We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. Some things you choose are for style and some things for performance. The Shift MAG serves both of those demands and does it well. The ChromaPop lenses work wonders and the added eye protection couldn’t be more of a value while riding.

I’ve never been too keen on the super extreme active eyewear trend, a bit too baseball coach for me. But as the years continue and more and more brands are offering large-lens, goggle-like, eyewear for riding, I have slowly been trying to find the right pair. From a performance standpoint, the large lens is great at blocking debris, wind and, of course, blocking harsh light.

Smith Optics is an industry-leading eyewear brand that over the years has expanded their catalog not just across different activity disciplines, but also beyond eyewear to helmets and other gear. We’ve reviewed a few helmets his last year if you’d like to check out some other gear: Network MIPS, Trace, and Dispatch Urban.

Smith Optics Tech and Features

The Smith Shift MAG has a superlight frame made of high-impact resistant TR90 nylon. Starting at $285 the Shift MAG comes with a hard case, secondary lens, and a microfiber pouch with an internal sleeve that is great for bringing the secondary lens with you on rides.

The MAG feature is a clever magnetic mechanism that hinges, locking the lens firmly in place. The Shift MAG has a 5-base lens curvature for a slight wrap fit, not overly flat and not overly curved making it fit the face nicely and follow the curve of a helmet . The Shift MAG has a medium fit measuring 136mm wide, 57mm tall, and 125mm long. A no-slip grip coating is applied to the nose pad and arms.


ChromaPop is Smith’s in-house lens technology. By filtering crossover colors, ChromaPop allows for greater definition, natural color, and clarity. There are different tints available to hyper-tune the lenses for different environments or bright sun to cloudy days.

Interchangeable Lenses

Many of the Smith Optics Performance Sunglasses have interchangeable lenses. Both the Shift MAG and the Wildcat come with a secondary clear lens which is great for low-light riding.

Nose Pad

An adjustable nose pad allows you to snap between two positions to get the glasses to sit at the ideal height on the bridge of your nose.

Base Curve

The base curve is the radius of the glasses. A lower number base curve will be flatter with a high number base curve having more wrap around your face.

POC Transcend Jacket

The perfect sunglasses don’t exi… Shift MAG

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
Price: $285-305
Website: smithoptics.com

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