Chasing views is one of our favorite things here at BACKPACKER, but we never thought that one of our top sights this season would be of our own feet. “During transitions, I usually take my goggles off, as they make it hard to see the buckles on my pack or my boot straps when I look down, even if I bend my head,” our gear editor says. “But I kept the 4D MAG on the entire time to combat the strong sun on the icefield and never had an issue getting my equipment in order.”
Why the increased field of vision? The 4D MAG is designed so that the curved, bottom edge of the lens folds under your sightline. Because the lens, not the frame, sits right below your eyes, you can look directly down without craning your neck. That helps on the downhill, too, since you can see more terrain as it rushes beneath your skis, a welcome advantage in variable conditions.
In addition to the new lens, the 4D MAG carries over Smith tech we’ve lauded before: magnetic contact points and locking tabs that make lenses both secure and easily switchable, and top-of-the-line ChromaPop lenses that provide superb clarity and contrast (a photochromic one is available for $30 more). And though the price is on the upper end of the category, it’s not outlandish for a goggle of this caliber. Bonus: Almost every editor wore the 4D MAG at some point on the Freshfield, and it fit all face shapes.