Review of Smith Optics Wildcat and Bobcat Sunglasses
Smith Optics recently launched the Smith Bobcat Sunglasses. I review the Smith Optics Bobcat and compare it next to the Smith Optics Wildcat Sunglasses and other large cycling, running, and sports sunglasses.
Are you trying to find out what the difference is between the new Smith Bobcat sunglasses vs the popular Smith Wildcat sunglasses? From a distance, the two sunglasses from Smith Optics both look like large oversized cycling sunglasses for road biking or mountain biking. They both offer a large face and eye protection as well as rubber contact points to prevent slipping, and interchangeable lenses, they even come with the same accessories (sunglasses hard case, and soft bag). So why would you choose one pair over the other?
A quick view of the sunglasses side by side shows the Wildcat is a slightly larger version of the Bobcat. There are a few other subtle differences. If you are simply trying to decide based on the size, I’d recommend if you have a slightly smaller face go with the Bobcat, if you have a larger face go with the Wildcat.
|Frame Width||144 mm||140 mm|
|Frame Height||63 mm||60 mm|
|Lens Width||140 mm||135 mm|
|Lens Height||60 mm||57 mm|
|Temple Length||129 mm||128 mm|
|Temple Height||12 mm||10.5 mm|
The Wildcat comes in 8 different colors. The Bobcat comes in 6 different colors. If you are looking for a specific color other than Black or White, this could help you decide what pair of sunglasses to buy.
|Get Wild (Blue and Pink)|
|Black CInder (Black and Orange)|
|Matte Mystic Green|
|Matte French Navy|
|Matte Black Marble|
There are basically three categories of lenses offered by Smith Optics on the Wildcat and Bobcat sunglasses. Clear lens, light transmission (ChomaPop) lens, and Photochromatic. Below is a list of lens options for the Wildcat and the Bobcat.
The ChromaPop™ lenses enhance the surroundings. They bring a bit of saturation to the environment. The grass is a little greener and the flowers a little brighter.
In addition to there being a variety of different frame colors for the Smith sunglasses, there are also unique lens options for each model of sunglasses. If you are looking for a specific color like the Rose Gold or Green Mirro it may help direct your decision. The Green Mirror is only available for the Wildcat model and the Rose Gold is only available on the Bobcat.
|ChromaPop Black||10% VLT||ChromaPop Black||10% VLT|
|ChromaPop Red Mirror||15% VLT||ChromaPop Red Mirror||15% VLT|
|ChromaPop Opal Mirror||30% VLT|
|ChromaPop Violet Mirror||15% VLT||ChromaPop Violet Mirror||15% VLT|
|ChromaPop Rose Gold Mirror||22% VLT|
|Photochromic Clear to Gray||20% to 85% VLT||Photochromic Clear to Gray||20% to 85% VLT|
|ChromaPop Green Mirror||15% VLT|
|ChromaPop Black Gold||14% VLT|
Both pairs of Smith Optics Sunglasses come with an extra clear lens. Typically, most Smith Sport sunglasses come with a set of clear extra lenses. The clear lens is great for really low light, or night riding with a light.
Lens are replaceable and can be swapped for the clear lens or purchase a replacement on SmithOptics.com. The glasses feel a bit fragile when swapping the lens out, but I’ve never broken any part when doing so. I swap between the clear lens and the VLT lens almost daily. I typically start my rides in the evening and bring a bike light with me. When I put on my bike light I swap my lens over to the clear lens. Be sure to watch our YouTube video for difficulty swapping lenses.
|Wildcat||ChromaPop™Hybrid TR90 and TPU frameAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off|
|Bobcat||Evolve™ bio-based frame material is lightweight and durableAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off strategic venting increases airflow for reduced fogging and maximum clarity|
Glasses Temple Arms
The template arms of both the Wildcat and the Bobcat are covered with soft silicone rubber. The Bobcat rubber piece extends a little further forward than the Bobcat. The tip on the end of both sunglasses is left uncovered. The WIldcat has a stronger thicker feel to the temple than the Bobcat.
Model number and name are stamped on the inside of the temple arm.
Glasses Nose Piece
Both sunglasses have a very similar silicone nose piece. They are adjustable two-position by pinching the nose piece together there is a click in the plastic to feel the adjustment.
The Wildcat and the Bobcat are priced the same with a ChromaPop Lens or for an extra $20 you can get the Photochromic lens.
|Smith Wildcat ChromaPop||$209.00 USD|
|Smith Wildcat Photochromic||$229.00 USD|
|Smith Bobcat ChromaPop||$209.00 USD|
|Smith Bobcat Photochromic||$229.00 USD|
Sunglasses with Helmet
I always recommend pairing Sunglasses and Google with the same brand of helmet. The integration from storage in the helmet and the clean lines of the way the goggle and sunglasses follow the brow of the helmet look a lot better. Additionally, helmets and glasses are usually combined for better ventilation to prevent fogging.
Other Sunglasses Options
Smith Optics Warranty
Smith offers a lifetime warranty on both pairs of sunglasses. This basically covers manufacturing defects at their discretion. My experience has been that they are pretty good with their warranty process.
Smith Optics Return and Exchange Policy
Smith allows you to return orders online within 30 days of the purchase date. The glasses need to be unused and in the original packaging. Additionally, there is a $6 fee for shipping.
I have been riding on and off-road with the WIldcat and Bobcat for the last few weeks. I have a larger face and sensitive eyes so I prefer the Wildcat coverage to the Bobcat. The Bobcat tends to block more wind from getting in my eyes. Another difference that I prefer that may be small is that the rubber on the temples extends to where you grab the rubber when putting on and taking off the glasses. It is just a little more secure and something I often appreciate.
Both of these sunglasses are often sold out on Smith’s website, but you can check the inventory.
If they are sold out, you can also use GearChase.com to search many other major online retailers for inventory here.
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