Friday, April 20, 2012

Smith Sunglasses Review

I have owned these glasses for about 6 months now and I can honestly say that I have worn them almost everyday.  I have to preface this by saying that my last pair of glasses ere Costa Del Mar Brines.  While they serviced me very well for several years, they wore out and when I sent them to be repaired, I got the newer Brine frames.  This would be great except that the new frames are too small for my giant head.  Anyway, I decided to try Smith Optics because I had heard nothing but good things about them.  I have always enjoyed sunglasses.  I am one of those guys who can't go outside without a pair.  I have owned lots of cheapo polarized sunglasses plus some Sunclouds, Strike Kings etc.  Before I bought these Smiths, I thought that Costa Del Mar was the apex of sunglass design.  I was definitely wrong (though they are still great).  These Smiths are legitimately awesome.  I have always liked small, quality items.  You know, the kind of gear that just feels good.  You pick it up, feel the weight and construction and just know that the product is well made.  These sunglasses are one of those pieces of gear.  Good polarized glasses are essential to most fishing, as I am sure you know.  There are a few tiers of polarized glasses that range in price from 5 or 10 dollars up to 300 to 500 dollars.  The Smith Optics Touchstones are near the top of the list.  They retail for $219 and are worth every penny.  Like I said, I wear these most every day.  I wear them to drive, to walk around outside and, of course, to fish.  They have performed flawlessly in every situation that I have worn them in.  The fit is large, but like I said, I have a giant noggin.  These things are almost aviator-like in their coverage.  I think I wear a 7 and 3/4 hat size.  I also have a fairly large snozz.  This usually means that sunglasses do not provide me with the coverage I want because my nose holds them too far off of my face.  While there is a bit of light underneath the frames on my Touchstones, it is less than with other frames and it does not bother me.  I decided to go with the Copper colored Techlite glass lenses.  I personally prefer glass lenses because they do not scratch as easily and provide better optics.  The downside is that they are heavy and offer less impact resistance, in other words they could shatter.  The Copper color is great for ozark streams with mostly brown and green bottoms.  It cuts glare and helps fish to "pop" against whatever background they are above.  I have to say that these are the best sight-fishing glasses I have tried to date.  The next feature is the polarchromatic technology.  I had no idea what this meant before I looked at Smith.  These glasses actually change color as light gets brighter.  It is kind of like those dorky eyeglasses that turn into sunglasses except they never get clear, just lighter.  This feature is great because it allows me to wear them all day without having to take them off at dawn, dusk or when it gets cloudy.  That always bothered me about my other sunglasses.  Even when it is cloudy, polarized lenses still help cut glare and help you to pick out fish.  When they are too dark, you just can't wear them all the time.  The polarchromatic lenses help out a lot with this annoyance.  These glasses came with a cool case and weird little cleaning cloth as well as a great lifetime warranty.  They are made in Italy, which is kind of a bummer because I like to buy American, but I do like Italian food and mobster movies so it could be worse.  They have really nice spring hinges and the plastic frame is as nice as I have ever seen.  The only real downside to these glasses is that they are kind of heavy and that they leave me with a wicked case of raccoon eyes.  Oh and I did not receive any money or free stuff for this review- I just really like these glasses and I bet you would too.        

Me and my big sniffer holding a White River snake and wearing my Touchstones.

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