- ChromaPop lens enhances contrast and natural color, making details pop, especially in dappled sunlight
- Comes standard with one clear lens and one ChromaPop™ lens
- Large shield, with a slight wraparound fit, provides superior protection from debris, dust, and wind, as well as an unobstructed field of vision
- Environmentally friendly Evolve™bio-based frame material
- Megol temple and nose pads prevent slipping
- AutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off
- 2-position nose pads for a custom fit
- Temple fits a rearview mirror
- Ultra lightweight at only 25g
- Hardshell zipper case protects sunglasses when not wearing them
- Difficult to swap shield
- No venting at the browline, so it can fog when you are at a stop
Colors: Black, Chalk Rose, Matte Black Marble, Matte Amythest, Matte Black, White
Frame: Evolve™bio-based frame material
Dimensions: 135mm width, 59mm height, 130mm temple length
Fit: Small to medium face with large coverage
Lens Coating: Smudge and moisture-resistant coatings
Availability: Online or retail
How Obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
Great Coverage for Smaller Faces
Too often, cycling sunglasses are designed for men who have broader faces than women. Many oversize shield sunglasses tend to overwhelm my face. That’s until I discovered Smith’s Bobcat frames.
A couple of months ago, my friend Tonya showed up for a ride sporting a new pair of black marble frame Bobcats. I admired them for their look, lightweight, and fit. Shortly after that ride, I contacted my Smith rep to see if I could test a pair myself. If I struggled to find flattering sunglasses that fit well, other women must have a similar problem.
Fashion + Function = Fabulous
The rad design of the frames first attracted me to the Bobcat sunglasses, but what sold me on them was the fit and the performance. I needed an oversized shield that didn’t overwhelm my face but also provided coverage from dusty gravel rides. I’m a contact wearer, and the last thing you want is dust getting into your eyes. The larger shield also gives me an unobstructed field of vision.
At only 25 grams, these frames are also lightweight. You don’t even know you’re wearing them. It’s the first thing someone says when I hand them my pair to try on. The frame is made from Smith Optic’s proprietary Evolve™ material incorporating 53% bio-based material into their injected-polymer sunglasses. I’ll be honest. I had to Google bio-based material, which turns out is derived from living (or once-living) organisms. According to the company, Smith sunglasses are the largest eco-friendly sunglass collection in the world.
The standard ChromaPop lens provides excellent detail and clarity, which is great when trying to find that perfect line. The Bobcat sunglasses include a bonus clear lens, ideal for night riding.
What Comes in the Box?
The Bobcat is available with different combinations of frames and ChromaPop lenses. The hardshell zipper case is standard and stores the sunglass frame, a second shield, and a large storage pouch that doubles as a microfiber cleaning cloth.
I found it difficult to swap out the lenses; if you do it often enough, I’d be afraid of cracking the frame or the lens. Personally, if I know my ride will take me to sunset, I use a photosensitive lens that adjusts to the light.
Also, the Smith website mentioned the Bobcat has “strategic venting to increase airflow for reduced fogging,” but I could not find any vents even at the browline. I did experience some fogging at stoplights during cooler, humid days. But the lenses cleared once I started rolling again.
The Smith Bobcat is an excellent option for those of us with smaller faces who need performance sunglasses and want something fashionable. These lightweight, full-shield sunglasses are what I grab when I head out for a gravel ride. In fact, I packed for tomorrow’s Little Apple gravel race in Manhattan, Illinois, since it’s one piece of equipment I know won’t fail me.
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 or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.