Smith Range Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Good ventilation, new school look
Cons: Some color shift, only comes with one lens
Manufacturer: Smith Optics
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|$72.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Good ventilation, new school look||Magnetic lens for fast swapping, great comfort, clear optics, lower price for higher tech||Inexpensive, durable, multiple lenses included||Decent price, two included lenses, great ventilation||Reasonable price, two included lenses, 8 color options|
|Cons||Some color shift, only comes with one lens||Not as easy to swap lenses as other models with magnetic lenses||More basic styling, lenses aren't the easiest to change||Old school lens securing technology, cylindrical lenses, poor fit on larger faces||Ventilation, lens change system|
|Bottom Line||An affordable and functional goggle that will keep casual skiers happy||A frameless goggle with all of the features you'd hope for but at a lower price||An affordable and functional goggle, this pair feels good on your face and keeps your wallet padded||A traditional style goggle that lacks the latest tech but still vents well and comes with two lenses||A great value for the casual rider looking for a versatile goggle|
|Rating Categories||Smith Range||Zeal Portal RLS||Smith Squad ChromaPop||Anon Helix 2.0||Giro Roam|
|Lens Quality (20%)|
|Ventilation and Breathability (20%)|
|Ease of Changing Lenses (15%)|
|Specs||Smith Range||Zeal Portal RLS||Smith Squad ChromaPop||Anon Helix 2.0||Giro Roam|
|Number of Included Lenses||1||2||2||2||2|
|Tested Lens||Green Sol-X Mirror||Persimmon/Sky Blue Mirror||Chromapop Sun, Yellow||Blue Variable/Amber||Loden Green|
|Layers of Foam||Two-layer DriWix||Triple layer||2-layer Dri-Wix||Dual layer||Dual layer|
|Ventilation||Airflow technology||Dual vent with anti-fog coating||Not specified||Full Perimeter Channel venting||Foam|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Smith Range is an introductory budget offering from the eyewear and helmet giant Smith Optics. It blends a simple but modern styling with some thoughtful features that help make this product a solid first goggle for the skiers and snowboards who hit the mountain a few times each season.
The Smith Range comes with one cylindrical lens, and we tested the Green Sol-X Mirror. For the price point of the goggle, this lens offered surprisingly good optical clarity and coloration. We found the lens tended to overlay a yellowish hue across a wide array of lighter colors like white, blue, and green (the most frequent colors we will see on the slopes). According to Smith, this lens lets in 12% VLT, though we think this might be an overestimate as our light tolerant reviewer did plenty of squinting on sunny California days. This lens lacks any optical enhancements like Smith's Chromapop. Regardless, we found the lens offered increased sharpness to differentiate inconsistencies in the snow surface better than the naked eye.
The field of view of the Range is a bit smaller than other models we tested, especially when compared to frameless or larger frame goggles. When compared to goggles of the past and those in its price category, however, it does have a relatively good field of view. That said, the frame and foam are somewhat visible around the edges of the lens which impacts the total field of view.
The Range is a very comfortable google. The strap is wide enough to avoid pressure points and uses a standard sliding adjustment system. The two-layer foam with Driwix has a nice semi-soft next to ski feel and was not itchy.
Smith included its Responsive Fit technology that uses a minimalist and soft rectangular structure to allow the frame to gently flex and adapt to your facial features. Our testing found they fit a variety of face shapes but are best for those with smaller facial structures due to the smaller frame size. For larger facial structures they also offer a Low Bridge Fit.
Venatilation and Breathability
These goggles use a full channel ventilation system to help prevent them from fogging. The frame features a full-length top channel and two lower channels that wrap around the bottom to the top side of the frame. This frame ventilation system is fairly standard and it works relatively well. The lens of these budget-friendly goggles also has some thoughtful and effective ventilation. The lens has what Smith calls Airflow Technolgy which consists of four small vents on the face of the lens. The vents split the exterior and interior lens to help airflow between the lenses and prevent moisture from getting trapped in between them, minimizing the chances of fogging.The face foam uses DRIWIX which is intended to move moisture to the exterior of the goggle. This helps prevent sweat buildup and adds to the breathability of this model, lowering the likelihood that of fogging up the lens.
Ease of Changing Lenses
The Range only comes with one lens and the Smith website doesn't have spare lenses for sale for this model. Should you come across a replacement lens, the process to change it is rather traditional and doesn't use any fancy magnets. It's not particularly hard, especially when doing it from the comfort of your home, but we wouldn't advise changing the lens in the field or mid-day. Fortunately, Smith uses fewer, larger notches in the edge of the lens that are easier to align than smaller notches found on some other models. To complete the task, you have to touch the lens of goggles. Be sure to protect the lens by using the included microfiber bag instead of your fingertips.
The Range seems to be a durable goggle and when handled with care, the lens could last for several seasons of use. The frame offers great flexibility for cramming into a backpack or changing the lens without fear of brittle plastics breaking. The cylindrical Carbonic-x lens is intended to have enhanced impact resistance.
The silicone bead, strap elasticity, and face foam should all last for a couple of seasons of use with care.
Style is a naturally subjective category, and to help manage this we leaned on outside eyes to rank each goggle. The Range generally fell in the back of the pack in our focus groups. The smaller frame size and full-wrap frame were two of the primary complaints about this goggle's appearance.
While it may be a bit of a departure from current snow sport goggle trends, The Range brings a semi-modern look that is leaps and bounds ahead of where introductory goggles were just a few years ago.
We feel the Range is a pretty good value for casual skiers and riders considering its respectable performance and super approachable price tag.
The Range is offered at a very reasonable price and provides adequate optical quality, good ventilation, comfort, and should last for a few seasons with care. This is a great goggle for casual skiers looking for an affordable and functional model to get them on the hill.
— Isaac Laredo
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