This last year I began my journey of wearing large-lens glasses while riding. The Smith Shift MAG has quickly climbed the ranks as the most valuable riding accessory I have. The ChromaPop lens is very similar to the VOLT technology from the Bolle C Shifter that I started this journey on. Both the ChromaPop, and the VOLT, boost saturation and contrast to relax the eyes and create a vivid and clear field of view. The ChromaPop lens though does so in a more refined fashion, that I have become very keen on.
I opted for the ChromaPop Black lens which is has a 10% VLT rating. This is ideal for super bright summer days. With the secondary clear lens, I wanted to have both ends of the spectrum available. Being very light sensitive with light blue eyes, the 10% VLT is great from midday into the evening. If I am going for a ride that I know will bleed into the low light hours, I will pack the secondary clear lens with me in a hip pack to swap out during the ride.
Locally, my year is pretty split between bright sunny days and gloomy cloudy days. For the second half of the year, I tend to use the clear lens unrelentingly. With plenty of miles both on and offroad with these two lenses I will be looking forward to trying a Photochromic lens with broad 20-88% VLT rating.
The fit of the Shift MAG is comfortable for me. I would say they’re too large and they’re definitely not too small. Compared to casual lifestyle sunglasses they felt similar to the Smith Lowdown 2’s. I have sort of a high bridge which makes the bottom of the frame sit low in my peripheral vision, but typically while riding you have a forward lean and tend to look more upwards making the frame disappear out of view.
I noticed that they sit a little far from my face, which I like. Mainly due to the additional airflow that is given to the lenses to keep them from fogging up. Other pairs I’ve tried sit closer to the face and make contact with my brow. This leads to sweat getting onto the inside of the lens and is a real pain to clean during a ride. Despite sitting slight further out, they block a lot of wind and I haven’t had any instances of debris getting past them and into my ride on crusty gravel and mountain rides.
There are two really cool features of the Smith Shift MAG active sunglasses. The MAG mechanism and helmet integration. The MAG feature is genius for making quick work of changing out lenses. No need to flex the frames into crazy positions to pop the lens out, simply use the MAG hinges on either side to release the lens from it’s position, then pull it out of the center of the frame. The helmet integration is another key detail especially when you fall into a certain brands ecosystem. When pairing with a Smith helmet like the Network, there is AirEvac technology to help keep air moving behind the lens for fog free rides, additionally the Shift MAG fits very nicely into the integrated sunglasses holder on the front of the helmet to keep them securely out of the way and quickly accessible.
Overall, Smith has done a great job across the board with their eyewear and the Shift MAG is a standout set for all types of riding. Starting at $285 they hold up their end of the value bargain by being comfortable and serving all ends of their necessary duties.
Size: 136mm x 57mm x 125mm
Frame: TR90 Nylon
Lens: ChromaPop, ChromaPop Photochromic, Clear