KOO EDGE GOGGLE REVIEW
HIGH PRICE, LOW PERFORMANCE
Review by Robert Johnston | Photos by Ian Linton
We’ve enjoyed the performance of the KASK helmets we’ve tested in the past, so when we were offered to test the Edge goggles by the Italian brand’s dedicated eyewear brand, KOO, we snapped up the opportunity. Similar to KASK, KOO’s focus is on premium performance through the use of quality materials and technologies, so the price tag of the KOO Edge goggles is high to accompany it, but does the performance make it worth it?
At £129 for the mirror lens-equipped goggles (£110 with a clear lens), the KOO Edge sits around the top of the list when it comes to pricing. This high price tag is a result of what are claimed to be premium materials in use, as well as the cylindrical lenses by Zeiss. These lenses are made with scratch resistant materials and offer 100% UV protection. The mirror lenses feature “advanced color technology” designed to improve the clarity of the trail. Replacement mirrored lenses are offered in Pink (Cat 1 – 70% VLT), Red (Cat 2 -26% VLT) or Blue (Cat 3 – 16% VLT) for £65, or there’s a clear lens option for £49 for the lowest light conditions, such as the Scottish testing ground that formed the impressions for this review.
The lenses can be swapped easily thanks to the slot-in changing system, letting you quickly adapt the Edge goggles to the conditions if you have multiple lenses. The frames are equipped with dual density foam padding to sit against the face, and were designed to channel airflow and reduce fogging with their inbuilt ventilation ports, but we found this to be ineffective. There’s a removable nose piece so you can tailor the style, and the typical strap is given two thin strips of silicone to aid in gripping on the helmet. Buyers can choose between a black frame and strap with white logo, or white frame and strap with red logo. Optional protective films are available to shield the lenses, with a reusable design that should last longer than a conventional tear off.
I was surprised when I first pulled the KOO Edge goggles out of their nice packaging, to find an overall finish that doesn’t look quite up to their pricing standard. The overall look is quite cheap aside from the Zeiss logo proudly stamped in the mirrored lenses, giving notions of cheap ski goggles. The dual density foam that sits on the face is a bit rough, absent of any soft layer to improve comfort against the skin and aid in sweat management. The strap is quite narrow and the silicon is minimal, so the strap doesn’t stay put as well as many alternatives. Changing lenses is easy thanks to the slotted system, if not the most secure. The removable nose piece is a nice touch for those looking to tweak the style or use the Edge goggles for moto.
The clarity of vision when the goggles were fresh out of the box was impressive and had me optimistic about the visual performance benefits. However, I didn’t test the KOO Edge goggles for long. Immediately I suffered from fogging issues, with the lenses keen to allow fog to build up even though they sport a “D:Fog” logo on the lens. This was the same whether fitted to the goggles or off the bike and was shared between both of the provided lenses. The frame has ventilation holes, however they are small and covered with foam, so they don’t offer the airflow that’s claimed in the KOO blurb on their website.
They were tested in a saturated Tweed Valley in Scotland exclusively, which is undoubtedly one of the toughest places for eyewear to stay clear, but other providers such as VIRIS (who are roughly half the price to boot) manage just fine. Regardless of where you are in the world, if the lens is keen to fog up so easily when the conditions are challenging, the chances are they’ll fog up when you’re pushing hard elsewhere. Eyewear fogging is equal parts frustrating and dangerous, so I gave up on the Edge goggles after just a handful of rides which isn’t something we like to do often.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall this is not a product that impressed us enough to recommend them to you. Even if you’re immune to fogging, other manufacturers are producing goggles featuring lenses with acceptable optical clarity that cost much less and have a nicer fit, finish and appearance, for example Leatt’s 5.5 or some options from 100%. In short, the KOO Edge goggles have been a disappointment, and I recommend you look elsewhere.
Price: £129 / $149