Smith I/O Mag Review (2023)

This model carries on the quality and performance tradition of this popular line of goggles with a new user-friendly magnetic lens interface

Smith I/O Mag Review (1)

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Smith Squad ChromaPop

AwardsSmith I/O Mag Review (6)Smith I/O Mag Review (7)Smith I/O Mag Review (8)Smith I/O Mag Review (9)
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ProsMagnetic lenses, 2 lenses included, great opticsHigh quality optics, easy lens changes, great field of visionVery wide range VLT photochromic lens, excellent ventilation, large field of viewWide transitional range, great price, excellent optical qualityInexpensive, durable, multiple lenses included
ConsExpensive, medium fitVery expensive, distortion at the bottom of the lensExpensiveLow-light snow surface detail is lackingMore basic styling, lenses aren't the easiest to change
Bottom LineThis model carries on the quality and performance tradition of this popular line of goggles with a new user-friendly magnetic lens interfaceOutstanding and innovative eyewear that is at the top of the heap in almost every categoryA photochromatic goggle that offers a wide VLT range and a large field of view in a casual but stylish designOne of the best values on the market, this high-performance photochromatic goggle is suited for all almost conditionsAn affordable and functional goggle, this pair feels good on your face and keeps your wallet padded
Rating CategoriesSmith I/O MagSmith 4D MagJulbo CyriusGlade Adapt 2Smith Squad ChromaPop
Lens Quality (20%)






Comfort (20%)






Ventilation and Breathability (20%)






Ease of Changing Lenses (15%)






Durability (15%)






Style (10%)






SpecsSmith I/O MagSmith 4D MagJulbo CyriusGlade Adapt 2Smith Squad ChromaPop
Number of Included Lenses22112
Tested LensChromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop StormChromapop Sun Red Mirror, Chromapop StormREACTIV 0-4 High ContrastPhotochromatic BlueChromapop Sun, Yellow
Lens ShapeSphericalSphericalCylindricalCylindricalCylindrical
Frame SizeMediumMediumMediumMedium/LargeMedium/Large
Layers of FoamTriple layerTriple layerDual layerTriple Density2-layer Dri-Wix
VentilationAnti-fog treatedAirEvacAir FlowFoamNot specified

Many decades ago, Smith Optics was one of the brands that helped develop and popularize goggles for the sport of skiing. Fast forward to today, and Smith is still at the forefront of the industry, making some of the highest quality and highest performance goggles on the market. They've been producing several models in their I/O line for the past several years, and the I/O Mag is the newest addition. Mag stands for magnetic and refers to the lens attachment system that features nine small magnets that hold the lens onto the frame and make for especially easy swapping of lenses. We put the I/O Mag through its paces against a stacked and competitive field of the best goggles on the market. Read on to see how they compare.

Performance Comparison

Smith I/O Mag Review (11)

Lens Quality

Smith has been making quality lenses for a long time, and the I/O Mag comes with two spherical Chromapop carbonic-x lenses with their TLT technology. Let me break that down for you. Smith's spherical lenses are based on a 6x4 toric shape which is intended to match the curvature of the eye to help decrease distortion. Their TLT technology stands for Tapered Lens Technology, and they taper the lens from the optical center out towards the periphery in an effort to decrease light refraction as it passes through the lenses. Chromapop is Smith's proprietary lens technology that is meant to increase contrast and enhance definition so that you can see better in all but especially challenging light conditions. Carbonic-x is the material used in the outer lens, which is claimed to offer the highest level of scratch and impact resistance. Smith also has a small "Porex filter" built into the lens that is intended to help allow pressure to equalize between the two lenses during changes in elevation that may otherwise distort their shape.

(Video) Smith IO Mag Goggles Review & Features

During testing, we found the lenses of the I/O Mag to provide excellent, distortion-free visibility. The Chromapop lenses provide a very clear view with enhanced contrast in varying light conditions. The Chromapop Sun Red Mirror bright light lens was best on sunny days, yet performed well in the shade and when it became overcast. The Chromapop Storm low-light lens is excellent in stormy and especially dim light conditions and helps to brighten things up and provide definition in the snow. Peripheral vision is excellent, and there is very little frame visible at all.

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All of our top-rated goggle models have outstanding optics and lenses. There are subtle differences in their colors and tints, but for the most part, they all offer incredibly clear and distortion-free vision. In the lens combinations we tested, the I/O Mag lenses have a little more of a greyish hue, while other models have other tints like amber or rose.


Assuming the medium fit of the I/O Mag works with your facial structure, these goggles are incredibly comfortable. Smith claims the fit to be medium, and we found this to be an accurate assessment. Testers with medium to small sized faces found the width of the I/O Mag to be most appropriate for them, while those with large faces could still make them work, but it wasn't ideal. The triple layer face foam is soft and plush with moisture wicking DriWix technology to help pull moisture away from your face. The strap is nice and wide with a single thick bead of silicone along to the inside to help keep the goggles in place on your hat or your helmet. The goggles have a good shape that is compatible and comfortable when used with a helmet. The strap also has adequate adjustability to fit around most helmets, plus a QuickFit strap with a clip buckle at the back.

(Video) Top 3 SMITH Snow Goggles for 2022-23 | SportRx

Smith I/O Mag Review (14)

We feel the comfort of the I/O Mag is right up there, but it is best for those with medium-sized facial structure. People with larger faces will probably find more comfort from one of the larger goggles we tested.

Ventilation and Breathability

The I/O Mag is relatively well ventilated and we never experienced any fogging issues while testing them. According to Smith, the inner surface of the double lenses are coated with an effective 5x anti-fog treatment and their Fog-X hydrophilic etched surface so that the lens treatment can't be wiped off. That all sounds a little jargony, but we found it work as well as advertised in the real world. The perimeter of the frame is also covered in a thin layer of open cell foam which allows for good ventilation and breathability when things start to heat up. The triple layer DirWix face foam also helps to absorb and wick sweat away from your face.

Smith I/O Mag Review (15)

We found the ventilation and breathability to be on par with most of the other high-end models we tested. Premium quality goggles all perform quite well in this regard, and you are hard pressed to get any of them to fog up unless you wear them while aggressively hiking uphill for an extended period.

(Video) Best Ski Goggles of 2022 - Top 5

Ease of Changing Lenses

The "Mag" in the name I/O Mag stands for magnetic and refers to the lens attachment system used in these goggles. The I/O Mag is one of several magnetic lens systems currently on the market, and Smith's first foray into this relatively new technology. The lenses are attached to the frame with nine small but powerful magnets, plus a small clip on both sides of the lens by the strap attachment point. To remove the lens from the frame, you need to depress a tab on either side of the lens right beneath where the strap attaches to the frame, then pull the lens away from the frame. It takes a little force, but the lens pulls off with relative ease. Replacing the lens involves lining it up with the frame, starting on one side, allowing the magnets to do their thing while also making sure the clips on both sides re-engage and lock the lens into place.

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Changing lenses on the I/O Mag is very user-friendly and fantastically simple when compared to most non-magnetic lens systems. This is one of the easiest lenses to change that we've ever experienced. This magnetic system is quite easy to use but other options are available that are even easier to use than the I/O Mag. Some of these other options have no tabs that lock onto the lens, so removing it is as simple as pulling it off the frame and it can be done while the goggles are still on your face. Every other non-magnetic goggle we have tested has a more difficult lens attachment system.


We didn't go easy on the I/O Mag goggle during our testing. We stuffed them repeatedly into our backcountry packs and took them for countless resort laps in a range of weather conditions. They emerged from our testing unscathed, with absolutely no damage to speak of. Both lenses are completely scratch-free and look as good as the day we got them. The face foam and the covering of vents are all in fine condition, and the goggle strap has maintained its full elasticity with all of the silicone bead intact. The magnets all appear to be functioning properly, and we can see no separation of the lens from its small magnetic frame. We have seen one report online of one of the small plastic clips on the side of the lens breaking from normal use. However, we haven't experienced this issue ourselves, and that connection point appears plenty durable to us.

Smith I/O Mag Review (17)

(Video) Smith IO Mag XL 2020 Goggle Review

The apparent quality of the I/O Mag scores them among the best in the test for durability. We feel these goggles will provide you with several years of dependable service if taken care of and used properly.


The I/O Mag is a good looking goggle and its style is sure to please a broad range of skiers and snowboarders. It is almost entirely frameless, except for a tiny bit showing by the nose and on the top and bottom of the lens where you grab it to pull it off. They strike a good balance with this goggle, as they look big and modern but don't look massive like other frameless models. They are also offered in a huge range of frame and strap colors and designs, plus an array of lenses tint and reflective coating options.

Smith I/O Mag Review (18)

If you're looking for the boldest fashion statement, you may want to look elsewhere, but for those who prefer a more subtle style may be pleased with the I/O Mag. If you're into an even more traditional looking goggle, there are even more conservative options.


The I/O Mag is one of the most expensive models we tested. That said, they are a fair amount less expensive than our other magnetic lens competitors. We feel the I/O Mag is a good value for a quality, high performance, and stylish goggle with magnetic lens technology and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend these to anyone who can justify the expense.

Smith I/O Mag Review (19)

(Video) Smith I/O MAG Overview | SportRx


We think the I/O Mag is an excellent goggle and a great addition to Smith's I/O lineup. They come with two quality lenses with excellent optics, a great fit, good style, and an easy magnetic lens change system. They were a contender for our Editors' Choice Award, but in the end, they were edged out of the top spot due to things like even easier lens changing systems, integrated facemasks, and greater comfort. That said, the I/O Mag is one of our favorite goggles in this entire test, and should be on everyone's shortlist when looking for a new pair.


What is the difference between Smith I 0 mag and 4D mag? ›

The Smith I/O MAG and 4D MAG have very similar designs. The key difference is that the 4D MAG has a 25% greater overall field of view. The most notable increase in FOV comes from the curved bottom lens, which lets you see more when you're looking down.

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.

Are magnetic goggles worth it? ›

It might cost you a bit more than alternative snowboard goggles, but you won't regret the extra money for the ease and smoothness of the magnetic lens. We can recommend our Slopester ski goggles with magnetic exchangeable lenses to anyone.

What is the difference between Iox and IO mag XL? ›

Out of the three I/O MAG SMITH snow goggles, the main differences are its sizes. The I/O MAG S is designed for smaller heads, while the I/O MAG has a medium fit. The I/O MAG XL is perfect for those with bigger heads (as the XL runs large to extra-large) and features OTG compatibility.

Is Smith 4D mag worth it? ›

Our Verdict. The Smith 4D Mag is our favorite ski goggle for not just a single factor but the whole package. It's tough for goggles to stand out from the crowd, but the designers at Smith added a new design feature — a rounded bottom of the lens — to increase the field of vision at the bottom of the 4D.

Are photochromic goggles worth it? ›

Photochromic lenses provide a great defense against harsh outdoor elements, including harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. They also provide you with clearer vision, which can be impacted by the sun's reflection off the snow. Plus, wearing ski goggles with photochromic lenses means you only need to use one pair.

What is the difference between squad mag and xl? ›

The only difference between the two is sizing – the Squad XL is the perfect fit for larger heads.

What is ChromaPop photochromic? ›

ChromaPop™ is a proprietary Smith lens technology that enhances color, contrast, detail, and clarity in all light conditions. It helps reduce eye fatigue for athletes, outdoor enthusiast of all levels, and anyone struggling with eye strain or looking for increased contrast.

What is 4D mag s? ›

Discover the next visually enhanced goggle technology with the Smith 4D MAG Ski and Snow Goggle, now with a smaller fit. Designed with a lens that curves to the base of the goggle providing a better view of what is below your horizon line, exactly where you are focused when riding and skiing.

Do Smith goggles come with 2 lenses? ›

Clarity and Optical Quality

At the premium end of Smith's offerings, the I/O Mag Goggles come with two lenses: one for sunny conditions and one for cloudy days with low light.

Which is better blue light blocking or photochromic lenses? ›

Too much blue light also can lead to eye strain and headaches. If you have pre-existing eye conditions, like dry eye syndrome, blue light can make these eye issues worse. Photochromic lenses offer a wider range of protections for your eyes in all light settings and all in one pair of glasses.

Do photochromic lenses work at night? ›

Photochromic lenses aren't very helpful for night driving. Light adaptive lenses primarily protect against sunlight, UV rays and blue light. They don't activate indoors under artificial lighting or at night in the presence of headlights and streetlights.

What is the difference between IO mag and squad mag? ›

One of the main differences between these three goggles is the lens shape: Squad Mag goggles have cylindrical lenses. 4D Mag and I/O Mag goggles have spherical lenses.

What's the difference between Truck 81 and Squad? ›

In this context “Truck” refers to the firefighters who ride the Fire Truck and carry the tools and equipment to handle fires. Squad, however, is the team that's called during emergencies and accidents. They are the firefighters who have the equipment to handle any situation — not just fires.

What is Smith 4D mag? ›

The Smith 4D MAG™ brings our widest field of view and sharpest optics to give you the best possible read on the terrain, so you can nail your line every time. Add our quick and easy lens-change tech, and you've got the only goggle you need for all-conditions riding.

What is the percentage increase of lower peripheral vision in the birds eye vision 4D mag? ›

The biggest news with Smith's 4D Mag is the curve at the base of the lens called BirdsEye Vision, which significantly increases visibility straight down and in the corners (by a claimed 25 percent).

What is Smith MAG technology? ›

MAG™ technology allows you to quickly change lenses for any riding condition. Strong and weatherproof N52 magnets guide the lens into the secure anchored position. Each MAG™ type goggle has an array of additional lens options to enhance your kit with for all types of riding conditions.

Can your peripheral vision get better? ›

Simple exercises alone can help you see some improvement with your peripheral vision. However, if you want to see the best results possible, you're going to need to make some changes in your diet and lifestyle as well. Good overall health can dramatically improve your peripheral vision (and vision as a whole).

Why can I see better in my peripheral vision? ›

People will often see better in low light situations with their peripheral vision rather than looking straight with their central vision. This is largely due to the increase in rod density in the periphery which are more sensitive to light.

Which bird has the strongest eyesight? ›

Eagles. All birds of prey have excellent long-distance vision, but eagles stand out. They can see clearly about eight times as far as humans can, allowing them to spot and focus in on a rabbit or other animal at a distance of about two miles.

Are Smith Optics Made in China? ›

Smith Optics get great reviews and are made in USA. Claiming Costas are made in China is as false as claiming Smith's are made in USA. Both brands have models that are made in various locations all over the globe.

Where are Smith Optics made? ›

Based in Portland, OR, Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first-ever goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam.

Are ChromaPop lenses polarized? ›

ChromaPop lenses combine polarization and true color technology. Smith makes two types of ChromaPop lenses: ChromaPop polarized and ChromaPop+ polarized. Basic ChromaPop polarized lenses are impact-resistant carbonic lenses that protect against ultraviolet light and glare.


1. Smith IO Mag Everyday Lens Comparison
(The Good Ride)
2. Snowboarder Goggle Exam 2019—Smith I/O Mag
(Snowboarder Magazine)
4. The NEW SMITH I/O MAG S Review! || SportRx
5. SMITH I/O MAG XL Goggle Review | SportRx
6. Which SMITH Goggle is your SIZE? FULL GUIDE! | SportRx
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