Smith Optics PivLock Arena – Review

Finding a proper pair of sunglasses is a balance. On one hand, you research to find the newest and best features; and on the other, you want that perfect fit. After all, it’s not uncommon for a member of the AeroGeeks team to rave about a new pair of shades while another finds them to be a complete mismatch for their face. As hard as we try, no one pair of sunglasses is going to work for everyone. Although that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate when one of our editors finds their perfect fit.  And for at least one AeroGeeks editor, the Smith Optics PivLock Arena is it.


When the Arenas first arrived at AeroGeeks headquarters, the whole team wanted to check them out. Both the eye-catching color (the black frames with green lenses really works for us) and the PivLock system were quite a draw. Anyone who has tried swapping lenses knows that some systems are very easy to use while others are a touch more challenging. As for the PivLock system, it is clearly one of the easiest we have found to date. To change a lens, pivot either frame arm up and then simply pop it out and away from the lens. To insert a new lens, pop the arm back in to the replacement lens, pivot it down, and lock it into place (now you can clearly see where the PivLock name comes from). The nosepiece is removed simply by squeezing the nose pads together and then you can reattach it to a new set of lenses.

However, believe it or not, the ability to complete quick and easy lens swaps was not what we liked most about the Arenas. Instead, it was the perfect fit they provided. Mike has what can be best described as bushy eyebrows. This can sometimes make for a challenging fit when it comes to sunglasses. The Arenas are some of the only sunglasses Mike has found where this is no longer an issue. Instead, the Arenas nosepiece (which is adjustable) pushes the lenses high enough up on his face that his bushy eyebrows no longer rub against the lenses.


The Arenas frame arms grip to your head snugly, without pinching. We never found the Arenas sliding or shifting. We attribute this to a combination of good frame design along with the grippy material used in the nose pads and ear socks.


One downside of the Arenas is that the lenses do not extend as far up as we’d like. So when you are deep in the aero position, you will likely notice the top edge of the lens in your vision. Although we found the top of the lens tended to cover the skyline versus the road ahead, so we never found it to be a distraction or obstruction.


The Green Sol-X lenses that came with our Arenas provide 100% protection from harmful UVA/B/C rays. The lenses also have a hydroleophobic coating, which is intended to repel water, dirt, and grease. While, we felt this coating was not quite as efficient as others on the market, the frame shape tends to keep the sweat off your glasses to begin with. So overall we didn’t find this to be a huge issue.


The PivLock Arena kit retails for $159.00 and comes with two additional lenses (our kit came with Clear and Ignitor lenses), as well as a carrying case. For those with a larger face, there is an Arena Max model featuring a 130mm wide lens (as compared to the 125mm wide lens of the standard Arena). The Max is also 3mm taller as well.


For us here at AG, finding the right pair of sunglasses is a must for a good ride. The last thing you want (or need) to be doing is spending time adjusting your glasses. For Mike, the Smith PivLock Arenas are just that pair of glasses. They fit well, stay secure, and keep your eyes on what matters – the road ahead.


3 responses to “Smith Optics PivLock Arena – Review

  1. Great review, guys… I’ve been a happy user of the Pivlock V2’s for awhile. How does this sunglass differ from that? The sizing seems to be fairly similar, and even the aesthetics and design seem comparable as well. Is this sort of an “update” to the V2’s?

    • Unfortunately we didn’t have a pair of V2s to compare it against so we can’t really compare and contrast. However in talking to others we have heard that the shape of the Arena is more rounded as compared to the V2.

  2. Unfortunately it seems a less than ideal solution for swapping lenses, hence the redesign for the attack. I had a pair break and trying to deal with the customer service for warranty is not worth it. They say lifetime warranty, and they say they’re going to resolve it, but it’s been 5 months and I’m still waiting. I think I’ll be dead before they send me a replacement set of glasses.

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