- 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.
The Smith I/O is a top goggle that is definitely worth the (not inconsiderable) price tag. A good pair of goggles is something that’s definitely worth paying a bit more for, so if you’ve got the money to spend then this isn’t a bad place for it to go.
"Once you’ve got the lens system sussed, changing on-the-go is very quick and easy"
The lens change system is a little fiddly at first, so it’d be worth having a few practice goes before hitting the hill. However, once you’ve got it sussed then changing on-the-go is very quick and easy, and the new one feels as secure as you’d hope when it's in place.
With zero fogging to speak of, comfy face foam and unrestricted vision, the Smith I/O is a winner.
Elias Elhardt - Team Rider, Smith
To me the Smith I/O Goggle is an essence of what a google needs to provide!
It fits well and offers a maximized field of view. I’m also stoked on the 5-X Anti Fog system, which keeps it clear at all times.
When you fall and the goggles get full of snow, it’s super quick and easy to change the lens with a single-pivot quick release. I used to always take at least two full sets of goggles to the mountain on a stormy filming day. With this new system I just put two extra lenses in my pocket, and change quickly if I tumble… Then I’m right back with good visibility and can keep enjoying the powder party!