It seems that ski goggle manufacturers like to tinker around with magnets. Earlier this winter, Anon previewed its upcoming Magne-Tech magnetic lens technology. Now we've stumbled upon a European eyewear manufacturer that uses goggle magnets for a different application. Casco's Magne-Link goggles streamline goggle-helmet compatibility.
Once a rarity on ski slopes, helmets have become increasingly popular among skiers and snowboarders. According to the US National Ski Areas Association, helmet usage increased 140 percent between the 2002/03 and 2010/11 seasons. The organization reports that 93 percent of children 9 years old and younger and 61 percent of all resort skiers and snowboarders now wear helmets. The Canadian Ski Council reported an even higher 71 percent helmet usage statistic in 2010.
While helmets provide protection, they're not always the most comfortable or convenient accessory. One of the problems when wearing a helmet is that it can fit awkwardly with ski goggles, which are all but mandatory for skiing and snowboarding. Helmet and goggle manufacturers have come up with a variety of solutions for this problem, including helmet features like goggle strap clips.
Casco's answer is more seamless than most. Instead of requiring you to readjust the size of your goggle strap and route it through a clip, its goggles allow you to snap and forget. The goggles drop the full wraparound headband in favor of left and right straps with magnets. These magnets essentially locate the corresponding attachment point on the Magne-Link helmet and snap into place without any fuss.
Of course, Casco Magne-Link goggles aren't a universal solution, since ski helmets don't typically have metal shells. The goggles require a compatible helmet to work. Casco offers a line of helmets at various price points that are compatible with the magnetic system. Goggles with Magne-Link technology include the EUR99.95 (US$132) FX-50L Black Carbonics and the EUR169.95 ($225) FX-70L Vautron goggles.
US-based Smith Optics offers a similar magnetic goggle system, albeit only for children. The US$80 Cosmos Jr. Helmet and Galaxy Goggles use a magnetic buckle system to make putting goggles on easier for young children.