Smith I/O Goggle Review
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The Smith I/O is my new goggle of choice for my days on the ski hill. They combine great style with functionality and Eco-friendliness. The Evolve series is Smith’s answer to the green movement and attempts to lower the company’s impact on the environment by using recycled and sustainable materials in the product line. Even the storage bags and packaging are Eco-friendly. The best part is that the environmental benefits come with no compromise on performance.
My favorite part of Smith goggles has always been the feel and fit on the face. They really wrap my face perfectly and the slightly flexible material helps maintain a good fit. Because of the design I never find myself having to readjust the goggles lower as I have with some of my other goggles. The other aspect of the fit that is excellent is the interaction with helmets. The I/Os offer a perfect helmet-compatible fit when combined with Smith helmets. The combination of a smooth top of the goggles and well designed outriggers allow them to work with a helmet without the dreaded “gaper gap”.
Smith’s long history of optical design is evident in the clarity of the lenses. The lenses also take advantage of tapered lens design which reduces distortion and maximizes the field of view. The goggles also have Smith’s Porex filter which does an excellent job of minimizing fogging. I have yet to experience fogged goggles and that is a good sign.
With the I/O, Smith wanted to address the issue of the traditional difficulty associated with switching out lenses in snow goggles. Many goggles have interchangeable lenses but few people take advantage of this feature because of the hassle the process can be. The I/O institutes an innovative system that makes the process quick and painless. Instead of the usual multitude of snap ins that most goggle lenses use, the I/O lens has 2 quick release latches that allow the lens to be easily swapped out. Smith includes two lenses with the I/O so that you can have a low light option for those flat light days. As extra lenses can be pretty expensive, the inclusion of an extra pair is a great value.
There isn’t much else to say about the Smith I/Os other than you should go check them out at your local dealer. They are the obvious option for anyone with a Smith helmet and great for anyone else.
At $165, they are pretty pricey but the performance and inclusion of two lenses makes them a great value in my eyes.
For more info on the I/O Goggle and other Smith eyewear, visit www.smithoptics.com.