Ever since Smith crashed onto the snow eyewear scene in 1965, it has been been on the revolutionary edge of the industry. The first product developed by the eponymous Bob Smith was the breakthrough sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam goggles — the first of their kind and the forerunner of all the goggles we wear today. With more than half a century of innovation in the performance eyewear space, Smith is still changing the game. Today, it’s the 4D MAG Goggles that will revolutionize the way we see when we hit the slopes. The 4D MAG Goggles went through over a year of testing and countless prototypes, and are truly eye-opening. We got a chance to chat with the team that worked on the 4D MAGs to give us all the nitty-gritty details of how they were able to change the snow goggles to work in any light conditions and allow you to see more than ever before.
Lenses: Smith MAG interchangeable system with bright light and low light ChromaPop performance lenses
Fit: Medium fit
Integration: AirEvac integration technology to reduce fogging
Additional Features: DriWix 3-layer face foam for added comfort while absorbing approximately 50 percent more moisture than standard face foams
Insider Note: “Our goal with 4D MAG was to maximize field of view and every design decision we made was centered around this. When we started looking at where the opportunities were to do this, we immediately keyed in on that lower area of the goggle, where traditional construction and traditional lenses limit field of view downward around the nose and cheeks. So we started playing with this early on—reducing material, pushing the lens closer to the face, and ultimately, creating an entirely new lens shape. We had to work with the factory to come up with some new manufacturing and construction techniques. So we were pushing in a lot of different areas to make it work. The first on-snow feedback with the lens prototypes was overwhelming. We knew we were on to something.” — Eric Thorsell, Senior Engineering Manager
One of the first things you will notice with the 4D MAG goggles is how the lenses curve around the bottom of the frame. This elegant look was hard-fought for and allows the wearer to see a whole lot more of the world on the slopes. This was truly one of the central design points of the goggles, allowing the wearer to see more than with traditional goggles. This new design is still fully helmet-compatible, aligning with the curvature of Smith helmets for a fully integrated fit. The rounded lenses do more than just open up the periphery of your vision, but also change your overall field of view, expanding it by upwards of 25 percent.
Insider Note: “Smith has always been at the forefront of lens interchangeability. We developed the MAG platform where magnets do the heavy lifting in terms of the alignment, attachment and sealing against the elements, but dual locking mechanisms ensure the lens stays securely attached to the frame. Another major element, although secondary to our field of view goals, was a refinement to the actual interchange mechanism within the constraints of this new lens shape. The prototypes in that first year of development were all about the lens, and there were some very clunky elements about that mechanism. So, it was fantastic to be able to take strides to make the mechanism intuitive and robust. If you saw one of those early prototypes on the table, you would see right away how different the interchange was, but the field of view was still there.” — Eric Thorsell
A new hallmark of Smith is the magnetically secured lenses that allow you to change them on the go. Making this technology work with the curved lenses was no easy feat, but the design team was able to nail it in the end. The MAG technology employs magnetic force and latches built into the outriggers of the goggle. This locks the lens in place and allows for a change with just a simple push of one of the levers on either side of the frame, releasing the lens quickly and allowing you to swap in a different lens — it’s Smith’s answer to varying light conditions. Even with the interchangeable lenses, the 4D MAG still features the AirEvac ventilation system by pulling warm, fog-causing air out of the goggle and exhausting it through the helmet ports for ultimate circulation and maximum airflow
Insider Note: “Other color management lenses will actually distort the color you’re seeing–shifting it from one color to another. ChromaPop doesn’t. It’s true to the actual color in front of you, it just amplifies it. ChromaPop does this by reducing two particular wavelengths in the spectrum that eliminate what we call ‘color confusion.’ These wavelengths are areas of the spectrum where the color your eye sees transitions from one color to another. Your brain doesn’t know which of the colors to register, so you ‘see’ gray. So by reducing these wavelengths where we may see gray, it effectively amplifies the actual color that’s there in front of you. In doing that, it improves contrast and we can enhance this further with various tints by condition. So, that’s really the secret sauce there.” — Eric Thorsell
You may be asking, why do the lenses on my snow goggles need to be changed? The simple answer is, no light conditions are the same so why would you use the same goggle lenses every day? ChromaPop lenses are developed by Smith to work in a variety of light conditions from bluebird sunny days to gray snowy, cloudy afternoons. Now available in 12 lens tints that amplify detail and enhance the colors of the natural world, each 4D MAG ships with two ChromaPop performance lenses for bright light and low light conditions.