Giro Contact Goggle
Frame Color: Black Wordmark
Lens: Persimmon Boost (52% VLT)
- EXV – Expansion View Technology
- SNAPSHOT – Magnetic Interchange Lens System
- Triple-layer face foam with micro-fleece facing
- Anti-Fog Coating
$240 with two Flash lenses
$300 with one polarized lens & one Flash lens
Days Tested: 6
It’s no secret that we’re fans of the Anon M1 and M2 goggles and their lens retention system that utilizes magnetic attachments to make swapping out lenses incredibly easy. Giro now has their own take on that concept, with their top-of-the-line Contact goggle.
The Contact employes Giro’s “SNAPSHOT” Lens retention system. Like the M1, the Contact has six magnets arranged around the edge of each lens, along with another six in the frame of the goggle. But unlike the M1 and M2, Giro has also included a locking tooth on one corner of the lens, along with an accompanying button on the top of the frame. This was done to provide an extra level of security to keep the lens locked into the frame, while still permitting quick lens swapping that doesn’t require you to take the goggles off your face.
Lens Retention System
In theory, the SNAPSHOT system sounds perfect. It provides a bit of added insurance that your lens will stay in place in a crash, and it makes it easier to remove the lens from the frame, since pushing the button also pushes out the edge of the lens from the frame, allowing you to grab and swap out the lens without ever touching the front or back of it.
It needs to be said, however, that after hundreds of days in the Anon M1 and M2, three different Blister reviewers have never had a single issue of the lens popping out. So in our view, the Contact’s additional level of security isn’t a solution to a real-world problem, but it does provide additional peace of mind to those who are skeptical of the Anon retention system.
In practice, however, the Snapshot system was a little less simple than it appeared. The button is small, soft, oddly shaped, and hard to push. With a little practice, I was able to easily pop my lens on and off without gloves on, but add a helmet and thick gloves to that equation, and things become much more difficult.
This is largely due to the shape and softness of the button. It barely protrudes above the top of the frame, which makes it hard to find by feel, especially when wearing gloves. On top of that, the button has a soft, rubber sheath over a harder plastic knob. That means you have to feel around a little to find the actual inner button and depress it.
While not incredibly easy to use, this isn’t too much of an issue if you are wearing thin gloves and no helmet. But if you have on a pair of thicker gloves and a helmet, things get much more difficult, since that button is located in the small gap between helmet and goggles. (But really, this is only a big deal if removing your gloves to swap lenses is a deal breaker.)
All that said, the SNAPSHOT system does have some advantages. The biggest is that depressing the button pushes the lens out from the frame. This means you will never fumble for an edge or smudge your lens at all when swapping it out. Instead, the Contact’s lower frame (below the eyes and around the nose) is flexible enough that you can simply push the button, grab the edge of the lens that pops out, and flex the lower goggle frame to pop the lens all the way out.
Unfortunately that flexible lower portion of the goggle frame is a double edged sword. It does make the lens easier to pop out, but it may do this too well. Regularly when I went to push the goggles up on my face I would collapse this lower frame, effectively popping the lower lens out of the frame.
While the lens never would fall out—the top clip prevents that—it was disconcerting to have a gap open between the lens and frame. This could be an issue in any crash that involves a serious facial impact, since it’s very easy to fold the flexible frame away from the rigid lens.
Of course, a more flexible frame means the goggle will adapt more easily to different face shapes, but I’ve never really run into that being an issue with stiffer framed goggles.
Fit & Field of Vision
Giro lists the Contact as a “Large size adult EXV semi-frameless design,” and I found that to be mostly accurate. They’re comparable in size and have a marginally better field of view than my previous Zeal Forecast goggles, and they fit about the same and have slightly less field of vision than the Marker Projector +.
With respect to the Smith IO and the Anon M1, the Contact falls between the two in terms of size. Of course, your best bet is to go into a shop with your helmet and try them on to make sure they’ll work with your face, but these recommendations should offer a starting point.
At no time was I frustrated by the Contact’s field of vision. They’re don’t have the huge FOV of something like the Electric EG2 or the Von Zipper Fishbowl, but they also don’t make my face feel like it’s being swallowed by a space helmet as those other goggles do.
NEXT: Helmet Compatibility, Optics, Etc.