- Price: £160-£200
- Frame/Strap: Black
- Lens: Black
The original Smith I/O was the first snowboard goggle with a lens-changing system, and it continues to build upon its stellar reputation with each passing year. The 2016/17 version carries over most of the top tech from previous years, and now boasts the widest field of view it’s ever had.
The frame of the Smith I/O features something they call ‘Responsive Fit’. Lattice-like construction across the whole frame means that, no matter what size or shape your head, it’ll sit comfortably with no gaps or pressure build-ups.
“As well as the ‘5X’ anti-fog coating (so called because the technology offers five times the performance of a standard lens), there’s a small valve which prevents pressure from building up in the lens chamber”
Changing the lens is a multi-stage process, but is still pretty quick and leaves you in no doubt as to the security of your lens. Turn the two plastic locks on the top of the lens, then pull the lens out from the securing notches in the bottom of the frame. Then just do the process in reverse with the new lens and you’re ready to roll.
There’s plenty of fancy stuff packed into those lenses; as well as the ‘5X’ anti-fog coating (so called because the technology offers five times the performance of a standard lens), there’s a small valve which prevents pressure from building up in the lens chamber. When that happens it can distort your vision, but the valve ensures that things remain consistent even as your altitude changes multiple times throughout the day.
Smith make helmets too, and have therefore factored the needs of lid-users into this goggle’s functionality. The outriggers (that’s the plastic bits where the strap meets the frame) can be unclipped, so if you wear your goggles over your helmet it’ll give you a better fit. When you want to take them off, there’s an easy-to-use clip located halfway round the strap.
The Smith I/O goggles is available with an extra lens, but there’s also the option to upgrade to ‘Chromapop’ lenses. They’re a bit pricier, but for the extra cash you get increased clarity across a wider range of conditions. Female riders should also check out the Smith I/O Women’s.