Smith I/O 7 Goggle Review

Smith I/O 7 Goggles

I received my Smith I/O 7 Goggle in mid-October when we were still experiencing 80 degree temperatures. The arrival did trigger that first emotion of excitement. You know the one?! Ski season is just around the corner!

First thoughts on the Smith I/O 7 Goggle

Right out of the box, I studied all the material and extras, and was thoroughly impressed with the goggles as well as the extra lens and carrying case. I really liked the sleek and simple design. When first introduced 7 years ago, the Smith I/O line was the first rimless interchangeable goggle. And in its 7th year the Smith I/O 7 Goggle is still the ultimate goggle with a minimalist design. With it’s single-pivot quick release, AirEvac Integration technology, and facial geometry frame design this goggle is tops in the ski and snowboard industry. Lightweight, fog free lenses, and a cool simple design have made these my go to goggles this winter.

Out of the box. Goggles, instructions, carrying case, 2nd lens, and hard carrying case.

Technical Advances and Features

The most important thing to me in a ski goggle is the ability to see clearly in whatever nature may throw my way. The capacity of the eye to see fine detail and bumpy terrain is greatly increased by the Carbonic-X Lens with TLT Optics. The Smith I/O 7 Goggle “increases visual acuity” to provide enhanced contrast which has come in handy during flat light, sunny skies, and in a snowstorm. I am not the most careful guy out there, and tend to drop or run into things. I have scratched many a goggle, but fortunately the I/O 7 offers optimum scratch and impact resistance.  I don’t plan on testing the impact part of that, but will try not to sit on them or stuff them into my bag with my boots on top.

All performance lenses feature Smith’s proprietary 5X Anti-Fog inner lens to eliminate condensation and moisture build up. Smith seems to think it is the most advanced anti-fog lens ever created because it eliminates condensation and moisture build up.  Thus far, I tend to agree. The season is young and I intend to put that claim to the test, but feel confident in the I/O 7’s ability to perform. 

QuickFit Strap for easy connections.

This is a Medium Fit Goggle, so with adjustments it’s a good fit for most people. The QuickFit Strap is easy to adjust, and has a clip buckle. Obviously, the Smith I/O 7 goggles are helmet compatible with a nice and wide silicone backed strap. This is a small but great feature as it really allows the goggle strap to stay put on the helmet.

The Single Pivot Quick Release Lens System makes for quick and easy work to exchange the photochromatic Red Sensor lens to a blackout lens (the lenses in my little arsenal). Perfect for when my overcast and snowy conditions turned to a very bright and sunny afternoon.

Easy clip to remove and exchange lenses

There’s a 3 layer foam system. The layer attached to the frame is a bit denser than the middle layer which allows for subtle nuances in your noggin to provide a nice uniform fit. The foam also covers some air vents to allow for air flow and great breathability. The outer layer that’s in contact with your skin is a super velvety soft fleece that provides warmth and breathability.

Great visibility in a snowstorm and fit great with my helmet

The Smith I/O 7 goggle includes a Microfiber Goggle Bag for storage and cleaning. And the replacement lens sleeve is solid and will protect my extra lens even when tucked into my ski coat.

Testing and Performance of the Smith I/O 7 Goggle

The first test for these beauties was not as expected. I wore them in a commuter sort of way. In 2 degree temperatures, I put my little ones in the bike trailer under blankets and closed them in completely.  I was the one who got to brave the wind, snow, and cold for about 20 minutes.  The goggles were my last piece of accessory equipment to keep me cozy throughout my ride. I was layered up, and worked up a good sweat despite the cold. The goggles worked in keeping the cold wind and snow from my face, but I was also able to see clearly which was much needed as drivers were a bit surprised to see me out there.

Facial Geometry frame design provides for a full field of vision

The second test run started as an overcast day at Keystone Resort in Colorado. Early skiing conditions are somewhat limiting the terrain I’ve been able to hit. Hiking to a few peaks to claim that hard to come by virgin powder was my goal. That takes work, and a lot of sweat! Having the right apparel that’s breathable is key! The same goes for goggles. I put in some serious effort several times hiking up, and I usually keep my goggles on to aid in wind and sun protection. My goggles never fogged up.

My Smith I/O 7 Goggle came with the Photochromatic Red Sensor lens. The packaging for the extra lens is brilliant. It’s a hard shell, but fits the mold of the goggles. It’s easily stashed in my ski jacket pocket which is a huge bonus for me. Morning conditions were rather foggy and overcast, and the Photochromatic Red Sensor lens was perfect. Around 11, the sun came out making for a perfect blue bird day in the mountains. The goggles have been great to help in shielding my eyes from the sun especially from the snow bounce reflection. Super happy.

I have a somewhat older helmet, but it fits and works well for me. This goggle is versatile enough to work with mine and a most helmets on the market.

Photochromatic Lens with back up black lens and case

Final Thoughts

The Smith I/O 7 Goggle is rimless with interchangeable lenses. In my gear and apparel I prefer a simple design, but require a top quality product as well as performance.  The latest and greatest with all sorts of fancy bells and whistles isn’t always the best in my humble opinion. These goggles have a clean line, high end technological features in the lens and frame, and are able to do the job to keep the elements out. Wind, snow, sun, and fog are no match. These are lightweight, have great flexibility, appropriate ventilation, and fit wonderfully. The Smith I/O 7 is absolutely the ultimate goggle in minimalist performance.

The Smith I/O 7 comes in 15 different color frames and lens options starting at an MSRP of $225. As tested, the Black Frame with Photochromatic Red Sensor is $285.  Free Bonus Blackout lens included. Nice!!!

For additional information, selection, and purchase please visit: www.smithoptics.com

The Smith I/O 7 Goggle was able to handle a wide variety of conditions in one single ski day. Clear vision all day.

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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