The Smith Optics booth is always a happening place with the beanie-wearing Smith sales/marketing crew working the crowd like no other. Greg Randolph (aka Chopper) showed me a few goodies in the lineup for fall 2008. The two items that stood out were the all-new Smith Hustle Evovle Ski Helmet and the I/O Evolve Goggles with a recycled rubber frame and bamboo-fortified strap.
I’m a big fan of the Smith helmet/goggle combination since it allows them to build helmets and goggles that maximize airflow and overall fit. It’s no wonder Giro has also branched out into the goggle world, but Smith has them beat on years of experience in optics.
Smith Hustle Evolve Ski Helmet
New for Fall 2008 is the stylish new Hustle helmet. This lid looks like a mixture of the Variant and a standard skate helmet, giving it a subtle and cool look. The looks aren’t the only thing the new Smith Hustle helmet has going for it. With one hand, you can open up the shutters, exposing the myriad of vents in this helmet. Just one flick and you’re melon will be cool and collected. Another thing to note about Smith’s vents in general is that the vent slide cover is located as close to the outer shell as possible. If you auger while charging the Cirque at Snowbird, you won’t have a collection of snow in your vent holes, which is something that can’t be said with some of the other helmets on the market.
The liner in the Hustle Evolve uses Cocona fabric to maximize the natural moisture wicking and odor reduction properties of coconut fiber. This is a nice added touch to this already-cool lid. I dig it. Looks like the retail price of the Smith Hustle Evolve is $120 (a great price for quality melon protection).
Smith I/O Evolve Recycled Goggles
Keeping with the green theme, Smith is introducing the I/O goggle with frame material made up of 96% recycled materials and a bamboo-reinforced strap. This goggle uses Smith’s awesome Vaporator lens. A few key points on this lens: 1) the double lens material is sealed using silicon to eliminate lens de-lamination, and 2) the quick-change feature of this goggle/lens combo is second to none. Quick lens changes based on conditions are super easy.
Looks like the I/O Evolve goggle will come in at $180 MSRP, which is a $20 upcharge over the standard goggle. Again, green isn’t cheap, but doing every little bit helps and the upcharge certainly won’t break the bank.
Look for more information on the entire Smith Evolve lineup in the near future. As the leading manufacturer of goggles, they are leading the charge in improved manufacturing processes to help keep the slopes white and the forests green.