Smith I/O Goggle

Product: Smith I/O Goggle

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley; Alta Ski Area; Las Leñas; Silverton; Crested Butte; Summit County

Days Tested: 90+

Specs:

Picture of the Smith I/O goggle

Smith Optics I/O Goggle, with Green Sol-X Mirror Lens

If you’re serious about shredding in all conditions, from whiteout to bluebird, having multiple lenses at your disposal is crucial. The Smith’s I/O goggle makes this about as easy as it has ever been.

Their frameless design not only looks snazzy (or steezy, if you prefer), it eliminates any of the hassle you may have experienced in trying to change out the lens from an ordinary (purely retentive) goggle frame. I’ve found that the process of changing lenses takes me under 40 seconds, so making the switch on the lift is a non-event.

Considering how simple and quick it is to switch lenses out, I’m continually impressed by how sturdy the I/Os rigidity and fit is. Smith has done a very good job in designing this goggle. The structure is rigid and comfortable on the face, with a nice soft material layered on top of the foam seal. The goggles’ strap is lined with a tacky silicone strip, ensuring that that the I/Os stay put on your head or helmet. I’ve also found the I/Os to provide noticeably better peripheral vision (particularly evident when skiing switch) than the Oakley Crowbar, the goggle I used for three seasons prior.

The goggle is offered with a variety of lenses, any of which are available for separate purchase. Personally, I use the Green Sol-X Mirror, a bronze tinted lens with a sick purple/green mirror tint, for sunny days, and the Sensor Mirror, a very light rose tint with slight mirror coating, for flat light. I’ve found no problem whatsoever with the performance of Smith’s lens technology.

(Side note: we get asked all the time about the performance difference between the green Sol-X and the red Sol-X Mirror lenses, as well as characteristics of some of Smith’s other lenses, like the all-purpose RC36. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare multiple lens tints in the field, but we’ll update when we do.)

I’ve never really had fogging issues with any goggles I’ve owned, but the I/O’s have worked flawlessly for me in this respect. Still, it’s worth mentioning that, to combat fogging, a small Porex Filter permits airflow through the lens’ dual layers, but blocks out moisture. Nice.

Engineered in conjunction with the Variant Brim (Review HERE), the I/O is perfectly compatible with the Variant and new Vantage helmets. I couldn’t be happier with this goggle. (Note: If you find the I/O’s fit to be uncomfortable, check out the I/O S, a narrower version of the goggle for smaller faces.)

3 Comments

  1. Jason Martin March 22, 2012 Reply

    I am in the market for some goggles next season since mine are shot. Nice review and I am going to have to look into these for next year. The option to be able to swap out the lenses is a nice one. Thanks for the review.

  2. Jeff Culler July 23, 2012 Reply

    I have been wearing the I/O goggles for about 3 years now. As the owner of a outdoor sales shop I have a lot of different options when it comes to goggles. Smith has the widest range of lenses to choose from and the I/O is hands down the easiest to change. Its still my pick. Next year the I/OX will be another one to consider.

  3. Andrew October 17, 2016 Reply

    Hi Will,
    I have the Vantage and do all my skiing in the North East on both sunny and gray days, but I’m wondering which size I/O’s you think would fit better wit the lg. size Vantage and what lens would be best for those conditions….Thanks for a great review

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