As a cyclist, it’s particularly important to block out harsh sun and protect from debris when riding outdoors. Smith’s new Shift MAG sunglasses are described as ‘geared for speed’ and offer clear optics and protection from the elements. The Shift MAG sunglasses have a full-frame design, medium fit / large coverage with an oversized lens for a wide field of view. Smith offers the sunglasses with their ChromaPop lenses for balanced colors and filtering as well as a photochromic lens option. Retail price for either lens option is $259 and Smith even includes a hardcase and an extra interchangeable clear lens with the sunglasses. Swapping lenses is simple with Smith’s clever magnetic lens change system which uses two toggles on each temple to hold the lens in place. As with other Smith sunglasses, the Shift MAG also offers soft and flexible Mengol temples and two-piece nose pads for a comfortable fit.
The Smith Shift MAG sunglasses offer a conservative oversized design with a clever magnetic lens change system.
|Measured weight (in g)||36|
|Likes|| + Crisp optics|
+ Oversized lens offers wide field of view
+ Magnetic lens change design
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Styling maybe conservative for some
– Only available in limited color selection
|Where to Buy (US)||Smith Optics|
The Shift MAG arrived in a simple eco-friendly cardboard box with minimal branding with the sunglasses packed securely inside the hardcase. We’re happy to see the move toward more sustainable packaging as most people will toss the box soon after purchasing
Inside the box you’ll find
- Shift MAG sunglasses
- Spare clear lens
- Zippered hard case with space for spare lens
- Fabric carrying case
- Smith sticker
- Instruction manual + informational tags
Although the sunglasses carry a premium price tag, it’s great to see the spare clear lens included right out of the box. The clear lenses are ideal for riding at night or early morning to protect from debris or bugs when riding.
FIT & FINISH
Visually, the Shift MAG sunglasses have simple smooth curves for a conservative yet oversized design. The more restrained design means the Shift MAG sunglasses don’t look out of place even if you wear them off the bike. Currently, Smith only offers the Shift Mag sunglasses in a few frame colors: matte black, gloss black, red and matte white. The lens colors are also limited to a few select ChromaPop lenses or a photochromic lens. There are no customization options currently available, but we’d expect Smith to add more color schemes and lens options over time. We found the glossy black frame to be well made with no visible molding lines or imperfections.
There is minimal branding on the sunglasses with only Smith logos on the temples and a photochromic label on the corner of the lens. Despite the full frame design, the sunglasses are also surprisingly flexible and can twist side-to-side. This should make the sunglasses more robust to rough use or accidental drops without breaking the lens or frame. Although the sunglasses are oversized, the more conservative style means they don’t have the personality of other retro sunglasses such as the Bollé Chronoshield sunglasses which can either be a positive or negative depending on your point of view.
Smith offers the Shift MAG sunglasses with their ChromaPop lenses as well as a photochromic option. We’ve ridden with their ChromaPop lenses with the Smith Flywheel sunglasses and were impressed with the color clarity and balance so we chose the photochromic clear to grey lens option with the Shift MAG sunglasses. If you haven’t ridden with photochromic lenses before, we highly recommend it as the lens automatically adjusts to the environment. With a 20-85% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) range (i.e. category 0-2) the lens is ideal for a wide range of riding conditions. The lenses transition quickly to the environment without being distracting as well. One downside of the photochromic lens is that with an 85% VLT it makes the included clear lens less useful unless you ride in complete darkness. We would have also preferred a slightly darker range (i.e. 15-80%) for more filtering of full sunlight.
MAG LENS CHANGE SYSTEM
As the product name implies, the Shift MAG features Smith’s clever magnetic lens change system. Unlike other sunglasses which require bending and pulling the lens to remove the lens, the Shift MAG uses magnetic toggles on each temple arm. Releasing each side allows the lens to lift up and simply slide out of the bottom frame slots. The lens itself has the top brow attached which provide a convenient place to hold the lens and avoid fingerprints. It’s an easy to use design that makes lens swaps quick and easy. Having broken nose pieces before trying to swap lenses, the MAG system is a welcome design that we hope to see adopted in more of Smith’s sunglasses.
The Shift MAG sunglasses are described as medium fit with large coverage. We found that it fit similar to other standard sized sunglasses such as the POC Aim or Bollé Lightshifters. The Mengol temples are flexible and soft which are quite comfortable. A two-piece Mengol nose piece also allows the Shift MAG sunglasses easy to use whether you have a narrow or wide nose. One thing unique about these sunglasses is the 5-base curvature, which makes them fit more like flatter lifestyle sunglasses than wrap around cycling sunglasses. Although the flatter profile makes the frames of the sunglasses more visible, venting is improved as they sit further away from your face.
Overall, we found the Smith Shift MAG sunglasses to be well designed and comfortable. The full frame oversized design is sleek with minimal curves and smooth lines. Although we found the styling a bit conservative for the price point, it’s a distinctive design that fits with other Smith sunglasses. The large lenses offer excellent protection from debris and excellent distortion free optics. We found the photochromic lens to have excellent reaction time and particularly useful for early morning or evening rides. The Shift MAG sunglasses also feature a clever magnetic lens change design with two simple toggles on each temple arm. Although the sunglasses have a premium price, the distinctive design, included hardcase, and spare lens make it a great 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.