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Smith Squad XL ReviewBest Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review

Best Bang For Your Buck Ski and Snowboard Goggles

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Price: $51.00 – $130.00

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

What We Like: Epic Price to Performance, Two Smith Chromapop Lenses

What We Don’t: Not as Well Ventilated as I/O Series

The Smith Squad XL is Smith’s mid-tier ski and snowboard goggle. We often talk about where you begin to see diminishing returns in different product categories, and we would say that the Smith Squad XL marks that point for ski and snowboard goggles. It comes with the same great Chromapop lens that we loved in the top of the line Smith I/O series, although in a high-quality cylindrical lens rather than a spherical lens.

The Smith Squad XL is also available in the Smith Squad variant, which is the exact same, except for being aimed at those with smaller faces, as well as having two layers of foam rather than three.

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See Our Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review!

Anon M4 Toric

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses, Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive

Difficult to Find in Stock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Toric/Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith I/O Mag

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Top Notch Lenses

Magnetic Lense Change with Locking Tabs

Cons

Pricey

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Dragon X2

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Ultrawide Field of View

Spherical Lumalens Lenses

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Lenses are Not the Most Durable

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Smith I/OX Chromapop

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 70% 70%

Pros

Smith Chromapop Lenses

Great Field of View

Comfortable

Cons

Slightly Behind the Top Competitors in Ease of Changing Lenses

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Semi-frameless

Anon M3 MFI

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses

Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive for A Cylindrical Goggle

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith Squad XL

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Epic Price to Performance

Two Smith Chromapop Lenses

Cons

Not as Well Ventilated as I/O Series

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Oakley Line Miner Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

High Quality

Injection Molded Cylindrical Chromapop Lens

Cons

Only Comes With One Lens

Frame Size: Medium & Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon NFX2

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Spherical Lens Optical Quality in A Cylindrical Package

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Not the Most Durable Lens

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon PXV

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Panotech Lens

Photochromatic Lens Option

Cons

Lens Change System is a Huge Step Back from Swiftlock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 3

Lens Shape: Toric

Style: Frameless

Electric EG3

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Bold Style and Massive Field of View for Riders With Smaller Faces

Cons

Not the Best Ventilation

Too small for Riders with Larger Faces

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Frameless

Oakley Airbrake XL

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Lens Quality

Ease of Changing Lenses

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price Tag

Lens Reflects Frame

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Framed

Oakley Flight Deck Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

Oakley Prizm Lenses

Unique Look

Massive Field of View

Cons

Subpar Ventilation

Only Comes with One Lens

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Lens Shape and Quality

The carbon cylindrical lens in the Smith Squad XL is not the flat stamped cylindrical lens of old. While it might not offer the top of the line distortion-free clarity of premium toric and spherical lenses, most of us would be hard pressed to tell a practical difference. The Smith Squad XL’s lens uses the same Fog-X lens treatment as more expensive Smith Goggles, and it is also quite scratch resistant.

But, the best feature to trickle down to the Smith Squad XL from Smith’s premium ski and snowboard goggles is the Chromapop lenses. Chromapop is Smith’s take on matching a lens to the light conditions, and help to maximize the clarity and contrast of your surroundings, helping you recognize each and every contour in the snow, as well as just making the scenery a bit more pleasant to look at. Better yet, each Smith Squad XL ships with two lenses, one for bluebird days and another for cloudy days and night riding.

Comfort

If your face fits in the Squad XL well, then you would be hard pressed to tell that it is half the price of the most expensive ski and snowboard goggles on our list. This is also where the Smith Squad XL outshines the smaller Smith Squad, which has only two layers of foam, and feels a bit more like a mid-tier goggle than the Smith Squad XL.

As to whether or not the Smith Squad XL will fit you or not, it is hardly an XL goggle by today’s standards, so riders with average and above heads should find the XL variant to be a good fit.

Ventilation

The Smith Squad XL is a fairly warm goggle, though this is generally considered a good thing in snow sports. It becomes a bad thing if it causes the goggles to fog up due to insufficient airflow and moisture buildup. Fortunately, this is not much of an issue with the Smith Squad XL. If we were planning on wearing a goggle for aggressive uphill skinning or climbing in the backcountry, then the Smith I/O Mag remains a better choice, but for resort use and light backcountry use, the open cell foam and AirEvac system of the Smith Squad XL should provide more than adequate ventilation.

Ease of Changing Lenses

The Smith Squad XL features a fairly standard, if old school, lens retention system. The lens pops into notches along the top and bottom while remaining basically frameless on the sides. This is fairly standard among most ski and snowboard goggles. It is not terribly difficult, and not something that you would mind doing at a picnic table on the side of a run. On the other hand, it is not the seamless lens change experience that can be found on the Anon M4 Toric or Smith I/O Mag.

The Bottom Line

If you want a ski and snowboard goggle that represents the absolute best bang for your buck, then the Smith Squad XL is tough to beat. It comes with two pair of lenses, Smith’s Chromapop technology, and all of that for an MSRP of $130, and sale prices as low as $97. Now, if you have a bit more to spend, and you can find the Smith I/O X on a good sale, we might lean that way, but they are truly a premium goggle that happens to have ridiculous sale prices. The Smith Squad XL meanwhile is a true mid-tier goggle that features premium performance.

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