Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses Review

Active Gear Review is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Howler x Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Smith Optics and Howler Brothers apparel company have teamed up to create the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses. Both Smith Optics and Howler Brothers have been industry leaders in fishing and outdoor industries.  The Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses are designed to meet the demands of the serious angler.  Over the past month I have had a chance to test out the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses while fly fishing and instructing fly fishing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Features of the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

The Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses use the Chromapop+ Polarized Brown Lens.  The Chromapop Lens created by Smith Optics is a multilayered lens that visually makes the world around you appear to standout. Smith Optics was able to achieve superb clarity by creating a lens that is able to separate colors thus enhancing the image.  Additionally, designed into the Chromapop lens is tapered lens technology (TLT) allowing the eyes to be more comfortable when looking through different light refracting mediums such as water.

Lens of Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

The Polarized Chromapop lens also blocks out 99% the stray light that is present in high glare situations such on the water and in snow. Along with blocking out stray light the lens is able to adapt to changing light conditions, giving the user a consistent amount of light no matter the daylight conditions.  The Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses use a brown lens coloration which is designed for both inland freshwater fishing as well as nearshore capabilities.  The outermost layer has a hydrophobic coating that sheds water and prevents oily hands from smudging the lens.

The Chromapop lens are designed for visual optics but also add substantial eye protection.  This lens has an impact resistant polymer added for the benefit of eye protection for active users.

The frames of the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses are created to keep out stray light.  The temple of the sunglasses are wide with a large curve keeping the sunglasses near to the face.  The temples of the sunglasses are hinged with Italian stainless steel hinges.  The megol nose and temples pads are slip resistant to keep the glasses in place.  An integrated glasses leash can also be added when the temple pads are removed.  The frame is made of Evolve frame material which is lightweight and comfortable.

Temple pad and leash connector of Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Another additional feature with the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses is the semi hard protective case and soft bag which will keep your sunglasses safe when they are not on your head.

Protective case and sock for Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Thoughts of the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

The Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses are built for the demanding angler.  As an avid angler and fly fishing instructor I understand that eye protection is one of the most important items to have while fishing. Quality eyewear can either make or break a day out on the water and often means the difference between catching fish or not.

The Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses sit close to the face blocking out stray light making it very easy to peer into the water. Curved temples and anti slip nose and temple pads to keep the glasses close and in place so I never have to push the glasses up to keep them in place.

Side View of Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Front view of Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

I cannot say enough good things about the Chromapop lens.  These lenses do a fantastic job of making the world around stand out.   It seems as though everything becomes a bit more clear, and as a result my eyes seem to relax when I have them on.

Additionally, the tapered lens technology (TLT) creates the optimal lighting condition which keeps eye strain minimal.  When fly fishing your eyes are constantly searching for fish, so having a lens that provides good contrast and clarity while allowing your eyes to relax is a necessity. The Polarized Chromapop lens cut through the water and make it simple to spot fish. Not only does the polarization help in cutting the glare the Chromapop lens creates a visual contrast that makes it easier to see the fish.  I am certain that wearing quality eyewear will allow any angler to have more chances at catching more fish.

Looking at fish with Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

My favorite feature of the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses has to be the interchangeable sunglass leash.  I have lost multiple sunglasses to the depths of lakes, rivers, and saltwater due to not wearing a sunglass leash.  I usually don’t wear sunglass leashes because I often find the intersection where the leash connects to the sunglasses to become uncomfortable over time. Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses got it right.  With the incorporation of the sunglasses leash into the frames there is no material to press on your skin.  Additional comfort also comes from the lightweight frames.  With the carbonic lens and the Evolve frame material I barely notice that I am wearing the sunglasses.

The Chromapop lens also contain an impact resistant polymer layer which is crucial to fly fishing.  Especially when fly fishing with a weighted fly a mishap could result in a fly hitting you at over 100mph!

Final Thoughts on the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

As quality eyewear for serious anglers is a necessity, the Howler x Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses should make your short list of future sunglass purchases.  The optics are excellent due to the addition of the outstanding Chromapop lens which adds clarity and enhances colors. The frames are very comfortable and lightweight. An integrated sunglass leash is also included with the sunglasses. This leash is so small that it is not noticeable when you are wearing the frames making it comfortable to wear while fishing for many hours.  Overall Smith Optics and Howler Brothers got it right when producing a solid pair of sunglass for fishing, and I would recommend the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses for fishing and all other outdoor activities.

Fishing with Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Specs of the Smith x Howler Guide’s Choice Sunglasses take from Smith Optics and Howler Brothers

  • MSRP $249
  • Lens options: ChromaPop™ polarized lenses / Techlite polarized glass TLT lenses
  • Anti-reflective and hydroleophobic lens coatings
  • Medium-large fit / coverage
  • Stainless steel spring hinges
  • 8 Base Lens Curvature
  • Evolve frame material
  • Includes integrated/detachable sunglass leash


  • Chromapop lens is outstanding in terms of optics and safety
  • Lightweight and great fitting frame
  • Integrated Sunglass Leash
  • Comfortable Nose and Temple Pads
  • Comes with Protective Case and Sunglasses sleeve
  • Lifetime warranty


  • None

For more information visit

Bennett Colvin: Bennett Colvin lives in Steamboat, Colorado and is an avid fisherman, hiker, skier, and outdoorsman. Bennett instructs fly fishing and runs youth fly fishing programs. He also is a professional fly tier and ties publicly at fly shops and expos.

View Comments (2)

  • Hi,

    Really enjoyed reading your review.
    Can you please help to understand which lens/frame combo this is?
    Smith offers photochtomic lenses only for glass but you also mention impact protection which is the trivax material (ChromaPop +), so I'm confused :)
    I'm addition, I usually pick Matte Black frame as shiny frames (or semy translucent) allow light from the sides. Is this frame color block light well from all sides?

  • Ofir, thanks for the comment. These are the glasses that were reviewed . They are the Tortioise Guides Choice Frame with the Bronze Chromapop Lens. I am not sure this combo is still in production. You are correct the Chomapop + lens are made of the Trivax material These were the Chromapop lens so I don't believe they are Trivex. The Trivex material seems to have the similar impact resistance propeties as polycarbonate/cabonic lens so either way they are great for fly fishing. This is in comparison to glass or plastic. As far as light blocking properties I find the tortoise color vs black to be negligible. I have sunglasses in both solid black as well as semi translucent and it does not make a big difference when on the water to me. I am sure clear frames would let in a fair amount of light. What does make the difference for me is fit and coverage on my face. Large lens that fit snugly to my face do the best job. These did that. I hope that helps with your decision on sunglasses.

Related Post

This website uses cookies.