Platinum Picks – Best of ’22: Smith Squad XL and Altus Helmet

Purveyors of the ultimate, clear vision on hill, Smith has done it again with the Squad XL, a cylindrical goggle with an expansive field of view. When worn in tandem with the Altus helmet, you’re ready for anything winter throws at you.

Spherical verses cylindrical goggles. What’s the difference? What’s best you for? As my old pal, J2, used to say, “Hard sayin’, not knowin’.” For most, the difference between the two aforementioned frames is negligible; while there are subtle differences with style, field of view, and price, which you prefer truly boils it down to personal preference.

Smith Detail Helmet and Goggle snowboarding

Made in the USA, the Squad XL is a classic cylindrical goggle that’s simply bigger and better. How large (or small) we like our goggles has a lot to do with our facial features and noggin size. Me for example, I have a big head—not in the sense of my ego, but rather a large dome that looks like a satellite dish on my shoulders. Regardless of whether you have a huge ego, the XL has a couple key features that make it a superior choice. First, the larger, cylindrical shape yields a gigantic field of view—a big plus, so you’ll never have the frame blocking your vision while shredding. Secondly, the XL accommodates “OTG”, or Over the Glass capability, so most prescription glasses will fit under the goggle without any sort of pressure points. Last but certainly not least, the two included Chromapop lenses, a slick frame style (most of Smith’s pro team ride the Squad), and a super snug fit with the Altus helmet make the Squad XL an easy choice for our 2022 Platinum Picks award.

Speaking of Altus, this lightweight helmet is the real deal, with a sophisticated 10-vent system to keep you warm when you need it and cool in the overcrowded lift lines with a quick slide of a switch. Audio-compatible and removable earpads are music to our ears. Of course, the Altus also comes with all the top safety features, like MIPS and Koroyd, to keep your satellite dish safe and sound! – Jeff Baker

Smith Altus Helmet Detail

Smith Squad XL – $150
Smith Altus Helmet – $190

Learn more at and @smithoptics.

This year, the Snowboard Magazine Platinum Picks Awards are sliding into their fourteenth season as the largest, most in-depth gear review of its kind. Thousands of great products from every category on the market have been narrowed down to a select few that our editors have reviewed, tinkered with, analyzed, and photographed. Our goal is to inform, educate, and help guide your buying decisions this winter, so you end up with the very best gear for your time on the mountain. In the 2022 Platinum Picks, you’ll find an assortment of amazing boards, boots, bindings, goggles, helmets, jackets, pants, and more that we have deemed The Best of ’22.


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