Smith IO 2015 Review by A Better Ski
The Smith I/O goggle was my go-to goggle for most of this past season, and I have gotten to put them through the gauntlet of conditions. What often sets the high end goggles apart from the lower end goggles is the ability to change lenses. On top of that, most high end goggle will be compatible with the best lenses. The Smith I/O is one of the best goggle in Smiths lineup, and one of our favorites around.
Optics: The Smith I/O has a large spherical lens with a pretty wide field of view. The TLT optics do produce very clear and natural vision, and when combined with the spherical lens it makes it very easy to see on the mountain. The Smith I/O is also one of the easiest goggles to switch out lenses, and is compatible with a large number of lens color and types. All of the lenses for the I/O come with Smith’s highest level of anti-fog (5X). I have been pretty happy with the clarity, and quality of the Smith I/O optics so far, and with the amount of lenses available, it’s easy to find the right one for the lighting conditions. My only complaint with the I/O is that even with the best anti-fog, I’ve still had a few days where the goggles fogged up. That being said, those days were very warm, and very wet, and 90% of the time I’ve used the Smith I/O, I have had no problems at all.
Fit: The I/O has a nice frameless design, but thanks to the spherical lens, it does feel a bit large to me. I think you have to consider the tradeoff here. The larger lens means a larger view, but it also means a larger goggle. They fit pretty well with a Smith helmet, but even then I feel like they get pushed down a bit over my nose. After using these for an entire day, the bridge of my nose gets very sore. I do like a bit lower profile look, but it’s hard to argue with that field of view.
Ventilation: Ventilation is good, but I have had issues with fogging and overheating on a few days. I would say 90% of the time, the Smith I/O was fantastic. The other few times were very warm, and very wet, and almost any goggle would have issues in those conditions.
Final Thoughts: The Smith I/O is a good goggle. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but has some of the best optics on the market. It’s also very easy to change lenses, and you have a lot of different options so it’s easy to find one you like for any day you ski. I do appreciate and like the large field of view, but the fit isn’t fantastic. Still, if you’re a 50 days a year type skier, the Smith I/O will probably be one of your best bets for goggles.
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