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Apparel Review

A shield from glare for anglers, Smith’s VTi Interchangeable Performance Optics (continued)


Operation: If you are a frequent reader of TackleTour then you have no doubt read one of my optics reviews in which I have criticized the ergonomics or operation of the sunglasses I tested. While many of these shades excelled in one application they often fell well under the bar in another category. So often optics are designed for other applications, or general outdoor use, and seem to neglect many of the important attributes that benefit anglers in particular.


A look at the polarized lens shield

After testing so many optics I started questioning if I was just being overly finicky, or if there really was not a pair of sunglasses out there that could satisfy my main three attributes.

The temples on the VTi are constructed out of titanium

Those three elements being a quality interchangeable lens system allowing anglers to changes lenses easily in the field to match their applications, a light overall weight that would not weigh down on anglers even after a full day fishing, and finally a durable design that could stand up to plenty of abuse from the elements and anglers themselves.

Further porting is done to eliminate even more weight

I hoped that the VTi would finally be that pair of optics that would satisfy all my major requirements. The minute I looked at the retail box I knew this pair of optics was different. The retail box was at least three times the size of any other sunglasses I have ever tested. 

The shields fit firmly into the frame, so much so that it is even hard to tell this is a interchangeable pair of sunglasses

Inside I found a large rigid nylon case which is ergonomically shaped. The case itself appears very sleek and inside I found the VTi and enough foam to properly protect even more lenses than the extra two that it came bundled with. The case on the VTi needs to be so large because unlike every other interchangeable design I have tested to date, the lenses on the VTi are a single shield as opposed to separate right and left lenses. 

Bass fishing with the Hardtop

It took me a while to get over the total bundle. The case provides excellent protection for both the VTi (in open position) and the extra lenses. A soft Smith cleaning cloth was provided as well, and the cloth doubled as a soft case for the VTi when it is inconvenient to carry the entire case. When I finally started inspecting the VTi sunglasses I was immediately impressed with how light the pair felt, as well as how solid the lens rested in the frame. Unlike many two piece designs where the lenses have some give in the frame, the VTi frame held the shield in place so firmly that it could easily be mistaken as a fixed pair of glasses.

Notice the small venting gaps on top

Next Section: The test continues









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