What difference does it make?
pop quiz: only an honoury 'Smith' from 1982-87, but always a 'Manc'
I first bought a pair of ski goggles about seven ski seasons ago, they were a bottom of the range pair of Bolle ones and I have to confess I never liked them; they regularly steamed up and were no help in flat light, and I mostly continued to wear sunglasses.
About four ski seasons ago I became a ski helmet wearer – a Red Pure, and started to wear my ski goggles more and more. I got used to them on my face, but they still steamed up a lot and were still no help in flat light.
Then, pre-this season I was lucky enough to be given a £50 voucher for Snow + Rock and thought it time to invest in a good pair of ski goggles. A fair bit of Internet research pointed us towards Smith as a brand, but it is very difficult to discover the ‘real’ reasons for the range of prices online, so off we went to Snow + Rock in Didsbury (note: There are often bargains to be had at the end of season at Snow + Rock).
Light is always flat in South Manchester, but without snow it is still very difficult to judge how any goggles are going to perform when you get to a ski resort. Anyway, after trying on several pairs from Smith, as well as others from Bolle, Oakley and Sinner, I opted for Smith Vice. The £50 voucher I had was woefully short (!), but they say you get what you pay for.
Having now skied in Austria with my new Smith ski goggles for a couple of months, I can provide;
- They are comfortable to wear.
- The ‘sticky’ on the back of the head strap is brilliant, the ski goggles never move out of position.
- They never get steamed up.
- Even when I face-planted they cleared remarkably quickly.
- The colour matches my helmet!
- They come with a lifetime warranty; not covered if your dog chews them!
- They provide excellent visibility in most conditions.
- Flat light is still a bit of a problem – the Smith Vice has the option of 12 different replacement lenses I will have to investigate.
- When windy, they make me cry! The anti-steam-up ventilation is so effective I get a cold draft of air across my left eye.
- They seem to scuff and scratch quite easily. I am careful with mine, but already have four or five scuff marks on the lense.
When I bought my Smith Vice Ski Google, Andrew opted for Smith I/O Ski Goggles; I’ll get him to review them soon.
pop trivia: “What Difference Does it Make?” was The Smiths first significant chart success, getting to No. 12 in 1984.