The Smith Squad MTB, as the name suggests, has been designed and created for mountain bikers rather than being an overweight ‘hand-me-down’ MX goggle. It does share its DNA with the Smith Squad 'Snow' goggles The pair look very similar but, on closer inspection, tweaks to the frame and lens point towards a more MTB-rider-focussed design. The Squad goggles are designed to integrate perfectly with Smith helmets for comfort, venting and storage but just how do they fair against the best mountain bike goggles?
Design and aesthetics
The team at Smith went straight in after the number one ride-ruining culprit of the goggle-wielding rider: fogging. The frame features open ventilation ports which are spaced well around the entirety of the lens, which helps reduce fogging and unwanted condensation on the inside. There are also four large slots at the top brow of the lens to direct air into the goggle when you are riding as well as an anti fog treatment to the inner side of the lens.
The frame features a semi-frameless design and material has been kept to a minimum. The ' Fit construction' cleverly allows the goggle to distort and follow the contours and shape of any face. If these don’t fit your face or if you are looking for the frame to fill the field of view on one of the best full-face MTB helmet, then Smith also makes this goggle as an XL model.
The goggles pictured here come with a ChromaPop tinted lens that is cylindrical in shape to aid both a wide field of view and also provide razor-sharp optics. Smith claims that the ChromaPop-tinted option enhances contrast and natural colors. Smith offers several different grades of tint. Both lenses supplied here feature posts so should conditions deteriorate, tear offs (available separately) can be used on either.
The 4.5cm wide adjustable strap hosts a single, wide bead of silicon to lock the goggles into place. (There's also a thin absorbent triple-layer face foam). The Squad MTB goggles are shipped with a cloth bag (included in the box) and the additional clear lens and they are backed up by a lifetime warranty covering manufacturing defects.
It's hard to fault the fit and feel of this premium offering from Smith. They are the lightest goggles (108g) I have had the pleasure of testing and very comfortable to wear thanks to the frame’s kind of suspension and the thin face foam. Comfort is great, too - the foam around the nose is scalloped out to ensure a quality, secure fit, regardless of the terrain on offer.
The ChromaPop lens technology works exceptionally well. It allows you to pick out details in the trail in a pseudo-high-definition manner. While the ChromaPop Sun Black (Cat 3, 12%) is incredible at cutting glare and sun rays on clear sky days, they're not typically suited to the British climate.
Unsurprisingly, fogging is not an issue with these. The open vents work a treat keeping condensation at bay but the large vent holes can occasionally allow in small pieces of dust or mud.
With the Smith Squad MTB goggles, you can expect class-leading comfort that borders on fit and forget. I highly recommend these goggles -they are great for riders looking for lightweight, versatile mountain bike-specific eye protection. Impressive optics and superb venting, perfect for downhill mountain biking to trail riding and everything in between. I would only suggest you drop your hard-earned cash on a darker frame color to reduce any chance of reflected glare, which can be a distraction on bright days.
Tech Specs: Smith Squad MTB goggles
- Colors: 6
- Price: $60 / £100