Expert Review: Smith Squad Goggles
This review is my honest opinion of the goggles which I purchased with my own money in January of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the goggles which I purchased with my own money in January of 2020.
The Smith Squad is a simple goggle with a standard fit. It is a great choice for skiers or snowboarders looking for premium goggles with easily swappable cylindrical lenses at a very competitive price.
About this gear
- Model: 2020 Smith Squad
- Size: Standard
- Does it feature lens replacement?: Yes
- Fit: True to size
- Helmet: 2019 Poc Auric Cut
- Wear glasses with goggles: No
- Experience: 25+ years
- When I bought them: Jan 2020
- Days used: 50
- Lenses I own (if replaceable lenses): ChromaPop Sun Black, ChromaPop Sun Platinum Mirror, Yellow, Clear
- Weather conditions used in: Sunny, partly cloudy, storm days, whiteout storm days, and night skiing
- Where I’ve used them (resort, state): Mt. Bachelor, OR
- Terrain (ex. Backcountry, powder days, resort days, etc): Resort skiing, side country, and backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was hoping to find a new pair of goggles that wasn’t too expensive and that had plenty of replacement lens options for a reasonable price. I knew I would be looking at cylindrical goggles due to their cheaper cost and I also knew I didn’t want an oversized frame.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Smith Squad because the price was reasonable and I am familiar with the quality of Smith’s lenses. I wanted lenses that I could swap but knew that magnetic options were out of my price range.
I considered the Smith Squad XL but after owning a few pairs of other oversize goggles I knew that the field of view benefits existed but the fit wasn’t as comfortable for me. I also considered the Smith I/O goggles but with replacement lenses costing upward of $95 I thought that the Squad would be a better value.
I have used Smith I/Os in the past and I felt that the field of view was just as good with the Smith Squads. I also noticed no distortion or excessive glare from the Smith Squads despite the cylindrical lens shape.
What I love about it
- Fit: The fit of these goggles is great. They have a very natural feel and a good look that isn’t oversized or undersized.
- Comfort: The goggles are comfortable and fit very naturally on my face. The Two-layer DriWix face foam creates a tight fit without feeling like the goggles need to be overtightened to maintain a seal. They are not formfit to my face like Smith’s Imprint 3D goggles so some areas of the foam have more pressure than others but it is barely noticeable and for the price I can’t complain.
- Ventilation: These goggles are completely fog proof thanks to Smith’s Fog-X inner lens and Two-Layer DriWix face foam. As with all goggles, making sure you have no face mask or hat fabric underneath the foam and fully removing your goggles when hiking is a must to keep them fog free!
- Visibility: The visibility is incredible with these goggles and although the field of view may not be as wide as more expensive cylindrical lens options I found the view to be more than adequate. There is plenty of peripheral vision for me when snowboarding as well. Smith’s lens technology is amazing and works in a huge variety of conditions. I have multiple lenses which help me fine tune for the weather (I own two pairs of Squads) but I typically swap between just the two included lenses as they cover a whole spectrum of lighting conditions!
- Face frame: I like that the goggles aren’t too low on my cheekbones so no snow sneaks underneath in high impact scenarios. The frame utilizes Smith’s Responsive Fit which adjusts to your face for a precise and comfortable fit.
- Strap: The strap is plenty wide and the silicone backing keeps the goggles in place. They have a Dual Slide Strap that allows you to easily adjust the circumference depending on if you are wearing a hat or helmet. These goggles don’t have the clip that allows you to disconnect the strap like other models but who wants to disconnect their goggle strap anyway?
- Helmet compatibility: They are comfortable and integrate well with my non-Smith helmet but I know that they also integrate seamlessly with Smith branded helmets for best fit and ventilation.
- Durability: My lenses have remained scratch free and like new, probably thanks to the divider for the extra lens inside the included goggle bag!
Issues I’ve encountered
- Lens replacement: The lens replacement on these may be a little archaic with the addition of the Squad Mag to Smith’s lineup but I find lens swaps to be relatively easy. It is obviously much clunker than their magnetic counterpart but swapping doesn’t require excessive handling of the lens and fingerprints are easily avoided. It did take a time or two to figure out my strategy as the order in which you connect and disconnect the lens from the frame is important!.
- Features : These goggles really don’t have any special features but they do have premium quality swappable lenses with a good look for a reasonable price. What more can you ask for?
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment was night powder skiing at Cypress Mountain outside of Vancouver, BC. I had my clear lenses in and it was snowing hard. We skied night pow for hours and I could see everything because of my clear 89% VLT lens (which only cost me $20)!
Value for the money vs. other options
The Smith Squad are a great value! At $100-120 for the goggles–which include a primary and a complimentary lens–the price is hard to beat. Replacement lenses range from only $20-$70 to boot (except for the Photochromatic option which is $120)!
The Smith Squad packs a ton of value and versatility for the price. These are a great option for skiers looking for a performance goggle without the premium price tag!