MXA PRODUCT TEST:
PRO GRIP 3458 GOGGLE
WHAT IS IT? The ultimate goggle for muddy and wet conditions thanks to extra-large Roll-Offs.
WHAT’S IT COST? $107.00.
CONTACT? Your local dealer or www.progrip.com.
WHAT’S IT DO? The MXA wrecking crew lives in sunny SoCal. As you would guess, it is sunny here most of the time, and we are blessed with great riding conditions most of the year. That said, it does rain on occasion, and for most SoCal races the wet stuff comes as a shock. Most SoCal racers have very little experience with racing in the rain, but when it does pour they fall back on the trusty Roll-Off system to keep their goggles clean.
Riding in the rain can be a horrible experience, depending on your goggles. Swamped goggles lead to blurred vision, which eventually means a face-first visit to a mud puddle. The MXA wrecking crew typically chooses tear-offs, but a single drop of rain between the lens and first tear-off leads to blurring. That’s why most hard-core mud riders swear by Roll-Offs. Designed decades ago, Roll-Offs offer a continuous strip of clear plastic that is activated by pulling on a geared mechanism.
Although Roll-Offs were initially a Smith invention, they have found their way to several other brands. The latest? Pro Grip. When the MXA wrecking crew saw that Pro Grip was experimenting with an extra-wide Roll-Off system, we had to try it out--although we had to wait for it to rain first.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the 3458 Roll-Off system.
(1) Frame. The 3458 uses the Pro Grip 3450 frame, a goggle that received a four-star rating from the MXA wrecking crew last year. Pro Grip’s large frame is pliable enough to conform to various face shapes, the two layers of foam easily soak up sweat, and the foam is backed by a thick layer of felt for added comfort. We were pleased that the 3458 Roll-Off goggle was based on the 3450 (an MXA favorite).
(2) Lens. Within ten seconds Pro Grip’s light-sensitive lens can change from clear to tinted. This is a huge
benefit when riding in bright conditions. The Pro Grip lens has also been treated with an anti-fog solution that works effectively. The only difference between a conventional 3450 lens and the 3458 Roll-Off lens is the small, unobtrusive dimples that keep the Roll-Off film from sticking to the lens.
(3) Roll-Off system. Pro Grip’s Roll-Off system boasts 25 percent greater film coverage than normal Roll-Offs. This translates to improved vision in muddy conditions. The 1-1/2-inch-tall film strip (conventional film strip height is 1-1/4 inches) is so much better that several MXA test riders converted from tear offs to the Pro Grip Roll-Offs. Better yet, the system includes tear-off posts to hold several tear-offs for the first turn.
(4) Peripheral. The 3458 goggle system excels in many categories, but unfortunately the Roll-Off canisters cover 1-1/2 inches of useable lens space. This narrows the usable lens and cuts down on peripheral vision. Many test riders said that it gave them tunnel vision—which in the mud wasn’t a problem, but was bothersome when it wasn’t mucky.
(5) Price. This baby is expensive! Aside from the extra large Roll-Off film, the 3458 system also reaches a milestone in the price department. Spending over $100 is a steep price to pay.
(6) Place of manufacture. The Pro Grip 3458 goggle is made in Italy.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? This is a wet condition goggle only, due to the tunnel vision caused by the huge Roll-Off canisters.
Mud and rain have met their match in the Pro Grip 3458 Roll-Off goggle. The extra-wide Roll-Off system makes it a winner. The price is way up there because the Roll-Offs add $50 to the overall price.