In 2019, Leatt ventured into a new product category with their Velocity 6.5 goggles. The 6.5’s packed all of the best features a rider could want from a goggle with some of the best value compared to others in the goggle market. A year later, Leatt introduced the Velocity 5.5 and the budget minded Velocity 4.5. For 2021, Leatt added yet another goggle to their lineup, the Velocity 4.0.
At first glance, Leatt’s Velocity 4.0 goggles look like a fairly basic goggle. Upon closer inspection however, they actually pack a lot of features and have an emphasis on breathability. One of the most unique features is Leatt’s use of a 40-millimeter mesh anti-slip strap. The reason behind the mesh strap is so that the helmet’s vents are able to let air flow as designed. Even when the goggles are turned around backwards for climbs, air can flow through the vents and enter the front of your helmet, which is a nice thing we didn’t even think about until some long warm climbs. Complimenting the strap ventilation are large ports around the frame that are covered in an airy mesh to allow further airflow behind the lens. Speaking of the lens, Leatt specs a clear, ventilated RideViz lens on the Velocity 4.0 goggle.
As with all of the Leatt Velocity goggle lineup, the lens uses the same bulletproof construction with an anti-fog treatment and a 170-degree field of view. A dual-layer, anti-sweat face foam is outfitted to these goggles to help keep any unwanted perspiration from inside the goggle. The self-draining frame design helps shed water and muck during those rainy ride days. The Velocity 4.0 is available in four different colors.
Likely the first thing anyone will notice about the Velocity 4.0 goggle is the vented, basketball short looking, mesh strap. At first glance, the strap looks a little cheesy and will have you wondering how gimmicky this marketing ploy is. However, after some long climbs we can attest that the mesh strap does in fact work. While we didn’t notice any airflow improvements from the strap while descending, we did notice the strap allowed adequate airflow through the upper helmet vents when the goggles were stored backwards on our helmets. There is one downside to such a strap, it lacks the elasticity of its counterparts. On the Leatt DBX 3.0 full-face, the adjusters are maxed out and the goggle just barely fits over the helmet. It would seem the Velocity 4.0’s might have a slight fit advantage on half-shell helmets.
The clear lens offers a vast amount of clarity on gloomy, overcast days with no signs of double vision that we experienced with some of Leatt’s earlier tinted lenses. A number of us have been wearing the Velocity 4.0’s during extremely cool, damp days and they resist fogging quite well. Although we have gotten them to fog up while wearing a full face on slightly on drizzly days when temps are in the 40’s, as soon as we start moving they clear up very quickly. An impressive feat to say the least, we’ve had other goggles fog up in similar conditions but it seems once the fog hits, it’s a curse that lasts the rest of the ride. As intended, the lack of fog build up is mostly due to the amount of airflow Leatt designed into the goggles.
When compared to the Smith Squad XL MTB goggle, we’d say they’re probably slightly less breathable. We have no way to test that but based off our best estimates, there is a slight nod to the Squad XL. The downside to the Squad however, is it’s they’ve got a higher chance of letting debris and dirt in due to the larger, unprotected vents above the brow. Also, they don’t have a vented strap, which is nice for allowing air flow during the climbs. We have both goggles and use them both, but feel the Leatt’s are a bit more robust in their construction and have an overall nicer appearance at an impressive price.
At $45, you are getting a feature packed goggle with an emphasis on airflow and impressive optical performance for low-light riding. Even though Leatt only offers the 4.0’s with a clear lens, it is possible to put any one of Leatt’s tinted lenses in for brighter days. Say what you will about the mesh strap on the Velocity 4.0’s, it does exactly what Leatt designed it to do. Just be wary that these goggles may be a tight fit on larger full-face helmets, specifically those larger than Leatt’s DBX 3.0. If you aren’t a fan of the 4.0’s mesh strap but are looking for a barebones, clear lens equipped goggle, Leatt’s Velocity 4.5 may be for you. We’ll keep using these when we need the protection of a goggle with some increased breathability.