Bolle Nova II 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Bolle Nova II is a solid entry level google for those who only get out a few times a year and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a higher end goggle. The beauty of the Nova II is that it comes at a relatively budget friendly price, but doesn’t necessarily skimp on any of the features necessary for a good time on the mountain. Just like the higher end Bolle Emperor, the Nova II has a Carbo-Glas anti scratch lens, P80+ anti fog, Flow-Tech venting, double layer face foam, siliconized strap, double lens, and modulator lens option. The biggest differences are the cylindrical lens on the Nova II vs. spherical on the Emperor, and the missing equalizer vent on the Nova II. The Nova II also has a sort of retro look that may cater to a more specific crowd than the Emperor.
Bolle Nova II On-Mountain Ski Goggle Review Video
Optics: The Bolle Nova II is a single lens goggle with a variety of lens options. We tested ours with the Modulator Vermillion Blue lens. This is a category 1-2 pink photochromic lens that does a pretty solid job in moderately low light and moderately bright light. At first it has a pinkish/orange tint that does take a bit of time to adjust to. After a few minutes I thought the color was pretty decent, and the clarity of the lens was pretty high. It would be a great lens option for those who see a variety of different conditions throughout the day and only have one lens. It’s not quite as good as the category 1-3 Modulator light control lens, but for an entry level goggle I thought the lens was pretty solid.
Fit and Field of View: The Bolle Nova II has a medium/large frame with a more traditional cylindrical lens. I thought the frame size border a bit more on medium than large, but was quite comfortable overall. It does have a double layer face foam that feels soft and cushions well. The goggle does seem to sit a bit closer to the face than the larger Emperor goggle, and would work well for those who want a low profile fit. It definitely is a bit retro looking, and the shape of it is more traditional. It seemed to integrate pretty well with the Bolle Millennium helmet, with no real “gaper gap”. However, I did notice a bit of space between the top of the goggle and my smith Variant helmet. It wasn’t an overly big space, but certainly noticeable. The field of view was good, but not nearly as good as the Emperor, and slightly less than the Smith Squad (one of my favorite cylindrical goggles). Still it’s perfectly fine, and I didn’t notice any real problem “blind spots”.
Ventilation and Anti-Fog: I was pretty impressed with the ability of the goggle to keep me cool and remain clear even when hiking. It does have Bolle’s Flow-Tech venting which seems to do a great job continually allowing air to flow through the goggle. Best of all it didn’t necessarily feel “breezy” even though air-flow was high. Sometime I worry that my face will feel too cold with that much venting on cold days, but I never noticed draft on my face at all. Still, it kept my face cool and mostly dry even when my head was sweating pretty good. The Nova II also has a P80+ anti-fog coating. When hiking in some moderately warm temperatures the goggle remained clear and vision wasn’t obstructed at all. I’m curious to compare it head to head to some of our other favorites, but so far so good with anti-fog.
Final Thoughts: The Bolle Nova II is a good option for budget conscious consumers. Sure it will cost a bit more with the Modulator Vermillion Blue Lens that we tested, but even with a lower priced lens the goggle is still a solid option. The frame is comfortable and fits well, with solid integration with Bolle helmets. The anti-fog, ventilation, and anti-scratch layer are on par with more expensive goggles. If you place a priority on anti-fog and ventilation and care less about an interchangeable lens and spherical shape, then the Nova II isn’t a bad option.
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