Its very hard to quantify how a pair of shades looks and performs. In this case I will just say that life looks better though these Smith Mastermind shades with Smith’s ChromaPop lenses. They are that good. I have used many polarized lenses from many different companies over the years, several of them being excellent and quite literally — game-changers. I don’t see how anyone could not appreciate good optics. These lenses are not just good optics, they are life-changing! Seriously, if I could live in the world I see via ChromaPop lenses then I would!
ChromaPop is pretty neat. Smith offers ChromaPop in 21 different models, both for men and women. They say “Quite simply, ChromaPop Lenses are the most advanced polarized lenses in the world… By blocking color wave intersections as they pass through the lens, ChromaPop is able to eliminate color confusion, so your brain is recognizing truer color, faster. ChromaPop optimizes color and increases clarity, enabling you to see the outside world with an unparalleled level of vibrancy.” What? My eyes are confused? Sort of. Maybe this graphic will help explain it:
I won’t get into eyeball anatomy. Suffice to say that there is some science to back this stuff up. But, what really counts is how the world looks when you peer through these shades.
Compared to other polarized lenses (even the rest of the polarized lenses from Smith), these perform at a level that you just have to see and experience. I picked up 2 different sunglasses to see which tint was the most revolutionary, both of them Smith Mastermind so I would have exactly the same shape and fit to compare. First, the Polarized Grey Green ChromaPop lenses (with sleek black frame). For the record, I almost always prefer grey-based sunglasses for the ability to provide maximum color accuracy as well as not distort depth perception. 9 times out of 10 I will opt for this kind of lenses. This particular lens provides 16% VLT as well as 100% UVA/B/C protection. It also has an anti-reflective coating as well as hydro-oleophobic coating to repel water, oil, and grease.
I really liked the Smith Mastermind and found myself grabbing for these shades more than any others I was testing. Plus, they just feel good on the face. The sunglasses have a nice fit and finish as well a bit of style. The nose piece stays in place thanks to rubberized nose thingies (ed. note: technical gear testing term) that get grippy as you perspire. Pretty cool!
Now onto the Brown Polarized ChromaPop lenses (with the brown tortoise frame). The Brown lens offers 15% VLT as well as all the above features. These are the lenses that all others will be trying to duplicate. I was not intending to like these lenses, given my historical preference for grey lenses, but I was blown away by these shades. These are hands down the BEST lenses I have ever looked through. When I said that these were life-changing, I meant it. You owe it to yourself to try these out. Chances are you will do anything you can to get your hands on them. You can stop by our Gear Search to find a pair you like at the best price.
Though these are not available anymore, below are some other great Smith shades: