Sunglasses are not usually considered essential ski gear. Still, how many of us would go to the ski hill without our sunglasses? How many of us would pass up wearing our sunglasses for wearing goggles?
Most sunglasses I have seen however, are not well suited to the ski slopes. However, Smith’s Sliders take a decent step towards that target.
In fact, I rarely go without my sunglasses even on a cloudy day. One of the criteria I used in selecting sunglasses was the ability of the sunglasses to deal with the rigors of the ski slope as well as daily life. I chose the Sliders from Smith. Do they meet my requirements?
I would have to say not fully, don’t get me wrong, I love them, I like the way they look and I have had a large number of people compliment me on them.
The big selling point was the interchangeable lens. The sunglasses come with three sets of lenses. Yellows, ambers, and darks. I immediately bought a new pair of polarized darks and have worn those as my darks. The yellows and ambers are rarely worn, mostly when skiing in low light situation
I am on my second pair. The first pair wore for about six years and developed a crack in the frame around the left lens. I was informed I could return the glasses for a replacement. As it turns out, I was about to leave on an extended vacation and so I did not send the glasses in and sure enough, the glasses get stepped on and broken. I hardly could send them in like that.
So how do they work for skiing? That is the biggest disappointment. I find unless it is in the upper 20° F range too much cold air gets behind the glasses and at my eyes causing my eyes to tear up. If it is warm out then the glasses do well. People have told me that I should gut out a few more runs and my eyes will adjust and handle the cold air on them okay. I don’t know, being able to see is important while skiing so I don’t take chances there.
Changing lenses is not too hard and can be done quickly. Smith sells a variety of lens tints for almost any situation. Clear, rose, amber, yellow, etc. As far as the lenses go they work just fine and usually I opt for the ambers in flat light situations but sometimes it is the yellows I need. People have suggested to me the rose lenses are very good for fighting flat light. I may purchase a pair of cheap sunglasses to test this one out.
Overall, I like my Smith Sliders but it may be time to think of another pair for skiing. I would give this product a grade of a C+.