What do names like Kim Boyle, Dimitri Coste, Keith Lynas, and Scott Burnworth have in common? Besides well-earned spots at the top of the food chain in their respective motorcycling fields, you'll find all of these gents sporting the Barstow goggles next time you see them. 100%, a company ripe with motocross heritage, offers the latest in optical safety and performance and finds its way onto the faces of professionals from every corner of the moto industry. The Barstow Legend blends vintage styling with modern optics creating a timeless look, while the Barstow Classic has a slightly more urban appeal. Both offer triple-layered foam and fleece padding, leather, suede, and canvas straps, and come (incredibly well-packaged) with a carry bag, cleaning cloth, and an easy to swap spare clear lens.
We had a chance to try both models during a 1,500-mile trip from Portland, OR to Los Angeles, CA. While some aspects of the road were less than pleasant, time spent with the Barstows proved otherwise. Paired with a full face helmet, a balaclava, and a headful of brash disregard for the thirty-something degree weather that faced us, we trekked southbound with the biggest storm to hit the Pacific Northwest in 80 years at our tails.
The goggles are comfy – not lazy boy with a beer comfy – but they beat a pair of shades any day of the week. Plus, I can't even count how many pairs of sunglasses I have broken while trying to jam them between my melon and an inch of helmet padding. Not a problem with the Barstows. They're easy on and off all day long, even with heavy gloves on. Fogging was a slight issue with mine, but most of the way down the coast, I was wearing a balaclava or neck warmer up over my mouth and nose, likely forcing in more hot air than I usually produce anyway. Besides, I sweat even when someone mentions the word "sun," so I may be a bad gauge of how well these will handle your own glandular fortitude.
A couple small gripes regarding the frame material, though. Due to the flexibility of the rubber holding in the lens, mine popped out a few times while pulling the goggles on or off with one hand. A simple solution would be to use two hands, but conditions don't always provide that luxury, especially when you're high-fiving your buddies after surviving a bat-shit insane nighttime canyon run in the dangerous hills of SoCal. But I digress.
I can't say I'll go back to riding with sunglasses after using these. They performed equally well in the snowy cold of the PNW as they did during the heat wave we encountered in L.A. They kept us safe whether spitting up dirt or carving the corners of Big Sur, and the style matched both activities just the same. The cost won't set you back more than a typical evening out with your buddies, and at least you'll get to go home with these each night. Verdict? Grab a pair.
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