The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

2013-2014 Anon M2 Goggle

anon. M22013-2014 Anon M2 Snow Goggle

Mark Landvik Signature Edition

Features:

  • Magna-Tech Quick Lens Change Technology
  • anon. Spherical Lens Technology
  • Wall-to-Wall Vision
  • Full Perimeter Channel Venting
  • Flush Mount Outrigger
  • Triple Layer Face Foam
  • Spare Greybird Lens Included
  • Nylon Compression Molded Case Included

WB: Test Locations: Crested Butte, Summit County, Silverton, Red Mountain Pass, Telluride Backcountry, CO

WB: Days Tested: 6

JE: Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Canterbury Club Fields, NZ; Wolf Creek, CO

JE: Days Tested: 21

MSRP: $240

Note: This past April, Will Brown (WB) wrote an excellent initial review of the Anon M2 google. Jonathan Ellsworth (JE) has since put more time in on the M2, so we wanted to update our first look—especially since this is probably the best goggle we’ve ever used.

Unlike Oakley’s or Smith’s lens change systems (on the Airbrake and I/O, I/OS, and I/OX, respectively), or Scott’s system on the LCG (review forthcoming), which use mechanical locking mechanisms, Anon’s Magna-Tech system uses six rare-earth magnets to join the goggle’s lens and frame. Changing lenses with either the I/O or Airbrake isn’t slow or difficult by any means, but we found that the M1 goggle, released last season, undoubtedly offered the quickest, simplest interchangeable system on the market.

And the optics were great, too.

For the 2013-2014 season, Anon came out with the M2. As an alternative to the smaller M1, it offers a frameless look, a slightly larger fit, and an increased field of vision, while still employing the same Magna-Tech construction. Furthermore, due mainly to its rimless frame design, the M2’s lens swap procedure is even simpler than the M1’s.

I’ll start with a rundown of the construction of the M2’s lens-to-frame magnet interface (compared to that of the M1’s), and its super-simple lens change procedure.

Lens Change Functionality (M1 vs. M2)

The M2’s lens is retained by eight neodymium magnets: three on the top, three on the bottom, and one on each side of the frame.

M2 Lens/Frame Interface

M2 Lens / Frame Interface

The M1 has six magnets: three on the top and bottom of the lens / frame.

M1 Frame/Lens Interface

M1 Frame / Lens Interface

Similar to the M1, to take off the M2’s lens, it’s easiest to pry one of the bottom corners of the lens away from the frame, detaching one of the side and bottom-corner magnets before releasing the whole lens from there.

There’s nothing more to it. Even with the M2’s sleek lens profile, which lacks the magnet “grab-tabs” of the M1’s lens, you can still remove a lens with gloves on and with the goggle still on your face.

There is a basic method to dropping in a lens on the M1. It is ridiculously simple. As you can see in the picture above, the M1 lens’ bottom magnets and their surrounding housing fit into designated notches / sockets on the frame. This means that in order to assure that the lens is going to seat perfectly when dropping it in, you do have to roughly align the magnets on the top of the lens with those on the top of the frame before releasing it, then all the bottom magnets will snap together nicely. Otherwise it’s possible for the lens to seat slightly off, so that not all the magnets are engaged fully, and small gaps are left between the lens and frame.

For the record, this “procedure” isn’t a big deal. At all. You can still change M1 lenses with gloves on, with the goggles on your face, in a matter of seconds. It is still much quicker and easier than the steps to swap a lens with the I/O or Airbrake.

With the M2, there’s really not even a method to changing lenses. Get the M2’s lens somewhere near the frame’s magnets, and the two will snap together—seamlessly, in an instant. I’ve tried to purposely seat the lens misaligned on the frame so that there are gaps in between the two, and it actually seems impossible. Literally all you have to do is hold the lens up to the frame. That’s it.

Changing the M2’s lens is absurdly simple. It’s literally as easy as covering your eyes with your hand.

(I would not  buy the M2 over the M1 on those grounds, however. The difference in fit between the two really could be a deciding factor for some people, and is ultimately much more important.)

I’ve owned Smith I/Os for the past five seasons, and it is very easy to change out a lens with that goggle. With 30 seconds in the lift line or on the chair, you can be swapped and ready to go, no problem. But I will say, I’ve still preferred the added simplicity of the M1 / M2’s system, especially when temperatures are cold on the mountain.

To change a lens with the M2, I don’t have to take my gloves off to manipulate any tabs or latches, and I don’t have to take the goggles off my head / helmet. It is, hands down, the quickest, easiest lens change system out there.

(JE: Truth. No interchangeable lens system on the market compares to the M2. There are a lot of good options in the 2nd-place category, but the M2 is in a league of its own.)

Lens Retention

Of course, the quickness and simplicity of the M1 / M2 Magna-Tech system wouldn’t amount to much if a lens was likely to fall out during a crash. That’s true, but I have found no reason to think that this is something to worry about. Unless you pry at a corner of the M2’s lens, it’s very difficult to dislodge the lens, even intentionally.

Each of the M2’s eight connection points (created by the eight magnets on the frame and eight on the lens) has a pull-force of 2.75 pounds. That means the total retention value between the M2’s lens and frame is 22 pounds. So unless you pull something in the neighborhood of 75 Gs, there’s no way the lens is going to work itself away from the frame.

Even if you were to experience a serious digger / face-plant on hard snow, I would honestly still be surprised if the M2’s lens came completely free from its frame, especially given the kind of precise prying technique it takes to remove the lens by hand. If it did, I don’t think the whereabouts of your lens would be the first of your worries.

In my mind, lens retention simply isn’t a point of concern with either the M2 or the M1.

(JE: Agreed. While I haven’t tomahawked in these things, I have had a couple of decent crashes (which happens when you drop fast into a nice-looking straightline at Wolf Creek in low visibility, unaware that a gully lies just below…), and the lenses never moved.)

 

41 Comments

  1. Simen Stori April 24, 2013 Reply

    Are the magnet arranged +-+-+-+- around the frame?

    Seems like the simpleste way to make alignment mistakes impossible.

    • Will Brown April 25, 2013 Reply

      Hi Simen,

      That’s an interesting question – actually the polarity of all the magnets on the M1’s frame are the same, and those on the lens are all the opposite. The misalignment problem I talk about with the M1 doesn’t actually involve a given magnet joining with an the entirely wrong one on the lens/frame (in which case your idea would solve this). The magnets are spaced are far enough apart that that’s never the case. It’s just that sometimes the plastic pieces you see in the picture on the lens of the M1 (the magnets themselves are mounted behind them, facing the inside of the lens), don’t “seat” fully. it is possible to have the lens attached to the frame, but maybe one of the little black tabs/blocks you see isn’t perfectly nestled its corresponding notch on the frame. If this is the case, you can jiggle it a bit and it will snap in place, perfectly flush. it’s never a real problem, and rarely happens in the first place if you simply join the lens’ top magnets to the frame first, before letting the bottom ones snap together.

      Thanks for reading!

      Will

  2. Oscar May 15, 2013 Reply

    hey hows it going
    I just bought a pair of the anon M2s and I was wondering if you could tell me where I could shop for different lenses for them :(

    • Will Brown June 14, 2013 Reply

      Hi Oscar,

      As far as I know the M2 doesn’t hit stores until this fall, so I can’t help you with spare lenses at this point. Where did you buy your goggles from? Are you outside the US?

      Cheers,

      Will

  3. Cameron richmond July 6, 2013 Reply

    I to have the anon m2’s. they are amazing!!!!!!!!! So easy to change the lens, plus. It’s great for those times when you would normally take your goggles off for something (toilet) you just click the lens out. I too how we’ve would like to buy more lens’ as I have the black lens and the green lens, but want the yellow one for the days when it snows, an the clear lens for night riding. My advice on this goggle, if you see them in a shop, BUY THEM, they are FANTASTIC!!!!

    • Patrick July 25, 2013 Reply

      Cameron I spoke with Burton Australia and they said that, because the release in Australia is a limited pre-release (see my comment), we won’t be seeing any additional lenses until the product is officially launched in the States. My plan is to have the Dark Smoke lens for bluebird days, the Amber lens for cloudy days, the Blue Lagoon lens for days when it is dumping pow and the Clear lens for riding at night. Needless to say I won’t use the Dark Smoke lens much in Japan, where it snows all the time during Winter, but I will definitely give the other three a workout – particularly in Niseko where the there is a MASSIVE lit area at night and where it pretty much dumps powder 24-7!

  4. Cameron richmond July 6, 2013 Reply

    And I’m in Melbourne Australia

    • Will Brown July 21, 2013 Reply

      Hey Cameron,

      Thanks for weighing in. The M2 isn’t available yet in the US, but it will be this fall. Until the goggle goes on sale here, I can’t say much about where to buy replacement lenses, apart from that they should be available from the same retailers that sell the goggle – like the one you purchased it from originally. I would check back with them.

      WB

  5. Patrick July 25, 2013 Reply

    I just received my pair of M2s. To say I am stoked would be an understatement! They are epic! Plain and simple the best looking, most technologically advanced goggles for anyone on the snow. Like Cameron, I am from Australia. My understanding is that Burton has done a limited pre-release for the Australian Winter where stores have received part of their ordered stock (each store has received a random selection of 3 or 4 colours) well in advance of the official launch date (sometime during Fall in the US). I deliberated between the Black/Red Solex and the Smoke/Dark Smoke but ended up settling on the latter as the whole black-lens-on-black-frame-on-black-strap-with-black-text thing looks pretty mint (and pretty black haha). The M2s came with a Blue Lagoon low-light lens (as well as the Dark Smoke) and I plan on buying both an Amber and Clear lens as well to totally cover all conditions.

    • Will Brown August 3, 2013 Reply

      Hey Patrick,

      Thanks for the info! Obviously we couldn’t agree more – the M2 is seriously impressive on all fronts. Let us know how you like the Amber and Clear lenses when you pick them up!

      Best,

      Will

  6. Mike September 25, 2013 Reply

    Hi, I am interested in the M2’s but I am a lil hesitant because I do alot of Back Country riding and obv. wear a beacon…wondering if the magnets on the M2’s would interfere with my beacon? I see Landvik has a pro model & wears them & he lives in the BC. I just wanted to hear some more input thanx!

    • Will Brown September 30, 2013 Reply

      Hey Mike,

      That’s a good thought. I’ve been thinking about this myself and didn’t include anything about it in the review because, frankly, I have no idea. And Anon is almost humorously unhelpful on this front. They include a little disclaimer card in the box that the M2s come in. It reads:

      “If you have an implanted cardiac device: This product may be harmful. Keep this product at least 30cm away

      If you use avalanche transceivers: Know the devices you are using and understand the effects magnets may have on your device. If applicable know the safe distance from such device.

      Insulin pumps and glucose monitors: Do not expose to this product.”

      So it’s not clear if the M2s magnets would actually interfere with a beacon. All they seem to say is that there’s some chance it COULD, but isn’t necessarily going to “If APPLICABLE know the safe distance from such device.” – so, there might be cases in which cautionary measures are not applicable?

      I would think this is just a precautionary note to protect the company from some liability suit. I’ve never had any reason to suspect the goggles’ magnets were interfering with my beacon when running burial search drills or checking others’ beacons before heading out on a tour.

      But I’m going to look into this more, because it would be good to know if interference is a real potential issue, or not something to be concerned about – (which would seem to be the case with Landvik, as you say).

      WB

  7. GB November 25, 2013 Reply

    Wondering if you guys have a timeline for publishing the Anon M2 lens options, as mentioned in this review? I’m very interesting in hearing your thoughts because I’ll be buying a set of these goggles very soon and need to nail down which model/lens combo to order. I checked Anon’s Lens Visualizer on their website, but it doesn’t seem terribly accurate from what I can tell. For example, I tried the Red Solex on in the local store, and found it has a greenish tint (when viewed from the inside), just like Smith’s Red Solex lens. But at Anon’s website, they say it’s bronze tint, but it’s most definitely NOT bronze. Problem is the local shop only carries Red Solex and Dark Smoke models. Am very interested in your take on the Blue and Green Solex lenses, as well as the Blue Lagoon vs Red Ice for low light conditions.

    Hope you can share some thoughts??? BTW, thanks for your great reviews, keep up the good work!

    • Will Brown January 3, 2014 Reply

      Hey GB,

      Really sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner. I’ve only skied the Dark Smoke and Red Solex for bright light lenses, so I can’t comment there about how they compare to the others you’ve mentioned. And for what it’s worth, I will say that I find that Anon’s lens visualizer is pretty faithful to the way the real Red Solex looks, with a light, warm bronze, yellowish tint.

      I have tested the Blue Lagoon and Red Ice, though. The Red Ice does very well as a storm day lens, when visibility is at its worst, even though I would have thought its plain, clear base would only really be useful while night skiing. If I had to use the Red Ice for all greybird, days, I would be totally fine. However, if given he choice between it and the Blue Lagoon, I think still prefer the yellow tint of the Lagoon. I suppose I’d only pick the Red Ice as a low light option especially if I planned to do a lot of night skiing.

      WB

      • GB January 3, 2014 Reply

        Thanks Will, turns out I tried their lens visualizer app and found it very helpful. I ended up going with the Blue Solex / Blue Lagoon combo, and am very pleased with the results. I was a bit hesitant due to the yellow base, particularly on the Blue Solex for the bright days, but Anon has these optics dialed in! They managed to figure out a way to improve the clarity while blocking out the bright sunlight. And while I can use a clear lens (ie-Red Solex) for night skiing, I find the Blue Lagoon to be an excellent lens, certainly on par (or better) than the Smith Blue Sensor.

        Overall am very impressed with the M2 optics. The quick swap lens system might be seen as a gimmick, and that may be true, but the huge field of vision and great optics are what sealed the deal for me.

        These goggles aren’t cheap, but man are they awesome.

  8. Ryan December 3, 2013 Reply

    Has anyone done any further testing with Avi Beacons?

  9. Mike December 3, 2013 Reply

    Ryan shortly after my first post regarding magnet interference with beacons I purchased the m2’s. I have been wearing them here in Jackson Wy, where we have been getting some good early season storm cycles. So far there has been no problems regarding my beacon & the magnets. I’ve ran a few brief tests with a friend having him “search” for me a few yards away. I have also put my beacon in search mode to test tracking a friend. Again no problems…Ryan this information is not scientific nor credible. Just an everyday rider out giving these goggles the run through. I was a big oakley fan, but if these goggles hold up to the elements I am sold. I hafta add switching lenses in the backcountry is a breeze! No more cold hands cheers goodluck.
    -Mike

    • Will Brown December 5, 2013 Reply

      Hey Mike,

      I’ll echo Ryan’s thanks for filling everyone in on your findings. I’ve done a beacon interference test myself and can’t find any reason to assume the magnets would interfere with transceivers. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      WB

  10. Ryan December 4, 2013 Reply

    Mike, thanks for the info on personal experience!

  11. Ty December 4, 2013 Reply

    Have you guys tried the Blue Solex lens yet? And if so, how does it stack up to the Red Solex and Dark Smoke?
    Also, what’s a good overcast/partly sunny lens from Anon? I was looking at the Gold Chrome or Blue Fusion maybe. Or is this lens even needed if you go with the Blue or Red Solex?

    Thanks

    • Will Brown January 3, 2014 Reply

      Hey Ty,

      Sorry about the late reply on my end. I haven’t tested the Blue Solex. And I would say that the Red Solex is definitely preferable over the Dark Smoke or Silver Solex for partly sunny days. A really interesting lens for those kind of conditions is the Yellow/Grey Gradient. It’s definitely unusual, but works well as Anon describes it in their lens visualizer.

      Hope this helps you somewhat.

      WB

      • GB January 3, 2014 Reply

        So I bought the M2, and am very impressed with them. The quick-swap lens is certainly handy (no pun intended), though I doubt anyone would be switching lenses too frequently. And if so, it saves maybe 30 seconds, so not a big deal. The big deal is the HUGE field of vision, definitely better than the Smith I/OX and Dragon APX.

        I’ve now tried several different lenses, and I really like the Blue Solex. It’s a yellow-tint lens, which helps with some contrast, but it cuts out alot of sun on bright days. Somehow Anon has figured out how to accomplish both of these simultaneously, something which Smith hasn’t (I also own the I/O), so color me impressed.

        I agree with Will, the Red Solex is better than the Dark Smoke, because grey-based lenses don’t seem to help with contrast or definition, even though they darken things on bluebird days. The Red Solex is more of a greenish lens.

        My combination I purchased is the Blue Solex (yellow, for bright conditions) and the Blue Lagoon (yellow, for dark/overcast conditions). REALLY impressive pair of lenses to cover just about any weather condition on the slopes.

        Having tried Oakley goggles with several different lenses, Smith I/O with several lenses, and now the Anon M2, I definitely prefer the M2’s hands-down. Better field of vision (for those with bigger/wider faces), excellent lens optics, and the quick swap magnets are just an added bonus in my opinion.

        Very pleased with the M2’s, highly recommend.

        Hope that helps!

  12. Bob December 22, 2013 Reply

    Any idea on how these would fit over glasses? Guessing not at all, their website doesn’t say anything…

    • Will Brown January 5, 2014 Reply

      Hi Bob,

      I just did a little test run with my glasses (Oakley Boomstand) and M2s – no dice. I couldn’t get the goggles to sit on my face well at all. Damn

      WB

      • Bob January 10, 2014 Reply

        I have just regular glasses, goggles sit well but don’t seal well on the sides – when it’s blowing sideways the snow comes in. Other than that, perfect. The lenses are so good it makes me start thinking more about lasik…

  13. Farhan January 3, 2014 Reply

    So I received my M2’s a couple days back. I was super excited till I realized this product is manufactured pretty horribly. For $250 I expected much more. I haven’t had a day on the mountain yet, but I can tell that the adhesive holding the magnets together is peeling away from the lens. Thats with me switching frames a few times just for kicks. I can’t imagine this product lasting a whole season. I know there was some lens retention concerns earlier on stating how it can withstand 75G’s. I bet they weren’t thinking the adhesive holding the magnets on the lens is going to be the weakest link. Super sad, I will be returning this pipe dream and getting some smith IO’s

    • Possible that there is an issue with your particular pair? I’ve now got about 40 days on the mountain with the M2s, and I switch the lenses almost every day I’m out (AM / PM). No issues whatsoever.

    • Will Brown January 5, 2014 Reply

      Hey Farhan,

      Sorry to hear that. It is a little surprising, given that my experience, and several readers above, hasn’t been anything like yours. You might consider contacting Anon/Burton about a warranty claim? What you’re describing sounds a lot like a manufacturing defect to me.

      Cheers,

      Will

  14. Rich March 19, 2014 Reply

    Do the inside of these lens have the anti fog coating like the Oakley’s
    and have the issue of not being able to clean them without causing permanent
    damage? Thanks

    • Will Brown March 22, 2014 Reply

      Hey Rich,

      Anon says their lenses have “a porous cellulose inner lens…anti-fog treatment” but I can’t say how this differs from what Oakley uses. As long as you don’t clean the inside of the M2s lens while there are large drops of water or chunks of snow on it, I don’t think you’ll have any issues. I haven’t.

      WB

  15. Orbie May 16, 2014 Reply

    I purchased these googles for this last season. I love the googles but they fog up really bad with me. More than any other google I have ever owned. I think they need to add ventilation holes on the top like other brands. If they did this and I hope they do for next years model then these would be perfect!

  16. Markus November 17, 2014 Reply

    I’ve just bought a pair. But, I am missing a silicon lining on the strap. Oakley, Smit etc got that, and the silicon is really useful. Do you know what I can use to make my own silicon lining?

  17. JayT November 25, 2014 Reply

    These goggles are great on their own – talking about the latest version for the 14/15 season. But… definitely difficult to find a good helmet combination that doesn’t leave you with a big gaper gap. Any suggestions?

    The Smith Variant is a definite no-go… I’m hoping the brimmed Vantage will be better.

  18. Tom December 31, 2014 Reply

    I just got a pair and have tried them at home/outside the house. Not impressed with the internal reflections of my face inside the lens. Happens with both lenses and my wife tried the goggle and she sees the same reflections of her own face (even when standing outside the house). Is this normal? Someone mentioned this is normal but on snow covered slopes it goes away?

    See thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/131155/googles-inner-reflections-oakley-canopy-prizm-and-anon-m2-red-solex#post_1809102

    • Author
      Will Brown January 8, 2015 Reply

      Hi Tom,

      I haven’t experienced that with the M2 myself. Have you tried them on snow yet; any difference?

      – Will B

  19. pete January 16, 2015 Reply

    do they fit over eyeglasses ?

    • Thomas January 17, 2015 Reply

      Not very well no. The Anon Mig has indents on the sides for the frames of your glasses. You may want to look into those instead.

  20. Max January 22, 2015 Reply

    How’s the fit of the M2 compare with the I/OX? I have a big head and currently use the I/OX, and I still wouldn’t mind a bigger goggle

    • Author
      Will Brown March 9, 2015 Reply

      Hi Max,

      Really sorry I missed your question until now. The fit of the M2 vs. I/OX is covered in the review, but, in short, I’ve found the fit of the I/OX to be slightly larger than that of the M2. If you’re looking for a goggle with an even larger fit of the I/OX, maybe check out the Dragon APX; I don’t have any experience with them, but the frame looks very large.

      Will B

  21. Mitch February 6, 2015 Reply

    Ive had the m1s for about a week and a half now and have already had problems with the lens fitting properly. First off when I tried to change the lens the nose magnet piece fell off. Im not if I just have a bad pair or what. Also before the nose piece came off, when I was skiing with these goggles on there is a lot of air movement inside the goggle. Im not sure if the air is coming through the sides or through the vents but the air movement was to the point where my eyes began watering. A lot. I don’t know why I am having these problems but I don’t think I SHOULD be having these problems. Has anybody else had these problems or have people reported to having these problems as well?

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