I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on goggles for skiing and snowboarding. I’ve dropped thousands on an actual mountain bike and the parts that go into it. And yet for some reason, all these years I’ve balked at the idea of a nice pair of mtb sunglasses. Finally, a pair of Smith Attack MTB sunglasses for myself and the Smith Wildcat MTB glasses for Jaime have made their way into our setup. And guess what? I’ll never be able to go back to a normal pair of sunglasses ever again.
A Serious Sunglass Case
As soon as they arrived via mail and I opened the packaging, I was blown away. Instead of just a normal cloth bag, these bad boys (or girls) come with a luxurious hardcase. Something that you’d expect the royal crown jewels may come in. Unzipping and opening the shell-like container, a high-quality laser cut foam holds the Smith Attack MTB and their extra lens away from each other. There’s even a spot for the microfiber bag that you can use to clean off the lenses with.
Cross-Pollination From Snow To Dirt
Skiing & snowboarding in flat light on a cloudy day makes it challenging to see where the bumps, rolls, and pitches are in the snow. Smith Optics developed their ChromaPop technology to help combat that issue. I can personally tell you that this innovation is NOT A GIMMICK. It helps tremendously in the snow world. And the best part? It’s available on the Smith mtb sunglass product line.
Chromapop … It’s Like High Def For Mountain Biking
Saying better clarity doesn’t do ChromaPop justice. It makes you feel like you’ve been watching black and white TV your entire life and suddenly went to color. Riding through meadows of wildflowers, the colors are off the scale. The greens are greener. The blues are bluer. You can see each twig, branch, and creek crossing in more definition.
How Does Chromapop Work
In Smith’s words — the eye’s retina has trouble perceiving the difference between blue and green, and red and green light. With ChromaPop lenses, it filters these specific crossovers so that you can see everything in its natural light. It also helps reduce eye fatigue and anyone that has issues with eyestrain.
Form AND Function
They say German car engineers believe a circle isn’t circle enough. Each and every aspect of their vehicles are built with care and precision. In that same detailed oriented universe, Smith has gone above and beyond your wildest dreams in their design of the Smith Attack MTB model.
As soon as I put them on, I was shocked at how comfortable AND lightweight they felt. Each point of contact is made of a soft rubber that keeps them where you placed them but not to the point of pinching. Out on the trails when I started getting a bit sweaty, these pieces like the nose pads felt as if they provided a bit more grip. Despite having a normal sized nose, I did notice that the two position adjustable nose piece would be helpful for those that normally don’t feel comfortable where their sunglasses are situated.
More Like Goggles Than Glasses
Speaking of well designed, another positive feature is their 7×4 toric lens curvature. Based on what we read about toric lens curvature, the lens itself isn’t round or straight but multi-dimensional. It literally wraps around your face providing a 180-degree (or more?) view unlike any other pair I’ve ever ridden with. Even on the hottest days, the glasses stayed fog-free and yet during windy events made sure my eyes weren’t watering.
No matter how good you are at keeping the rubber side down, mountain biking is a dirty hobby. Be it dusty, muddy, or something in between, the hydroleophobic lens coating is a game changer. Smudges, oils, and anything else you may encounter will wipe away.
Switch Lenses Like A Formula 1 Pit Crew
One thing we’ve noticed in the mtb glasses world is that for many of them switching lenses is a bit of a challenge. Many don’t provide this option. And if they do, you usually feel like you’re performing brain surgery switching out the lenses. Any false move and you may break something. Not so with the Smith Attack MTB glasses.
The “MAG” in their name stands for magnetic. Where the arms connect to the frame the attachment points are clipped in via magnets. When you’re wearing them, they feel solid but when you do switch out the lens, it’s only a matter of seconds to swap them. The connection is so sweet that you could do it with a single hand.
What We Didn’t Like
One of the challenges of mountain biking is that you may transition from super sunny sections into shady areas often throughout a trail. A sunny lens may work well on certain segments but challenging to get clarity under a dark forest canopy. A photochromic lens can automatically adjust quickly to light and darken the lens on sunny segments and vice versa for sunless areas. From what we can tell, Smith hasn’t figured out how to combine ChromaPop with photochromic into one lens. Fortunately, the low light amber lens provided is a great all arounder except for those radiantly bright days. Then the other lens provided has you covered.
The Similarities Between The Smith Attack And Wildcat
Now that we’ve talked exhaustively about their Attack Mag MTB model, let’s jump into the Smith Wildcat. It still comes with a similar case to carry them, an additional low-light lens, as well as the ChromaPop clarity. Similar to the Attack, the lenses are coated with a material to keep smudges and dirt at bay. Last but not least, they fit comfortably and in Jaime’s words “a bit more fashion forward” than the Attack’s.
Attack – The Porsche 911
Putting them against each other, there are some major differences. The Attack’s design is more like a Porsche 911. Its comfortable but its focus is being the best in performance. From the lens changing system to the fit and lens curvature, each and every detail was painstakingly thought through.
Wildcat – The Audi A6
The Wildcats, on the other hand, are like a high-end Audi. A bit boxier than the Attack’s but not in a bad way. They look good and feel good. Jaime was incredibly happy with the airflow. They kept her eyes from watering on the windy days and didn’t fog up on the climbs on a sizzling summer day. The lens changing system while easy isn’t even close to the Attack MAG model.
Is It Worth The Price Tag?
The multi-hundred-dollar question. As usual, it depends. If you’re a person that goes out a handful of days per season or just starting out, then they may not be worth the price. On the flip side, if you spend a TON of time on your bike, the Smith Attack MAG or Wildcat Sunglasses are by far the best pair of mtb glasses we’ve ever tried. I can’t even imagine riding without them now.
Of course, these aren’t the only amazing eye protectors out there for mountain biking either. From thrifty five dollar options to cat-like vision seekers, we cover them all in our article U Might Wear Ur Sunglasses At Night But These Are The Best MTB Glasses.