Smith Optics Wayward Sunglasses Review
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Having a nice set of performance sunglasses can be key for your ride, run, or day in the stream. Thankfully, you don’t have to trade performance for style when it comes to your everyday sunglasses. Smith Optics incorporates ChromaPop lenses into their performance line, as well as every day shades such as the Wayward.
ChromaPop polarized lenses are designed to rapidly enhance and contrast the colors around you so that you see colors more true and faster. As Smith Optics says, “The most visually stimulating lens in the world.” During my time at ActiveGearReview.com, I have tested a variety of lenses in both sunglasses and goggles, I have to say that the ChromaPop Polarized lenses ranks high in terms of clarity and vibrancy of colors. They are not the best lenses I have ever tried, yet for the price tag of $209, they come in well under those touting a “better lens”.
The Smith Optics Wayward is available in the following frame and lens color options, to help meet your needs:
Havana with Polarized Brown or Polarized Blue Mirror
Black with Polarchromic Ignitor or Polarized Gray Green
Black Matte with Polarized Platinum, Polarized Bronze Mirror, or Polarized Blue Mirror
Here is a quick rundown of the various layers (from front to back) involved in creating the ChromaPop lens: frontside hydroleophobic coating, multi-layer mirror coating, anti-scratch protection, Techlite glass or Carbonic material, Smith polarized file, Techlite glass or Carbonic material, anti-scratch protection, backside hydroleophobic coating. It is my understanding that the Smith Wayward feature carbonic material within the lens, while non ChromaPop lenses utilize Techlite glass.
As mentioned above, the Smith Optics ChromaPop lens construction is geared towards changing conditions, as they feature frontside and backside hydroleophobic coating: this coating makes cleaning finger smudges or grease an ease, and helps to create beading of water to continue to deliver a clear view even with a wet lens. Anti-scratch protection also helps to keep these lenses from losing value and performance. I am tough of things, and have yet to cause a nick or scratch on these lenses.
Living in Colorado, a state where the weather is, “And if you don’t like the weather, just wait 30 minutes!” In other words, conditions can change rapidly and I typically go for a lens that can perform in a variety of conditions. The Polarized Brown lens fits the bill perfectly, as it can deliver in both high and low light days (VLT 14%). The Wayward is also available with Polarchromic lenses, which can adapt automatically to the changing conditions, such as as darken when the bright sun. For example, the Wayward with the Polarchromic Ignitor lens offers a variable VLT, 12-20%. No matter your lens selection, every ChromaPop lens provides 100% protection from UVA/B/C rays.
Smith Wayward Fit
The Smith Wayward sunglasses are designed for both men and women. The Wayward style and size does not vary between the genders, rather Smith utilizes a classic frame shape that can appeal to a wide audience. The Smith Wayward features the following dimensions, 54-18-135. Unless you wear glasses and pay attention to the information on the inside of your glasses or previous sunglasses, you might not know what these measurements mean, don’t worry!
The first number, 54, describes the width of the lenses in millimeters, when measured across the eyes. The second numbers is the bridge width, or the distance between each lens: in this case, 18 mm. The final number is 135 mm, which is the length of the temple length or arm of the frame.
The reason I mention these measurements is that it can help you to determine if the Wayward will work before even trying them on. If the frame is too wide, such as the lens width, it may make your eyes look as if they are set closer together than they really are. On the other hand, if the lens width is too narrow, it may make your face look bigger than it really is. The bridge number is important because it will help you know if the shades will accommodate your nose or not: narrow bridge is typically defined as 15-18mm, with wider defined commonly as 18-22mm. The temple length is typically a little less important, with many shades utilizing 135 and 140mm’s.
The Smith Wayward comes right in the middle with all of its’ measurements, making it an ideal choice for a variety of face shapes and dimensions. In addition, Smith Optics incorporated steel optical hinges with springs, which easily adjust to your head shape. I liked this feature for winter, when I often put my sunglasses overtop of a beanie. The hinge does not stretch out, like others’ I have used If you have a small to medium shaped head, please note that pushing these sunglasses up on your head, headband style, is not advised: I have had them fly off my head a few times while loading and unloading the car or roof-box. Best to add a pair of croakies for the summer season.
Smith Optics Wayward Sunglasses Coverage and Performance
The Smith Wayward sunglasses provid an excellent amount of coverage, and style, with the 54 x 44 mm lens shape. It should be noted, however, that these do not feature a wrap around fit and allow rays to come in from the sides and bottom. Smith incorporated anti-reflective coating on not only the frontside, but also the backside of the lenses to help minimize some sidelight reflections.
That being said, the flat base curve of the Smith Wayward sunglasses helps to allow heat to dissipate, which cuts down on fogging. When I wore the Wayward with a tight fitting running hat, I would fog up at times with high intensity exercise, but it was only in a small area at the top of the sunglasses and it would subside when I moved my hat around. To help keep the Smith Optics Wayward sunglasses in place, there are rubberized nose pads and pads at the temple. I have worn these running on numerous occasions and found that they stayed put relatively well. They were not nearly as secure as my sport specific shades, but do the trick when you bring only one pair of sunglasses on a trip.
The Smith Wayward sunglasses feature a plastic frame design that is lightweight, yet durable. If I do run into any issues, Smith Optics has a pretty great customer service line to help get you straightened out if warranty work is in order.
Overall, like many Smith Optics products I have reviewed in the past, the Wayward sunglasses have not let me down. They can be your only sunglass for not only a beach vacation, but also utilized for more active pursuits. For more information, please visit SmithOptics.com or www.amazon.com/smith.