Smith vs Maui Jim Sunglasses: Similarities & Differences

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As you are here I know what problem you are facing – You are thinking which brands’ sunglasses to buy, either Smiths’ or Maui Jims’. First of all, you don’t have to worry about the brands individually. Both brands – Maui Jim and Smith are recognized for their premium sunglasses offerings and ensures durability and comfort.

I will give you a direct solution which might help you decide between Smith and Maui JIm. If you prioritize lens technology for diverse activities or a broader range of frame styles, Maui Jim might be a better choice. If you prioritize affordability, durability, and activity-specific features, Smith could be more suitable.

Our top picks –

Best Sports Maui Jim Sunglasses: Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sports Sunglasses
Best Maui Jim Unisex Sunglasses: Unisex Peahi Polarized Wrap Sunglasses

Best Smith’s Sports Sunglasses: Smith Lowdown Sunglasses

Best Smith’s Classic Sunglasses: Smith Basecamp Sunglasses

Personally I have experienced both the brands and let me tell you both are comfortable and trustworthy. My favourites are Maui Jim Red Sands Lifestyle Sunglasses and Smith Parallel Max 2 Sunglasses.

About Smith Optics

Smith Optics

Smith Optics is a renowned eyewear brand that specializes in sunglasses, goggles, and helmets. The company was founded in 1965 by Dr. Bob Smith, a dentist with a passion for skiing. Since its inception, Smith Optics has established itself as a leading provider of high-quality eyewear in the outdoor industry.

Smith sunglasses are known for their exceptional performance, stylish designs, and advanced lens technologies. They offer a wide range of sunglasses tailored to meet the needs of different outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cycling, fishing, and more.

Smith sunglasses are designed to meet the needs of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. They often have wraparound frames that provide maximum coverage and peripheral vision, essential for high-speed sports. Additionally, ventilation systems are incorporated to prevent fogging and maintain clear vision, even during intense activities.

With a commitment to innovation and collaboration with athletes and professionals in various sports, Smith Optics continues to refine and improve its sunglasses. Their dedication to quality and performance has made Smith sunglasses a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts who demand reliable eyewear for their adventures.

About Maui Jim

Maui Jim sunglasses

Maui Jim is a popular sunglasses brand that originated in Hawaii, United States. The company was founded in 1980 with the aim of providing high-quality eyewear that combines advanced lens technologies with the spirit of the Hawaiian islands.

Maui Jim sunglasses are known for their exceptional lens clarity, color enhancement, and superior sun protection. The brand specializes in polarized lenses that effectively reduce glare and enhance visual acuity, making them ideal for activities in bright, sunny environments. Their lenses also offer excellent UV protection, helping to safeguard the eyes from harmful sun rays.

The target audience for Maui Jim sunglasses is diverse, ranging from outdoor enthusiasts and athletes to fashion-conscious individuals seeking stylish eyewear. The brand caters to those who prioritize both performance and aesthetics, providing a wide range of frame styles, lens options, and color choices to suit different preferences and activities.

Maui Jim has gained a strong reputation for its commitment to quality, innovative lens technologies, and exceptional customer service. With its roots in Hawaii, the brand embodies the spirit of island life and aims to bring the beauty and vibrant colors of the tropics to its sunglasses.

Maui Jim vs Smith

Maui Jim and Smith Optics are both exceptional sunglasses brands. Comparing them allows us to identify similarities and differences in terms of lens technologies, frame designs, and target audiences, helping individuals make informed decisions based on their specific preferences and needs.

Lens Technology 

Maui Jim or Smith Lens Technology

Maui Jim incorporates their exclusive PolarizedPlus2® lens technology, which offers polarized lenses with additional features. The PolarizedPlus2® technology reduces glare, enhances color saturation, and provides superior clarity. It also includes specialized coatings that protect against scratches and repel water and oils. Maui Jim lenses are designed to enhance colors and contrast, making them particularly popular for outdoor activities in bright and sunny environments.

Smith Optics, on the other hand, features their proprietary ChromaPop™ lens technology. ChromaPop™ lenses selectively filter light wavelengths, providing enhanced clarity, sharper contrast, and more vibrant colors. This technology helps to improve visual detail and definition, making colors appear more vivid and true to life.

Choosing between Maui Jim and Smith Optics depends on individual preferences and specific needs, such as the desired level of glare reduction, color enhancement, and overall visual experience. It is recommended to try out the lenses firsthand to determine which technology aligns better with personal preferences.

Comparison of Frames

Both Maui Jim and Smith Optics are committed to constructing high-quality frames that offer durability and comfort.

Maui Jim frames are crafted using a variety of materials, including lightweight and durable options such as nylon, acetate, and titanium. Their frames often feature corrosion-resistant properties and are designed to withstand the demands of outdoor activities. Maui Jim pays attention to details, ensuring that their frames offer a secure and comfortable fit for extended wear.

Smith Optics also prioritizes frame construction, utilizing materials like Evolve eco-friendly material, TR90 nylon, and stainless steel. These materials offer a combination of strength, flexibility, and lightweight comfort. Smith frames often feature ergonomic designs, adjustable nose pads, and temple grips for a personalized fit and enhanced comfort during various activities.

Variety In Styles

which one is better Maui Jim or Smith?

Smith Optics provides an extensive collection with diverse design options. They offer a range of styles, from classic and timeless designs to more modern and fashion-forward frames. Whether someone prefers a sporty look, a sleek and minimalist style, or a bold and trendy design, Smith Optics has options to suit various fashion sensibilities.

Similarly, Maui Jim boasts a versatile collection with a broad range of styles. They offer sunglasses that range from classic aviators and wayfarer-inspired frames to contemporary wraparound and sport-specific designs. Maui Jim’s collection includes options for different face shapes, sizes, and personal styles, ensuring that individuals can find sunglasses that suit their preferences.

Both brands offer a multitude of design choices, ensuring that wearers have a wide selection to choose from based on their individual style and needs. Whether someone seeks a more traditional or fashion-forward look, both Smith Optics and Maui Jim present an array of styles that cater to various preferences.

price comparison

Comparison of Maui Jim and Smith

Both Smith Optics and Maui Jim fall within a similar price range for their sunglasses. Their initial pricing starts around $250 and can go higher depending on the specific model, lens options, and frame materials. However, Maui Jim, being positioned as a premium brand, offers a broader range of pricing options. 

While their initial price point is comparable to Smith Optics, Maui Jim extends its range to include higher-priced models that can exceed $400. This broader pricing range reflects Maui Jim’s positioning as a luxury eyewear brand with offerings that cater to a wide range of budgets and preferences. 


In conclusion, while both Smith Optics and Maui Jim offer exceptional sunglasses with similar luxury, design, and performance, I personally lean towards sticking with Smith Optics. Not only does it provide a comparable level of luxury at a slightly lower cost, but it also offers a wide range of designs to choose from. 

Both brands excel in their respective strengths, and ultimately the choice comes down to individual preferences and priorities. Whether you prioritize cost-effectiveness or specific design elements, both Smith Optics and Maui Jim provide excellent options for luxury eyewear. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on your personal preferences and what factors matter most to you.

I hope this article helped you choose your best option. Happy Shopping ahead!

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Tessa Reynolds
Meet Tessa Reynolds, who lives in Denver, Colorado. She likes to write about sunglasses, and eye makeup so that she can share her knowledge, and help all the people who need something for their eyes. When she is not writing, you can find her skiing in the mountains of Colorado.