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Smith 4D Mag Review

Outstanding and innovative eyewear that is at the top of the heap in almost every category
smith 4d mag ski goggles review
Credit: Isaac Laredo
Price:  $320 List
Manufacturer:   Smith Optics
By Jason Cronk and Isaac Laredo  ⋅  Feb 1, 2023
83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 17
  • Lens Quality - 20% 9.0
  • Comfort - 20% 9.0
  • Ventilation and Breathability - 20% 7.0
  • Ease of Changing Lenses - 15% 8.0
  • Durability - 15% 9.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Smith 4D Mag is our favorite ski goggle for not just a single factor but the whole package. It's tough for goggles to stand out from the crowd, but the designers at Smith added a new design feature — a rounded bottom of the lens — to increase the field of vision at the bottom of the 4D. This alone is cool, but it wouldn't necessarily garner our highest award. This model also includes a multitude of other great features — top-quality optics with a spherical lens, fog resistance, overall durability, full lens selection, and all of that in a stylish and attractive package with a medium fit. The flexible nature of the frame ensures a good fit for a wider variety of users. The 4D Mag is for dedicated skiers and riders seeking the largest field of view who don't mind a bit of distortion on the lower realm of their goggles.
REASONS TO BUY
High quality optics
Easy lens changes
Great field of vision
REASONS TO AVOID
Very expensive
Distortion at the bottom of the lens
Editor's Note: This review was updated on February 1, 2023, after a full retest.

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smith 4d mag ski goggles review
This Product
Smith 4D Mag
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $320.00 at REI
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$249.95 at Amazon
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$319.95 at REI
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Pros High quality optics, easy lens changes, great field of visionVery wide range VLT photochromic lens, excellent ventilation, large field of viewMagnetic lenses, magnetic facemask, 2 lenses included, great optics, best performance for large facesWide transitional range, great price, excellent optical qualityInexpensive, durable, multiple lenses included
Cons Very expensive, distortion at the bottom of the lensExpensiveExpensive, larger fit not for everyoneLow-light snow surface detail is lackingMore basic styling, lenses aren't the easiest to change
Bottom Line Outstanding and innovative eyewear that is at the top of the heap in almost every categoryA photochromatic goggle that offers a wide VLT range and a large field of view in a casual but stylish designIt may be expensive, but they are incredibly user friendly with excellent optics, innovative integration, and a great fitOne of the best values on the market, this high-performance photochromatic goggle is suited for all almost conditionsAn affordable and functional goggle, this pair feels good on your face and keeps your wallet padded
Rating Categories Smith 4D Mag Julbo Cyrius Anon M4 Toric Glade Adapt 2 Smith Squad ChromaPop
Lens Quality (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Comfort (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Ventilation and Breathability (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Ease of Changing Lenses (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Smith 4D Mag Julbo Cyrius Anon M4 Toric Glade Adapt 2 Smith Squad ChromaPop
Number of Included Lenses 2 1 2 1 2
Tested Lens Chromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop Storm REACTIV 0-4 High Contrast SONAR Red, SONAR Infared Photochromatic Blue Chromapop Sun, Yellow
Lens Shape Spherical Cylindrical Toric. Frame is compatible with both Cylindrical and Toric lenses. Cylindrical Cylindrical
Frame Size Medium Medium Large Medium/Large Medium/Large
Layers of Foam Triple layer Dual layer Triple layer Triple Density 2-layer Dri-Wix
Ventilation AirEvac Air Flow Full Preimeter Channel venting, Outlast Fog Management Face Fleece Foam Not specified

Our Analysis and Test Results

The 4D Mag is a testament to why Smith dominates a large percentage of the goggle market. With features like their spherical ChromaPop polarized lenses (one for low light and one for sunshine), a convenient magnetic lens attachment system, and an anatomy-responsive frame, it's no wonder this model is our test team's favorite.

Performance Comparison


smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the smith mag 4d is a comfortable, optically enhanced goggle that...
The Smith Mag 4D is a comfortable, optically enhanced goggle that can easily change lenses.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Lens Quality


Smith equips the 4D Mag with two of the popular and proven ChromaPop lenses. Both lenses are spherical, which enhances optical quality, adding to a higher level of safety and fun on the mountain. Spherical lenses are curved on both the X-axis (horizontal) and the Y-axis (vertical) to provide greater clarity and an improved fit. The theory behind spherical lens construction is that it will mimic the curvature of the wearer's eyeball to grant a more natural view through the goggles.


What is unique about the spherical lens on the 4D Mag is the BirdsEye Vision, a curvature along the bottom edge of the lens. No other model we tested has this design feature. This increases the field of view at the bottom of the goggle by about 7 degrees. There is a bit of distortion at the lowermost portion of the lens, but we didn't find this distracting. Others that are sensitive to distortion may have a harder time with it.

With such a technologically advanced lens, you'd hope durability isn't an issue, and you won't be disappointed with the Carbonic-X outer lens. These lenses are molded individually and have a high level of resistance to both scratching and impacts. Smith's spherical Carbonic-X lenses are classified as Class 1 lenses, which are tested to the same level as industrial safety glasses. That's pretty darn durable and protective! That said, we always recommend taking care with your goggles.

ChromaPop lenses are designed to aid in color definition and overall image clarity. The human eye has difficulty differentiating color when both blue and green wavelengths and red and green wavelengths cross over. Smith's ChromaPop lenses eliminate these crossover points, which provides more sharpness and clarity.

We found the ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash lens to be a top performer in low light conditions, like in the trees, later in the day, and on cloudy days. For lower light skiing and riding, the ChromaPop Storm lens would be our lens of choice among all tested.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the chromapop technology enhances color, contrast, and detail.
The ChromaPop technology enhances color, contrast, and detail.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Comfort


As you should hope to assume, goggles at this high-performance level deliver in all metrics. All of our testers found the medium fit of the 4D Mag to be, well, a happy medium. Regarding overall fit, these goggles were a favorite with everyone who tried them, whether with a helmet or without.


The frame of the 4D Mag has Smith's Responsive Fit construction. The nature of the frame is in the flexible latticework construction. Rather than a solid, single piece, the frame is divided into two portions interconnected with approximately 25 narrow strips. This enables it to flex and conform to various skiers' and riders' facial anatomy. We also found this provides a softer fit without any pressure points. Smith describes it like this: "Smith's frames act like a suspension system that micro-adjusts to your unique facial structure, assuring a precise, comfortable fit," and that's what our testers of all shapes and sizes appreciated.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the smith mag 4d fits seamlessly with all major helmet brands.
The Smith Mag 4D fits seamlessly with all major helmet brands.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Beyond the frame construction, Smith doesn't skimp on the padding of these goggles either. Like most of the top performers in our test, the 4D Mag is equipped with a three-layer foam system. The padding layers are open-cell foam of different densities, with a soft and plush layer of DriWix foam that provides the comfy layer that contacts your face. This foam also aids in wicking moisture away from the lens, which helps keep fogging to a minimum.

One of our favorite features is the strap of the 4D Mag. It has a clip on the adjustment band, which allows one to open up the goggle strap, place the goggle over the eyes, and then re-attach the clip at the backside of the helmet. This made it easier to put on the goggles, especially while touring on storm days.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the clip base quick fit strap makes getting your goggles on over...
The clip base quick fit strap makes getting your goggles on over your helmet much faster. Especially when it's snowing. Backcountry users are sure to appreciate this feature.
Credit: Isaac Laredo


Rather than equipping the 4D Mag with multiple narrow beads of silicone, the silicone bead has a very low profile that still manages to cover a wide area. This creates a stable connection between the goggles and a helmet or hat, and we didn't experience any slippage.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the design of these goggles conform nicely to the user's face and is...
The design of these goggles conform nicely to the user's face and is resistant to movement.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Ventilation and Breathability


Smith accomplishes a similar level of ventilation as other top models. The frame construction provides a wide air inlet between the inner and outer layers. Each flexible support on the frame has openings on either side, which also encourages good airflow. A thin layer of AirEvac vent foam provides an air-permeable layer over the vents, which keeps snow and moisture on the outside of the goggles where it belongs.


Another notable aspect of the carbonic lens construction is the inner lens. Smith uses their Fog-X lens treatment, which is a hydrophobic (water-repellant) coating that repels moisture very efficiently. Where most manufacturers use an anti-fog coating, Smith's Fog-X is etched into the lens. With the permanently etched construction, the Fog-X doesn't wear off either, and the lenses of the 4D Mag should be in for the long haul.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - the ultimate test of a goggle. wet, intense snowfall with lots of...
The ultimate test of a goggle. Wet, intense snowfall with lots of user effort; the 4D Mag resisted fogging up on this challenging day.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Ease of Changing Lenses


Even with the latest tech, if you can't change your lenses easily, that fancy lens becomes less than ideal. Thankfully, today's goggle manufacturers are addressing this common problem of the past. Smith has taken this head-on and has made lens-changing easy.


We found the interchangeable lens system to be one of the easiest and most secure systems. The interchangeable lenses are attracted to the 4D Mag frame by strong magnets that keep the lens securely attached to the goggles. While some manufacturers would call that good, Smith takes an extra step and utilizes easy-to-turn securing latches on either side of the lens. This extra layer of security should keep that expensive magnetically attached lens safe in even the worst of yard sales. It does add a step, but it is still easy to accomplish.

If you want to continue skiing no matter the weather and light...
If you want to continue skiing no matter the weather and light conditions, getting a pair of goggles with two lenses that are easy to swap in and out will add a lot of convenience.
After removing the lens, just reverse the process: move the lens to...
After removing the lens, just reverse the process: move the lens to the frame, let the magnets do their magic, and pivot the small levers on either side back forward...and done!

Durability


These goggles are made for years of use at both resorts and in the backcountry. The more flexible nature of the goggle's construction is right at home crammed into a backcountry ski pack, and the 4D Mag was none the worse for wear after testing.


We found the Responsive Fit frame to be strong and up to the task, and it showed no signs of wear or tear. The goggle strap retained full elasticity throughout two months of testing and didn't show signs of stretching out. The silicone strip on our test goggles strap is still attached solidly and still looks as good as the day we opened the box.

The Carbonic-X lens construction adds scratch resistance to the lens, addressing something that can be a potential weak point. The process helps create a strong and durable lens that should last season after season of heavy use. Again, our 4D Mag test goggle lenses look as good at the end of our review as the day we started the process.

While not an actual part of the goggles, Smith also includes a two-compartment bag for easy and portable storage of your goggles and an extra lens, whether in your pocket or backpack. Smith also earns extra style points for including a more rigid storage case and goggle sock, which further protects your investment, especially if your snowy endeavors include air travel.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - how long this product lasts is up to you. it's well-made and durable...
How long this product lasts is up to you. It's well-made and durable and with the right care it can last for seasons.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Style


The 4D Mag has a sleek and modern look, which should appeal to a wide variety of skiers and boarders. It doesn't quite have the huge, alienesque appearance of other goggles and strikes a balance between traditional and modern designs.


Currently, the 4D Mag is available with many color choices, so there's likely something for everyone. The multiple lens options available are not only tinted in different colors but come with different colored lens coatings for just about any light condition and style choice.

smith 4d mag ski goggles review - smith offers the 4d in a wide array of lens types and colorways to...
Smith offers the 4D in a wide array of lens types and colorways to help define your style.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Should You Buy the Smith 4D Mag?


If you can afford it, yes. We expected the 4D Mag to be a top-performing goggle that checked all of our boxes, and we weren't disappointed. It earns our top accolades with its form, functionality, and durability. This model is the best you can buy if you demand top-level performance in a stylish and durable package. Keep in mind the included extra lens, travel case, and lifetime warranty increase the value of this product.

What Other Ski Goggles Should You Consider?


If you are looking for a more budget-friendly yet still high-quality goggle, check out the Glade Adapt 2. It is photochromatic to ensure the lens is the correct color for the current conditions. The product makes very few compromises at an attractive price. If you are looking for a large field of view but feel the distortion of the 4D will frustrate you, then look at the Giro Contour as it has one of the best lenses and largest fields of view in the fleet.

Jason Cronk and Isaac Laredo
 
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