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Apparel Review

Smith Provides Shelter From the Sun and Wind


Date: 10/11/10
Tackle type: Sunglasses
Manufacturer: Smith Optics
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.08 - GREAT

Smith Optics has been providing premium eyewear to sports and outdoor enthusiasts for the last forty years. Featuring aggressive styling and host of specialty shades for cyclists and fishermen they've been a long time favorite of our very own Zander here at TackleTour. Today we take a look at a pair of shades in their Premium Style line that are also very suitable for fishing or other outdoor pursuits. Introducing the Smith Shelter line of shades.


Smith Shelter Specifications

Frame Style Shelter
Frame Material Grilamid TR-90
Available Lens Options 6
Frame Color Tested Green Stripe
Lens Color Tested Polarized Brown
Case Hard case
MSRP $119


Impressions: The thing that attracted me to the Shelter frames was the way they handled the wrap around style. Usually, when you see a wrap around style like this, the result is a little clunky and all together "fishing" or "cycling" centric. The Shelter frames are executed like a pair of everyday, stylish shades.


Introducing Smith's Premium Style Shelter shades.


Available in their environmentally friendly, Evo recycled material line, this particular pair of shades are instead made of Grilamid TR-90. This is the same material used by Costa and many other sunglass manufacturers for their frames. The lenses are Smith's own Carbonic TLT lenses in Polarized brown.

The Hammerhead frames are one of at least sixty six available styles from Costa Del Mar.

Field Tests: These shades were purchased at an REI store enroute to a weekend getaway after I had realized I left my regular pair of shades in my other car. My emergency shades weren't cutting it, so it was time for a replacement.

The Shelter frames sit within Smith's Premium Style series and Alex shows us why.

While I'd have preferred the polarized copper lens, the only one available at the time was the polarized brown. The lenses offer very good clarity and there is no distortion on the sides as is often the case with polarized polycarbonate lenses.

This particular frame pattern? Smith's Green Stripe.

Most full frame shades don't agree with me because the frames obscure peripheral vision and it takes me some time to grow accustomed to them. This wasn't the case with the Smith Shelters. Smith does an excellent job keeping the frames far enough back to minimize blocking peripheral vision while at the same time, curving the actual lenses just enough to keep them away from your eyeballs.

Smith cleverly and cleanly decorates these shades with their logo adding a bit of style to an otherwise large section of frame.

The Shelter frames are made for medium to large heads and fit my large noggin quite snuggly and comfortably. I noticed no issues with the ear pieces on these shades after all day use probably thanks to their almost straight back shape. There's no wrap around your ears with the ear pieces on these shades and they're very comfortable to wear.

The Polarized Brown lenses were not my first choice, but they are a good general purpose lens.

On the bridge Smith employs what they refer to as a hydrophilic megol nose pad - basically a soft rubber padding to provide both grip and comfort on your nose. This too, is very effective but probably more so if you're one with a prominent nose like myself. I can see these slipping down the face of those with small noses.

Stainless steel hinges are the norm with Smith.

Next Section: Performance on the water and low light









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