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Review - Smith Optics Hideout

Manufacturer: Smith Optics Smith Hideout
Model: Hideout
Price Paid: $159
Made in: Italy
Lenses: Polarized
Quality / Finish: 4.0 / 5.0
Durability: 4.5 / 5.0
Comfort: / Wearability: 4.0 / 5.0
Tint - Visibility Balance: 4.0 / 5.0
Peripheral Vision: 4.0 / 5.0
Lense Coverage: 4.5 / 5.0
Average: 4.2 / 5.0
What's in the box: Sunglasses, case, information booklet, sticker
Smith Hideout Smith Hideout Smith Hideout Smith Hideout Smith Hideout Smith Hideout

I purchased the Smith Optics Hideout sunglasses in Mammoth Lakes, California during Christmas of 2008. I selected the tortoise frames with the polarized brown lenses. Over the past few months they have been used heavily, including on our recent trip to Hawaii where they experienced high amounts of sweat, sunscreen, chlorine and salt water, not to mention the intense Hawaiian sun. These sunglasses performed great!

Quality / Finish
Right out of the box these are good-looking sunglasses with no defects to be found. The arms attach perfectly to the frames and the lenses are set with a consistent reveal both inside and out. The logo is displayed on a small bronze plaque, inset towards the front of the arms. The material itself is fairly translucent, especially the lighter portion of the tortoise design. This leads to what I do not like, the ability to see the back side of the hinges from the outside of the sunglasses through the frame material. The backside of the hinge is clean, but is out of place and inconsistent with the look of the sunglasses.

I am impressed with the durability of the Hideouts. After months of use, there is very little wear shown. They have been exposed to some harsh conditions including lots of sweat, sweat with sunscreen, pool water with chlorine and enough ocean spray that they were completely covered with saltwater several times. Despite this, the frames and lenses cleaned up easily, and the hinges look and performed as if brand new. The only evident wear is on one rubber nosepiece. It has a “chewed on” look to it, but still functions without notice. The Grilamid frames are tough and light enough that when dropped on most surfaces no noticeable damage occurs.

Comfort / Wearability
If being on a boat pounded by the wind and ocean off the coast of Kauai for 4 hours doesn’t test the wearability of sunglasses, I do not know what does. The catamaran, and us, were rocked every which way. I had the glasses on most of the time and did experience a little fatigue on my temples, enough that I pulled them off occasionally. Overall they fit snug to the temples and forehead, and rest lightly on the nose.

Tint – Visibility Balance
These sunglasses have a good balance, they work fine in both bright sunlight as well as lower light conditions. I wore these on the beach with no problems, and they adjusted nicely when I moved into shaded areas.

Peripheral Vision
The lenses have an adequate height to them which allows for good up and down vision. They do cut a little short as they wrap to the sides of the head, blocking out a small portion of the periphery.

Lens Coverage
The lenses of the Hideout cover the eyes well, not allowing much light in at all. There is a small gap on the top and bottom, but not enough to cause much discomfort.

The sunglasses come with a great case; it is rectangular and big enough to easily allow the sunglasses to be put in and taken out. It has a vinyl feel and is sufficiently firm to provide protection. The interior is felt-lined and has a snap to hold the case shut. The inclusion of the sticker is a nice touch, but the absence of a cleaning cloth is disappointing.

As you can imagine I am very happy with the Smith Optics Hideout. They are well built, perform better than I could have imagined, and are very durable. They do all this while looking great and costing less than $160. I know $160 is not pocket change, but if these sunglasses fit within your price range they are the ones to get. Besides the tortoise and brown, they come in other frame and lens colors.

Reviewed by Brian, 04 April 2009


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