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By: Dominic Cimino
Over here at Keefer Inc. its pretty well known how much we love wearing the Oakley Airbrake goggle. Plain and simple, we feel that this could be the best offering on the market for performance, comfort, and style. Fast forward to this past week when 100% decided to throw a wrench into that goggle train by introducing their new Armega – a completely new offering by the highest selling goggle brand in the industry. At first glance, the Armega is damn sexy and we are excited to really put it through the paces in the upcoming weeks of testing. This read is a quick shakedown after the press introduction held at a private ranch… somewhere down by Mexico.
No need to bore you with every minute detail of this goggle, because I’m sure by now you have possibly read about it since Wednesday. But I would definitely like to highlight the important traits that really stand out. First off, the 3D modeled lens – this is a polycarbonate material that is specifically designed to have zero optical distortion. In laymen terms, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…”. Joking, but really – the field of vision is really damn clear. There are no imperfections in these lenses which means you can focus on the imperfections on the track instead. Furthermore, their premium lens offering is called HiPER technology which helps contrast red/blue/green color spectrums to really enhance what you are looking at. The best way for me to summarize this is that it almost feels like polarized sunglasses – what you are looking at just seems to pop more. Part of their marketing jargon for the Armega goggle is “Ultra HD Vision” – now I’m not quite sure what to make of that slogan, but know that you might only really notice this HD vision when wearing an Armega goggle that has the HiPER lens in it.
Another key feature that stands out is the ventilation system they designed for the Armega. There are two induction ports on either side of the nose guard that help force air into the frame of the goggle. This air is funneled right into the foam layers (which are perforated by the way) with the intentions of eventually reaching your face. 100% had the goal of maximizing airflow for hot days and also for the cold days – because on the cold days, the more air you have flowing inside the goggle, the less likely they are to fog up. To tie this ventilation design together, they integrated a sweat channel into the upper part of the frame. This channel forces your sweat away from the lens and out of the goggle on either side of the frame. This is a pretty cool feature that I really want to dive into more now that summer is approaching. During the press ride day, I was able to log a pretty decent moto to where I did actually break a sweat. When returning to my truck and removing the Armega, I noticed that the face foam was still wet – just like any other goggle I’ve worn after a solid 20+ mins. Maybe I didn’t sweat enough for those channels to actually be put to work, but I will definitely try again when we start nearing 100 degrees in SoCal.
Lastly, the overall comfort of this new goggle is really nice. The foam is super plush and it feels good when wearing it. The field of vision is plenty wide, as is the actual strap itself, and the goggle just has a solid feel to it. The lens is built well and snaps into place in the Armega frame very securely. There is very little flex which promotes safety and the security of knowing nothing will become dislodged from an impact. In regard to the lens locking system – it is definitely convenient to change lenses, but honestly the Oakley set up is still way more efficient. In addition, I feel the Oakley Airbrake frame sits wider and more flush against my face than the Armega does, but than again, I’ve only had one day riding in this new product. And if you want to continue comparing apples to apples, this new 100% Armega goggle with the premium HiPER lens lands on the shelf priced at $120 – a complete steal when comparing this to our preferred goggle of choice. 100% is onto something with the Armega and we look forward to punishing this goggle more in the upcoming weeks. Please hit me with any questions you might have (dominic@KeeferIncTesting.com). Thank you for reading!
Second Opinion: I am a big pain in the ass when it comes to goggles. I love wide peripheral vision and am used to that Oakley Airbrake lens clarity. Now I only have a couple days (four 30 minute motos) under my belt with the Armega’s, but I have some thoughts for you. The Armega goggle has the clarity of the Airbrake lens and even when using 14 laminate tear offs, the clarity is so much better than that of a standard lexan lens. Most importantly the nose area of the Armega fits my big ass nose well and doesn’t leave a pinching sensation or blisters like their old goggle did. The foam is soft to the skin and absorbs sweat well, which I can appreciate on these long hot humid days we’ve been having up here in the desert. Ventilation seems to be on par with the Airbrake and taking the lens on and off is very painless. So far I have been enjoying my time in these goggles, but will get you more of a durability report very soon. -Kris Keefer