Smith ChromaPop Sunglasses

Gear Box: Dave Reed tests Smith's ChromaPop sunglasses and finds them to be lightweight, comfortable, and clear even in harsh fall light.

Smith ChromaPop Sunglasses
Smith ChromaPop Sunglasses
Courtesy Smith Optics

The mind is a powerful and discerning device, capable of processing a bombardment of sensory input, especially the stuff that passes through our eyeballs. What we put in front of them has everything to do with what we really see. Whatever the technical trickery is behind the new Smith Optics ChromaPop lenses, it didn’t take long for me to become a believer in what they say is “the world’s most scientifically advanced polarized lens.” That’s a big claim, one that’s impossible to validate without a lot of science, but according to Smith, the secret is in a new film-free polarization that “eliminates color confusion for the brain, ultimately recognizing true color, faster.” When light passes through a traditional lens, they say, light waves intersect at two points, and the brain has to decipher whether it’s seeing red, green, or blue. The ChromaPop lens, apparently, blocks the color intersections so the brain “immediately recognizes true vibrant color while reducing eye fatigue.”

The test pair I've been using for several months (shown in the Frontman frame style) are extremely comfortable, and even in the low, harsh fall light, I can see puff patterns clearly. Whenever I pass them to others to try, I get the same reaction: "Wow. Everything's really bright and sharp." I agree. I've had no headaches or eye fatigue. The lenses are lightweight, scratch resistant, and have a coating that repels moisture, grease, and grime. As with any pair of sunglasses, don't just take someone else's word for it. Try a pair and see if the world pops for you, too. Price starts at $209, www.smithoptics.com