Smith Joya vs Rockaway Sunglasses Review

Woman wearing Smith Joya and holding Rockaway sunglasses

The Smith Joya and Rockaway are designed for women. They’re cute, quality, and worthy of serious recreation on the water.

So what’s the difference? And which ones should you get?

The Smith Joya sunglasses are nearly identical to the Rockaway. They both provide excellent visual clarity with ChromaPop lenses, fit comfortably on most women, and look stylish. Where they differ is in lens shape and coverage, with the Joya being slightly larger than the Rockaway.


  • Both are super comfortable
  • Both are designed specifically for women anglers and water lovers
  • Stylish with great color options
  • Included PivLock leash system helps to not lose them


  • Rockaway provides less coverage than the Joya
  • Our Joyas had a defect, but Smith covered it under warranty right away
  • On the pricey side of the fence

Both the Smith Joya and Rockaway sunglasses are outstanding pieces of gear based on our real world testing and comparison to similar products.

View Joya on Amazon

View Joya at Smith

View Rockaway on Amazon

View Rockaway at Smith

Hands-on Review of Smith Rockaway and Joya Polarized Sunglasses

It didn’t make much sense for me to wear these sunglasses myself in order to review them since they are really designed for women. So my lovely wife, Megan, stepped in and has been wearing these sunglasses for all manner of activities over the past few months. 

From a beach and Disneyworld vacation in Florida to lake days in Idaho, she’s had a chance to get a solid feel for each model.

Spoiler alert: there is very little difference between the Smith Joya vs Rockaway, which is why we lumped them together in a single review.

To find out what she thought and what I observed about them, keep reading.

There are five criteria we look at when comparing fishing sunglasses at Outdoor Empire: comfort, design, coverage, function, and value. We grant a score between 1 and 5 (5 being the highest) for each category, then average them together for the overall Outdoor Empire score. This is how we rank different products as objectively as possible.


Joya Score: 5 | Rockaway Score: 5

Woman wearing smith joya sunglasses on beach
My wife prefers the brown lens option because it’s great in both sunny and overcast conditions.

The Joya and the Rockaway feel exactly the same in terms of comfort. That’s a good thing because they are both extremely comfortable.

These are lightweight sunglasses made of high-quality materials. The rubbery megol pads on the nose and temples are well-placed and keep the shades secure on your face. 

Spring hinges are built into the temples which make them flex-adjust to just about anyone’s face. The medium-large fit applies to a woman’s face. My wife thinks they fit very well but they’re a bit small for me.


Joya Score: 5 | Rockaway Score: 5

Smith rockaway sunglasses rear view
The Rockaway’s lenses are more rounded and narrow at the bottom compared to the Joya.

When it comes to design, the Joya and Rockaway are 90% the same. The only difference is the shape and size of the lenses.

The Rockaways have smaller and rounder lenses, whereas the Joyas square off slightly on the bottom and are wider at the top. My wife prefers the look of the Joya.

Smith’s polarized ChromaPop lenses are legendary, especially among anglers and water junkies. They come in glass or polycarbonate options as well as a variety of color schemes, as do the frames.

They both have the exact same temple pieces, same mold and everything. These have holes at the end to accommodate Smith’s PivLock leash retainer system which works great. It’s easy to attach and detach the included leash, but you could also use any third-party leash. In any case, this is a great way to not lose your shades in the water. We’ve all been there!


Joya Score: 4 | Rockaway Score: 3

Woman wearing smith rockaway sunglasses with waterfall reflecting in lenses
The Rockaway does let a bit more glare in from the sides and below the frames compared to the Joya.

Both sets have Smith’s modest 6 base wrap, which means they don’t wrap around your face completely. This is a small sacrifice of some coverage in favor of style.

Compared to most of the men-oriented fishing shades options like the Castaway or the Guide’s Choice, neither the Joyas nor the Rockaways provide as much sun protection.

Between the two, the Joyas do the best job here, with the Rockaways providing the least coverage of any of the Smith fishing sunglasses we tested. But as my sister confirmed, the Rockaways are indeed super cute! Especially in that opal fade color.

If you are a woman with a very slender face, the Rockaway will probably suit you just fine. But the Joyas will keep the glare out better, especially from the side and below.


Joya Score: 5 | Rockaway Score: 5

Close up of smith pivlock leash attachment
Smith’s Pivlock leash attachment is both effective and easy to use.

It’s a wash when it comes to functionality between the Rockaway and the Joya, except for coverage as mentioned above.

They both have the very useful PivLock leash system and similar features throughout.

Besides that, they both look great wherever you are, whether it’s on the fishing boat, on the beach, or strolling around town. Very versatile!


Joya Score: 4 | Rockaway Score: 4

Smith joya sunglasses on bench with accessories
Both the Joya and the Rockaway include a nice set of accessories.

Neither pair of sunglasses here is cheap, but they are both great looking and great feeling. If they fit your budget, you won’t be disappointed.

However, full disclosure, we had a problem with the Joyas we received. After a couple months, the polarized lenses got messed up. You could visibly see lines or striations in the lenses when holding them out in front of you. When you wore them, your vision was blurred where the coatings were starting to delaminate.

We submitted a warranty claim directly to Smith Optics. They say it takes 1-2 weeks to respond, but we had an approval within two business days. They sent us a code to order a new pair at no cost. We just got a lemon, but I’m glad to see they stand by their warranty!

Bottom Line

Outdoor Empire Total Joya Score: 4.6

View Joya on Amazon

View Joya at Smith

Outdoor Empire Total Rockaway Score: 4.4

View Rockaway on Amazon

View Rockaway at Smith

Because the Smith Joya and Rockaway were clearly designed at the same time and so similarly, it is hard to declare a real winner. The Joya scored slightly higher because it provides better coverage, which is beneficial to anglers. That’s why it’s our top pick for women out of all the Smith fishing sunglasses.

Side of smith joya sunglasses on bench
In our opinion, the Joy has a slight edge on the Rockaway because it has a bit better coverage.

If you’re debating between the two, it really comes down to the shape and size of the lens, and that’s it.

For people who want more coverage or have a medium to large face, the Joya is the best choice. But for women who only fish occasionally, have petite faces, or don’t mind a little glare sneaking in here and there, the Rockaways are indeed an attractive option.

Despite our hiccup with the Joya defect, my wife still prefers them.

Woman laughing with smith rockaway sunglasses on
My sister was pretty stoked on the Rockaways!

To see how these two options stack up against other Smith fishing sunglasses, check out our top picks article here.

Or you can get more ideas from our Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses comparison article.