The Smith Optics Arena Glasses with Chromaop are a rimless pair of sunglasses that don’t steam up and offer a crisp clear field of view, but we were left wanting in terms of coverage from the bottom of the glasses.
The Arena glasses are a sleek and minimalist of glasses that are superbly comfortable to wear, after owning a pair of similarly shaped Asana’s for the best part of three years I can attest to the hardiness of the lens too, you’ll find the quality Smith lenses hard to scratch.
The Arena’s feature two lenses, one mirrored and one ‘Rose Flash’ both of which feature the Chromapop technology. Chromapop is Smith's own take on a polarized lens, both interchangeable lenses produce a stunning outlook on the world, they are crystal clear and produce great colours whilst still shielding you from the suns rays. It’s shame the set also doesn’t come with a clear lens for really dark days, the Rose Flash lens does a good job of brightening conditions but sometimes deep in the UK forests, a clear lens is the only one that will work.
Swapping the lens out uses Smith’s simple Pivlock system – just rotate the arms through 90° to disengage them and pull down on the nose piece to remove it. Reverse the process to place the parts back on the new lens, very simple and easy to do even trailside, just make sure you have clean hands as you will likely have to grab hold of the lens itself.
The Arena’s fitted well on my smaller face, although they did interfere slightly with the low temple section of my Bell Sixer lid. The fitted my other’s half’s larger face and Smith Forefront lid better with no interference. The lenses say they are a medium fit with medium coverage so just make sure you try with your helmet combo before you buy if you are unsure. If you prefer more coverage there is also the Arena Max glasses but we have yet to test these.
The nose piece is adjustable and the arms can be shaped to help the glasses fit securely to the head, just heat them up with a hairdryer and bend inwards / outwards to the desired fit.
The coverage of the Arena’s is good but not superb, I found mud made its way up under the glasses on more than one occasion when it was really mucky. The curved nature of the underside of the glasses could have been the cause of this. With regards to steam or lack thereof, the Arena’s perform impeccably, they are fog free for the most part unless you stand still, sweating on a muggy day, I found they always cleared quickly. Their hydrophobic coating keeps rain from sitting on the lens, it beads and falls away, which is a great addition and still working well many months later.
For £160 the Arena glasses are not cheap, although they have now been discontinued from the Smith range so you might be able to pick up a bargain. If you do, you’ll get crystal clear vision, a fog free pair of glasses and a quality build.
You might also like: