In 1964 Dr. Bob Smith, a skier by choice and orthodontist by profession, realized something that needed some improving, ski goggles. In 1965 Smith Optics was founded. Dr. Bob started making ski goggles on his kitchen table using orthodontic tools, foam, and glue. He started out by trading his goggles for lift tickets to his home resort of Alta, Utah.
Since then Smith Optics has evolved to become one of the leaders in the high performance eyewear and goggles industry. With innovations like Fog-X anti-fog coating, PMT Perforated Membrane Technology lens ventilation system, patented Turbo C.A.M. Constant Air Management system, patented Regulator adjustable lens ventilation system, patented Roll Off’s film advance system for motocross, patented ODS (Ocular Docking System) prescription insert and patented Slider series sunglasses, it’s easy to see why Smith Optics has been so successful.
Smith Optics is based out of Ketchum, Idaho, but their manufacturing headquarters is in Clearfield, Utah. I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Smith manufacturing center. Here are some things that I saw.
This is the machine that cuts the lenses. It’s pretty cool. Basically the lenses go into the machine, they are cut to the right shape, and laser embroider the Smith Optics logo onto your goggles.
Every pair of goggles you buy from Smith Optics is hand built in same way or another. Here we see an employee working on some of the I/OX Goggles.
This is what they put a mannequins head through to ensure that yours will be safe. They shoot metal pellets at this mannequin to test the strength of their goggles and sunglasses.
I can attest to the quality of the Smith Optics safety regulation. I use their products almost every time I go up into the mountains.
What you see here is me on the ground after a little tumble on the side of the mountain. Good thing I had my Smith Variance helmet on. The Variance helmet features many of Smiths award winning technology. Check it out here. You also see me wearing my I/O Goggles. This is my first season using these goggles and they have been awesome. The goggle is designed to make changing the lenses easier than ever before and it comes with two sets of lenses. If it’s a sunny day, put the high-light lens in; if it’s a cloudy day or you are night skiing, the low-light lens will be the lens you want. Check the I/O Goggles out here.
To sum it all up, Smith Optics is pretty awesome. They are leading the industry in technology development. They make great eyewear for all of your outdoor adventures. To be completely honest, I was so impressed with the snow gear I used this season that I bought some of their sunglasses for this summer. I trust Smith Optics to produce high quality eyewear.