Next-Generation Technology Provides Excellent Performance
Back in early July I reviewed Smith’s PivLock™ Arena sunglasses. I gave them a four-star rating with my only real complaint being lack of airflow on hot days. Now, with the recent launch of the Attack model, the lens has a new lower brow line which really improves ventilation. Even on humid days up into the 90s, I had no issues.
Smith introduced MAG™ interchangeable technology with the launch of the Attack sunglasses. The new system, featuring magnets, makes changing lenses for varying light conditions fast and easy.
As with the Arena, the Attack are light-weight, and the frameless design provides a wide field of vision ideal for cycling. These glasses have so much going for them – continuous field of vision, ChromaPop lens, hydroleophobic lens coating and fast lens swap – they’ve quickly become one of my favorites.
Put them on and forget about them
Since I had experience with the Arena model, I knew exactly how to adjust the two-position nose pads for a perfect fit. And the MAG magnetic technology made it so easy to swap lenses as needed. The magnets were strong enough to keep the temple/ear piece in place, but effortless to snap off and switch lenses. You can see from the photo illustration below how the temple easily snaps off and on.
In August, I competed in a half ironman distance aquabike. I had a variety of sunglasses to choose from and selected the Attack. I knew racing 56 miles on the bike in the August heat, I’d be sweating a lot. The hydroleophobic lens coating repels sweat, oils and grime, which kept my field of vision clear the whole race.
Then in September I used the sunglasses while on a three-day cycling trip in Colorado. Once again I chose the Attack sunglasses because of the hydrolephobic lens coating, combined with all the other features. We were camping, and I knew running water might be tough to come by. I didn’t want to have to worry about cleaning the lenses. Sure enough, the coating kept the lenses clean. Also, the large wraparound style lens was perfect for keeping wind, sun and debris out of my eyes – something that is very important since I wear contact lenses.
To add to the comfort, the nose pads and temple tips are made of Megol. It grips the skin to help keep the frame in place. Its unique composite material increases gripping power when moisture is introduced. Thus, the glasses stayed in place even when I perspired heavily.
ChromaPop™ enhances clarity and natural color
Smith’s proprietary ChromaPop lens technology is designed to provide enhanced clarity and natural color, revealing more detail. It filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. Thus the lens delivers greater definition, more natural color and clarity, which translates to more detail.
I’d give it a good rating on the lens performance when going from bright sun to shade or dappled sunlight. It enabled me to easily see pot holes; however, I have used lenses that did a better job with definition.
I tested the matte white frame, which came with a ChromePop Sun Red Mirror lens (pictured above). It is best for sunny to partly sunny days. A ChromaPop Contrast Rose lens was also included as part of the set. The rose-colored lens is designed for low-light conditions. I tested it on both overcast days and at twilight. I did find it provided good clarity and definition.
The optics for both lenses is very good. There’s no distortion as you might have with a cheaper lens. Also, with the frameless design, even in the drops your field of vision isn’t obstructed.
The Attack comes with Smith’s Performance Zip case that is hard-shelled and fits two extra lens. There’s also a cloth bag included for alternate storage, which doubles as a cleaning cloth in a pinch I felt the case was a bit of overkill and took up a lot of room in my car’s glove box. I found a smaller case from a different pair of glasses and used that in the car.
The Attack frames come in a variety of colors so you can match your sunglasses to your bike and/or helmet.
Smith’s Attack sunglasses with new MAG technology rate high on performance and comfort. The light weight, wraparound lens provides the coverage contact wearers need, and I never had an issue with debris. The new MAG technology uses magnets for an easy and quick lens change. Also the new lower brow lens design allows for more air circulation so I didn’t feel as hot. And when sweat or rain got on the lens, the hydroleophobic coating repelled it, eliminating water spots or streaking. The price tag is on the higher end of the spectrum, but the quality optics and performance are well worth it.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio.