Better known for helmets than eyewear, Bell's Descender is a decent goggle at a fair price.
Bell’s Descender goggle is a relatively new product from the helmet behemoth, designed to complement its enduro and DH offerings. It’s available with a mirrored lens for £49.99 or a clear lens for £36.99.
The polyurethane frame is exceptionally light and very flexible. Only the Smith Squad XL is lighter, although a fraction stiffer. It has a fairly shallow frame (26mm), large vents around its entirety, with a thin foam covering to keep debris out, and a relatively broad radius to the moulding, so it sat very evenly against our face.
Your face comes in contact with a dual density foam pad with a formed, contoured nose that we found very comfortable – there was definitely less pressure at the nose. This excellent fit, combined with the ultra stretchy strap, kept the Descender goggles tight and stable on rough ground. That they are so light means that we almost forgot we were wearing them.
Moving onto the lens, our goggles came with a blue tinted mirror lens (Revo Blue Mirror) that looked pretty rad. Despite looks to the contrary, they actually add a bright, yellow-ish tint that enhances the light – some mirror lenses can be unusable in anything but bright sunlight. Not so the Bell, which gave great vision in mixed light conditions, both in the trees and out in the open. It wouldn’t be our first choice for a dull day in a dark forestry plantation, but for alpine days or deciduous woodland in the UK it works well. There’s clear, unobstructed vision with the frame well out of the way and no annoying distractions.
For a first attempt, Bell has done a great job with the Descender goggle. It’s nothing fancy, it doesn’t boast any tricks or gimmicks, but it does a good job for a price that won’t make your eyes water.