This is a review of the Panda Optics Cobalt goggles by Mark Barber for snow.guide
New for 2018, the Panda Optics Cobalt goggles have an 8 way magnetic lens changing system and is claimed to be the fastest and most robust changing system on the market. These are big claims and I was eager to carry out the review.
Panda Optics supply the goggles with a blue tinted mirror polarised lens for normal to good light conditions, as well as a low light lens.
I loved the look of the mirrored lens as it is frame-less and looks good. The polarised lens is also high quality and found it was good for most light conditions. Normally, only at the end of the day, when the mountain’s shadows played havoc with the dying light, did I have to change lens.
My only issue was that the inside film on the lens seemed to scratch more easily than other brands I have reviewed. The scratches didn’t impede my vision, but annoyingly I am not even sure how or when it happened. If it had only happened to me I would dismiss this as an unfortunate circumstance, but it also happened to my fellow snowsports journalist who was also reviewing the same goggles.
The (yellow) low lens was also good quality and came into it’s own when snowboarding in a white-out and low cloud. The lens is only good for these conditions and very low light, as can seem too bright in all other conditions. Best to stick to the mirrored lens for slightly flat light.
I am not sure if it is the fastest magnetic changing system as is claimed but it certainly is very speedy and easy. Simply pull off one lens and snap the other in it’s place. I even did this while on a chairlift with the goggles still attached to my helmet and the helmet on my head. It is that easy!
I have quite a narrow face but found the Panda Optics Cobalt goggles to be a great fit. They are not so large as the usual frame-less goggles and fitted under the helmet perfectly. No gaps around the eyes either.
The foam surround was well fitting and very comfortable. Another big plus is that the Cobalt did not fog up once. Even when others around me were having problems with their goggles from more established global brands.
Overall, I think Panda Optics are another excellent small independent brand making quality goggles at a reasonable price. The Cobalt goggles fit really well and are the most comfortable goggles I have ever worn.
The polarised lens works really well in most conditions and gave a good spectrum of vision. My only is that the inner film of the lens does seem to scratch too easily.
The magnetic changing system is fast and does seem to hold the lens firmly. The clear lens is a welcome addition as it is included within the cost.
- Mirrored Pear Green UV400+ polarised lens
- Maize yellow low light HD lens
- 8 point magnetic lens change system
- Integrated Guma® anti fog technology
- TPU grade 4 rigidity Frame
- 3-layer dual density foam with fleece finish
- Frameless design
- Fully helmet compatible upper frame and strap attachments
- Twin silicone grip bands on inner strap
- GCF (glasses compatible frame)
- Moulded storage/packaging box
- Micro Fibre cleaning cloth and bag
Good for: Skiing and Snowboarding
Rating: 9 out of 10
Full details on Panda Optics website: www.pandaoptics.co.uk/product-page/cobalt-retro-blue
Also read our review on the Panda Optics DIABLO goggles.
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)