The first question you’ll ask when you slip on the new Smith PivLock V2: “Where did they go?”
With no top rim on the lens, a full peripheral view and a near invisible nose-piece, the PivLock V2 vanishes from sight. All you’re left with is the wide-screen high def view of the road ahead.
Besides the disappearing act, the Smith V2’s ($159) are also so lightweight that you barely notice them resting on your face. It’s actually hard to test the comfort level of the V2’s because they fit so well there are no negative sensations to observe.
Part of that comfort equation is the new three position nose-piece. With your thumb and index finger you simply snap-click an adjustment on each side. We found the middle position ideal — widening out the nose piece all the way had our eyelashes touching the inside of the lens. The grippy, stippled rubber on the temple arm-tips does a great job of holding onto the side of your head without any pitch or irritation. They’re also replaceable which is an even nicer touch.
With the nose dialed, we had the best of both fit and comfort with no fog action. Given that riding conditions in coastal Northern California go from blazing hot to cold, windy and cloudy in the same ride, that’s an accomplishment. The absence of the top rim seems to help with ventilation and gives you a clean, aggressive look below your helmet.
The PivLock V2 is the second generation of the well-received PivLock V90. The design of the lens changing mechanism hasn’t changed — it’s still quick and simple. Hold the top and bottom edge of the lens in one hand, take the temple arm with the thumb and finger of your other hand and lever the arm up 90 degrees to unlock it. The nose piece pulls down and off with a pinch of the fingers. Some people clock a lens change in under 20 seconds — we’re not that fast but it sure is easy.
The V2 comes with three lens in a soft silver orb shaped carrying case — there’s the Platinum (15% vlt), Ignitor (32%vlt) and clear. VLT stands for visible light transmission — the amount of light hitting your eyes through the lens. The 15 to 25vlt spectrum covers you for a wide range of riding conditions. We generally use the Platinum for sunny days and the Ignitor brights up our world when the clouds roll in.
It’s a given at Smith that optic quality is high and when you match that with an unobstructed view from side to side, you’re in for an excellent ride. That combination of visual clarity and adjustable fit is much appreciated when we’re on a fast descent in shifting light conditions.
Bonus points? Smith is routinely written up as one of the best companies to work for in the outdoor sports industry. They make great stuff and treat their people well. We like supporting any company that not only makes awesome gear but has the vision to create a more enlightened business atmosphere.
Wrap up: These are high performance sunglasses at a price that makes them hard to resist. Lightweight, a unobstructed view, excellent clarity and now you can dial in a more custom fit. The Pivlock V2 has it all locked up.