Goggle Review: Smith I/O

18 Dec, 2011


Intended Purpose: Interchangeable ease meets stylish functionality for the mountain. The I/O goggles are popular for good reason, good visibility with great functionality.

Location: I rode the goggles mostly at Mammoth during early season and Copper, Colorado for the Grand Prix.

Conditions: Since these goggles arrived for early season, I’ve ridden them on a majority of sunny days with a couple overcast flat light days on the mountain.

Color: I got the I/O goggles in the black foundation frame which offers a mix of black straps with the signature Smith design and a frame featuring grey and black colors. Definitely a popular choice for frame, black goes with everything.

Lens: The I/O comes with two lenses, I received the Red Sol X mirror lens which is perfect for sunny days on the mountain and the ignitor mirror for more all purpose riding. I spent a couple days in the ignitor for flatlight overcast conditions and used the majority of days in the Red Sol X mirror for sunny days.

Fit: The goggles are designed for medium fit and definitely more noticeably bigger fit than the I/OS I’ve used and using this year. With my face, it was fun to try out the I/O but for my smaller face frame and lack of nose bridge, the I/OS definitely have the better fit to my face. So if the I/OS are too small, try the I/O goggles.

Helmet Compatibility: I spent time with these goggles on my Smith Allure helmet, I expected the fit to be great because it’s the same company and it was. The goggles fit nicely with the helmet.

Visibility: Good peripheral on the I/O. You can see out of the corner of the eye but it’s not excessive for a peripheral view. You get a much broader top to bottom view because there’s no much frame blocking your vision.

Features: The Smith I/O goggles feature a medium fit with the quick release lens system. The I/O are interchangeable optics, you flip the top switches, pop out the lens and replace it with the new one.  The I/O goggles are spherical, carbonic X lens with TLT optics. It offers the patented vaporator lens technology with porex filter. Other features are a ultra-wide silicone backed strap, quickfit strap adjustment system with clip buckle, dual layer, driwix face foam, helmet compatible. It also comes with two performance mirror lenses.  My favorite feature is the multiple lenses and the interchangeability system, it’s easy to change out lens for days when conditions change.

Durability: I been riding the I/O goggles through most of the early season and no issues with durability so far. The frame is in great shape, looks barely used and the lenses don’t have any scratches. I’ve been keeping care of them pretty good.

Thoughts: The I/O goggles are popular for good reason. The quick release system makes it incredibly easy to switch out lenses on the go. You never have to wear lenses that don’t work for the conditions. It’s nice getting that functionality out of one goggle rather than needing to bring two goggles with you to the mountains. I rode the I/O goggles for the early season, definitely easy to adjust and change out lenses. Good visibility, not as wide as some of the crazy peripheral goggles out there but functional for good riding on the mountain.

For my face, they do okay. The I/OS fit my nose better so for me, it’s better to stick with the I/OS but it’s good to know that either goggle you are getting a solid product with the signature Smith functionality of quick release. All it takes is figuring out which one fits your face better. I/O for more medium fit, I/OS for smaller fit.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Smith I/O or shop their full line of Smith goggles

On-snow photos
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Smith I/O Goggle Description
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Review Disclosure: I received this goggle from Smith to review and test.

About the author

Shay

From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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1 Comment

  1. December 18, 2011

    I love my I/O googles! I’ve had them for 2 seasons now, and have 3 lenses. The quick change of the lenses means that I’ll actually change them. As a larger man, the fit of the I/O is great, and it fits under my Bern Watts helmet, too.

    I can’t talk these gogs up enough!