The new Smith Bobcat sunglasses retain the full coverage and bold styling of the popular Smith Wildcat sunglasses but offer a small to medium fit. As the name implies, the Bobcat is a lighter version of the Wildcats and offers the same attractive full frame design and optics. Retail price ranges from $209 for standard ChromaPop lens options or $229 for the photochromic lens. The Bobcat uses Smith’s Evolve Bio Based frame which uses 53% bio-based material into the injected-polymer frame. For comfort, the Bobcat uses Megol temples and a two-position nose pad for a non-slip and adjustable fit. Additionally, the sunglasses have AutoLock hinges which make it easier to put the sunglasses on and off with a single hand.
The Smith Bobcat sunglasses combine the wide field-of-view and attractive styling of the Wildcat sunglasses with a small to medium fit.
|Retail Price||$209 / $229 (polarized lens)|
|Measured weight (in g)||24|
|Likes||+ Includes clear lens|
+ Sleek styling with concealed frame corners
+ Retains wide field of view with smaller fit
|Dislikes||– Lens removal requires a fair amount of force|
|Where to Buy (US)||Smith Optics|
The Smith Bobcat comes in an eco-friendly simple cardboard box with Smith logos printed directly onto it. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Bobcat sunglasses
- Zippered hard case
- Spare clear lens
- Fabric carrying bag
- Smith sticker
- Lens information pamphlet
Smith includes the spare clear lens with the Bobcats that’s perfect for riding in low visibility or nighttime riding. Swapping the lens is as simple as pulling the top of the frame off the tab, pulling the sides out and sliding the lens up and out of the slots.
FIT & FINISH
Not surprisingly, the Bobcat looks like a slightly shrunk down version of the existing Smith Wildcat sunglasses. It’s an oversized shield style lens set in a lightweight polymer frame. Although it’s a full frame, from the exterior the sunglasses look like a semi-frameless design as the edges of the frame tuck under the lens. It’s a similar design to the POC Aim sunglasses and is a clever design detail that is easy to miss as the mirrored lens completely hides the frame. Another thing the Bobcat shares with POC is the minimalist styling as the sunglasses have smooth and soft curves. Compared to more aggressive Bolle sunglasses which have sharp edges, it’s an attractive design that looks great on or off the bike.
Smith offers the Bobcat in a variety of frame colors and lens options, but were particularly impressed with the Matte Merlot shown in this review. Aside from the creative name, the color is attractive in person and is nearly a perfect match for our Alé Klimatik jersey and pairs well with a variety of kits. Branding is limited to Smith logos on the temples which also have Megol material at the edges. The temples are also quite flexible which allows the Bobcat to fit a variety of face sizes. There is additional adjustment on the Megol nose pads which have a ratchet like mechanism with two positions for wide or more narrow noses. We do wish that Smith had incorporated their magnetic MAG lens removal design though, as removing the lenses requires a fair amount of force and leaves a lot of fingerprints on the lens.
Even though we typically wear medium to large fit sunglasses, we found the Bobcats to be quite comfortable. The flexible frame and temple arms allow the Bobcat to fit as well as regular sunglasses without creating pressure points. It’s a slightly more narrow frame which means the sunglasses sit closer to your face which wasn’t an issue for us. As always, the ChromaPop lens has clear and crisp optics. The mirrored lenses not only look great and block out the harsh California sun. We rode with the ChromaPop Opal Mirror lenses which are a Cat 3 lens with 30% VLT which was a perfect match for sunny days. The additional clear lens is also perfect for riding in low visibility conditions or night time riding.
Overall, we found the Smith Bobcat sunglasses to be attractive and comfortable sunglasses. The Bobcat are essentially slightly miniaturized Wildcat sunglasses and share the same oversized shield styling. Don’t let the small to medium size fit scare you though, we found the Bobcats to be as comfortable as larger sunglasses thanks to the flexible frame and temple arms. Those with a regular medium sized face can benefit from the lighter weight and closer fit of the Bobcat sunglasses. We also liked the smooth styling of the sunglasses and concealed frame corners which help the sunglasses stand out on the market. The main downside is that the lens removal process requires a bit of force and will put fingerprints on the lens. That said, if you’re looking for stylish oversized sunglasses with a small to medium fit the Bobcats are an excellent option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Smith Optics. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.