509 Sinister X6 Ignite Goggle Review
Before I begin my 509 Sinister X6 Ignite goggle review, let me tell you who I am, in case you don’t know. I’m Sweaty Eyeball Guy. At least, that’s how I’ve come to be known.
You see, I have a problem. While I feel blessed to be a relatively dry and non-sweaty guy for the most part, I, for some strange reason, tend to sweat profusely around my eyes from the very moment I begin to physically exert myself. I am sure the human body was not intended to have sweat glands at or near the eye socket, but for whatever Darwinian reason I seem to have taken a step to the left in human evolution. This unfortunate quality leaves me in a constant battle with foggy goggles that no amount of special coatings, films or laminations have ever solved.
So when I received the 509 Sinister X6 Ignite goggle to review for Mountain Sledder this year, I was genuinely excited! With a 2200mAh lithium-ion power pack, I was headed into the mountains wearing a goggle that would make Elon Musk jealous.
509 Sinister X6 Ignite Goggle Review
Unboxing these goggles, you know immediately that you are being treated with quality eyewear. All black, minimalist, refined and badass. Darth Vader obviously had his minions at work designing these!
I quickly removed the goggles from the case, stripped the protective film from the dual lenses, slid the battery onto the strap and plugged the short power cord in before pulling them over the visor of my helmet.
It’s important to note that under the foam in the storage case, you will find instructions on how to charge and operate the Ignite system, as well as the meaning of the LED light indicator. Pay attention to the correct way to mount your battery pack, which makes use of a thin velcro strap for secure attachment.
A three-second press of the button and I was greeted with a chime and bright blue LED light to let me know the heat was on.
Function and Performance
The X6 Ignite battery provides power to heat the lens to a maximum 104˚F temperature. With two settings, a two-minute auto-interval mode or continuous heat, the Sinister X6 Ignite promises to keep your vision clear all day.
Getting back to the instructions, it’s important to read them and understand the difference between the two heat settings.
A three-second hard press of the single, easy-to-locate button, will activate the 104˚F heat for two minutes, enough for clearing most foggy situations. An additional quick press of the button (after they have been activated) will allow the goggles to operate continuously. After figuring this out, it was time to put the Ignite system through its paces.
509 claims a four- to five-hour continuous runtime, but I have yet to achieve anything close to that. My average continuous real-world runtime in the cold has been around the 2.5-hour mark. While that doesn’t sound very impressive, it should be noted that throughout my tests I have only had two occasions where I felt I needed to run the goggles full-time. On both those days we experienced freezing rain throughout the day. The X6 Ignite goggle did a great job of fending off the ice buildup that other goggle wearers struggled with those days.
What I have learned about the performance of these goggles is that using them periodically in two-minute increments when fog, snow or ice begin to limit your visibility will allow you to use the goggles for multiple days between charging. I believe this was the intention of the engineers who designed them. That said, a few people I met on the mountain have said they carry an extra battery.
Polarized Photochromatic Lens
The Black Ops style of X6 Ignite I tested are mounted with 509’s Polarized Photochromatic Tint lens, designed for bright, sunny conditions. In hindsight, this is probably the least likely time riders will need to worry about foggy lenses. Thankfully, due to my sweaty eyeballs I was able to test the goggles in all conditions. Personally, I did not notice much change in the tint between changing lighting conditions. The lens is however sufficient for use in bright, sunny conditions. But if the day changes and becomes socked in, the Polarized Photochromatic tint may be on the dim side for most riders.
509 is generous as always with extra thick foam that helps the goggles fit properly on the face. They are comfortable to wear and offer a wide field of view. A nose shield keeps cold wind off the skin and helps direct breathing away from the lens surface. Ample venting evacuates moisture while moving, even if you happen to use up all that lithium-ion juice.
The Sinister X6 Ignite follows the same fitment as the rest of the 509 goggle lineup; they are designed to fit perfectly with a 509 helmet.
509 Sinister X6 Ignite Goggle Review Summary
Are these the goggles of the future? I think so! There was a moment a few weeks ago while taking an AST 2 course where I noticed that everyone in the group was wearing a 509 Ignite goggle system.
The fact is, they work.
Sure, there is room for improvement like battery life, integrated fan system and relocating the battery pack to the left (non-throttle) hand for on-the-go activation, but you will not be disappointed.
At nearly $350 CAD the 509 Sinister X6 Ignite goggles are not cheap, but you will be hard-pressed to find another system that offers the kind of technology that sledders need when facing challenging or changing weather and light conditions.