The Dragon NFX2s have been a pretty popular model in their lineup for a few years, and it isn’t too hard to see why. They are a cylindrical goggle, that comes with two lenses and have a quick change system so that swapping to your low light lens is as painless as possible.
There are a few similar looking models in the range, which are the NFX and the NFXs. Both of them are also cylindrical lens goggles, but they don’t have a quick change lens system, and are made a cheaper way – so you can get the same look for a bit of a discount if that is what you are looking for. The NFX and the NFXs (just a smaller goggle for smaller faces) are fully frameless, while the NFX2 has a very small but neat frame running around the edge of the goggle.
For the last season or two, they have come with Lumalens lenses, which is along the same lines as what Oakley do with their Prizm lenses, and Spy with their Happy Lens. They are designed to “optimise” or enhance certain colours of light in the spectrum, so that you get better contrast, depth perception and less eye fatigue. Basically, they should try and get a bit more contrast out of the snow, so seeing the little bumps in the terrain will be a bit easier, so you will be surprised less often.
Features of the Dragon NFX2
- Lumalens Color Optimized Lens
Optimized colours to help make things easy on your eyes, especially when you need more contrast, on days where the light is flat and everything is grey.
- Swiftlock Lens Changing System
Levers on the left and right of the goggle can lock or unlock the lens. Push the levers up to release the lens, put the new one in and slide them down to lock it in place.
- Frameless Technology
Frameless goggles have been cool for a few years now, and almost every brand has a few frameless or very close to frameless designs.
- Armored Venting
Plastic grill or mesh over the top vents on the goggle, which gives it some extra strength compared to the plain foam some other brands use.
- Injection Molded Cylindrical Lens
Most of the time the lenses for cylindrical goggles are made flat, then bent or curved later (wrapped around a cylinder) to get their shape. That is the cheaper way to make them, but it has more chance for optical distortions. The NFX2 lenses are made with injection molding, which means that they have less distortion as the lens doesn’t need to be curved later, it is made in its final shape from the start. It is a more expensive process, so you will notice the price jump on any injection molded goggle. The cheaper NFX and NFXs aren’t made this way, which keeps their retail price a bit lower.
- Bonus lens
All the NFX2s come with a second low light lens, and in some cases even two spare lenses.
There are lots of colour ways with difference lens combinations, strap designs seeing it is such a popular goggle. There are even a few more expensive versions, with Transition and Polarized lenses.
Dragon NFX2 Review
I own a pair of Dragon NFX2s, and have used them in enough conditions and weather to have a good idea of how well they work – everything from sunny days in Japan, to low light with heavy snow, to flat light in Australian mountains.
For me they are comfortable, whether they are work under a helmet with a beanie or over a helmet – both were fine. No matter the version you get, there always seems to get a good difference between the highlight/sunny lens, and the low light spare lens.
The Swiftlock system is pretty good, simple to use and hard to get wrong. It is less fiddly than Oakleys system that they use on the Airbrake and the Airbrake XL, but the easiest and most convenient would be the Magna-tech used on Anons M2/3/4 and WM series.
Flip both the levers to the up position to release the lens, which will let it fall out of the frame, put the new one in place and hold the edges while you lock the levers back down again. I have even swapped out lenses on the chairlift without taking the goggles off, it was not that much of a problem, but it’s not really something you are going to need to do very often.
Although the “Armored Vents” sounds like a stupid name, having the plastic mesh or grill over the foam on the top vent is a good idea. My old Oakley Airbrakes just have a thing layer of foam, which didn’t take too long to break down and tear, and it isn’t something that can easily be replaced.
If you try (or aren’t careful) you can get any goggle to fog, but if there is enough airflow from the top of the goggle to the bottom, that won’t be a problem. I haven’t had any problems with my NFX2s fogging up, and I wear a helmet so there must be enough ventilation from regular riding to keep it all under control.
They aren’t a cheap goggle, but they look really good, are comfortable, and are quick and easy to change the lenses. If you like the look but want to spend a bit less, look at the NFX or the NFXs instead. If the features sound good, but you aren’t into the cylindrical style, take a look at the X2. which is a spherical version – with the same quick changing lens system. They have been out for a few years now, and each year is generally just a colour and design update, so if you find some from previous seasons you will be able to save some money. Just keep in mind if they are more than a couple of years old they won’t have the Lumalens lenses.
Similar looking goggles: