By: Kyler Roush
How many times have we all heard:
“Bro I was like going 60 MPH!”
“Dude I bet that air was ATLEAST 30 feet!”
“I can’t see with all this changing light!”
I can say I’ve been guilty of these exaggerations from time to time but those days could be over for you too.
I recently acquired a pair of Zeal Z3 GPS goggles with Recon Instruments Technology as a gift. (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) I had been aware of the technology for a couple of years, but had my doubts on it, even though I secretly dreamt of owning a pair.
If you have ever wanted to know on the go your:
- GPS Coordinates
- Time/ Stopwatch
- Number of runs taken
- Vertical and horizontal distance traveled and
- Jump stats (air time, distance, and drop)
These goggles might be for you.
Over the last two weeks I have been skiing with my new goggles in conditions ranging from: “White Room” chest deep powder, blue bird spring skiing, grey bird flat light, and everything in between. These goggles have proven their worth as an all lighting conditions goggle. This is all possible due to their photo chromic lens, which change the amount of tinting based upon the amount of light available.
The vast majority of the features operate off of a built in GPS and barometric sensors. I had my doubts of how well such a small GPS unit would work in dense clouds and fog. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My point of reference has always been standing on Snowbird’s 11,000 foot Hidden Peak. Even when I was hidden in clouds, snow, and howling winds, I was still informed by my goggles that I was at 11,008 feet. Another example of the accuracy of the GPS was on another similarly cloudy and foggy day. After a day of skiing tree lines, I uploaded the data on to the Recon Instruments software. From there it combines the days data and overlays it onto Google Maps, where I could see every turn around every tree. The speed is also calculated off the GPS, so I can only assume the speed is just as accurate as the elevation. Also the jump stats are calculated in part with the GPS and a built in Inertial Sensor and Gyroscope.
All of this information can be viewed on the full color micro LCD that is located in the lower right corner of the goggle. In front of the screen is a magnifying lens which makes the screen appear to be 14 inches from 5 feet away. The screen is also located so that it is not distracting to the user and you have to want to look at the screen to see it, which I find to be a nice feature when I am shredding the gnar. The goggles come with a small control button panel on a velcro strap so you can operate all the features from your wrist.
- Awesome piece of technology
- Very accurate information
- Well made photo chromic lenses for all lighting
- Comfortable with or without a helmet
- Fog free
- Comes with a sturdy goggle case
- Jeb Corliss wears them doing insane wing suit flights
- 6-8 hour battery life, must be charged each night
- There are 2 lenses that have a very small gap between them, a couple snowflakes have entered the space.
- Currently only a limited number of goggle frames can work with the technology
Overall I would highly recommend any of the Recon Instrument equipped goggles for the technology alone. I personally have grown to really enjoy the photo chromic lenses that are a part of the Zeal Z3 goggles. If you have a birthday coming soon, start sweet talking your parents or grandparents as the goggles will set you back around $500. However you can find them cheaper online.
For more information on the Recon Instruments and which goggles can be equipped with the technology visit http://www.reconinstruments.com.