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The Smith PivLock Arena sunglasses look the part with a frameless, wrap-around design and interchangeable lens system but how do they perform in variable light conditions?
smith pivlock arena
Best for...
Medium-faced cycling fanatics who want an alternative to Oakley
Overall Score
Super lightweight and comfortable to wear
Not designed for skinny faces

Smith's Pivlock Arena sunglasses have a classic frameless, wrap around look that's as well suited to mountain bikers as it is roadies. Visuals are taken care of by a Chromapop lens on our test pair, they're also available with a multitude of different lenses and in a dazzling array of colours depending on your particular preference and budget.

The frameless wrap around design isn't for style alone, it's all about peripheral vision as well as eye coverage, after all, if the sunglasses are letting light in around the edges then they're going to be less effective.

We all have different face shapes but the PivLocks work well for my slim face, with just a hint of light creeping in at the far edges, those with 'normal' faces should fare even better. Being frameless you don't get any loss of peripheral vision around the edges and the overall feel in use is of a natural extension of your face, this is in part thanks to a very low weight of 29g.

There's a small amount of up/down adjustment in the bridge, in fact it's almost imperceptible when you're adjusting, but is noticeable when the glasses are on your face. The soft silicone bridge is comfortable to wear, as are the frame arms which wrap neatly around the head, and although the lens is quite tall it doesn't interfere with our helmet in any way.

The Chromapop lenses supplied with our test pair aim to amplify detail and enhance colour to give you an overall clarity of vision. This certainly works for us both on and off road. We found it easier to pick out undulations, roots and rocks with the Chromapop lenses Vs conventional lenses, they're also great as a fit and forget option as they work well across a wide range of different light conditions.

Smith have generously provided two additional lenses with the PivLock Arenas, in rose and clear. The changeover process is quick and simple; remove bridge and arms and you're left with a lens ready to reassemble. All the lenses benefit from a hydroleophobic coating, so they won't get greasy too quickly, they'll also repel water and dirt which is obviously very handy.

Overall the PivLock Arenas are a great all-rounder and the fact that they come bundled with three lenses and a quality case makes them fantastic value for money at £120.

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