Z Leader ZLX and ZLR Goggles

Z LEADER ZLX AND ZLR GOGGLESAPPLICATION: Got eyes?PRICE: $ (ZLX); $ (ZLR Racer)RATING: 3 (ZLX); 8 (ZLR)

Z Leader is not a new name in motocross goggles, but the Canadian company has been making a big push in recent years. With three new MX models to choose from, we opted to test out the two high-end models: the ZLX, which features a unique aspherical lens, and the ZLR Racer, which is more traditional and designed with the competitor in mind.

We’ll start with the ZLX. The first thing we noticed about the ZLX is that the entire goggle feels exceptionally stiff and rigid. The aspherical lens is made of injection-molded polycarbonate and is treated to be anti-fog and anti-scratch. Unfortunately, it is also anti-conforming! Unless you happen to be the face model that this goggle was patterned after, we’re betting that you are out of luck. We passed the goggles around six different test riders one day at the track, and it didn’t fit comfortably inside any of our helmets. Though the lens offers incredible clarity, none of our testers could stand to wear the goggles for any length of time due to the stiff frame and lack of comfort.

The ZLR Racer goggles, meanwhile, are much more in line with the offerings from more familiar brands like Scott, Oakley, Smith and Arnette. The ZLR frame fit several of our testers quite well, offered tons ofperipheral vision and resisted fogging. The only gripe we have with theZLR is the strap–adjusting it is a chore. TWMX test rider Michael Young has been wearing Z Leader ZLR goggles all year long and has grown to love them.

Though the high-end, high-zoot ZLX goggle gets a thumbs down, the more traditional ZLR gets a solid thumbs up. Call 800/847-2001, or visitwww.zleader.com