Field Notes: Smith is an old favorite with outdoor dirtbags and product abusers like us, and the new Drake is no exception with purpose-built design for mountain and water-based good times. It features vision-enhancing lens technology and a lightweight, durable frame, no surprise from Smith brand sunglasses. And with a lifetime warranty backing up your shades, you can feel confident when you take them out on rugged adventures.
Smith fans will find the medium fit, subtle contours and slightly unexpected relief surfacing on the Drake to be a nice update to previous models. Other highlights include plenty of coverage, a versatile everyday look, and impact-resistant lenses. Italian stainless steel spring hinges and a new hydrophilic “Megol” rubber nose and temple pads provide the secure fit you’ll need out there.
Its Techlite TLT glass lenses, something you may not have tried before, offer maximum anti-scratch protection. You can also choose Smith’s proprietary ChromaPop+ polarized lenses, now well known for their ability to enhance visual definition and natural color clarity by optimizing the way in which light enters your eye and travels to your retina, which can often have trouble distinguishing between certain color combinations.
Drake is available in nine colorways – six ChromaPop+ options and three Techlite glass – with choices of bronze mirror lenses, polarized brown or green mirror. Smith recommends bronze for in-shore water-related activities, green for pursuits on water, road and trail, and brown for field and fresh-water activities, such as stream fishing.
Designed in the U.S. but built in Italy, its bio-based lightweight-yet-durable Evolve frame are made from 53 percent bio material, which the company explains is the ideal balance between performance for the sunglasses, sustainability for the environment and reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Pros: Always a reliable value in Smith, and we love a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
Cons: Drake models with ChromaPop+ lenses are some of the most expensive we reviewed.
Tester Comments: “I’ve always been a huge Smith fan and even though they’re bigger now and not as core, they keep making great stuff.”
Key Attribute: Style
Best For: Hitting the trails or the water, with polarized lenses that reduce reflected glare.
Lens: ChromaPop, anti-reflective coating, hydroleophobic coating