Smith I/O Goggles Review: Pros, Cons & Verdict (2023) (2023)

I really love snow goggles made by Smith, specifically the I/O series because it’s the smallest among the family.

In this review, I’m going to show you the things I like and dislike about this version — Smith I/O ChromaPop Goggles. I’ll also get a bit into the technical side of the product and help clear some confusions you might have, for example, who is it best for? What if you wear prescription glasses? Read on for more!


  • Quick Summary
  • What is Smith I/O?
  • What is ChromaPop?
  • Smith I/O Goggles: Detailed Review
    • Comfort
    • Field of View
    • Fog Control
  • What I Like
  • What I Don’t Like
  • Conclusion

Quick Summary

Smith I/O goggles have been on the market for several years and they continue to be a very competitive product when it comes to choosing the best snow goggles. Offered by a reliable brand, Smith Optics, the I/O series isn’t the highest-end in Smith’s product lines, but it remains a solid yet budget-friendly option.

  • The latest version features an enhanced-contrast lens which is super popular these days. Besides ChromaPop, it also offers you crystal-clear vision, anti-fog inter-lens, a quick-release system, and helmet compatibility, along with several other cool features. We’ll cover them in detail below.
  • Smith I/O is best for beginner skiers who are on a budget but still prefer to purchase reliable goggles from a prestigious brand.
  • If you are an intermediate or advanced skier, you probably want to look for a goggle that are more fancy and techy and wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for the lens (as they say “The better you see, the better you ski.”), then look no further and consider Smith I/O MAG.

Yes, the Smith I/O comes with 2 lenses. One for cloudy or overcast days and the other for super sunny days.

You can, but you’ll need to insert a progressive lens which gives you a distance correction at the top and some reading correction at the bottom of the lens. For example, SportEyes offers prescription services for snow goggles.

Yes, I think Smith I/O Asian Fit Goggle is the one Asian skiers should check out, and it’s definitely Japan-fit. However, it’s best that you could try out some models before securing the one you feel most comfortable with.

What is Smith I/O?

If you are into skiing or snowboarding, you should know Smith, a brand that has been dominating the snow goggle area for a while. Smith Optics offers a number of goggles options for its customers to choose from, while the I/O line is undoubtedly the most popular one.

Typically, the Smith I/O goggles come with an extra lens by default and offer a flexible option to upgrade to ChromaPop lenses, which tend to be more expensive but you get what you pay for. The two lenses were extremely comfortable to fit with great ventilation.

However, since 2018 it seems Smith is pushing ChromaPop more into its products, my hunch is that the company has made big progress in developing the technology as ChromaPop truly offers superior color quality that can translate to a variety of slopes with fantastic clarity under different conditions.

What is ChromaPop?

Simply put, ChromaPop is a new polarized lens technology developed by Smith Optics in 2013. In Smith’s own words, the lens tech can help you see more details and color beyond normal capabilities. Compared to traditional goggle lenses, the ChromaPop lens lets you experience enhanced definition and clarity across a greater range of conditions.

ChromaPop filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. By doing this the lens delivers greater definition, more natural color, and unmatched clarity to allow you to see more detail.

ChromaPop is grouped into three different categories: Sun, Storm, and Everyday. Getting the right one for the snow condition and changing the lens in Smith I/O is quite smooth. In the nutshell, snow goggle with ChromaPop means less hassle when you need to switch between lenses which can be time-consuming with regular lenses.

If you are interested in getting a bit deeper into the technical side of ChromaPop, Blister Review has put together this nice article that’s definitely worth taking a glance.

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Smith I/O Goggles: Detailed Review


If you are not comfortable wearing a goggle, doesn’t matter how advanced it is, you won’t enjoy them during the trip. As I said, Smith I/O is generally best for skiers or snowboarders with smaller faces. But size isn’t the only factor that affects the comfort of snow goggles. Other factors like whether the goggle has soft brushed foam padding, whether it offers a flexible frame, etc. all matter.

Smith I/O has definitely taken all those things into consideration. As you see, it has a triple layer of foam padding for optimal comfort, and it offers a traditional lock for easy interchangeability of lenses, best of all, you can take advantage of the adjustable strap for a customizable fit.

Field of View

Once again, snow goggle is all about lenses. That’s why this saying “The better you see, the better you ski. It’s that simple.” is popular among us skiing enthusiasts.

When the skiing resort is getting dark or in poor visibility, you’ll probably expect a pink, yellow or green lens; When the weather is sunny or too bright, you probably prefer a darker lens. Also, whether a goggle lens is cylindrical or spherical matters too as a spherical or curved lens usually provide better peripheral vision, meaning less distortion.

Smith I/O ChromaPop has all this covered. It’s spherical with cutting-edge ChromaPop technology. And all goggles that Smith provides come with a second set of lenses, the low light one is for whiteout conditions or stormy weather, while the other is for everyday use.

Fog Control

If you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses, you know what condensation feels like. Condensation occurs when the warm air usually from your breath meets the colder surface of your glasses. Your visibility can be seriously hindered if that happens.

Unlike regular glasses, snow goggles have ventilated frames that allow air vent on the top and bottom of the frames, to avoid condensation. However, the capability of anti-fog in different goggles especially made by different brands varies.

That’s one of the main reasons why I like Smith I/O, with two strong anti-fog technology: 5X Anti-Fog and Fog-X. Smith Optics surely has invested a lot into this kind of research to make sure their lenses have the most advanced tech to prevent fogging.

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For example, the Fog-X lens treatment employs a hydrophilic, micro-etched surface to absorb moisture and disperse it over a wide surface area to prevent fogging, as Smith claims.

Style & Size

When you shop for a product, not only will you expect it to do its job but you also expect it to look great. Choosing snow goggles is the same. It doesn’t have to look too fancy, but surely the design and appearance shouldn’t be that ugly.

In my opinion, great snow goggles should be stylish and their color scheme is nature-oriented. You know, skiing or snowboarding is an outdoor sport, I prefer to use gears that cater to the color of the snow or the wild.

Smith I/O Goggles have a contemporary style though not quite as sleek as I/O7 based on appearance. I like it very much because it adopts an almost frameless design and offers a range of lens color combinations that will appeal to even more audiences.

What I Like

Smith I/O is actually the snow goggle that I was looking for for a long time now. I have already tried a few other options Oakley was the very first one I wore during my first skiing. There are many things I really appreciate Smith Optics for offering to us customers. Here are a few:

  • It looks very stylish and beautiful.
  • Lots of color options to choose from.
  • It’s comfortable to wear with great compatibility with any helmet.
  • The vision is pretty good, thanks to the ChromaPop technology.
  • I can breathe normally without experiencing any fogging or moisture buildup.
  • Changing lenses and minor adjustments are relatively convenient.

What I Don’t Like

Although I really like this set of snow goggles, there are still some things that are lacking or I personally feel are not that great, and here they are:

  • The price is still a bit on the higher end compared to other entry-level alternatives.
  • It doesn’t offer customizations for people who wear prescription glasses. You probably have to turn to third-party vendors like SportRX while paying a premium fee.
  • The appearance and strap setup could be improved.


Snow goggles are essential for almost every skier or snowboarder unless you’re a pro player who’s fine with wearing a pair of sunglasses.

Smith Optics has dominated the snow goggle area for a while, and Smith I/O remains to be one of the best goggles for many. I’m very impressed by the comfort, fit, field of view, and general performance of Smith I/O though it’s not the highest-end in the Smith goggle family. It’s a great all-around product that you can wear at home or in the wild resort.

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Are Smith goggles worth it? ›

Smith is an indisputable leader in the snow goggle market, and the fifth design of theirs to make our list this season is the Squad Mag. Slotting below the 4D and I/O in price, it combines a quick-change system that is nearly identical to the 4D with a more budget-friendly cylindrical shape.

Is Smith a good goggle brand? ›

SMITH goggles provide the best clarity, comfort, and style, making a day on the slopes a breeze.

What are the best value ski goggles for beginners? ›

The Giro Blok is the best value ski goggles or the best goggles for beginners. The Giro Blok has a cylindrical shape compared to the spherical shape found in more expensive goggles. While it's tempting to cut corners financially in this really expensive sport, the Giro Blok will hold up and is worth the investment.

What is the best VLT for all conditions? ›

The recommended VLT for all conditions (ie. one lens for everything) is usually around the 30% mark as it gives a good amount of sun protection while not being too dark for low light days. Goggles with a 30% (or close) VLT are often shades of red, and even some blue lenses have a 20-30% VLT rating.

Do Smith sunglasses scratch easily? ›

Smith Rx Glasses are all designed to be anti-reflective, scratch resistant, and dirt-repellent. You can also upgrade your pair with some everyday enhancements.

What goggles did Michael Phelps use? ›

And how does Phelps feel about his goggles? The XCEED goggles are the best goggles that I have ever worn – they are super comfortable and the vision is insane. The ability to see so clearly with incredible peripheral vision allows me to see the wall and other swimmers underwater unlike ever before.”

What color goggles are best? ›

Blue, green and violet ski goggle lenses are all generally best for higher light conditions. If you choose blue lenses, you can take advantage of the fact that your goggles will help to reduce glare while you're skiing. If you choose violet, you can enjoy greater detail in your vision.

Do Smith goggles fog? ›

Smith Goggles Provide Fog Free Vision

The most common goggle problem is fogging, humidity inside the goggle doesn't help - the more humid the air, the more potential for fog. Smith goggles are manufactured with the best anti-fog features to help prevent lens fogging.

What Colour ski goggles are best? ›

The best lenses for bright conditions on the mountain are either a plain dark grey, dark brown, or dark rose lens coupled with a heavy mirror. A solid mirror helps deflect glare, while the grey, brown, or rose colors add contrast. Contrast helps you see all the bumps and troughs of the snow both in and out of shadows.

How often should you replace ski goggles? ›

Good-quality ski goggles can last anywhere from three to eight years, depending on how often you use them. Taking care of your goggles by replacing their lenses and regularly cleaning them can lengthen their lifespan even more.

What does S3 mean for ski goggles? ›

Category 3 / S3 – Dark – Dark lenses that cut out a lot of the suns rays, ideal for sensitive eyes and bright sunny days. Category 4 / S4 – Very Dark – Very dark lenses for high altitude glaciers and intense bright light.

Do you want a high or low VLT? ›

The higher the VLT percentage, the more light goes through (a high % is usually ideal for dark conditions), the lower the percentage the less light goes through (a low % is usually ideal for bright conditions).

Do you want high or low VLT in goggles? ›

In sunny weather, goggles with a low VLT offer the most protection and eye comfort; look for lenses with less than 25% VLT. In flat light or on overcast days, you're going to need a higher VLT; 20-70% VLT will cover the range of conditions you might encounter.

What VLT is best for driving? ›

This VLT range goes from about 10-18%. Tints of this density are typical for everyday sunglasses. The lower end of this VLT range is usually coupled with a mirror coating. They're a great option for driving, activities on the water, or being in the snow.

What swim goggles do Navy Seals use? ›

Current Navy Seal Eyewear

The current top choices include the Wiley X Saint Sunglasses and the ESS Flight Deck Military Goggles. The Wiley X Saint provides excellent protection and excellent visibility. It's also ergonomic, which means good protection from wind and debris.

What goggles does the US military use? ›

The US Army developed the IVAS goggles for use by close-combat forces. According to a press statement previously released by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), the new goggles will increase the situational awareness of the infantry personnel.

What goggles do the US Army use? ›

ESS goggles have premium ClearZone™ anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings. Clear and Smoke Grey lenses are included with all military products. The ICE 2.4™ adds an Amber lens, as well. Corrective lens inserts, tear-off lens covers and Laser Protective Lenses are available.

What is the biggest problem with cheap sunglasses? ›

Many of the cheaper sunglasses have a sprayed-on UV coating which often get washed off after the first few times you clean your glasses. This leaves your eyes unprotected. The UV protection is gone, but the dark tinting on the lenses remains and causes your pupils to dilate (because they think it's night time).

Are Smith sunglasses made in China? ›

From the United States. The good: the glasses are not made in China, which seems to be rare with Smith glasses these days.

Who makes the very best sunglasses? ›

Best Sunglass Brands
  • Ray-Ban. This iconic brand is known for its versatile frames you can't go wrong with. ...
  • COACH. From round to square, COACH offers classic, oversized silhouettes that are universally flattering. ...
  • Burberry. ...
  • Michael Kors. ...
  • Classic styles that stand out. ...
  • Maui Jim. ...
  • Oakley.

What goggles do Katie Ledecky use? ›

  • TYR Women's Venzo™ Open Back - Genesis USA. TYR. ...
  • TYR Women's Blackhawk Racing Goggles. ...
  • TYR Adult Blackhawk Racing Goggles. ...
  • TYR Adult Blackhawk Mirrored Racing Goggles. ...
  • TYR Women's Venzo™Open Back Swimsuit - Phantom Oblivion. ...
  • TYR Durafast One® Women's Cutoutfit Swimsuit - Solid. ...
  • 40L Big Mesh Mummy Backpack. ...
  • TYR Hydroblade Fins.

Why are Swedish goggles so popular? ›

Much of the popularity of Swedish goggles is due to their customizable fit. The goggles are sold unassembled, with each goggle set including a pair of eye cups, one long (around 36") latex rubber strip, and a nose piece consisting of string that fits inside a plastic or rubber tube.

Which goggles does Adam Peaty wear? ›

Adam Peaty Wears The Arena Cobra Ultra Racing Goggles (With Video) The store will not work correctly in the case when cookies are disabled.

What goggle lens is best for sun? ›

Dark or mirrored lenses such as platinum, gray, black and red are suitable for days when the sun is blazing. They typically have a lower VLT (about 25 percent or less), which means less light passes through the lens and more glare is blocked.

Which lens looks best for eyes? ›

Opaque coloured tints are the best choice if you have dark eyes. For a natural-looking change, try a lighter honey brown or hazel coloured lens. But if you really want to stand out from the crowd, opt for contact lenses in vivid colours, such as blue, green or violet.

What color lens is good for eyes? ›

Green Lenses

Lenses with a green tint are perfect for both sunny and low-light conditions, and reduce glare while making shadows brighter. Green lenses are a great all-purpose choice because they provide clear and comfortable vision, rain or shine.

Do all Smith goggles have UV protection? ›

All Smith lenses provide 100% protection from dangerous UV radiation. Prescription lenses are add ons and must be added to your shopping cart separately. Prescription lens prices are marked in the blue or yellow shaded boxes underneath all the frame color options.

Can you wipe the inside of Smith goggles? ›


Do not use cleaning solutions. Let the lens air dry, do not rub the inside of the lens.

What color lens is best for bright days? ›

Green Lens

Ideal for both sunny and low-light environments, green lenses have a way of reducing glare while brightening shadows. Perfect for water or field sports, cycling, or skiing, these lenses protect and comfort your eyes on foggy, cloudy, or bright, sunshiny days.

What color lens is best for snow? ›

Wear blue lenses to reduce glare during snowy conditions, while enjoying water sports, or enjoying sunny leisure activities.

What is the best goggle lens for snowy days? ›

The best goggle lens colour for low light, snow and foggy conditions is either a yellow or rose-tinted lens. These colours are designed to allow maximum light through the lens which makes the terrain easier to see.

What can I do with old ski goggles? ›

Got some of your old ski goggles sitting around that you don't know what to do with? Donate them to Goggles for Docs! Head to their page to learn about the organization and Find a Hospital near you. All hospitals listed have personally requested goggles and been vetted by Goggles for Docs team of volunteers.

Should you clean the inside of your ski goggles? ›

Only ever clean the outside of your goggles!

Again, the inside of the lens is super-delicate and can easily be destroyed. If you absolutely have to clean the interior, use only a small amount of warm water. After cleaning, allow your goggles to air-dry.

When should I buy new goggles? ›

Ultimately, most people should get at least a year of use out of their swimming goggles before they need to be replaced.

Does ski goggle size matter? ›

Size does matter, and not just because of the fit of the goggles either. Many manufacturers are producing large and/or oversized goggles with the intent of providing more peripheral vision.

What UV rating should ski goggles be? ›

Good ski goggles should provide 100 per cent UV protection. This is vital to keep your eyes protected in the mountains. Mirrored goggles reflect the sunlight and protect your eyes even better against light reflected off bright snow. Good-quality ski goggles usually reflect UVA, UVB and UVC rays as well as blue light.

Do ski goggles really matter? ›

Goggles are an essential part of skiing or snowboarding gear to protect your eyes from the elements and injury. These sports expose your eyes to prolonged periods of harsh wind and bright sunlight. Unlike sunglasses, goggles seal your eyes from the cold air, and many goggles come with lenses that block UV light.

Are safety glasses just as good as goggles? ›

In reality, safety glasses are the minimum. Preferably, this will have side shields to reduce the risk of foreign objects going around the lenses. On the other hand, safety goggles are more effective at protecting against hazards from going under or around the edges due to the seal.

What goggles does the military use? ›

Land Ops™ goggles are authorized for military use in the US and many other nations worldwide; ESS goggles are the most widely fielded for US troops.

Are sports goggles worth it? ›

Protective eyewear, such as specialized goggles and wraparound frames with polycarbonate lenses, helps to reduce or eliminate your risk of eye damage. An added bonus is that performance is often enhanced, due to the high quality vision provided from eyewear made for wearing on the playing field.

What color lens is best for skiing? ›

Clear Goggle Lenses are perfect for night time Skiing or Snowboarding. Even though they are clear, sometimes they provide protection from UV radiation. This is ideal in very low light conditions as there will still be UV light radiation.

What goggle lens is best for cloudy days? ›

Yellow, gold, amber, green or rose-colored lenses all offer increased VLT and make good choices on cloudy, socked-in days. Darker tints have lower VLT because less light passes through the lens.

What are the disadvantages of safety goggles? ›

  • Standard safety glasses are not impervious to all impacts. ...
  • Safety glasses do not prevent liquids from entering into the eyes from a splash to the face.
  • Safety glasses do not protect against vapors or airborne particulates.
  • Prescription Safety Glasses guidance and ordering information.

Should safety goggles be worn all the time? ›

The short answer is that safety goggles should be worn any time you are working with substances that could potentially harm your eyes.

What is the difference between safety glass and safety goggles? ›

Here are the key differences between goggles and glasses: Safety goggles offer complete protection around your eye. Safety glasses may only offer protection around the front and sides (not to the top).

What goggles do SEALs use? ›

Current Navy Seal Eyewear

The current top choices include the Wiley X Saint Sunglasses and the ESS Flight Deck Military Goggles. The Wiley X Saint provides excellent protection and excellent visibility. It's also ergonomic, which means good protection from wind and debris.

What goggles do Marines wear? ›

Features: The IBE is designed to protect Marines against sun, wind, dust, and ballistic fragmentation hazards that are common in the battle space. The eyewear can be worn during the day and night.

What night vision goggles do SEALs use? ›

"The four-eyed night vision goggles are used by various military forces including US Navy seals. These help commandos to identify the target very easily even in dark.

How long should goggles last? ›

When Is It Time to Toss Them? Goggles have a three- to five-month lifespan when used regularly. That's for sure a new pair every season, maybe two per season. Even if you don't hit that mark, be sure to discard them when the rubber eye gaskets are warped out of shape, as they'll cause leaks.

Should goggles feel tight? ›

The Goggles Should Form a Good Seal

The easiest way to answer this question is that the swimming goggles should be tight enough to form a firm seal without giving someone a headache. While someone might be concerned about the "goggle rings" that form around the eyes, these will fade with time.

Are goggles less protective than safety glasses? ›

Goggles provide the most comprehensive eye protection. Glasses protect you from direct projectiles and may guard your sides with shields but do not defend your eyes against objects from above or very fine particles. Both types of protective eyewear fog easily, particularly if you're wearing a mask.


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