Zeal Optics HD Camera Goggles: $400
The Good: Never miss a moment, HD video without the helmet cam bulk. The integrated HUD is both awesome and a bad idea at the same time, we’re glad there isn’t a Netflix app on there.
The Bad: Breezy design equals frozen eyelashes and wind ravaged eyeballs. This spendy dedicated camera can’t be used for other sports.
The Awesome: Capture all the best moments on the slopes without that floppy helmet mounted rig.
While we’re out playing in the snow, sometimes we do awesome feats. Capture those moments on the slopes with an exceptionally clear HD camera built right into one of the most wicked set of goggles we’ve ever seen. The goggles feature a near frame-less mirrored lens, and a built-in viewfinder for live viewing of camera status and options. The glove-compatible buttons make controlling the functions easy without having to take off the goggles, and with expandable mini-SD card storage just pop in another card for more capture time. The built-in lithium battery records up to 3 hours of footage, so you’re bound to do something noteworthy while it’s running.
We took these goggles to Tahoe for a few days of testing in cold, windy conditions, and then some sunny spring days after that. The clarity of the lens was incredible, with no distortion or loss of vision with the smoky tint. We used the with a helmet, and balaclava with no fogging problems, but the large vents did allow cold air to come right in resulting in almost frozen eyelashes and windblown eyes. With no controls on the amount of venting, it’s a windy fit. The controls were generally easy to use, and the internal screen was incredibly useful to see the status of the camera without taking it off like most other POVs we’ve tested out. The 170° video was crisp and clear, and the minimalist form factor is so much better than strapping on a GoPro rig.
If a dedicated goggle camera is worth the coin you’ve got to spend for it, ZEAL Optics has you covered. Take a look at this video to see what I mean:
Update: Looks like the company is rolling out the next version addressing a few of our observations with a smaller frame, more battery life, and the ability to connect to external devices. We’re looking forward to seeing them out on the slopes!