Mark Landvik Signature Edition
- 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: Days Tested: 21
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.
The M1 has six magnets: three on the top and bottom of the lens / frame.
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.)
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.)