This is my review of the Dragon NFX. In my opinion, they are big, bold goggles made for outdoor exploration. They can easily handle the elements and have what it takes to stand up to the harshest snow days. While not everyone will love the bulk, those that do will have trouble finding something more robust or eye-catching.
Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this ski goggle, who it is best for, and other similar alternatives to consider.
- Where to Buy: Amazon
- Best for: Skiers who need large, sturdy eyewear that can handle just about every weather condition and frigid environment.
- Pros: These goggles come with a frameless design and give you good value for the price. They are also incredibly durable and large enough to fit on wider faces. Excellent optics too.
- Cons: Smaller skiers or those that want less intrusive gear may not like the NFX’s bulky exterior. The bold style and large fit may put some people off as well. The change system could also be more modern.
- Alternatives: Oakley Airbrake XL, Smith I/O Mag, Anon M4 Toric
Why Trust Me
I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I have spent ample time researching these goggles and tested them out in various conditions.
The Dragon NFX is a tough, large goggle made for wider faces. They are impressively durable but also come with a slick, frameless design. The ventilation is nice, as are the lenses. While the change system doesn’t quite hold up to magnetic ones, the numerous traits give plenty of viability for both new and advanced skiers.
While the NFX’s lenses won’t blow the roof off of other models, they still do a solid job in terms of optics and reliability. They have a cylindrical shape, which I found to have a solid field of view, and are made with a material known as Lexan that’s used in both bulletproof glass and race car windshields. Needless to say, I was impressed with their durability and loved how they stood up in tough weather.
To add to that, the lenses also come with special Lumalens technology. This feature enhances your colors and sharpens the overall optics so you can see in different conditions. They work exactly as Dragon says they do, no matter what tint you use or what weather you’re facing.
However, I’m a bit split on the lens swapping system. Anyone familiar with Dragon goggles knows that older NFX versions required you to twist the frame to get them out. Compared to that, the new tab-squeeze system is a large step up. Even so, I still prefer magnetic systems over ones that require force to get them in and out. The design works well enough, but it could be better. It’s also a bit tricky to use with gloves on.
A Comfortable Feel
Something I really like about these goggles is their focus on comfort. It’s always nice to get something that feels soft against your skin, and these deliver with their microfleece inner layer and foam lining. They never wear against your skin or cause discomfort. The pliable frame is also nice, but it can bump up against the stiff lenses in a way that makes the fit awkward for certain face shapes.
As mentioned, these lenses are also quite large. That will be a huge plus for skiers with medium or wider faces, but it’s not something all smaller riders will want. This largely comes down to how most other models sit on your face and nose.
It’s also worth mentioning the goggles have issues with certain helmets. Though most popular brands should be fine, it’s always important to do your research on that front and get something that works for you.
Ventilation and Durability
For ventilation, these goggles have Dragon’s special armored venting system that uses a layer of foam at the top of the lens. At first glance, I was skeptical about its airflow capabilities. However, it appears to do a fine job of letting you breathe. It probably isn’t ideal for backcountry skiers, but it will be more than enough for anyone who does their riding in-bounds.
These also get incredibly high marks for their durability. The big design is incredible for strength and gives you powerful goggles that can take a beating and keep on going. Not only that, but I was also impressed at how well they hold up inside a pack or your pocket while you ride around.
The NFX lenses are extremely scratch-resistant, and even the foam padding can hold up through a lot of use. The strap doesn’t wear down or stretch out, and the strong armored vent has the same strength as everything else. If you want tough gear, these will give you exactly what you want.
Price and Value
These are firmly average in terms of price, but quite high in terms of value. They will run you a bit more than true budget goggles, but the NFX are more than worth it thanks to the extra lens and durability. You’ll definitely be able to get a lot of use out of these before they need a replacement. That alone is worth the cost.
What I Like
These goggles are some of the most durable I have ever encountered. Not only are the frame and armored ventilation sturdy, but the lenses are scratch, dent, and ding proof. You can store these just about anywhere, pocket or bag, and not worry about them coming out damaged. It’s nice the strap doesn’t stretch out as well.
There’s also something to be said about the look and general design here. It’s never easy to find large or wide goggles with a sleek appearance, and that’s where the Dragon NFX delivers. The frameless look is nice too. It’s also worth mentioning the Lumalens technology is quite nice and helps provide you with better optics.
What I Dislike
The one big point against these goggles is their lens change system. Moving them in and out by squeezing some tabs is functional, but I can’t help but feel like it could have been so much more. The lack of a true magnetic system seems a bit outdated compared to other premium goggles.
The fit could also be better, as the flexible frame and stiff lenses can make getting these on right a bit awkward. While there will definitely be a lot of skiers who love the big, bold size, skiers with smaller faces may not appreciate it as much. The ventilation, while solid, could be a bit better for when you’re really exerting yourself.
The NFX goggles are some of the toughest out there. They have a strong construction, bold design, and large, imposing size. However, if you want to branch out for a similar look with different traits or a new price point, check out these models:
- Oakley Airbrake XL – Another large model, the Airbrake (review) is a well-made goggle that can also easily stand up to the wind, sleet, and snow. The lenses are easy to swap out and come in a wide range of different colors and tints. The sleek, modern design looks great too.
- Smith I/O Mag – If you don’t mind paying a bit more, the I/O Mag from Smith are a versatile and well-made pair of goggles. I absolutely love their magnetic lens change system, and every skier will be able to appreciate the excellent optics.
- Anon M4 Toric – If you like the NFX’s look, size, and feel but want more features, check out the Toric. This model is more expensive, but it’s incredibly durable. It’s also easy to use, fits all face sizes, and has a great field of view. The optics are incredible as well.
Are these goggles good for rough conditions?
Yes. The Dragon NFX is incredibly durable and utilizes a special large design to stand up to water, snow, and ice.
Do these come with an extra lens?
If you purchase the Dragon NFX you will get an extra amber lens for more versatility and the ability to see in different conditions.
Can these be worn with glasses?
The Dragon NFX are not explicitly over the glasses goggles, and extra lenses are not recommended. However, the foam does create a gap where smaller eyewear might fit.
If durability is what you want, the Dragon NFX will deliver. The goggle is perfect for skiers with larger faces or those who value a much bigger design. From the lenses to the frame to the ventilation system, every piece is robust and able to handle accidents or tumbles with ease.
There is no doubt that the NFX has a few areas where it could be stronger, including the lens change system and general ventilation, but the value is absolutely there when it comes to the features and the cost. It has a great, eye-catching look as well.