Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Smith I/OS

- published November 2016

83

2016

RATINGS

Field of View
6
Fit
5
Anti-fog
7
Lens Quality
9
Frame
6
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$180.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Amazing definition & clarity from ChromaPop lenses
  • Pivoting outriggers make on and off easy
  • Second sleeve in goggle bag for extra lens

THE BAD

  • Lens interchange system is challenging
  • Face foam is scratchy and uncomfortable
  • Clip buckle on strap isn’t compatible with some helmets

THE VERDICT

Smith’s new ChromaPop lenses are engineered to enhance visibility, hence these lenses are exceptional. The I/OS is also offered without ChromaPop for a lower price. Unfortunately, the multi-point lens interchange system requires pulling, pushing, and prying to change the lenses. The I/OS is a compact-frame goggle marketed to women and the field of view is average for its size. While the face foam is cushy and pliable, I found the outer layer that lies on the face to be scratchy and uncomfortable. While I can’t say great things about the fit or frame, the ChromaPop lenses on my test model are definitely top-notch. 

FULL REVIEW

FIELD OF VIEW
The I/OS is a smaller-frame goggle and has a correspondingly smaller field of view. The peripheral vision is fine and doesn’t have blind spots but don’t buy this goggle for its field of view.

FIT
The triple-layer face foam and pliable frame on the I/Os should make for a great fit and contoured on my face nicely. Unfortunately, the foam was scratchy and lacked the cushy feel of other goggles in this class. I never felt at home in this goggle because it just wasn’t comfortable on my face. 

ANTI-FOG
No fogging occurred under any conditions. Note that I tested in the relatively dry climes of Colorado and don’t generally overheat when I ski. So use in humidity might yield a different result. 

LENS QUALITY
The Smith ChromaPop lens is impressive next-generation technology. While other lenses compensate for distortion, these lenses enhance what you see. The view is more vivid and features really stand out. The landscape truly “pops” when viewed through these lenses.

FRAME
Smith pioneered the interchangeable lens goggle but I’ve always found the I/O system to require too much work for a lens change. Unfortunately, the I/OS continues this tradition of too many clips, grooves, and notches to make what should be a simple switch of the lenses.

VALUE
The price of the I/OS is a little on the high side and puts you above $200 for the ChromaPop lens. While the lens is definitely worth the extra cash, I’d like to see better all-around features for this price point goggle. 

How We Tested It

The goggles in this test were used while resort skiing in various weather conditions and in the full-spectrum of temperatures. Our goggle tester, Dave Ratner, is an aggressive, all-mountain telemark skier in Colorado’s front range.

For more reviews beyond this 2016 test, check out our other goggle reviews, ski helmet reviews, ski reviews and snowboard reviews, as well as other related snow gear reviews

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Dave Ratner

Dave Ratner

Dave Ratner is a hard charging telemark skier from Denver. He spends every weekend powering his way through the I-70 corridor to test helmets and ski goggles for the Gear Institute.

Shop for the Smith I/OS

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$180.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$180.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Field of View
6
Fit
5
Anti-fog
7
Lens Quality
9
Frame
6
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

Specs

  • Number of Lenses Included: 2

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