Smith Evolve Dover ChromaPop Review
After spending the last couple weeks wearing the Smith Dover sunglasses with ChromaPop lenses, I am happy to report back that I am a believer in ChromaPop. Beyond the no-slip, comfortable fit and environmentally-friendly Evolve frames lies the most important part of any sunglasses: the lens. Outfitted with Smith’s brand new ChromaPop technology, which hit stores on August 22, these lenses actually provided color clarity like none I have worn before.
The ChromaPop Lens
Smith’s new catchphrase “The Grass Really is Greener” is closer to reality than most marketing gimmicks. The ChromaPop lens introduces a proprietary technology that assists the brain in recognizing color by eliminating the confusion associated when different colored light waves intersect (blue/green and red/green). Let me put that differently: natural colors do appear to “pop” out of the landscape when wearing these lenses. This is especially true in natural landscapes (and not as much in an urban setting).
How ChromaPop Works
I have had the luxury of watching about a dozen rainbows with these lenses, and every time I have caught myself lifting up the glasses just to reinforce that the colors were more vibrant than with the naked eye. A few other features about the lens before we move on:
1) they are polarized – this is a must for anyone doing high-alpine or sunny hikes
2) they are polarchromic – the lens automatically adapt to changing light conditions, for those of you who are outside all day or in partially cloudy conditions
3) they have an anti-reflection coating vacuum applied on the backside of the lens – this assists in reducing sidelight reflections
4) they are hydrophobic which repels moisture and grease – while sweat and dirt can still build up after being out for several hours, this almost eliminates the need to continually clean your lenses on a long run
5) they are scratch and high impact resistant – sorry fellas, I did not intentionally test this aspect of the lens, I will assume Smith knows what they’re doing here
6) they are lightweight – 10%-15% lighter than comparable lenses, and 75% less than glass.
Smith will initially be offering the ChromaPop lens in 6 new styles as well as in 15 different frames, so you should be able to find a pair to suit your needs.
Dover / Frame
Enough about the lenses (you can read more at https://www.smithoptics.com/us/techsunglass if you so desire). The next main feature is the frame. I tested the Dover which Smith has designed for the “active adventurer.” This frame offers medium to large coverage, and since I have a rather narrow face, it gave me a semi-hipster/bug-eyed look, but nothing too dramatic.
The frame includes nose and temple pads that kept the sunglasses tight on my face during trail runs and hikes. There was only one instance where I experienced the sunglasses slip at all, and it was while sprinting down the side of a wash (I would add that they did not even come close to falling off, so that is a win in my book).
The Dover is great for everyday use as well as hiking; however, if I was looking for a running specific pair, I would prefer a more minimalist frame. Smith’s Trailblazer is one option, which also includes the ChromaPop lens.
These frames are also part of Smith’s eco-friendly Evolve collection, which also includes various sunglasses, goggles, and helmets. The Evolve frame material is created with easily renewable, non-genetically modified castor plants, and is 53% bio-based.
These glasses, while not cheap (the current ChromaPop offerings range from $209 to $269), also offer Smith’s famous lifetime warranty.
Smith’s ChromaPop technology is a step ahead in the lens department, and can be appreciated from the casual hiker to the competitive outdoors man or woman. Since Smith is offering ChromaPop in various lens tints and frame styles, there should be a pair to match your needs. As for the frame, the Dover is a great style for everyday use, and will be my new go-to for casual outings.
Specific Product Tested: Evolve Dover – Matte Black ChromaPop Polarized Platinum, MSRP $209