Zeal Forecast 2017 - 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Zeal Forecast is a medium frame goggle with a very comfortable fit and pretty wide field of view. When combined with Zeal’s Automatic+ lens, this could easily be my go to goggle for every day on the mountain.
Zeal Forecast Goggle On-Mountain Video Review
Helmet: Giro Bevel
Jacket: Trew Cosmic
Optics: I was quite excited to test out the Zeal Forecast with the Automatic+ lens. The Automatic+ is a polarized transition lens that goes from 18% VLT on sunny days to 33% on stormy days. The idea is that this will be your one lens solution to any day on the mountain. Sure it’s not perfect on the brightest days, and not perfect on the stormiest days, but solid in almost any other condition. The VLT range isn’t quite as big as my favorite transition lens (Bolle Citrus Gun Modulator), but I found it worked decently well in a lot of different conditions. In the middle ground (moderately low, and moderately bright), I found that the Auto+ works just as well as the Bolle Citrus Gun, the range just isn’t as big. I actually found that I really like the Auto+ on really bright days as well. Sure it’s not quite as dark as Zeal’s Polarized Dark Grey (10% VLT), but I actually like how this color works with snow in this light. The Dark Grey works really well in bright light, but I prefer the color temperature of the Auto+. This is more of a preference thing than performance however. The only conditions I didn’t love the Auto+ was really low light, but I even the Bolle Citrus Gun struggles on the darkest days. The Auto+ is polarized, and I feel like it does a pretty good job enhancing details on the snow. The definition is just as good as any other high end lenses, and I think it will come down a bit more to preference over performance. The tint of the Auto+ is a bit on the yellow side in low light, and then brown on bright days. I found I like the more natural look of the Bolle Lens, but again this is more personal preference. The Zeal Auto+ is really a great lens, and I feel like it could easily be your solution to having to change out your lens throughout the day.
Fit and Field of View: The Zeal Forecast is actually quite comfortable. The shape seems to work really well with my face, and I definitely prefer this fit over the Slate or Voyager. The Field of view also seems quite a bit larger in the Forecast than it does in either of the other two. For a medium fit frame, the field of view is quite large. I would say it’s just about on par with the Bolle Emperor and Native Tenmile, both of which have impressive field of view for their frames. The face foam is quite comfortable as well. I also like that the Forecast fits closer to my face, especially compared to the Zeal Slate. I feel like this definitely helps increase my view, and also makes the goggle fit a bit more comfortably.
Ventilation and Anti-Fog: While I love that the Zeal Forecast sits close to my face, it does seem to hinder the ventilation a touch. It’s definitely not bad, and even when boot-packing on a warm day I haven’t had any big issues with ventilation. However, I would like to see a vent or two on the frontside of the goggle. The vents on top and bottom work decently well, but having one or two on the frontside would just make it that much better. The plus side is that I don’t feel any drafts on really cold days, and when skiing in powder I don’t have any issues with snow plugging up the vent and encouraging fogging. As for anti-fog, the Forecast works decently well, but doesn’t blow my mind. I have never had any issues with fogging when hiking and sweating on warmer days, but I have had the lens fog on wet snowy days. I will say that I have not really had any goggle blow me away in these conditions, and that this is just about on par with any of the other high end goggles.
Final Thoughts: There’s a lot to like about the Zeal Forecast, and I could easily recommend this to a lot of different skiers. It’s by far the most comfortable Zeal goggle I have tested, and when combined with the Auto+ lens you could easily wear this just about every day on the mountain. Optics, field of view, and anti-fog are on par with other high end goggles. If you’re looking for a well-rounded and versatile goggle for every day, the Zeal Forecast is worth a look. The only reason this didn’t end up on our favorites list is because of personal preference for the optics of the Bolle Citrus Gun over the Auto+ lens, especially for the price. Still, if you find that you prefer the Zeal Optics, I could easily see this becoming a favorite of yours.
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