I love my Smith Optics Captain's Choice sunglasses. They're spendy, but I got mine on Amazon for considerably less than list price.
Comfortable. Nicely designed. Polarized. Great color quality (blue sky looks way more intense with them on).
And they come with an integrated sunglasses leash.
"Integrated" means the narrow plastic flexible wire fits into the frame of the sunglasses, so the leash won't come off, and nothing protrudes on the head side of the frame (a drawback of leashes with elastic connections that slip over the end of the frame).
That's the good news. The bad news is that the integrated leash is a bear to install. Not a cute cuddly bear, an angry growling grizzly bear.
At least, that's how I felt after I got my Captain's Choice shades and spent fifteen minutes or so trying to get the leash to lodge in the small grooved hole in the end of the frame. There weren't any real instructions, just a minimalist diagram of where the leash attaches.
Here's what worked for me.
Twice, because today the leash caught on part of a grocery cart while the glasses were dangling from my neck and I was putting something heavy into the cart. When I stood up, the plastic tore. Luckily, my wife had gotten a pair of the same sunglasses and gave her leash to me, because she didn't want to use it.
I wish I'd blogged about installing the leash before, because I just had to recollect my technique for getting it on after buying the sunglasses a few months ago. This time I went less insane, though it took me a while to remember what I'd done before.
I approached the leash installation as if it was a surgical operation. (Believe me, you need some finger dexterity, no matter what technique is used to get the leash on.)
My killer tool is on the left: a wooden something-or-other I found in my wife's Nail Care drawer. It has something to do with cuticles, she told me. The fairly sharp angled ends worked well for me, as I'll describe below. The other items are: (1) the replacement integrated leash, and (2) my Captain's Choice sunglasses.
There's only one way the plastic inserts on the leash go on. That's easy to figure out, since you want the wire on the outside of the frame, and the shape of the insert has to match the shape of the hole in the end of the frame. After getting that straight, the "fun" begins.
The goal is to get the leash insert to lodge in the groove in the frame hole. Pushing on it doesn't do the trick. At least, not for me. I just found a You Tube video where a guy manages to get the integrated leash on with just his fingers. OK, I'm impressed. It might work for you, but if it doesn't, read on.
What I did is start by pushing the wider part of the plastic leash insert into the hole. That was pretty easy to do, which gets the groove-insertion process rolling. I then used the sharp end of the wooden cuticle thingie to push the groove in the leash insert into the hold, bit by bit, pushing from the outside of the frame.
I found that turning the glasses upside down helped a bit. The first insert took me a while. Then I must have gotten my groove on, so to speak, because the second insert went in almost immediately.
I recommend a wooden tool like what I used, because the small screwdriver I used in my first integrated leash installation attempt seemed like it could tear the flexible plastic. Ditto with the tweezers that I briefly tried to use to pull the plastic through the hole.
Anyway, if this blog post helps one person go only mildly insane when installing a Smith Optics integrated leash, I've done my part for the mental health of humanity. I love the leash, and I love my Captain's Choice sunglasses. It's just the installation process that can be a (grizzly) bear.
Thank you so much for this post. I was having a helluva time trying to figure this out! I"m in South Texas and am ready to try these surf fishing tomorrow on the beach.
Posted by: Marti Etheridge | May 03, 2022 at 06:23 PM
Very helpful. These things are way too hard to install. Just sayin'. The glasses are pretty tough, as they survived my clumsy insertion. Thanks for posting.
Posted by: Chip Bolman | September 27, 2022 at 08:45 AM