Native Upslope 2017 - 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Native Upslope is a solid goggle with a wide field of view and great ventilation. The optics are some of the best in the industry. Native places an emphasis on backcountry performance in their entire line, so anti-fog is also quite high.
Native Upslope Goggle Review
Optics: Almost all of the goggles we have tested have had decent optics, but we have found that some companies seem to work better for others. For me, Native is one of my favorites. I have found all the lenses I have used from them have been very solid. I just find them to have very high clarity, and a nice vibrant look. We tested the Native Upslope with the Rose with Silver Mirror lens. The tint is on the pink side, but I find my eyes adjust to the tint really well. The color isn’t as natural as I have found in some of Smiths lenses, but the tint actually seems to make colors pop a bit more. I really like the look of this tint in moderately low and moderately bright light. It does really well making the terrain pop out, and I could always tell when there were changes in the snow surface. If this was your only lens, I feel like you could get by fine on just about every day.
Fit and Field of View: The Native Upslope reminds me a bit of the Zeal Slate. The frame is slightly wider from side to side, and slightly shorter from top to bottom. Overall, the fit is comfortable, but because it is a bit wider, it doesn’t integrate with my face and helmet as well as others. I also tend to notice the bottom of the goggle a bit more than I do with a goggle that comes down a bit lower on my face. I think this goggle would be really good for those who have a slightly wider face, and like the extra wide field of view this goggle provides. I do prefer this frame over that of the Zeal Slate, as I didn’t find it quite as wide and short. The field of view isn’t quite as wide as the Slate, but is still quite wide for the frame size. So bottom line, if you find wider goggles work well for your face, you’ll probably really like the Upslope frame. However, if you find that a narrower goggle works better for your face, you probably won’t like the Upslope.
Ventilation and Anti-Fog: Native has decided to focus a bit more on backcountry than resort skiing for their goggle line, so ventilation and anti-fog become quite important. The Native Upslope has some of the best ventilation I have come across in any goggle. The venting starts on either side of the nose piece and wraps all the way around the sides and on the top of the frame. If that wasn’t enough, the Upslope has venting on the top front of the lens. I found the ventilation to be very good, and I never had any issues with my face overheating. The venting also helps keep the goggle from fogging up when I’m working really hard and sweating. Of course it also helps that the Upslope has some really solid anti-fog. Native claims 8 minutes of anti-fog resistance which would be well above the industry standard. I’m not sure how they actually test anti-fog, or if there is an industry standard lab test, but for me the only test that matters is on the mountain. I have used the Upslope on plenty of warm days and have never had any issues with fogging. The true test for me always seems to be when I’m sweating and working hard on cold snowy and wet days. Almost every goggle I have had eventually succumbs to fog in those conditions. The Upslope was pretty solid on those days, but did still fog up if I wasn’t careful. Still, the most important factor is sometimes how quickly the fog dissipates if it does form, and the Upslope takes care of fog really quickly. So is Natives anti-fog better than the rest of the industry? It’s hard to say for sure, but I will say that the anti-fog is very good, and with some of the best ventilation in any frame I have tested, the Upslope held up really well in just about any condition.
Final Thoughts: I was really excited to hear that Native was coming out with a line of goggles for 2106/2017, and I could see the Native Upslope becoming a favorite of a lot of people. The optics are some of the best in the industry, and if you’re like me you’ll actually prefer the look of Native lenses over those of Smith or Oakley. I love that Native has put an emphasis on backcountry skiing in their entire line. Ventilation is some of the best I have found on any frame, and with a very solid-anti fog, the Upslope should provide clarity in a lot of different conditions. The frame itself wasn’t my favorite, but for those that prefer a slightly wider fit will probably love it. I feel like the frame is just a bit too wide for my face. Still, the frame is quite comfortable, and I think it looks really good with a helmet.
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