SMITH I/O GOGGLE REVIEW
Colour: Bob Smith Retro
Smith are one of the best-respected goggle makers in the business, with a team that includes the likes of Scotty Lago, Scott Stevens and Xavier de le Rue. Based in Idaho, they have a unique testing facility up in the hills – a cabin on a disused mining concession. Every year they construct what’s basically a backcountry park, with a whole series of mega-booters accessed by snowcat, for their team to hit as documented in the Prospecting Idaho series. The company wasn’t always so big though. It started back in 1965, when Dr Bob Smith, an orthodontist by trade started building goggles “using dental tools, foam and glue”.
This special version of the I/O, with its retro striped strap, and yellow lens is in fact a homage to the good doctor and his original models. The colours may be retro however, but the frame isn’t. The I/O is one of Smith’s staple shapes, with a sophisticated lens-switching system that makes changing your visor to suit the light conditions easy. As well as this low-light lens, our test model also came with a bright light mirror, and our test team was impressed by how easy it was to switch between the two. The fit is large offering a good field of vision, but not over-sized. And the foam was comfortable around the face. Smith do make larger variations on this basic shape to fit bigger and smaller faces, which they call the I/O X and the I/O S respectively.snowandrock.com, absolute-snow.co.uk, rxsport.co.uk