Smith Skyline goggles $170

Smith Skyline goggles $170

I had the perfect day of variable conditions to try out new goggles from Smith last week. It was a bright, brisk, sunshiny mid-morning and looking like a true bluebird day, but, of course, as is the case anywhere in Colorado, wait five minutes and things will change, and change they did. Some puffy cumulus clouds blew in, and after a half-hour the partial sun became flat light.

“Uh-oh,” I thought. It looked like bye-bye bluebird day, hello sketchy light and the fear of huge moguls lurking, even on familiar terrain. I hate the feeling of obstacles at uncertain distance and am the first to experience vertigo when the light flattens completely. It feels like all hazards are deliberately hiding!

Although I noted the weather change, the visual acuity and clarity of depth perception afforded by the new Smith Skyline I was wearing was put to the test. It passed with flying colors. I could really see.

The color of the tomato-red “Give a Flake” logo on the armrest of the chairlift seemed super bright, for sure, but when the low light hit, the ChromaPop lens that Smith is known for – and, yes, it’s the same technology that’s in their newer sunglasses – performed as promised. I could see detail with exaggerated colors. Super helpful. This was coupled with spherical lens shaping that gives that all-around visual feel with no distortion. Just like not wearing any eyewear at all.

The Skyline Everyday Violet Mirror style that I have has a purple lens with a neon pink frame, but there are multiple color options available.

There’s all the other useful Smith technology: Fog-X anti-fog coating and DriWix face foam, which ensures they sit comfortably on your face and wick any moisture away. The ultra-wide silicon-backed strap gives them heft, but they look and feel modern as they’re rimless.

I’d have picked these up for their style value only and gotten them based on looks alone. When spring is sprung it’s time for neons. But they performed beyond my expectations.

At $170 they’re not cheap. But you can’t beat the confidence that clear sight gives in variable conditions, even though the lens is listed as good in bright to moderate light. It’s a go-to for windy spring days and a good choice for mixed-condition days that start out sunny but switch to cloudy.