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Apparel Review

Smith Provides Shelter From the Sun and Wind (continued)

Color rendition of the brown polarized lenses is very good and their shade level is just right for general lighting. In lowlight conditions like at dawn and dusk, they're just a tad dark for my liking which is why I'd have preferred the copper or even yellow polarized option were they available at my time of purchase.

A peak through the lens shows good clarity and protection from the Sun's rays.

With the wrap around design, however, comes excellent visibility into the water. No need to shield the sides of your shades while looking into the water with these pair of shades on. The Shelter frame does a very good job of blocking light infiltration on the sides.

The same scene without the shades.

Wind protection with the Shelters is also very good when moving at speeds up to about fifty (50) miles per hour in an open boat. I've not had these shades on at speeds above fifty, but am very happy with their performance up to that bench mark.

The Shelter passes my "on top of the head" test. They sit on top of both mine and Alex's head comfortably and securely.

For once, I've been very careful with these shades to date and have not dropped them to test scratch resistance. Considering they are made from polycarbonate, I'd expect they are very susceptible to scratches as I've yet to meet a polycarbonate lens I could not scratch. On the plus side, these lenses are better able to resist impact and provide better protection for your eyes than glass counterparts.

Smith inserts hydrophilic megol nose pads on these frames for comfort and non-slip performance.

Along with the Polarized Brown lenses, the Shelters can be purchased in Gray, Copper, Yellow, and Gray Green - all polarized. Frame colors seem to change all the time as the one I have is no longer listed on the company's website, but right now there are approximately six frame colors from which to choose and this includes the matte black evolve frame made of recycled materials.

The ear pieces on the Shelters are straight and very comfortable.

Distribution of the Smith shades is very good. As I mentioned before, I was able to find these at a nearby REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) store and their product can also be purchased direct, through Smith's online store.

Another look at the quality ss hinges on the Shelter.

Smith offers a limited lifetime warranty on all their shades with the procedure to file a warranty or repair claim clearly delineated on their website (www.smithoptics.com).


Smith Shelter Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solidly built frame and lens 8
Performance Acceptable in low light, excellent in middle to bright light 8
Price On par with other quality polycarbonate lens options 8
Features Only thing missing is a micro-fiber cleaning cloth 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Wrap around frames are well executed 8
Application Really good all around pair of shades for outdoors or general use 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Light and comfortable to wear - No micro fiber cleaning cloth included
+ Good clarity  
+ Available in other lens choices better for low light  
+ Really good wind protection on the sides  


Conclusion: Not bad for a last minute replacement pair of shades. The Smith Shelter frames fit well, offer very good clarity, have an unobtrusive style and double as a good pair of fishing shades as well. What more could one ask?


Looking for a pair of shades to wear everyday AND while you're fishing? The Smith Shelter line is worth some consideration.


The only thing that really comes to mind is a micro-fiber cleaning cloth included with the shades when you purchase them. Otherwise, it's really great to have a pair of shades you can wear everyday yet that actually function with some of the better fishing specific shades on the market today. Smith's Shelter series are a very worthy pair of shades.









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