There is no region quite as demanding on ski goggles as the precipitation-heavy Pacific Northwest. During the summer months especially, when dense clouds roll in from the Pacific Ocean and settle wet and heavy in the mountains, goggles are put through the wringer.
With year-round skiing thanks to the Palmer Glacier, Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood has become a favorite place of ours to test ski gear before the upcoming season. This past summer we were lucky enough to meet up with Shred Optics rep, Vinny Principe, at the Summer Fun Nationals Masters ski race and get a sneak peak of the 2014/2015 Stupefy goggles.
With an especially gloomy cloud hanging over the glacier in the morning, and our Race Support duties making skiing an obligation, it was as good a day as any to see what the Stupefy brought to the table. It was trial by fire in some of the worst conditions this pampered Utah skier has ever whined through.
With a NODISTORTION™ lens, Anti-Fog technology, and a PORON™ filter, the Stupefy sounds great. Throw in Universal Helmet Compatibility, Whipped Cream Multilayer Face Foam, and the convenience of the NO BS™ Lens Replacement System, and you might just want to buy them on the spot.
If you’re like me, however, and have become jaded to the technological jargon each individual manufacturer triumphs, then technical features mean little compared to on-hill deliverables. While valuable information as a reference point when comparing goggles from the same brand, technical features remain irrelevant without knowing how they perform in action. For what it’s worth, however, the Stupefy comes with the full complement of advanced technologies you’d expect from goggles with a $180 price tag.
Since the Stupefy in question was equipped with the Rose lens, I can only speak to the lowlight capabilities of Shred lenses. That being said, the Rose is hands-down the best lowlight lens I’ve ever used. Even up in the cloud, where the snow and sky blended together into a complete whitewash, this lens provided remarkable contrast and definition. While other lowlight lenses I’ve used seem to add to the wall of gray, Shred’s Rose lens drew out snow variations and allowed me to ski with the confidence that I was properly anticipating the pitch and snowpack conditions ahead.
And when my jacket, pants and gloves were soaked through from the humidity alone, this lens only fogged after I made the amateur mistake of propping the goggles up on my soggy hat. Even then, they cleared rapidly and showed no signs of being fog-prone throughout the rest of the day.
Even though I didn’t ski these goggles with any of the other 17 available lenses, if the Rose was any indicator, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Shred has optics figured out across the board. By all accounts the interchangeable lenses are a breeze to swap back and forth, but I’m done promoting the unknown.
Field of View
Labeled as “extra wide” by Shred, the view from the Stupefy is as close to 100% unhindered as I’ve ever seen. Most noteworthy are the bottom corners. My lower peripheral vision was so free from obstruction that it was almost distracting at first. But once I got used to seeing my shoulders creep into frame, I was hooked. In short, the Stupefy completely dispels the myth that goggles have to be frameless in order to provide a full field of view.
With a nose that’s been broken too many times for a ski-bum pacifist, I struggle to find goggles that fit comfortably around my oversized beak. It’s why despite multiple experiments with goggles from different brands, I’ve stuck with the Smith I/O for seven straight years now.
Physical abnormalities aside, the Stupefy contoured to my face and fit like a well-worn pair of goggles right out of the box. The Whipped Cream whatchamacallit foam provided a full seal without any unnecessary bulk or uncomfortable pressure points, and the fit through the nose was especially forgiving – blocking all wind from creeping in under the eyes without causing that pinched, nasally feeling across the bridge of the nose.
For how much coverage they provide, the Stupefy goggles also manage to feel lightweight and low profile. At first glance, I was skeptical of their ability to integrate smoothly with my helmet (Smith Vantage), but the Stupefy slid into place seamlessly and comfortably without forcing the helmet out of position. While definitely not the best option out there for people with small or narrow faces, the Stupefy fit my beach ball of a head with ease.
If you have the face to fit the frame, I can’t recommend the Shred Stupefy enough. Insanely comfortable, featuring one of the best lenses I’ve ever used, and offering a huge field of view, these goggles check basically every demand on the list. Certainly a sizeable investment, especially when factoring in the cost of replacement lenses, the Stupefy is clearly designed for people who demand top quality from their goggles.
Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer
The Shred Stupefy exceeded my expectations, and then some. The lens quality alone makes them a must-see for anyone thinking about a new pair of goggles.
Technical Features: The NODISTORTION lens lives up to its claims of excellence and the Anti-Fog technology passed the test in soggy conditions. All in all, though, standard technology for the price.
Performance: The optical clarity is outstanding, the peripheral vision from the wide lens is the best I’ve seen, and the fit is as comfortable as they come.
Fit: Bigger than your average frame, the Stupefy is definitely designed for larger faces. But if it works, then the pinch-free nose and seamless helmet integration are top notch.