Outdoor Master Goggles have seemingly taken the winter sports market by storm. You’ll almost definitely have spotted a pair at your local hill. But are they worth buying? Find out in my Outdoor Master Ultra goggle review!
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post and we were not paid to write it. This article does however contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
Who Are Outdoor Master?
Outdoor Master are a sporting goods manufacturer on a mission to bring us the latest tech at affordable prices. Whilst they are a relatively new company (having been founded in 2016) they have expanded rapidly!
Over 1-million pairs of goggles were sold in their first year of business alone. Which is exactly why I decided to try them for myself…
Outdoor Master Ultra Goggle Review
- Amazing value for money
- Quick-change magnetic system is awesome
- Excellent quality foam and venting
- Includes free low-light lens
- Includes hard case and microfiber bags (x2)
- High definition lens offers good contrast
- Allows 15% discount - even on sale items (Code: SBDAYS15)
- No photochromic lens options
- Build quality not quite on-par with Anon and Smith options (to be expected given they are 3x cheaper!)
Intro To The Outdoor Master Ultra
The Ultra Goggle is Outdoor Master’s flagship model, packed with as much tech as is physically possible. They have basically taken the best elements of their high-end rivals and crammed them into a much more affordable package.
This includes the magnetic lens change system, as seen in the Anon M-series and Smith I/O Mag, the wide peripheral vision of Oakley and the lens tech of Chromapop and Prizm.
If they’ve pulled this off, it would be pretty impressive… especially for a fraction of the price of their competitors.
So let’s find out…
- Color-optimization Technology: Boosts contrast, revealing bumps and irregularities in the snow
- Ultra Anti-Fog Coating: Triple anti fog coating
- Extra Wide Field Of View: Toric lenses and wrap around frames to enable optimal peripheral vision.
- Magnetic-Lens Change System: They report this is a 1-handed, 1-second change. We’ll find out!
1x Ultra fog-free ski goggles
1 x Replacement Lens
1 x Protective Case
2 x Microfiber Pouch
Currently on sale, starting at $99 (down from $140).
*Outdoor Master reached out with a 15% discount code for any readers who decide to give them a go. This was after publication and does not alter the honesty of the review.
I’m a cynic by nature. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, on this rare occasion, I will admit that I was wrong.
The Ultra goggle genuinely surprised me. On opening the box, I was struck by the build quality. I’d figured that for $99, I couldn’t expect too much. Actually, they feel and look great.
They are perhaps not quite as high-end as the Anon M4 or Smith I/O Mag, however those are $320 and $270 respectively!
Needless to say, I was excited to give the Ultra’s a run out…
About The Goggles
- Model: Outdoor Master Ultra
- Size: One Size (fairly large frame)
- Lenses: VLT 29% Silver Color Optim. Lens + Clear Lens VLT 90%
- Helmet Used: Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS
- Experience: 16+ years of snowboarding, including freestyle and backcountry.
About The Conditions
- Purchased: November 2022
- Days Ridden: 50+
- Testing Location: Worldwide (well not quite – but at least Japan, Italy, France and Switzerland).
- Conditions: Everything from sunny skies to Japanese blizzards.
The Lenses are toric, meaning they are designed to mimic the natural curve of the human eye. In theory, this means that they combine the benefits of both cylindrical and spherical lenses.
They are of course also 100% UV protective and optimised for glasses wearers.
I found that these worked really well. Due to their size and gentle curve, their peripheral vision was excellent. Perhaps some of the premium goggles for peripheral vision would slightly beat them… but I’d defy you to actually notice whilst flying down the slopes.
They also use their Color-Optimization Technology to provide definition and contrast. This seemed to work on-par to the Prizm and Chromapop offered by Oakley and Smith.
The Silver VLT 29% Lens
I used these for most conditions. Yes, they’re designed for the sunnier days. But they managed to maintain good contrast, even on those slightly overcast afternoons. They have highly mirrored lenses which look awesome and effectively reduce glare.
The Clear VLT 90% Lens
If you choose the package with spare lenses (which you should) then you’ll get an additional low-light lens. These were perfect for cloudy and overcast days. I wore them in Japan during a week in which I never saw the sun. They worked great!
The Ultra offers Outdoor Master’s “Ultra Anti-Fog” properties. They worked really well except when I (stupidly) wore them on my head during an early season hike. I’m pretty sure any goggle will fog when faced with this challenge!
Either way, I’m a strong advocate of using Anti-Fog sprays a couple of times a season to boost your goggle performance.
As I said, I was surprised by the quality of the frames. On first glance, I worried that the “M” branding might leave my forehead branded after a while. This was not the case and the triple-layer foam was very comfortable.
The top of the frame features super thin foam around the perimeter, which allows optimal airflow. You’ll find similar features on it’s competitors (Anon M4, Smith I/O).
Magnetic Lens Tech
The Outdoor Master Ultra goggle uses a magnetic lens change system. Outdoor Master even market this as “a one-second lens swap”. But does it work?
The magnetic lens change system works extremely well. I was able to easily change it with one hand and you can even (carefully) change it on the chair lift.
This was the biggest surprise of all for me. I’m a big fan of the magnetic lens change system used in the Anon “M” series. The Outdoor Master system is almost indistinguishable to Anon’s!
Our editor, Fraser, has kindly demonstrated the system below.
They feel super sturdy and whilst they lack the plastic catches of the Smith I/O Mag, they didn’t fall out… despite a couple of nasty bails.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure in a particularly heavy fall you could manage to pop them out (I did this with my Anon M4). But in this case you probably have more to worry about than a goggle lens! Worst case scenario, you can still replace the lens for around half as much as it would cost from Anon or Smith.
The Outdoor Master Ultra goggle is designed to be compatible with most helmets. I tried it with my trusty Salomon prophet helmet and Outdoor Master’s own Diamond MIPS.
The large silicone strap worked really well and the frames were flexible enough to allow a nice face seal. I did find that the two Outdoor Master products made a better pairing (pictured below). But I guess this is to be expected!
During a season of stringent testing, the Outdoor Master Ultra goggle has faired pretty darn well. As already outlined, the peripheral vision is impression. They are also comfortable and their lens change technology is pretty much industry leading.
There are no clear reasons to avoid these, unless of course the frames are too large or you’re looking for a super premium option.
I’ll run you through a few alternative options just in case…
Outdoor Master Ultra Goggle Alternatives
The most common goggles the Ultra is compared against are the:
These are very much the most high-end goggles available. They offer excellent build quality and a world-leading reputation. However you’re likely to be paying a premium “for the brand”. It is still worth bearing in mind that the Ultra manages to offer much the same tech for a fraction of the price.
For those looking for even more budget-friendly alternatives from Outdoor Master, these are worth checking out:
- Outdoor Master Pro Goggles – priced around $70 and ideal for a slightly smaller fit/face. They offer most of the same tech as the Ultra, minus the toric lens and HD technology.
- Pulse Cylindrical Goggles – priced around $45 and offering an awesome cylindrical look. However, they lack the magnetic system and only come with one lens.
The Outdoor Master Ultra goggle is well worth the money. My doubts about their ability to offer so much tech in a $99 goggle* were quickly proven wrong.
Not only did the Ultra goggle perform extremely well, they also included a helluva lot more than their competitors.
Can they compete with the top of the line models from Smith, Anon and Oakley? Honestly, they are not far off. And for less than a third of the price, I’d certainly rethink whether you need to spend the extra cash.
If you do decide to give them a try, leave your own Outdoor Master Ultra Goggle review in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you’re looking to compare them with similarly priced goggles, head over to the best budget goggles of the year.