Smith Squad MTB goggles review

Deliver clear, undistorted, fog-free vision to choose best line

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The Squad is slightly smaller than most standard motocross models, allowing it to play nice with half-shell helmets while still filling out a full-face helmet. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

The Squad is slightly smaller than most standard motocross models, allowing it to play nice with half-shell helmets while still filling out a full-face helmet. Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art’s Cyclery and was written by Eric Storz. The original post can be found here.

Lowdown: Smith Squad MTB Goggles

Good styling, incredible coverage, large field of view, and anti-fogging paired with a killer price point make for great pair of goggles. And that’s what defines the $60 Smith’s Squad MTB Goggles.

Pluses
Minuses
  • Great coverage and protection
  • Hmmm…
  • Wide field of view
  • Fog prevention
  • Fits well with full face and half shell helmets

In an effort eliminate fogging , Smith employs several tactics, including an interior anti-fog lens coating, lens ventilation, and innovative open latticed frame with no foam on the top or bottom to stymie airflow. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

In an effort eliminate fogging , Smith employs several tactics, including an interior anti-fog lens coating, lens ventilation, and innovative open latticed frame with no foam on the top or bottom to stymie airflow. Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Review: Smith Squad MTB Goggles

Growing up as the younger of two siblings, I was often the recipient of my older brother’s hand-me-downs. While I was grateful, wearing my brother’s old and tattered gear left a bit to be desired. Such has been the case with the handing down of goggles from the motocross industry to mountain bikers. Yeah, they work fine, but could they be further optimized for mountain biking? Definitely. Smith Optics’ new mountain bike-specific Squad Goggle is one of the first goggles to address this issue.

Style: 9.5

For a long time, the style and design of most goggles remained largely unchanged, save the strap. However, within the last few years, the goggle industry has gone through a full overhaul with brands like Smith, Oakley, and 100% releasing bold new designs and ending the complacency.

Influenced by current snow and motocross goggles, Smith’s Squad MTB Goggles have a semi-frameless chassis, mirrored lens (clear lens included), and integrated strap mount. Having always been a fan of the less is more approach, I find the minimalist design of these goggles to be sleek and sexy; straight-to-the-point with no fluff. The semi-frameless design has removed a lot of the clunkiness and clutter that previously plagued goggles across all industries, but especially motocross. The massive frames of moto goggles — complete with nose guards, thick frames, and outriggers — look like part of an Action Sports Stormtrooper’s armor.

Smith offers the Squad MTB in a staggering number of colorways, with not a single one being a “miss.” Although the nuclear Orange goggle was my favorite in its “overtness,” the Semenuk goggles delivered with the ever-sexy and contrasting Black/Orange color combo. Rounding out the package, the black and white print on both the frame and strap create visual interest and are certainly eye-catching.

Smith offers the Squad MTB in a staggering number of colorways, including nuclear orange. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

Smith offers the Squad MTB in a staggering number of colorways, including nuclear orange. Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Function: 9.5

While glasses and goggles both have their place in mountain biking, when it comes to flying down a favorite descent at lightning speed, goggles provide substantially more protection from sticks, rocks, branches, and bugs than sunglasses.

In an effort eliminate fogging (something more common in goggles than glasses), Smith employs several tactics. Standard features like an interior anti-fog lens coating and lens ventilation combine with the innovative open latticed frame, with no foam on the top or bottom of the goggle to stymie airflow. This makes the Squad’s ability to decrease and nearly eliminate condensation build up impressive. Even on technical descents that required a lot of physical exertion, the lens remained clear. As for the size of the goggle, the Squad is slightly smaller than most standard motocross models, allowing the goggle to play nice with half-shell helmets while still filling out a full-face helmet.

Smith’s semi-frameless design dramatically increased peripheral vision for me. I found this to be incredibly helpful when looking through corners or selecting fringe lines. When going fast, every bit of vision and visibility is worth its weight in gold. Those split-second decisions at speed are the difference between a podium and a DNF (or crash).

The Squad nearly eliminates condensation build up. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

The Squad nearly eliminates condensation build up. Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Conclusion: 9.5

When racing downhill (or just crushing it with your buddies), you only get one chance at the podium, one chance to put together a winning run. The Smith Squad MTB goggles give you a prime advantage in the form of clear, undistorted, fog-free vision to choose the best line. Plus, you’ll look good doing it. At half the price of most quality sunglasses ($60), the superior protection, appealing design, and functional simplicity of the Squad Goggle is a great value, too.

For more info visit www.artscyclery.com.

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About the author: Arts Cyclery

This article was originally published on the Art's Cyclery Blog. Art's Cyclery is dedicated to offering free expert advice, how-to videos, and in-depth product reviews on ArtsCyclery.com to help riders make an educated decision when selecting cycling gear.


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