On the most basic level, all goggles are the same. They consist of a frame, lens, and strap. For this reason, most entry level goggles are the same, and it doesn't matter which pair you purchase. As you begin to seek out more advanced goggles though, the way these three elements work together makes a world of difference.
Nobody has pursued goggle functionality as far as Smith Optics has. Sure, a lot of goggle companies are innovating and working on new functionality, but Smith has already innovated, and their goggles are already super functional. This is accomplished through the use of several modular technologies that Smith Optics can choose to include or exclude on any of its lines of goggles. We're going to get into those technologies here, but if you're curious as to which line or model of Smith goggles seem right for you, check out our Smith Goggles Learn Center! If you're here for the goggle technologies though, then lets get into it.
Smith Optics: Fog-X
First and foremost, a goggle company should be concerned with preventing the lens from fogging. Smith acknowledges this, and is why they treat all of their lenses with Fog-X. This is a method of chemically etching the lenses, which absorbs moisture before it can become fog. Most companies simply use an anti-fogging coats that can be wiped off the lens. Fog-X though, cannot be wiped away.
Smith Optics: Ventilation
Additionally, Smith Optics has paid attention to the ventilation of all of their goggles. No matter if you're buying the Challenger junior goggles, or the Prophecy's, you can be sure that Smith has created a ventilation system to suit your needs. Just check out these diagrams:
Smith Optics: Vaporator with Porex
Now that we have the basic technologies that Smith Optics offers, it's time we move into some of the higher end features available on their goggles. Keeping with the theme of Anti-Fogging, let's take a look at Smith's Vaporator with Porex.
This little bit of technology is truly awesome when it comes to eliminating fog between the lenses. Anyone who has been skiing for a while undoubtedly has a story about a time when their goggles fogged between the lenses, making their day miserable. Fortunately, Smith Optics created Vaporator with Porex for this exact reason. This technology is essentially a Porex filter that is put in the outer most layer of the lens. It acts as a one way door for moisture, as it allows evaporation from between the lenses, but doesn't allow additional moisture to enter. This is a lifesaver for anyone who has face planted into some powder. (Trust us, it happens more often than you think!). Smith Vaporator with Porex is available on any spherical series goggle. At Level Nine, that means you can get this technology on the Prophecy, Phenom, Phase, Heiress, and Anthem goggles.
Smith Optics: Tapered Lens Technology
Now that the fog has lifted, we can talk about optical clarity during primo conditions. Our scientific customers probably already know this, but when light enters a medium, the rays refract. In other words, light gets distorted when it goes through your lenses to your eye. This is even more noticeable in goggles, due to the round shape of the lens. In order to correct this, Smith Optics has introduced Tapered Lens Technology, in which the distance between the two lenses actually gets smaller towards the peripherals. This corrects the refraction of the light rays, presenting you with optically correct vision. This is a big deal if you're a technical skier, or if you're someone who likes long days of skiing. Smith's Tapered Lens Technology is available in the Prophecy, Phenom, Phase, Heiress, Anthem, and Stance models.
Smith Optics: Outrigger Positioning Systems
One of the most obnoxious problems with goggles, is finding a pair that will work with your helmet. Beyond the potential issues with the top of the goggles and the bottom of the helmet, there is the whole issue of the strap. Whether you choose to put the strap under or over your helmet, it's pretty likely that you're going to find an uncomfortable fit. This is exactly why Smith put two types of outrigger systems on their goggles.
First up is the Ergonomic Outrigger Positioning system. This little piece of technology is essentially a part of the frame that is attached to the strap, and can pivot. This allows the frame of your goggles to move independently from the straps, eliminating pressure on the frame, and allowing a comfortable, sealed fit on your face. Smith Optic's Ergonomic Outrigger Positioning system also helps with helmet integration, as the frame of the goggles can fit securely on your face, while the outriggers enable to strap to comfortably surround a larger circumference. This is essential for anti fogging, as the number one way to prevent fogging is to achieve a secure fit. This technology is available in the Smith Stance.
Secondly, there is the Articulating Outrigger Positioning System. Essentially, this is the same technology as the Ergonomic Outrigger System, except Smith took it one step further. While the Ergonomic system is able to pivot, the Articulating system enables a much wider range of motion. While the Ergonomic system may run into some issues with putting your goggle strap around your helmet, the Articulating Outrigger Positioning system has no trouble at all, thanks to an even wider range of motion. This helps you ensure the most precise fit possible on Smith goggles. Currently, we have the Prophecy, Phenom, Phase, Heiress, and Anthem available with the Articulating Outrigger Positioning System.
And that just about does it for technologies from Smith! As you can see, they have a ton of different technologies at their disposal. When it comes to goggles, the number one issue is always fogging. Thankfully, Smith Optics has been dedicated to the cause for some time now, and they have a whole slew of solutions available. So in the end, no matter what type of skier you are, it's worth taking a look at Smith Optics if you're looking for a good time.
And one last note before we wrap this up. We have a ton of different lens options available throughout our current models. To help you decide which lens is right for you, take a look at your options: