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Gear Review: Smith’s Fuel V.2 Sweat-X

The question really wasn’t whether I’d get a pair of Smiths for this season’s mtb goggles. (I rock their Phenoms snowboarding.) But Smith’s mtb goggle line offers the same goggle in several designs tweaked for specific priorities for different conditions: combating light; or sweat-reduction, etc. So, which ones?

I picked up the Fuel V.2 Sweat-X. For $65, it combines several elements to create an across-the-board great goggle—with the sealing factor for me: the “Ergonomic Outrigger Positioning System” that ensures “the perfect fit in a wide range of helmet face ports.” Safe bet, right?

Actually, yes.

Because of its craftsmanship, the V.2 Sweat-X is wonderfully comfortable. That’s due in large part to the 3-layer face foam, but also that Ergonomic Outrigger Positioning System, which pivots to draw the goggle strap outward independent from the  frame to accommodate varying helmet sizes. With it, the goggle remains sealed to your face. In back, the strap secures to the contours of the helmet via a silicone grip-strip.

Against the face, the Sweat-X’s F.A.T. 3-Layer Face Foam is incredibly soft. The goggles are hardly noticeable while riding; the foam absorbs sweat well and the lens remains decently ventilated. I say decently because depending on the weather, when we stop I often do fog up a bit. The lens isn’t supposed to. It’s created with a hydrophilic surface to absorb moisture, but I do fog slightly until we get moving again. Billy says I’m just breathing wrong..

The clear lens that I chose provides 100% UVA/B/C protection, which is nice, and Smith’s “Lexan” lenses are hard-coated for impact resistance. Though somehow I already have a tiny scratch. Still, I’m happy with the lens as it provides great field of vision and clarity.

Overall, the goggles are light, super flexible and plenty stylish for their purpose; ‘course you’ve got options on colors/graphics. I’ve been riding in them for several months now and haven’t had any issues with durability.

For the mud-friendly crowd, the Roll Offs are a wonderful feature. (Though I think their goofiness deters many from using them.) Once assembled, the pull system works almost flawlessly, giving you a new band of clear vision with one quick yank of the string. I was impressed with the functionality and convenience of the system. The film doesn’t sticking to the goggles, keeping your vision clear. The cartridge supposedly provides 25-35 clear-view swipes. Unfortunately, though, the Roll Offs aren’t the quickest things to assemble, a little clumsy for getting everything in place. But in the end, a good call for the dedicated crew.
So—reasons to pick up the Fuel V.2 Sweat-X: You don’t want to guess whether new goggles will be compatible with your full-face, your big or little noggin, and you’d like them to remain sealed comfortably to your face. You’d like one goggle for the whole shebang of conditions, but you’d like to forget that it’s there, continuing to see just fine, thank you, all the way down the trail and left to right. You’d like to pay a little more and get a pair that won’t fall apart on you while riding the live-long day.
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