Increased coverage and instant lens swapping
The Smith Attack Max is the latest performance eye protection to come from the Idaho based eyewear and helmet specialists.
Fresh off the production line, the Attack Max picks up where the older Smith PivLock left off and tweaks the design almost beyond recognition.
Smith Attack Max review
First up the Attack Max version we have here has the tallest lens that Smith has so far produced, sitting some 5mm taller than the PivLock Max. It’s not quite as wide but that’s actually a good thing as the Attack Max should suit a wider (sorry) range of head and face shapes. Where it gets its added height is through a raised central section that gives greater coverage when your head is tilted down. Whilst this might be of more importance to roadies, mountain bikers will still benefit as it almost closes the gap between helmet and eyewear creating an almost goggle like fit.
All the lenses offered for the Attack use Smith’s Chromapop technology to enhance clarity and natural colours and it’s pretty damn near perfect. Greens especially appear more vivid and clearer, making everything look fresher and happier. Our Squall version came with a Sun Red mirror lens and Contrast Rose Flash lens to cover almost all light conditions. I’ve even managed to use the Contrast Rose whilst night riding. It obviously was a little darker than a clear lens but with modern lights I felt no real disadvantage or loss of vision.
Enough about the lenses. The real change is in how Smith attach the arms. The older PivLock design used a simple pin and slot system to join the pieces together. The downside to this is if you’re a serial lens swapper this interface can see wear over time. The new Attack system uses what Smith call Mag interchangeable technology. As you guessed, there are small magnets in the arms that snap together and lock the lens in place. To change simply half close the arm, push the Smith logo to disengage the magnets and pull the arm off. Replacing is even easier, just push the arm onto the lens until it clicks. Super easy and it means you don’t have to smear the lens with loads of grubby finger prints.
Although this is even more foolproof than the PivLock it requires a large attachment point permanently fixed to the lens. This does encroach into your peripheral vision more than the PivLock but still not as much as a full framed set of eyewear such as Oakley’s Jawbreaker.
Fit is exceptionally comfortable, with quite a light grip around the temples and head. Despite this lighter hold they remain firmly in place with minimal slippage thanks to the grippy hydrophilic megol temple and nose pieces. The nose piece adjusts to accommodate differing nose shapes or just to fine tune how close they sit to your face. Personally, having them a little further away helps to clear any misting really quickly without feeling like any wind gets to your eyes. The fit with the majority of MTB helmets is great with very little interference. Obviously it goes without saying that the Attack Max sits best with Smith’s own helmets.
I always have a pet gripe with any premium eyewear that features more than one lens and this rings true for the Attack Max. Why do brands only supply a single nose piece? Surely it wouldn’t affect the price too much to supply each lens with its own. After all, you go to the lengths of creating lens swapping technology that minimises lens/hand contact just to pop out a nose piece and smear the new lens fitting it back in.
Quality if pricey eyewear that sits perfectly on the head and suits a wide range of head shapes. The clarity of the Chromapop lenses is second to none. They would be perfect if it wasn't for the slight encroachment of the lens attachment into your peripheral vision.