Smith PivLock Arena review: Sunglasses for outdoor heroes

Smith PivLock Arena review

With that low autumn sunshine splashing into your eyes as you train outdoors, there’s still time to snap up some sunnies, and these outdoor numbers from Smith have a lot to say for themselves. Read on for our Smith PivLock Arena sunglasses review!

Designed very much in the vein of cycling sunnies, the completely wrap-around style (7×4 toric lens curvature if you’re asking) minimises bulk and maximises eye protection, handy when there’s light hail or heavy rain in the air. A hydroleophobic coating on the lenses also helps shrug off weather and fingermarks alike. Smith’s range of professional athlete ambassadors who wear the Smith PivLock Arenas tend to be of the triathalon persuasion, as you can see here.

The Smith PivLock Arenas are incredibly light at 26 grams, but unlike cheaper items are extremely high quality when you look at the detailing. The TR90 frame material is beautifully smooth and shaped to perfection, while little touches like the two-position adjustable nose piece, and slide-on temple ends add detailed adjustment without adding complexity. The fit was excellent for the variety of headshapes our tester had to hand, particularly the security of the temple grips, which give a real sense of safety, which is one less thing to worry about.

Smith PivLock Arena review

One of the best bits about the Smith PivLock Arena is the hard case they’re shipped in. Built on a grand scale, this is a proper beast to contain two sets of spare lenses in foam-wrapped comfort, as well as cleaning cloth, and the sunnies themselves.

Smith PivLock Arena review

The Smith PivLock Arena are graced with Smith’s ChromaPop lenses, a range of performance lens tints that improve clarity in difficult conditions. Our test pair came with a grey base lens with a mirror finish boosted with ChromaPop colour enhancement technology, intended for high sun exposure, and a replacement set of lenses ‘ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash’ for lower light levels.

Smith PivLock Arena review

The grey lenses are effective in low-angled autumn sunshine, and the rose contrast lens works particularly well in low visibility, such as evening light levels or overcast conditions. Swapping between the two is a rapid process, thanks to a sensible locking system for nose clip and arms alike. It’s a positive action, and even with light gloves it’s easy to locate the arms into their slots and twist to lock – clearly Smith’s ski heritage paying off here.

Overall, the Smith PivLock Arena sunglasses are a specialised item, but surprisingly useful for everyday outdoor activities, especially on a bike or when out running. The quality is strong with this one, and there’s a lifetime guarantee to boot – one for the Christmas list, surely…

The Smith PivLock Arena sunglasses are available now from for £161.

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