SunGod Vanguard Review
With custom colours, custom lenses and great optics the SunGod Vanguard make excellent review fodder for those of us who love the white stuff, so this Sungod Vanguard review covers Sungod’s high-end model, it’s the one designed to give image-conscious skiers/boarders the choice of optics to best match the light conditions of the day and to offer an excellent field-of-vision and in-ride ventilation. For a custom-designed pair of goggles, these are also very well priced.
SunGod has stopped their discount scheme totally, for now, but there is the chance of a free pair via the instant competition linked to, further below and there are occasional freebies thrown in like a semi-rigid carry-case.
SUNGOD launched the new Vanguard model for the 2018-19 season and it sold out half-way through the ski season. They’re back for the 2019-20 season with the same design but also with some new lens colour and strap colour options. More on that later.
Sungod Vanguard is a near-rimless design with a highly convex, flatter lens which, in my opinion, is the main differentiator from their older, and slightly cheaper Revolt model. Despite the two models sharing the same features, there is a distinct aesthetic variation between the two and their performance does vary in terms of peripheral vision and, to a lesser extent, fogging/misting.
SunGod Vanguard – Performance & Design Features
I was looking for some gear for comparison when I was taking the images for this SunGod Vanguard Review and I stumbled across my first-ever pair of Smith goggles from ‘back-in-the-day’. That ‘day’ was about 20 years ago but the comparison is interesting as not that much has changed over all these years…at least not at face value.
So you can see that the foam depth is fairly similar. But there are actually several other differences if we look more closely and please bear in mind that I’m not saying that any of these features are unique to SunGod (I just thought it was interesting).
- The rims are greatly improved (smaller) with those of the Sungod being about 1mm compared to the much larger ones on the old Smith model. The SunGods are, to all intents and purposes, rimless.
- The wrap-around effect is greater. It’s partly the shape and partly that the goggle lens can be brought closer to the face. That gives a greater field of view ie most notably, peripheral vision is improved.
- The Vanguard has three foam layersto make a comfy fit, perhaps slightly improving heat retention but also to aid ventilation (and hence de-fogging). You can see from these images that there is a decent amount of foam all around when viewed from the top and bottom of the goggles
- You can just see that the older model has ventilation above the lens and facing forwards, this feature is used on the other Sungod model (Revolt) but doesn’t seem to be needed with the Vanguard.
From the image above, the Vanguards have a notably thicker plastic frame which I guess helps them withstand impacts and better maintain their shape. But there are also more subtle elements to the design, below, where we can see that the frame has a truss-based construction (the zig-zag) to maintain the integrity of the design whilst still allowing some ventilation.
The straps are interchangeable, yet the clips are well-integrated into the overall aesthetic without any significant, ugly joints or slots.
The strap itself is, well, strap-like in its strappiness 😉 I guess you can’t really go too wrong with a strap apart from ones that lose their elasticity too quickly but that info would only come from a longterm test, so I’ve no idea how the Vanguard performs in that respect.
The only other noteworthy point about the straps is the sticky strip on the inside. On a scale of nought to sticky, I’d give it about 8 ie it doesn’t slip on your helmet and the strap-length also does NOT seem to annoyingly change each day.
If you pushed the goggles up on your helmet at the front they WOULD flip back ie the sticky strap isn’t THAT good.
CUSTOMISING YOUR SUNGOD VANGUARD
Every pair of SUNGOD VANGUARD can be customised at the ‘normal’ price – there are no codes at present for discounts. You can choose between the frame, lens and strap
- Frame – 3 colours (black, grey, white)
- Strap – 3 colours (black, grey, white) with various logo-branding options also in black/grey/white.
- Lens – 8 lens colours, all have 100% UV protection but each colour has different properties for different light conditions. So the lenses both restrict the total amount of light and/or improve contrast.
The frame, lenses and straps can be changed by you at any time. So you can have a couple of spare lenses, say, for bright days or near white-out days.
As part of the customisation process when you buy the goggles you are shown the properties of each colour, like this…
WHAT YOU GET
You get the goggles, some stickers and a draw-string, micro-fibre carry/storage pouch which can also be used for cleaning. At the time of writing, there was a free semi-rigid case too (as shown, below)
SunGod periodically has deals where a free semi-rigid case is thrown in for good measure and I guess that does add to the value proposition a little. Personally I only take one pair to the mountains and I’d put them inside my helmet for protection…but that’s just me.
SunGod Vanguard Technical Specs & Lens Quality
- Super-flexible TPU frames that form to your face. They are described as ‘memory’ frames that return to the correct shape.
- Triple-layer, triple-density memory foam that offers snug protection against wind and snow.
- Active anti-fog vents.
- Silicon-backed strap for a secure non-slip fit.
Lens Specs and Lens Quality
SUNGOD frequently mention their “4KO” lenses – ie 4k optics, presumably wordplay on 4k video. Either way, they have their own lens and that is the branding for them rather than any wider-market standard for lenses. The Vanguard/Rebel lenses are branded as 4KO Snow.
- The Vanguard lens is officially classed as ‘cylindrical’ (Revolts are classed as spherical)
- The lens is made of Polycarbonate and has a degree of impact resistance.
- SunGod 4K Optics snow Polycarbonate dual-layer cylindrical lens with impact resistance.
- Advanced lens construction that enhances contrast and optimises clarity.
- Triple-layer scratch-resistant coating.
- Easy-switch lens system.
- 100% UVA + UVB protection exceeding EN ISO 12312-1:2013 (CE) and ANSI Z80.3 (FDA) standards.
- The lens is dual-layered
- The scratch-resistant coating is triple-layered – better than dual-layered, right? …it’s one more, so it must be 😉
You want every detail to be right.
RIDES, AIR and the COLD
After a week of usage, these seem like a great pair of goggles. I’m guessing they’d easily outlast a season…of course, there is the lifetime frame warranty and we are all careful to different degrees when it comes to protecting our kit against, for example, scratches. I didn’t scratch the lenses.
They are comfy or, at least, I thought so.
OTHER SPECIFICATIONS & TIDBITS
- There is a “lifetime guarantee against breakage” – I’d check the small print on their site when you buy but it looks like it genuinely covers the frames but would not, for example, cover a scratched lens.
- Notwithstanding the lifetime guarantee if you break either the strap lens or frame then because of the modular construction you can replace just the bit that is broken, rather than having to splash out on a whole new pair.
- Cases, spare straps, replacement frames and spare lens kits are available for an additional cost and in this SunGod Classics Review, we would recommend getting any extra lens or case when you buy the goggles to reduce the effect of postage costs.
- Flexible frame – SUNGOD brand their frame as ‘Adventureproof‘ and they are made with a material they call TR90 memory polymer. The frames do maintain their shape when flexed and seem to tolerate a few cms of flexing with no ill effects, although I had no intentions of testing to anywhere near breaking point.
KEY SELLING POINTS – Covered in SunGod Vanguard Review
- Price – Seems competitive as these are ‘direct-to-consumer’ prices with no middle-man involved
- Very comfortable triple-layer MEMORY FOAM (like on the expensive beds!)
- Design – modern, on-trend
- Free Customisation
- Over-sized top vents for good ventilation
- Modular customisation/repair is cheaper in the future
- non-slip silicone strap
- Good optics
Competition – SunGod Vanguard Review
If you want a free pair then try this competition.
If you enter the comp and optionally choose to leave your email address then you will be notified when discounts are next active (though they are currently not being offered), previously, a 10% discount was offered, sometimes more so when out-of-season. Discount codes usually get released every 6 weeks or so and then they are only active for a very limited period. So if you can’t wait or don’t want to go through that hassle then the buy-now options are below and the sunglasses are relatively cheap so a 10% discount isn’t so great in reality.
PRICE, COMPETITION & AVAILABILITY
Let’s wrap up the SunGod Vanguard Review with a look at price and availability against the competition.
The lenses are interchangeable. If you are looking to get a pair of goggles you might consider also getting a spare lens as a backup OR as a colour/VLT alternative for ‘special’ sporting occasions 😉
EU and International Shipping options are offered, with free next-day shipping
If you order your Sungod’s custom goggles one morning you should receive them the next day…it’s a very quick personalised customisation. For a custom-design pair of sunglasses, I think you will find the speed of service and prices hard to beat. After all…you are getting a potentially unique product which no-one else has!
The Sungod Vanguard costs £110 and a spare lens for different light conditions costs £55, that’s a significant discount over Oakley’s Flight Deck which come in at up to £175 and look very similar. A spare strap is £20.
Purchase/Further Info Link: https://sungod.to
Disclaimer: this is not a paid-for advert. If you buy SunGod sunglasses via a link in this review then you support this blog – thank you! If you have any issues (I don’t think you will) then drop me a line and I will try to help. Review based on usage at Zell Am See, Austria and will be used all season, review will be updated if any notable issues of wear change (etc) my opinion.
Price - 90%
Anti-Fogging/Anti-Misting - 90%
Build Quality & Design - 90%
Durability - 90%
Customisability - 90%
Positives far outweigh the few negative points that can be made.
- Excellent lenses which worked well in a variety of sunny cloudy light conditions
- Wide vision – good for awareness of peripheral action
- Good face fit, comfortable
- Good case and good micro bag
- No steaming up
- Elastic came a bit loose
- Face got hot on days when perhaps sunglasses would have been better