Native Tenmile 2017 - 2016 Review by A Better Ski
I love my Native sungalsses, so when I heard that they were going to be launching a goggle line for next season (16/17), I was quite excited. We got our hands on the Native Tenmile and had a chance to put them to the test in a variety of different conditions. The Tenmile performed quite well, and definitely leaves us just as excited about the goggles as we have been with their sunglasses over the years.
Native TenMile Ski Goggle Video Review
Optics: I had the Chance to test out the Native Tenmile with a Polarized Rose w/ Silver lens (also called the SnowTuned Polar Silver Mirror). When I first put on the goggle the surrounding terrain takes on a slightly rose hue, but after spending a decent amount of time with the goggles, I have really begun to like the look I get with this lens. The clarity of the lens is just as good as some of our favorites, including the Bolle Emperor and Smith I/O goggles with photochromic lenses. The contrast is high, and colors (although slightly tinted) are vibrant. When doing a side by side comparison with my favorite goggle (the Bolle Emperor with Modulator Citrus Gun lens) in moderately bright light, it’s really hard to pick a favorite. Now of course the Modulator is photochromic and gives us a much larger VLT range, but in moderately bright light the Native Tenmile Snow Tuned + Silver Mirror lens was just about as clear, vibrant, and capable. Testing it alongside the Smith I/O with a photochromic lens, the I/O has the more natural looking color, but I do prefer the slightly tinted look of the Native lens as it makes the colors pop a bit more. I’d say that the Native Polar Silver Mirror blows away most of the other medium VLT lenses I’ve used. I’d really love to do a side by side comparison of the Native react lens (not available in this frame) and Bolle Modulator, but so far I’d say the Native optics are on par with the best lenses in the industry.
Fit and Field of View: The Native Tenmile is a universal fit goggle with a pretty big frame. At first glance it looks massive, but it actually works really well with my medium sized face. The frame is quite comfortable. It has triple face foam that feels really nice against the face. The Tenmile also has an Enhale Nasal Nest around the nose helping to reduce pinching or pain in that area. It would take a lot of packing out for you to start feeling any part of the frame around the face. The large lens gives you a pretty good field of view. It’s not quite on par with a frameless spherical goggle, but it’s definitely one of the better cylindrical goggles. The only other cylindrical goggle that has this big a view is probably the Smith Squad. Both are equally good from side to side, allowing me to see nearly 180 degrees. Vertically they are also pretty similar overall, but the Native has a better view at the very bottom while the squad has the edge up top. The Tenmile definitely has a larger lens, but doesn’t sit quite as close to the face as the Squad.
Ventilation and Anti-Fog: Native wanted to focus a bit more on backcountry travel than resort riding with their goggle collection. Anyone that has spent some time in the backcountry knows that it’s sometimes hard work earning your turns. When you’re warm and the goggles are cold, anti-fog becomes a pretty important factor. Native claims 8 minutes of anti-fog diffusion vs. approximately 30 seconds for most traditional anti-fog. I’m not sure how they do their testing, but for me none of the numbers matter until I get them out on the mountain. When comparing it side by side to several other goggles (Smith, Bolle, Zeal), the Native Tenmile performs really well. On mountain, it’s hard to definitively say what goggle is best, but I never had any issues with the Tenmile fogging. I’ve spent plenty of time hiking on warm days when sweat and fogging can be an issue, and never had the goggles fog once. When working hard on really cold and snowy days I did notice a small patch of the goggle think about fogging. I say think about fogging because they never completely fogged up on me in those conditions. I have had issues with others in these conditions, but none have truly been bad. So is Natives anti-fog the best out there? It’s hard to say without a doubt. It’s a very, very, solid anti-fog, and I’ve never had it fog up on me….yet. For me it doesn’t necessarily stand out from the best in the industry, but even if it’s not the best, it’s definitely one of the better anti-fogs, and certainly worth trying out. As far as ventilation, the Tenmile is solid. The vents on top and bottom are quite large, and do a pretty good job of ensuring air flow in and out of the goggle. I think one of the big limiting factors is how well the goggle plays with your helmet. I noticed that when using a helmet with front vents (those that work with the vents of your goggle), the Tenmile works really well keeping my face cool. However when used with my helmet without vents, the goggle can get a bit warm. I love that the frame doesn’t have vents on the front because it doesn’t obstruct my field of view. However, I would be curious to see how much more ventilation I’d get with a small vent on the bottom or top front. Bottom line, the Tenmile does perfectly fine ventilating, and has very solid anti-fog.
Final Thoughts: The Native Tenmile is a really solid goggle. It’s probably one of the more comfortable goggles I have used, and with solid venting I never see the need to take them off my face when skiing. The Anti-fog is definitely on par, and maybe even slightly better than the best goggles in the industry. The field of view is also one of the best I have seen in a cylindrical goggle. Optically, the SnowTuned Polar Silver Mirror lens is really pleasing. Clarity is top notch, and colors are vibrant. The lens isn’t the best in all conditions, but really solid on moderately low and moderately bright days. I think most people could get by with just this lens, but there are other options if needed. Native’s mirror coatings are quite durable, and I haven’t had any issues with scratching. In addition the anti-fog coatings are applied to last, and hopefully you won’t be fogging up just because the lens is a year old. The frame itself is made with castor-derived resin, supposedly making it stronger, lighter, and more environmentally friendly. I won’t get into the details, but it is nice to see a company that’s trying to promote awareness while still putting out a product that performs really well. My only complaints with the Tenmile would be that it needs just a touch more ventilation and I can’t get it with the React lens. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a large cylindrical frame goggle with solid anti-fog, ventilation, optics, and comfort, the Tenmile is definitely worth looking at.
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