Most path runners and ultrarunners expertise wildly contrasting circumstances throughout any lengthy outing on the path, and would really like sun shades that may adapt to all these circumstances. Enter the Smith Bobcat ($229) and Smith Shift Magazine ($289) sun shades with Smith’s photochromic lenses, which may change from virtually fully clear in darkish circumstances to totally glare protecting sunnies in vivid daylight.
You know the way it’s: Runs begin at daybreak and proceed by way of clear blue skies, cloudy circumstances, storms with excessive winds, and again once more. That is notably true for the 100-plus-mile distances the place having eye safety from mud, branches, and different detritus could be moreover worthwhile, however altering out sun shades lenses 60 miles right into a race is probably going not within the guide dexterity playing cards for the day. That is the place sun shades with photochromic lenses can serve an essential want.
Over the previous few years, I’ve tried numerous photochromic lenses with the Rudy Undertaking Propulse being my earlier favourite — you may learn my Rudy Undertaking Propulse overview. After all, applied sciences progress and Smith has discovered a strategy to squeeze much more distinction vary into their lenses. This permits these photochromic lenses to be worn in much more variable circumstances with out the necessity to take away them in any respect during your coaching or race.
On this overview, we’ll have a look at two fashionable Smith sun shades fashions which have the model’s photochromic lenses. Whereas it’s not the main target of this overview, each the Smith Bobcat and Smith Shift Magazine sun shades fashions provide non-photochromic lenses too. Together with your buy of considered one of these sun shades fashions, you additionally get a pair of bonus clear lenses.
Smith Photochromic Lenses
The distinction vary for the photochromic lenses which include these sun shades fashions is a whopping 20% to 85%, that means that in full gentle these lenses carry out far more like a typical sun shades lens, and so they can transition to virtually absolutely clear at nighttime. Actually, I assumed they have been absolutely clear till I learn the 85% statistic, and so they do look absolutely clear after I put on them at nighttime.
I used to be capable of check these lenses in all kinds of circumstances, none more difficult for a photochromic lens than snowboarding uphill, out and in of closely forested areas on a bluebird day. To my shock, the lenses’ distinction shifted imperceptibly after I entered the closely shaded glades, after which again to virtually absolutely black when in full daylight. This capacity to alter distinction shortly is much and away higher than different photochromic lenses I’ve examined prior to now.
Smith Bobcat Sun shades Evaluate
The Smith Bobcat sun shades are marketed as having a small to medium match with massive lens protection, and are available geared up with the photochromic lenses described above, in addition to interchangeable clear lenses.
Smith Bobcat Sun shades Body and Match
The Smith Bobcat sun shades appeared to initially be marketed to feminine audiences for mountain biking and snowboarding, and this may partially be because of the full protect design and small to medium match. Nonetheless, I discovered them equally efficient for working, snowboarding, and biking in a wide range of circumstances for anybody with a small- to medium-sized face.
I discovered myself selecting the Bobcats over another pair of shades this previous winter and spring because of their lightness, sturdiness, full vary of view and protection, and the quantity of safety I felt from them in excessive wind circumstances. An added bonus is that they actually appear to stay on my face with none motion.
Smith Shift Magazine Sun shades Evaluate
The Smith Shift Magazine sun shades characteristic the identical photochromic lenses because the Smith Bobcat reviewed above, in addition to the interchangeable clear lenses. Lens adjustments are very fast and straightforward utilizing a magnetic expertise to pop the lens out earlier than locking a brand new lens in. In any other case, the principle distinction between the 2 fashions is within the measurement and match of the frames.
Smith Shift Magazine Sun shades Body and Match
The Smith Shift Magazine sun shades characteristic an analogous full protect design because the Smith Bobcat reviewed above, however it’s made to accommodate bigger faces and heads. Additionally that includes a excessive influence TR90 Nylon body that’s extremely light-weight for the dimensions of those sun shades, the body has no-slip temples and a two-position nosepiece. Further venting on the highest of the lens additionally supplies elevated airflow, which was particularly appreciated throughout scorching and humid runs.
Once more, Smith manages to make these fairly massive sun shades featherweight, and a two-position nostril piece means that you can dial within the match.
As somebody with a smaller head and narrower face, I discovered that the Smith Shift Magazine was a contact extra loose-fitting, one thing I observed extra whereas working on tough downhill trails. In case you are somebody with a medium- to large-sized head, then this mannequin will suit you effectively.
Smith Smith Bobcat and Smith Shift Magazine Sun shades General Impressions
For runners in search of sun shades with a photochromic lens that you could possibly depart on for twenty-four hours, equivalent to throughout a 100 miler, the Smith Bobcat and Smith Shift Magazine fashions provide the most effective functioning lenses available on the market.
My longest run to this point within the Smith Bobcat was a punishingly scorching 11-hour slog that began with overcast skies and shortly turned extremely popular and cloudless. Regardless of sweating profusely, the Smith Bobcat stayed locked on my face the complete time and the lenses adjusted all through the occasion as we went out and in of tree protection. One other profit to those massive and flatter base curved lenses is that they’re very simple to wash up with water and a microfiber fabric at an help station. By the top of the occasion, the sun shades have been coated in mud that will have in any other case discovered its method into my eyes had I been sporting a lens with much less protection.
Some runners could not respect this kind of full protection if they’re heavy sweaters, particularly within the forehead space, as this may result in smudging and streaking with each of those Smith fashions. I discovered that on the most well liked days this summer season I used to be eradicating the glasses to wipe sweat off my face usually as the massive lenses undoubtedly forestall ample airflow. I additionally skilled some lens fogging when climbing uphill in scorching and humid circumstances, however this happens with virtually each kind of sun shades I personal.
One other potential draw back I hear runners voice usually is the price of high-end sun shades. Sure, they’re costly. Nonetheless, as soon as they’ve begin enjoying outdoors with good lenses, I’ve by no means hear of any runner going again to funds fashions. Cheaper lenses, even these which might be polarized, usually undergo from glare and again reflection in vivid daylight. Moreover, poor engineering on the curvature of the lens usually results in distortion, which isn’t one thing I need to try to account for after I’m working or mountain biking quick downhill.
Moreover, Smith covers their sun shades with a restricted lifetime guarantee, which I not too long ago tried out when my spouse developed a scuff on her Smith sun shades. I filed the guarantee on-line and Smith despatched out a alternative pair inside per week.
Name for Feedback
- Have you ever tried both of those sun shades? How did you discover them?
- Have you ever discovered photochromic lenses helpful for coaching in blended circumstances?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]