Goggle Review: 08-09 Ashbury Kaleidoscope

18 Feb, 2009

Intended Purpose: Look good and still be able to see down the mountain.

Color: I have the Kaleidoscope’s in Rust Red. My favorite is the stars and tortoise though.

Location: I received the goggles at SIA and since then have rode with them mostly in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Keystone, Colorado.

Conditions: I’ve worn the goggles on bluebird days to overcast, flat light days and snowing days.

Visibility: The peripheral vision on the goggles is good, I haven’t had any issues with seeing people right next to me while riding. The best part about the lenses…I can see you but you can’t see me. I tested this a lot on the mountain with friends by staring at their crotches, no one could see my eyes which is awesome. On a sunny day, the lens blocks out the sun and on flat light days that I’ve rode with them, but the sunny days are definitely the best for visibility between the two.

Features: Double Anti-Scratch/Anti-Fog Silver Mirror Lens, so far my lenses are fine. I’ve had one issue with getting something on it but I just had to clean it following the Ashbury directions and it was fine after that. Ashbury’s feature a dual layer foam which is really really comfortable, the most foam I’ve encountered in a goggle and I never have marks on my face from the goggles. The soft red flock lining is like snowboarding in a satin bed.

Durability: When I first introduced the Ashbury goggles on the blog, there were some post comments about the venting. Ashbury goggles don’t have venting. The frame is durable, soft touch finish with no scrapes or noticeable marks on them since I’ve gotten them.

Thoughts: I wasn’t sure when Ashbury came out if they were the hype driven product or the product driven because it works, it turned out to the latter. Since I couldn’t afford to buy new goggles I waited patiently until I got the chance to try them out.

The goggles not only look good, but they perform without any special crazy tech involved. The comfort is there and it’s one of few goggles that fit my face without any issues. Before I got this pair, I considered buying them but couldn’t set aside the money for them and went with Smith Heiress’s which were cheaper. Now that I know they fit and they work for me, I’d definitely pay for my 2nd pair.

So here’s the deal, I’ve been wearing these goggles since I got them. My friends love them and I let my friends try them on to see how they fit them…everyone has been impressed with the comfortable fit so far. I’ve had one guy tell me how rad my goggles were from the chairlift, these goggles don’t go unnoticed on the mountain…they stand out and people notice them.

Update: I took these out to Washington and took them through some heavy wet snow days on the mountain with it snowing hard. It was the first time I needed a goggle wipe to make sure they didn’t fog but that was after hiking in the snow along a ridge that I encountered the fogging. Once I wiped them I was able to ride and make it out of the trees.
End of Season Update: After using these since January, they have become my bluebird day goggles and the fit is there so I really like them. I just bought Ashbury’s for next season, on sale and in the stars frame that I wanted originally. Since they were on sale and affordable I was able to pick them up already knowing how much I like them and support Ashbury for making a goggle that fits me and looks good.

On-snow photos

Ashbury Kaleidoscope Description


About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Anonymous
    February 19, 2009

    Wow! I think there is a giant lack of criticism here! No offense to you Shay, I love what you are doing…and I know you aren’t making advertorial. But c’mon, those are overpriced ugly goggles with basic cylindrical lens. They look like 15$ Gordini goggles. Maybe I just don’t got it.

  2. Anonymous
    February 20, 2009

    Spherical lenses are for aliens.

  3. Shayboarder
    February 20, 2009

    You must have missed the part where I said I thought about buying them and then ended up not being able to put the money aside…meaning they are expensive goggles. My big thing is I have more issues finding goggles that actually fit me and don’t fog than on the price tag. I’ve spent money on goggles that don’t fit that well (Anon realms) and nothing the tech could do would fit that.

    I don’t think the goggles are ugly at all, I like how they look and they fit. Are they anything special tech wise, no they aren’t. But all the tech in the world won’t help you if the goggles don’t fit and you fog up within minutes.

    They are expensive won’t deny that.

  4. Anonymous
    February 20, 2009

    That’s the point! They are expensive but they are ugly (well at least not beautiful like Electric or Smith ones) and they have a cheap basic lens that probably don’t protect your eyes. So what do you pay for? The fit? As far as I know, the fitting of a goggle is personnal and thus they may not fit my face.

    Let’s say after I have read your review, I buy those goggle with the only point that “they fit great”, but in fact they looks like a thong upside down on me. In the end, I have paid 100$ for a crapy goggle.

    Anyway. To me your Heiress are so much better then those expensive Ashbury.

  5. Shayboarder
    February 20, 2009

    I’ve worn the goggles on a sunny bluebird day and they protect my eyes from the sun. The best days are bluebird with those lenses.

    Beauty or ugly is all in the eyes of the beholder. I find the Ashbury’s good looking to wear and without a bunch of details I don’t need on goggles. Case in point Spy or Smith’s on the strap have details that make it so I can’t attach my goggle camera on them. That sucks, with my Ashbury’s I don’t have to worry about that…nothing but a basic strap.

    Goggle reviews are like boot reviews…if they don’t fit, a review won’t make it fit you. Best to try it on yourself and see for yourself. A review is in the end a review of one person’s opinion.

    I’ll still rock the heiress’s on flat light days but on sunny bluebird days I rock the Ashbury’s.

  6. Anonymous
    April 12, 2009

    I dont get why people hate on ashbury so much. they are not more expensive than most other snowboard goggles. i bought them and they perform better than the dragons, spys, or oakleys ive had. what the hell is all this “tech” talk about with other goggles?? if its “venting”, my ashburys havent really fogged up on me even on snowy days, so there must be something i just dont “get”

    to me ashburys are good, clean design, super comfortable, and perform well and for a decent price

  7. Shayboarder
    June 04, 2009

    I agree anonymous. To each his/her own on googles, if the fit isn't there no amount of technology will make it work for you.

    I just included an update in the review. For many people since my first pair of Ashbury's were given to me, the review might not count as fair. Well after a season of riding in the Ashbury's on bluebird days…I just bought Ashbury goggles with the stars frame for this upcoming season because they were on sale $58.80 at porterstahoe and I really like the goggles. For my bluebird days which is a lot in CO, they hold up great. For overcast/snowy days I wear my Smith Heiress's because the sensor lens really does well in that lighting.

  8. Lee
    January 09, 2010

    Hey, I was wondering how the fit on these compares to the Anon Figments. I currently have figments and there’s a gap between my nose and the goggle that drives me crazy.