Smith IO 2017 - 2011 Review by The Good Ride
The Smith IO Goggle is pretty pricey but if you spend a lot of time on the mountain then you want a goggle that has good lens choices, enhances your view and doesn’t fog up. This one of Smith’s flagship goggles and we have now spent a good amount of time with this on our face. We have the IO Black Foundation and at this point I’ve tried almost every lens they offer. There are IO, IOs and IOx goggles and all are outstanding goggles but these seem to fit the widest variety of faces. These goggles although expensive are worth it if you spend a lot of time on the mountain. You don’t need them but they sure are fun to have.
Here is a comparison of the Smith IO and The Smith IOs Review
Smith IO On
Smith IOx, Smith IO and Smith IOs Goggle Comparison
This is about as high end as Smith gets. So far we have taken these out in sunny days and a few cloudy days and were able to use both the Ignitor Mirror (universal) and Red Sensor (low light). These goggles have a clarity that is up there or better than any top goggle out there. The Ignitor Mirror was perfect for mid to bright light and it had a very crisp look. The one thing we like with the Smith Goggles is the tint of their lenses. They always have a color that really stands out and makes it fun to look through without sacrificing clarity. With the Ignitor Mirror it seems to change colors with the changing light. On a partly cloudy day it seemed to be a violet color everywhere and then when the light changed it seemed more red. Also every change in terrain is enhanced so you can see what you are about to ride into at usually high speeds.
They fit perfectly with the Smith Vantage or any smith helmet. It’s better with Smith Helmets but not bad with Non-Smith. Of course this is a quick change or quick release goggle so it makes it easier to have one frame and multiple lenses. It’s pretty easy to change out and we found it to be a lot easier than your standard goggle. You only have 2 little notches at the nose that take a little work to get into and then the rest is super easy.
The look of the goggle seems to be better in person than in the pictures and we are big fans of the frameless look. The foam on the Smith Goggles doesn’t have that ultra cushy super conformist fit that many of the Oakley goggles have but it is much better than their lower end goggles like the Smith Stance. It is slowly conforming to our face and it seems more and more comfortable the more you wear it.
So far there are no issues with the ventilation and they haven’t even fogged up once. They don’t seem as warm as other goggles we have tried and on really windy days we can feel the wind get in a bit but it’s nothing bad especially with a helmet.
The price is high with this goggle but to a 50+ day a year rider the smith IO might be a worth while purchase. You can get on fine without this high end goggle but life on the hill is much better wtih them. I (editor) am claiming these goggles as mine for the rest of the season as my #1 pair and now another rider was so stoked on them that he has em as well.
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Smith IO User Reviews
I've had a lot of trouble with goggles in the past as my eyes have difficulty seeing contrast in low light and most goggles I tried in the past were dark, blocking out too much light. No matter what colour I tried it was no good. But after reading a lot of blogs on the best goggles for low light or whiteout conditions, these goggles just kept on coming up time and time again.
Smith are well known for making high quality lenses, and the good thing about these goggles is that you can swap the lenses out as you please so you can have optimal vision in all conditions. The 'Red Sensor Mirror' lense was the one recommended for low light and I can vouch for the fact that it lets A LOT of light in through the lense, while reflecting blue ambient light with the yellow mirror tint to increase contrast. A ton of technology and research has gone into these lenses to produce and excellent goggle with a very wide field of vision and no fogging at all. I highly recommend these!
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