Smith Bobcat & Wildcat Sunglasses

Smith Optics Wildcat vs. Bobcat Sunglasses In-depth Comparison & Review

Travis Gneiting Bikes, First Look, Reviews

Review of Smith Optics Wildcat and Bobcat Sunglasses
  • Fit
  • Lenses
  • Frames
  • Comfort
  • Quality
  • Value
4.6

Summary

Smith Optics recently launched the Smith Bobcat Sunglasses. I review the Smith Optics Bobcat and compare it next to the Smith Optics Wildcat Sunglasses and other large cycling, running, and sports sunglasses.

Shop Smith Wildcat/Bobcat

Are you trying to find out what the difference is between the new Smith Bobcat sunglasses vs the popular Smith Wildcat sunglasses? From a distance, the two sunglasses from Smith Optics both look like large oversized cycling sunglasses for road biking or mountain biking. They both offer a large face and eye protection as well as rubber contact points to prevent slipping, and interchangeable lenses, they even come with the same accessories (sunglasses hard case, and soft bag). So why would you choose one pair over the other?

A quick view of the sunglasses side by side shows the Wildcat is a slightly larger version of the Bobcat. There are a few other subtle differences. If you are simply trying to decide based on the size, I’d recommend if you have a slightly smaller face go with the Bobcat, if you have a larger face go with the Wildcat.

Wildcat Sunglasses on the Left, Bobcat Sunglasses on the Right

Size

WildcatBobcat
Frame Width144 mm140 mm
Frame Height63 mm60 mm
Lens Width140 mm135 mm
Lens Height60 mm57 mm
Temple Length129 mm128 mm
Temple Height12 mm10.5 mm

Colors

The Wildcat comes in 8 different colors.  The Bobcat comes in 6 different colors. If you are looking for a specific color other than Black or White, this could help you decide what pair of sunglasses to buy.

WildcatBobcat
Matte Safari
Matte Cement
WhiteWhite
Get Wild (Blue and Pink)
Black CInder (Black and Orange)
BlackBlack
Matte White
Matte Mystic Green
Matte Merlot
Matte French Navy
Matte Black
Matte Black Marble
Smith Bobcat sunglasses on the left, Wildcat on the right.

Lens Quality

There are basically three categories of lenses offered by Smith Optics on the Wildcat and Bobcat sunglasses. Clear lens, light transmission (ChomaPop) lens, and Photochromatic. Below is a list of lens options for the Wildcat and the Bobcat.

The ChromaPop™ lenses enhance the surroundings. They bring a bit of saturation to the environment. The grass is a little greener and the flowers a little brighter.

Lens

In addition to there being a variety of different frame colors for the Smith sunglasses, there are also unique lens options for each model of sunglasses. If you are looking for a specific color like the Rose Gold or Green Mirro it may help direct your decision.  The Green Mirror is only available for the Wildcat model and the Rose Gold is only available on the Bobcat. 

WildcatBobcat
ChromaPop Black10% VLTChromaPop Black10% VLT
ChromaPop Red Mirror15% VLTChromaPop Red Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Opal Mirror30% VLT
ChromaPop Violet Mirror15% VLTChromaPop Violet Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Rose Gold Mirror22% VLT
Photochromic Clear to Gray20% to 85% VLTPhotochromic Clear to Gray20% to 85% VLT
ChromaPop Green Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Black Gold14% VLT
Extra Clear Lens in Hardcase

Extra Lens

Both pairs of Smith Optics Sunglasses come with an extra clear lens. Typically, most Smith Sport sunglasses come with a set of clear extra lenses.  The clear lens is great for really low light, or night riding with a light.

Lens Swap

Lens are replaceable and can be swapped for the clear lens or purchase a replacement on SmithOptics.com.  The glasses feel a bit fragile when swapping the lens out, but I’ve never broken any part when doing so.  I swap between the clear lens and the VLT lens almost daily. I typically start my rides in the evening and bring a bike light with me. When I put on my bike light I swap my lens over to the clear lens. Be sure to watch our YouTube video for difficulty swapping lenses.

Frame

Frame
WildcatChromaPop™Hybrid TR90 and TPU frameAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off
BobcatEvolve™ bio-based frame material is lightweight and durableAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off strategic venting increases airflow for reduced fogging and maximum clarity
Smith Wildcat on the Left, Smith Bobcat on the Right

Glasses Temple Arms

The template arms of both the Wildcat and the Bobcat are covered with soft silicone rubber. The Bobcat rubber piece extends a little further forward than the Bobcat. The tip on the end of both sunglasses is left uncovered. The WIldcat has a stronger thicker feel to the temple than the Bobcat. 

Model number and name are stamped on the inside of the temple arm. 

Glasses Nose Piece

Both sunglasses have a very similar silicone nose piece. They are adjustable two-position by pinching the nose piece together there is a click in the plastic to feel the adjustment.

Price Comparison

The Wildcat and the Bobcat are priced the same with a ChromaPop Lens or for an extra $20 you can get the Photochromic lens.

ModelPrice
Smith Wildcat ChromaPop$209.00 USD
Smith Wildcat Photochromic$229.00 USD
Smith Bobcat ChromaPop$209.00 USD
Smith Bobcat Photochromic$229.00 USD

Sunglasses with Helmet

I always recommend pairing Sunglasses and Google with the same brand of helmet. The integration from storage in the helmet and the clean lines of the way the goggle and sunglasses follow the brow of the helmet look a lot better. Additionally, helmets and glasses are usually combined for better ventilation to prevent fogging.

Riding in beautiful Colorado with the Smith Forefront helmet and Wildcat Sunglasses

Other Sunglasses Options

Smith Shift Mag

Smith Flywheel

Smith Ruckus

Smith Boomtown

Smith Reverb

Smith Optics Warranty

Smith offers a lifetime warranty on both pairs of sunglasses. This basically covers manufacturing defects at their discretion. My experience has been that they are pretty good with their warranty process.

Smith Optics Return and Exchange Policy

Smith allows you to return orders online within 30 days of the purchase date. The glasses need to be unused and in the original packaging. Additionally, there is a $6 fee for shipping.

Final Thoughts

I have been riding on and off-road with the WIldcat and Bobcat for the last few weeks. I have a larger face and sensitive eyes so I prefer the Wildcat coverage to the Bobcat.  The Bobcat tends to block more wind from getting in my eyes. Another difference that I prefer that may be small is that the rubber on the temples extends to where you grab the rubber when putting on and taking off the glasses. It is just a little more secure and something I often appreciate. 

Both of these sunglasses are often sold out on Smith’s website, but you can check the inventory.

If they are sold out, you can also use GearChase.com to search many other major online retailers for inventory here.

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