- Oversized, externally mounted lens
- Injected, cylindrical outer lens in optical grade polycarbonate
- Cellulose proprionate inner lens
- Anti-scratch / Anti-fog treatment
- Outriggers to improve fit and helmet compatibility
- Silicone-lined strap
- Triple layer face foam
- Included goggle bag
Test Location: Las Leñas, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Backcountry
Days Tested: 25
I became interested in the Cornea primarily because it was compatible with my POC Receptor Backcountry Helmet (review coming soon), and because I thought it looked good—I’m not too keen on the bug-eyed look that some goggles have. The Cornea has the lens mounted on the outside of the frame, which makes for a clean look and is intended to increase the field of vision.
I have a medium-to-small sized face, and have worn the Smith Phenom for years (the Smith Prodigy is too big for my face). On first glance, the Cornea appeared to be on the larger side, so I was a little concerned it would be too big. But to my surprise, the Cornea fit well, and, despite the firm plastic of the interior frame, there are no gaps between the frame and my face, which is often an issue for me with larger frames. The three-layer foam helps create a tight seal, and is thick and cushiony, with a soft outer layer.
The frameless lens is encased by two outriggers that bring the strap away from the face to improve helmet integration. When paired with the POC Receptor line of helmets, the integration is seamless, as it should be. The combination of large frame size and the outriggers results in a reduction of pressure where the strap meets the goggle. When I wear the Phenom with the Receptor helmets, there is more pressure from the strap, as the smaller frame is pulled tight to fit around the helmet.
The strap has two thick silicon strips that keep the goggle firmly in place on a helmet, and I have never had to worry about the strap slipping when I put my hood up to seal out the elements.
The lens of the Cornea does not have a fancy, easy change feature like the Oakley Airbrake, the Smith I/O or the Anon M1 do, but it is not hard to change. I was able to take the lens on and off in about a minute with minimal fumbling to get the two notches on each side seated, then snap the nose piece into place.
Optics / Field of Vision
I have the Smoke / Silver mirror lens with a 29% Visible Light Transmission (V.L.T.). This a neutral-tinted lens with a mirror coating that is intended to reduce glare. The Smoke / Silver is capable in high light, but also has a wider range than a dedicated high-light lens.
On overcast days in Las Leñas, I found myself bringing an extra pair of goggles with the expectation that I would need to swap out for a lens with a higher V.L.T., but was surprised when I found the Smoke / Silver mirror lens to be quite serviceable for lower light conditions. (For comparison, I typically wear the Smith Optics Red Sol-X lens with a VLT of 18% for high-light days, and Smith’s Blue Sensor Mirror with a VLT of 70% for low-light days. The Smith Ignitor Mirror with a VLT of 35% is the lens that I use that bridges the two, and is most comparable to the POC Smoke / Silver lens.)
In a back-to-back comparison, I found that the Smith Ignitor Mirror has noticeably better optical clarity when I first put them on. When skiing, however, I have never had a problem with the clarity of the Cornea, but was instantly aware of the improved clarity when switching to the Smiths for a run. When I first switched to the Ignitor Mirror while riding up Apres Vous at Jackson Hole, I was able to perceive more detail in subtle terrain and snow variations.
To confirm that it was not just the tint of the Ignitor Mirror that was causing the difference in clarity, I switched to a neutral-tinted Natural Light lens with the the Scott Fix goggle, and again found improved clarity over the Cornea, although not quite as much as with the tinted Ignitor Mirror.