Gear Review: Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles

Smith is a leader in eyewear. The company specializes in prescription glasses and traditional sunnies, but is mostly known for its high-tech goggles. Smith was founded in 1965 when Dr. Bob Smith from Sun Valley, ID invented the first pair of snow goggles to feature a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam.

Over the last 55 years, Smith has cemented its place firmly atop the short list of industry leaders. It has led the charge on inventing and bringing to market new goggle technologies. It’s since branched out to a line of high-performance helmets, creating a seamless goggle and helmet integration for skiers, boarders, and bikers.

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Smith I/O lenses

Smith’s popular I/O line was the first goggle to offer interchangeable lenses, answering the calls of snow sport enthusiasts by providing more versatility in changing weather and light conditions. 

The I/O goggle has a responsive fit frame and spherical lenses with anti-fog features. The tapered lens technology literally straightens out optics, providing a wider field of view.

Smith’s newest pair of goggles and the latest in the popular I/O collection—the I/O MAG—combines the best of all these technologies with a new magnetic lens connection, making lens swapping easier and quicker than ever. 

woman wearing Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles with blue strap

I/O MAG fit

In short, they fit like a dream. Smith’s responsive fit design allows the goggle’s minimal frame to flex around the face, forming to each person’s unique contours. They molded perfectly to my face without any visual distortion.

The strap is wide and sturdy, with a silicon backed strip to help keep the goggles in place over a helmet or hat. With a quick fit adjustable strap on either side of a simple clip buckle, you can easily get them on and off and properly adjusted.

Field of view

The ability to see on the mountain is imperative. These goggles achieve the same wide field of vision while using a smaller frame. In short: they’re less bulky without visual compromises. The I/O Mag’s large, spherical lens provides a maximum field of view that—depending on what you’re used to—could make a noticeable difference.

I felt safe and comfortable and—most importantly—had no issues with fogging. The carbonic-X lens also combines a 5X anti-fog inner lens to keep the goggles clear. A triple-layer DriWix face foam allows proper ventilation while simultaneously keeping out rushing cold air and snow. 

Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles with blue strap hanging from a tree

ChromaPop lenses

Smith’s patented ChromaPop lens technology enhances clarity and natural colors. That might sound like a bunch of marketing jargon, but it’s true. The color-enhancing technology “filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion,” which basically means the lenses help your eyes differentiate green tones from blue and red tones, providing more definition and clarity.

Yes, your eyes see better through these lenses than on their own. This is helpful in both bluebird conditions and grey skies on the slopes. They also provide 100% UV protection.

The I/O MAG S comes in nine frame color options, each with a variety of lens color options. The Smokey Blue Flood frame I tested comes with two lens colors:

  • ChromaPop Everyday Rose Gold Mirror — with a brown base tint, this lens is versatile and can be used in cloudy to bluebird conditions (VLT = 24%)

  • ChromaPop Sun Platinum Mirror — with a grey base tint, this lens is created for sunny days and helps increase depth perception and reduces glare (VLT = 13%)

Smith I/O Mag Snow Goggles dual lenses with blue strap

Dual lens swapping

In case you haven’t noticed, the MAG stands for magnet. It is Smith’s new lens-swapping system, and it’s a total game changer. If you’ve ever dreaded having to change lenses on-the-go, this new magnetic technology will be the answer to your goggle prayers.

The goggles have eight magnet points with 16 strong magnets that automatically align and snap the lenses perfectly into place. Removing the lens is easy—simply grip the plastic edges and pull apart. With two locking tabs on either side of the goggles, the lenses come off effortlessly yet stay firmly in place while in use.

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