Smith Basecamp Sunglasses: The Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing

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Smith basecamp fishing sunglasses
Smith Basecamp Sunglasses: The Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing
Our Verdict
If you’re looking for some top-draw polarized fishing sunglasses, then you won’t be disappointed with Smith’s Basecamp Polarized Fishing Sunglasses. Between the light frames, great lenses, and top-of-the-line polarization technology, these are going to up your fishing game without any worries.
Range Of Options and Colors
Value For Money
The Good
Tapered lenses for more accurate images
Has an anti-reflective coating on the inside of the lens
Great feature with the arms lock open or closed.
Perfectly designed for fishing use
Clarity is second to none viewing underwater
The Not So Good
Some owners claim they feel a little lightweight they cant feel them on their head
Check Price

Going fishing without a pair of good polarized sunglasses is like fishing with a handicap. The day I first put on a pair of polarized fishing sunglasses, I never wanted to take them off. 

I stared across the reef as a guide in the Seychelles, and I could suddenly see all the depth changes, the colors of sandy bottoms or turtle grass, and if I looked down, I could see the fish, too. It was an incredible difference and a game-changer as a fisherman. 

One of the world’s top manufacturers of polarized fishing sunglasses is, without a doubt, Smith Optics. Smiths are up there with Costa Del Mar and Maui Jim, the other two front runners, but they do something a little different, which we will discuss later. 

Join me as we take an in-depth look at the Smith Basecamp Polarized Sunglasses so you can decide if they are the right polarized fishing sunglasses for you. 

Smith Basecamp Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Smith Basecamp are some of the best you’ll find as they tick all the boxes a fisherman could need. Between the durable and comfy frames, super clear lenses, the great UV protection they provide, and their affordable price, they are hard to beat. Let’s dig in! 

The Frames

The frames on these fishing sunglasses are made from a special injected polymer with 53% bio-based eco-friendly material,  similar to the TR90 Nylon Costa uses in their models but more “green.” The injected polymer is light, durable, and comfortable, and it can handle sunshine and saltwater without any worries. 

The frames are designed to sit comfortably on your nose and ears; they don’t rub and even come with auto-locking hinges. This allows you to make sure they stay open, for example, when hanging on your neck, or to stay closed when hanging off your fishing shirt. 

The Lenses 

The lenses are made from glass, which provides the ultimate in fishing spotting clarity, and you can also choose to go for polycarbonate if you would prefer them. The lenses are 100% polarized and provide 100% UV protection to stop your eyes from getting damaged. 

The lenses feature Smith’s chroma pop polychronic polarization technology, which utilizes special filters to remove specific wavelengths of light, providing better clarity and contrast for seeing fish. 

The lenses are also tapered, straightening out the light rays to provide accurate imaging. If the light were left to change course, it would end up causing distortion and make your eyes tired, too. 

These lenses also come with two coatings, a hydroleophobic one on the outside that repels oils and water, plus an anti-reflective coating on the inside that blocks internal light reflections. To top it all off, they are also impact and scratch-resistant for durability. 

To top it all off, the lenses come in a huge range of color and mirror options to match every fishing situation you might find yourself in. These really are the top polarized fishing sunglasses on the market.  


  • Frames are made with 53% bio-based eco-friendly material
  • Comfortable and light to wear 
  • Auto-locking hinges are super useful 
  • Tough frames that last in salt & sun 
  • A ton of lens technology built-in 
  • 100% polarization & 100% UV protection 
  • Glass lenses for amazing clarity 
  • Lenses repel water, oils, and other gunk 
  • Anti-reflective coating blocks extra light from hitting your eyes 
  • A great range of lens mirror/color combos
  • Long-lasting, impact, and scratch-resistant  
  • They come with a lifetime Guarantee 
  • Very affordable 


  • Almost feels too light and feel flimsy 


  • Frame Material: Injected Polymer
  • Colors: Black, Tortoise, Mediterranean, Iron, Gravy  
  • Lens (L) Material: Glass  
  • L Colors: Black, Blue Mirror, Green Mirror, Silver Mirror, Yellow, Amber, Grey
  • L Width: 59 mm 
  • Hydrophobic: Yes
  • Oleophobic: Yes
  • Polarization: 100% 

Who Is Smith Optics? 

Smith Optics first started out in the optical world in 1965. The company was based out of Sun Valley in Idaho. The first thing they put on the market was a snow goggle they invented, which featured an innovative sealed thermal lens and breathable foam. 

Over the last 50 years, Smith has only improved their eyewear through new and better technologies and better frame styles. The company focuses on outdoor sports and makes awesome sunglasses for surfers, skiers, bikers, and fishermen. 

Today, Smith is a part of the Safilo Group of companies, but this has not caused a reduction in the quality of Smith’s polarized fishing sunglasses. 

Smith Basecamp Design Features 

About The Frames  

The Basecamp frames are made from a special injected polymer of which 53% is a bio-based eco-friendly material. If you’re looking for some “green” sunglasses, which are hard to find, these certainly tick that box. 

The material itself has all the attributes you want for sunglasses frames. It’s light, smooth, and comfortable, and can handle rougher use whilst fishing outdoors, making the sunglasses super durable. 

The frames also feature auto-locking hinges, which hold the arms in place whether they are open or closed. This is actually a very useful feature as they stay open, hanging around your neck so you can quickly put them on, or when you clip them to your shirt, they don’t slide off either. 

The Basecamp sunglasses come in a range of frame options, including black, tortoise, crystal, iron, and gravy so that you can choose your preferred style. 

Picking The Right Lenses

The Smith Basecamp (this option is with a red lens) comes with a choice of lenses, one being the material and the other being mirror/color combos. 

Choosing the right lens material and mirror/color combo is extremely important for getting the most out of your sunglasses in different fishing situations. 

Polycarbonate vs Glass 

You can choose to get the Basecamp sunglasses with either glass or polycarbonate lenses. Glass lenses provide more clarity compared to polycarbonate, but they are heavier and aren’t quite as durable as polycarbonate. 

I would recommend going for clarity rather than overweight and durability, but that decision is up to you. 

Choosing The Right Lens Mirror & Color Combos

These Smith Polarized Fishing Sunglasses come in a wide range of different mirror/color combos, and some suit different fishing situations better than others. 

If you’re looking for a lens option that does it all, then a green mirror with amber is the choice. It’s the best lens for inshore fishing and the flats, excellent for freshwater fishing, and pretty good for offshore. 

If you’re mainly an offshore fisherman, you will want the opal mirror lens (blue) with either an amber or copper background. 

The silver mirror and yellow lenses will bring the dark days to life in low-light conditions. These really do work, by the way, and if you fish a lot, they are worth the investment. 

Why Do I Need Polarized Sunglasses? 

Polarized sunglasses do two things you need while fishing. The first is to protect your eyes since the glare of the water can cause serious eye damage. The other reason is that polarized sunglasses remove all the glare from the water’s surface so that you can spot fish more easily. 

Fishing without polarized sunglasses is a bit like fishing blind, and there is no need to add this handicap to your angling life. 

Which Sunglasses Are the Best For Fishing?

I have previously reviewed the Costa del Mar Sampan sunglasses, and these are definitely a great choice for the fisherman. So, why am I also recommending the Smith Basecamp?

The Smith Basecamp has the following advantages over the Costa Del Mar Sunglasses:

  • Smith lenses are tapered for more accurate images
  • Smith lenses have an anti-reflective coating on the inside 
  • Smith frames are made with some ECO material and thus are a greener choice 
  • Smith’s sunglasses arms lock open or closed.
  • Lastly, the Smith Basecamp is slightly more affordable.

Whichever fishing sunglasses you choose will be based on the individual; both are perfect for fishing. You may choose one pair of sunglasses over the other based on colors or the options available – However, clarity should be the first consideration – Smith Basecamp is the better of the two choices.

What’s The Verdict?  

If you’re looking for top-draw polarized fishing sunglasses, you won’t be disappointed with the Smith Basecamp. Between the light frames, great lenses, and top-of-the-line polarization technology, these will up your fishing game without any worries. 

I hope this article helped you make the right decision on buying a great pair of sunglasses for fishing, and you can match them up with some great fishing guide shirts!

Jamie Melvin