Bolle Duchess 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Bolle Duchess is one of our favorite goggles for smaller faces. This women’s goggle has a small/medium frame that borders a bit more on the small side. Still the spherical shaped lens is quite large for the frame size, and offers a good field of view. It comes with a variety of different lens options all of which offer Bolle’s fantastic optic quality. The Duchess also has fantastic ventilation and anti-fog. This is a great option for those with a smaller face who don’t want to sacrifice quality optics and features.
Bolle Duchess On-Mountain Goggle Review Video
Optics: We tested the Bolle Duchess with the Modulator Light Control lens. This lens is a category 1-3 lens, giving a very wide range of VLT. What this means for the consumer is that this is one of the only lens you’ll need for a very big range of light conditions (26-66% VLT). It does take the lens time to adjust, but once it does it makes it so easy to see differences in terrain. Like the Modulator Citrus Gun, and Modulator Vermillion Blue lens, we were very impressed with the overall clarity, color, and versatility of this lens. It does take our eyes a bit to adjust to the tinting, but once they do, the clarity is top notch. I would easily put Bolle’s optics among the best. We didn’t get to test out any of the other category lenses, but we are pretty confident in saying that the optics will still be pretty solid.
Fit and Field of View: The Bolle Duchess is definitely on the smaller end of frame sizes, but the spherical lens is quite large for the frame size. If you have a small face size, the Duchess may be one of the better options for a wide field of view. Of course it doesn’t compare to the large frame of the Emperor, but if the frame doesn’t fit you may not have a better option. The goggle does seem to incorporate into the Bolle Millennium helmet pretty well, but we did notice a bit of a gap when testing it with the Smith Vantage helmet. We also noticed that the strap is a little bit short, but both of us who tested the Duchess have more of a medium sized face. The straps would probably be long enough for those with a smaller face, and those who wear a lower profile helmet. It still fit over our face and helmet, but felt very tight to the face. The Bolle Duchess does have moveable outriggers that help the goggle strap fit over larger helmets without pulling the goggle off your face. Bottom line is that the Duchess is a small frame goggle designed for those with a smaller face.
Ventilation and Anti-Fog: Bolle’s P80+ anti-fog is pretty impressive. Even in moments of high activity the goggles never fogged up. Ventilation on the Duchess is also pretty solid, and even when we got warm and started sweating, the air-flow kept our faces dry and relatively cool. So far I we have been very impressed with the Duchess ability to handle high activity levels on warmer days and keep us cool, dry, and seeing clear.
Final Thoughts: The Bolle Duchess is one of the better options for those with a smaller face. It has a pretty big field of view given the frame size. The optics, anti-fog, and ventilation are really good, and the fit is comfortable given the right face. We’d like to see a slightly longer strap, and an option that has a lens interchange system, but overall this is a very solid goggle for the price.
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