Koo is the eyewear branch from protection giants Kask, a company which is extremely popular with road and gravel riders alike. The Edge goggles are Koo’s first venture into the gravity-focused rider market and, while it's totally different to anything it has produced before, it utilises the same proven cylindrical lens technology used throughout a chunk of its sunglasses range. Its foam-covered venting design causes some issues though and it’s hyper-expensive.
The Edge lens has been designed in partnership with optical experts ‘Zeiss’ to give maximum performance and clarity in a general mountain bike environment. The integrated lens features are said to boost visual clarity, enhance definition and colour in all weather conditions while remaining durable and scratch-resistant. The lens is fixed into the frame with a tabbed slot-in style design that means it’s easy to chop and change between the four different lens options Koo offers without too much faff or fingerprint contamination. All four 100% UV protected lens options are available aftermarket and offered in a variety of tint options, meaning there should be a shade to suit regardless of your condition requirements. We tested the clear lens version as it's best suited to winter riding conditions here in the UK.
The frame design offers sleek looks and the removable nose piece offers another level of protection from flying loam and unfortunate face-slamming crashes – we also thought it made the goggles more aesthetically pleasing and easier to position at the trailhead. Situated at the top and bottom of the goggles are built-in, captured-foam ventilation channels that run across the full length of the frame, these vents are supposed to be targeted by channelled venting to create fog-free vision – but that wasn’t what we experienced during testing.
Keeping the Edge goggles secured in place and the twin-layer foam surround sealed around your face is a silicon-lined adjustable strap which is offered in either black or white.
The first thing we noticed upon installing the Edge goggles was the lack of support from the twin-layer foam when seated against your face. When comparing it to other options on the market, in particular, our current go-to goggles the ‘Smith Squad’, the Edge felt more ‘bottomed out’ than supported. Ultimately this led to us having to cinch the strap up way tighter to reach the stability and comfort levels desired. Once secured, though, you’re greeted with an exceptionally clear field of vision that feels totally uncompromised and the enhanced colour and definition claims prove totally legitimate on the trail. It’s truly 4K-like and boosts confidence and precision when picking lines on root-filled tech trails.
However, the clarity levels soon change when the speeds are lowered, or the weather is sub-optimal. The ventilation on offer simply isn’t enough to keep fogging at bay and regularly we’d experience compromised vision mid-trail. This is potentially down to Koo sealing off their vents with foam. That works great for MX with its fumes and start-line roost but not on mountain bike-specific goggles due to the slower average speeds.
It is definitely worth stressing that when the fog isn’t affecting vision the Edge’s performance and clarity levels really are pronounced. We’re also impressed with how tough the lens has been, after a tough winter of abuse they’re still holding strong with minimal scratching - an area where a lot of other goggles fall short. The frame shape syncs well with all the open- and full-face helmets we tried and while the silicone-lined strap isn’t the most generous, we experienced no signs of movement during testing. We’re big fans of the clip-on nose piece too, there were several occasions in especially muddy conditions where we felt it was an effective addition.
The quality of vision on offer from Koo is seriously impressive and it genuinely feels like the HD effect boosts precision and line-choice accuracy on the trail. This is until the visually impairing fogging starts, and you begin searching for high-speed sections just to clear your vision. It’s hard to ignore the price too. At around double the cost of our favourite goggles, it’s hard to justify the Edge, especially with its current dual-duty compromises.
Tech specs: Koo Edge MTB goggles
- Strap: Black, White
- Lens: Blue mirror, Clear, Pink mirror, Red mirror
- Price: £110.00 - black clear lens option (tested)
- Temperature: 0-15 degrees in wet and dry conditions
- Trail surface: Man-made and natural trails across the UK
- Route: A mix of machine and man-made bike trails and big natural terrain