowing that your goggle lens can handle all conditions and not leave you straining to see, or squinting against the glare when the weather changes is a big plus for this goggle and lens combo.
The lens also handled frantic glove wipes after sticky faceshots well and in a full season of harsh use, I only managed to scratch mine when I accidentally clipped them with the nose of my board in the parking lot! Rookie move, but it’s easy to forget how big they are as they are so light and fit so comfortably – you have to remind yourself you have high-volume goggles on!
The only slight negative to the Simplify goggles I first tested through the 2017-18 season was that when standing still, at the end of hectic line for example, they fogged up quicker than other goggles – although they cleared when moving again with some airflow. This point has been addressed by SHRED. in the current goggles, with a new improved anti-fog coating which was introduced the following season. Using the updated version throughout last season, I noticed a real improvement on this point and was stoked to see SHRED. moving quickly to address this and bring the anti-fog coat up to the class-leading quality of the rest of the google. The Simplify also has a hydrophobic coating on the mesh vents on the frame. With a high volume goggle like this, if you don’t use them under the brim of a helmet this area can be a prime zone for snow to build up. This coating helps to shed show which is great idea and further reduces the chance of fogging.
..to this, with the same lens!
Walk into a snowboard shop and it’s hard to choose from all the goggles with lots of competing tech. The SHRED. Simplify have a unique ultra-wide shape with lots of bells and whistles packed into a simple frame. I think the SHRED. Simplify is a great choice for the shredder (yes, I know) who wants the benefits of a high tech large lens goggle, but in a more refined style that doesn’t leave you looking like an astronaut. The super wide field-of-view really lets you see more – no more excuses for that tree creeping up on you! Even though they are physically large, it feels less like you are looking at the world through goggles, and you can easily forget you are wearing them. The Contrast Boosting Lens tech really impressed me, and the all conditions performance makes this a quiver killer of a goggle – especially with the updated anti-fog lens coating. Grabbing these goggles in the morning, it was reassuring to know that whatever mother nature had in store, being able to see clearly was not going to be problem.
Check out the full line-up of SHRED. goggles on their official site.
Disclosure: The SHRED. Simplify goggles were provided by SHRED.