CimAlp’s new MaxFly Ultralight goggles are made especially for paragliding. Designed by French pilot Fred Souchon, who is an Advance team pilot and also a professional mountain rescuer in Chamonix, they are slimmer and lighter than typical ski goggles.
Lightweight in construction – they weigh just 45g compared with 125g for standard ski goggles – they are perfect for pilots who want to use goggles that are effective but also simple and lightweight. Unlike traditional goggles, which have a plastic frame and then foam padding, CimAlp have used foam glued straight onto the lens to save the weight and complexity. The lens itself is UV400 rated, which means it protects your eyes from around 99% of the UVA/UVB spectrum.
Despite the fact there is no frame and arguably less foam, during testing they were comfortable enough and never once fogged up from my breath, even during three-hour flights.
In terms of vision, field of view and clarity of the lens were both good. I couldn’t honestly say they were better or worse though than my current Ryft Falcon goggles, which are also UVA/UVB rated although have a different lens tint.
Although the goggles come with a hard case, I would have preferred for them to come with a good sleeve as most people will not want to carry the hard case with them when flying. A simple sleeve means they could be thrown into your helmet without worry of scratching the lens.
One thing I did notice was, on take-off and generally when moving a lot, because the goggles didn’t have silicone on the inner part of the adjustable strap, they did on occasion fall off. A simple change in the design which would add negligible weight would mean a much more user-friendly goggle.
These are the first iteration of what CimAlp hopes will become a staple in their line-up. They are also aimed at ski mountaineers too, so they will have time to iron out any niggles.
Are they worth buying? If you are into hike-and-fly or lightweight set-ups I’d say yes, especially as they retail for around £50/ €50 / $70.
Published in issue 223 (September 2021)