Seven years ago Smith Optics came out with the I/O ski and snowboard goggle. The revolutionary design started the rimless goggle trend and showed just how easy it could be to adapt a single goggle to different light conditions by using a simple interchangeable lens interface. The I/O was comfortable, integrated extremely well with Smith helmets, and over the years, came in different sizes, like the IOS and the IOX, for smaller and bigger faces. But this year Smith upped their game once again with the I/O7. And as usual, it’s pretty sweet.
The new I/O7 has a totally redesigned dual-axis outrigger system that lets the strap pivot in relation to the position of the goggles on your head. In short, whether you wear them above or below your helmet, your goggles will feel very comfortable. A combination of three layers of face foam further ease pressure and wick moisture.
The previous I/O had a pretty slick system to swap out lenses. And the I/O7 improves on that system with an even simpler Single-Pivot Quick Release. Simply flip the tab on the top of the goggles and give it a twist. The lens pops out and you can quickly put in a different one. As easy as the lens is to change out on the top, the bottom is held into the frame with two very snug fittings that can be a little tricky to navigate and could most likely break if you’re too hard on them. That being said, I haven’t broken mine and have gotten used to finagling the fittings in and out as I swap lenses.
Rounding out the I/O7 is their much-adored Tapered Lens Technology (TLT) and AirEvac ventilation system. TLT lets the lens thickness taper out from the midpoint. This corrects the path of the light going into your eye and provides a distortion-free view.
AirEvac pulls air out of the top of the goggles and distributes it through the ventilation system of your helmet. By removing hot, moist air, this technology ensures that the I/O7 goggles stay fog free. Keep in mind that this system is meant to work best with Smith ski helmets.
The I/O7 is finished nicely with a standard silicone stripe to keep your strap from sliding off your helmet. And a fancy little clip in the back keeps the goggles from becoming a tangled mess when you put them over your helmet.
I always loved my original I/O goggles, to the point of repeatedly purchasing several different pairs over the years. Bias aside, the I/O7 delivers the same great package, revamped and altered for even better performance. Some folks out there might claim that ski goggle lenses are all the same, but Smith’s TLT technology really does create a better field of vision. Objects like trees and rocks, or, say other people, are easy to see and judge how far (or close) they are from you. And all Smith lenses are carbonic, which in simple terms means that they are super tough to protect your eyes from hard impact.
The I/O7 goggles fit my face well. I don’t think I have too big of a face, but you never know. The I/O7 frames are geared toward an average head shape and Smith seems to have nailed the sizing. The strap had no issue fitting around my helmet and it was just as comfortable around a beanie in case you don’t ride with a helmet.
The AirEvac system seemed to work well. I use a Smith Gage helmet and the integrated vents did their part to keep my goggles from fogging. I do want to include here that no matter how much ventilation, anti-fog coating, or other technologies that manufacturers use to stop fogging, any lens can fog if the face foam and lens is moist. Always let your goggles dry out after a day of use to make sure they don’t fog on your next pow day.
The ease of changing lenses is really nice. Gone are the days of having the one archaic orange lens. My I/O7 goggles came with a Green Sol-X and Red Sensor mirror lenses. Both of these lenses work fantastic. I’ve used them before and love how they augment the light conditions to keep your eyes comfortable and vision sharp. The Red Sensor is better for low-light while the Green Sol-X is best for sunny days.
Paul Boyle, Marketing Associate
An evolution of the long standing and well respected I/O goggles, the Smith I/O7 fits better and provides an unparalleled field of view for your skiing pleasure.
Technical Features: The sum of the I/O7’s parts create a pair of ski goggles that not only block excess sunlight, but fit well and integrate with your helmet to keep your vision unimpaired.
Performance: Comfortable on my face, and with different options for fit and changing light conditions, the I/O7 is one of the best performing goggles I’ve ever used. Plus they look sweet!