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Gear Review: Smith Attack MAG MTB

Smith Attack MAG MTB
Smith Attack MAG MTB

Smith recently sent us a pair of Attack MAG MTB Photochromic Clear to Gray Sunglasses to test. They are a large coverage lens and utilize Smith’s amazing PivLock technology enabling easy lens swaps. The particular lenses we used were a low-light amber lens and a clear lens.

Smith Attack MAG MTB
Smith Attack MAG MTB

A big reason why I love these is my commute. Now that the days are shorter, I’m finding myself cycling in darker times, and given how open and windy my route is, making sure my eyes are protected is key. The way these glasses wrap around, I haven’t had any issues with dust or other particulars slipping in and blurring my vision.

Smith Attack MAG MTB
Smith Attack MAG MTB

The coolest feature of these glasses is the FidLock. It’s a fast, tool-free lens swap mechanism built into the glasses. By simply applying pressure behind the hinge you can pull the arms off and swap a new lens in and they click into place.

The Attack MAG comes in a padded case with a lens clearer bag and a foam interior to keep your lenses protected. 

Optically, the lenses offer amazing clarity and no distortion. They offer goggle-like protection, but without the bulk.

Smith Attack MAG MTB
Smith Attack MAG MTB

I also found that the fit was great, even on long rides. With other glasses, I would find the sides of my head needing a break from the constant squeeze. But the Attack MAG was comfortable from beginning to end and didn’t butt up against my cheekbones or ride up on my forehead or helmet. They also integrated nicely with my Smith’s Forefront 2 helmet.

At the end of the ride, the Attack MAG are amazing glasses. The fact that they come with a second lens for a broader range of light conditions helps make them a pair I’d recommend to anyone for any conditions.

Gear Review: Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.

Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.
Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.

When it comes to water bottles for cycling, there is one brand that continues to develop high-quality, long-lasting products: Polar Bottles.

They recently sent me their Breakaway® Insulated 24 oz. bottle and I quickly started to add it to every bike ride. Being perfectly honest, even on rides that are upwards of 15-20 miles, I’ll typically opt to not carry a water bottle. All of them—prior to the Polar Bottles Breakaway—were pretty crappy. Cheap plastic, plasticy taste to the water, and horrible temperature control.

Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.
Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.

The Breakaway is pretty durable. Prior to riding with it, I gave it to my toddler as his drink vessel for a couple of days. Even with him running around, throwing it down stairs, and jumping on it, it held up. Even the cap held with his abuse—not letting a drop escape unless the valve was open.

It’s also made with BPA-free plastic, which means that I don’t get that plasticy taste that I get from other bottles.

It features a triple wall insulation, which promises to keep your liquid cooler two-times longer. Since I was riding in winter, I could truly test this out, but I did notice that on longer, sub-freezing temperature rides, my water remained at a consistent temperature versus the challenges I’d sometimes have of water freezing in the cap.

Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.
Polar Bottles Breakaway® Insulated 24oz.

The Polar Bottle Breakaway is super easy to clean. It’s dishwasher safe and the cap also twists apart so you can get all the road grime out easily.

If you’re looking for a bottle for your bike, Polar is the way to go.

Lems Version 2 of the Trailhead is versatile and stylish

Lems Trailhead

I am a big fan of companies that listen to feedback from their customers and use it to actually make changes to products! That’s exactly what Lems did when outdoor enthusiasts let them know that their women’s Trailhead shoes were not quite perfect yet. 

I reviewed the first version of Lems Trailhead back in June. I enjoyed the shoe but did find it to be a bit narrow. A lot of Lems loyalists also found the shoes to be narrow, as well as stiff with its rock plate.

So, Lems took the shoes back to the drawing board. They redesigned them to make adjustments where needed while maintaining the functionality that attracted me to this shoe in the first place. The alterations range from practically non-noticeable removal of the bunion area overlay to ahhhhh-inspiring increases in toe box width (read the full list of changes HERE).  

One difference from the original Lems Trailhead design is that the lacing system. It used to have two loops, but Lems reduced it to one to release pressure on the top of the foot. I noticed that with this change, the tongue has a bit more tendency to shift to the side. By paying a bit of attention when lacing up, I can ensure it stays where it should.

They also widened the toebox, but if you have wide feet, these may still be too narrow for you. Even with the increased width in the toe box this shoe is narrower than others in Lems product line.

Flexibility has increased from the first design to the second with the removal of the rock plate. There is adequate tread and cushioning on both of the designs to provide comfort while trekking. The biggest difference is your foot feels more of the impact and terrain with the newer version. I would limit this shoe’s use to walking around town or for day hikes where the added flexibility increases comfort. I appreciate rock plates in my shoes for backpacking to minimize foot fatigue on longer multi-day hikes.

These shoes have become the workhorse of my footwear. They are comfortable for the mundane mile-long walk to school with the kids in the morning, and stylish enough for travel to far-off places where we are on our feet exploring all day long.

I recently took them on a four-mile hike in the foothills of Boulder, Colo. I was pleased with their grip on the sandstone boulders we climbed over. The onyx color does have a tendency to show dust after hikes. But, I can are easily restore them with a quick wipe down. They also pair as easily with leggings as they do jeans or even a casual dress.