Expert Review: Smith Squad XL Goggles · 2021

This review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.

A skier turning down a chute.

Spring pow in Colorado! Photo courtesy of Hayden by Jeff Richards

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.

My take

The Smith Squad XL goggles are great for beginners to advanced riders. The XL is better for larger face riders or someone looking for more peripheral vision.

About the gear I own

  • Model: 2022 Smith Squad XL Goggles Black with Black lens and the Rose low light lens.
  • Size: XL
  • Does it feature lens replacement?: Yes
  • Fit: Runs large

About me

  • Helmet: Poc Receptor size Large and Giro Ledge size Large
  • Wear glasses with goggles: No
  • Experience: 29 years of skiing experience

Test conditions

  • When I bought them: November of 2021
  • Days used: 69
  • Lenses I own: Blackout/ ChromaPop Sun Black+ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash.
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny/Bluebird, Stormy, and Socked in flat light days.
  • Where I’ve used them: Alaska, Colorado, California, Wyoming, Alyeska, Turnagain Pass, Thompson Pass, A-Basin, Copper, Winter Park, Aspe, Crested Butte, Alta, Snowbird, and Jackson.
  • Terrain: Backcountry, Resort

How they performs

Anti Fog
Field of View

What I was looking for

I was in the market for new goggles. I needed something to protect my eyes from the sun on those sunny Colorado days, as well as something I could use on a low-light day.

Why I chose this gear

I picked the Smith Squad XL because I liked how the lenses were swapped, and they offered an XL size and a spare lens. My wife has none XL models, and I knew I didn’t want them due to their small size. I have had other brands like Oakley and Spy.

What I love about them

  • Fit: These will fit a wide variety of faces due to their size. They are roomy around the eyes and nose.
  • Comfort: Smith uses top-quality foam, creating a comfy fit.
  • Lens replacement: These lenses swap out easier than most competitors
  • Ventilation: These have a good anti-fog seal and never had an issue with fogging.
  • Visibility: The XLs have a great wide angle FOV. The Black ChromaPop lenses are my go-to on sunny days. When it’s storming out, I toss in the Storm Rose ChromaPop and can see the terrain contour.
  • Face frame: Standard fit
  • Strap: Strap isn’t stretched out after a season, and the rubber on the inside helps keep the strap in place even when crashing.
  • Helmet compatibility: I have worn with POC Receptor and Giro Ledge, both great fits.
  • Features: The XLs offer a great peripheral view and a very simple lens swap system. The lenses don’t use magnets that release the lens after a wipeout. These lenses stay locked in when getting radical.
  • Durability: Standard lens durability. I'm careful with mine and keep them in a soft case whenever I’m not wearing them.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Other: I loaned these to a friend, and when I got them back, the inside of the lenses was blurry and unclear. My friend wiped the inside of the lenses while they were wet. DO NOT DO THIS TO ANY LENS. This isn’t a con with these. It's a con with all goggle lenses, just a PSA. The first time one swaps lenses, they may struggle. After swapping a few times, they’ll get the feeling it’s very intuitive.

Favorite moment with this gear

One of my favorite moments with the Smith XL Squads goggles was last season when I had a much-needed “sick day.” I skied past a coworker that had the day off while at a basin. Due to the extremely dark lenses, I could ski past without being recognized. So not only for style points but for hiding my identity, these goggles are excellent.

Value for the money vs. other options

These are great for the price. The ChromaPop lenses are a game changer. There are other goggles out there for the same price without the ChromaPop tech lenses. The ChromaPop separates certain color overlaps, giving one an HD crisp field of vision. I’ve used Oakley goggles most of my life. The Smith Squad XL is better for the price, in my opinion.

Final verdict

The Smith Squad XLs are not only a stylish goggles choice. They are a high-end option for a reasonable price. The lenses swap with ease and are simple and intuitive to swap. The Chromapop tech lenses are better than any Oakley, Spy, or Dragon goggles I’ve used. The Squad XLs are also compatible with a wide range of helmets. The goggles all come with two lenses, which is why I will get another pair when I need another.

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Written By
I grew up in Alaska loving the outdoors. I became hooked on skiing at a very young age and haven't looked back. I enjoy skiing deep pillows in the backcountry and enjoying the terrain parks. I am always pushing myself to progress. I love meeting new people and am always the most stoked person in the...

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