Expert Review: Smith I/O MAG XL Goggles · 2022

Published on 09/28/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
Sara Beeken, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Sara Beeken

Crested Butte in March, First ski day of my 30s! All photos by Sarah Beeken 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

The Smith I/O MAG XL Goggles just keep getting better—I’ve been using the I/O models for about a decade now. This is a high-quality goggle that will be perfect for anyone looking for top-of-the-line equipment and a wide range of view.

Back Bowls at Vail - these lenses were perfect even with some clouds in the sky

About this goggles I own

  • Model: 2022 I/O MAG XL
  • Size: Oversized/XL
  • Does it feature lens replacement?: Yes
  • Fit: True to size

About me

  • Helmet: POC Obex BC Mips 2021
  • Wear glasses with goggles: No
  • Experience: 27 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought them: January 2022
  • Days used: 25
  • Lenses I own: ChromaPop Photochromic Red Mirror, ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny, storms, wet/rainy, summer skiing at Mt. Hood…everything!
  • Where I’ve used them: Eldora, Winter Park, Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, CO; Snowbird, Alta, Powder Mountain, UT; Mt. Hood, OR
  • Terrain: Powder days, resort days, all-mountain

How they perform

Anti Fog
5/5
Comfort
5/5
Field of View
5/5
Quality
5/5
Durability
4/5
Ventilation
4/5

What I was looking for

I was searching for new goggles because my old ones were getting worn out. The foam was starting to come off, and the lenses were scratched. I was replacing an old pair of I/Os that I loved, but I was excited to try out the new MAG feature.

Why I chose this gear

I chose the I/O MAG XL because I’d had great success with Smith I/Os in the past and wanted to continue using the same great product. I decided to go for the XL even though I don’t have an especially large face or head because I wanted a wider field of view. I also considered the regular I/O MAG, since I was worried about the XL not fitting my face. But when I tried them on, they felt great and my nose did not feel squished. I wouldn’t recommend them for someone with a particularly small face, but they do tend to fit average-size faces as well as larger faces. I’ve used the original I/O and the I/O7, as well as Oakley Flight Deck. Of all those, these goggles are my favorite. The lenses are easiest to swap out, but they still lock in place—so I won’t lose my lenses in a crash.

Perfect Goggles for enjoying a bowl of Mac and Cheese at Crested Butte

What I love about them

  • Fit: These are a great fit for medium-large faces. They don’t move around on my face at all and I don’t feel any air coming in while skiing fast.
  • Comfort: These goggles have soft foam and are very comfortable. Though if one has a small face, they might push down on their nose and be uncomfortable.
  • Lens replacement: The lenses snap into place magnetically. I do have to take the goggles off my face to switch the lens, since there’s also a locking mechanism inside the goggle. But it was easy once I got the hang of it; and I’d rather have to do that than worry about my lenses falling off.
  • Ventilation: I haven’t had issues with them fogging so far. Not to say it can’t happen, but if the goggles are kept dry while storing, it shouldn’t be a common problem.
  • Visibility: These have an excellent field of view; that’s why I went with the XL. The two lenses I have pretty much cover any conditions I’ve encountered.
  • Strap: There is a high-quality thick strap with a clip on the back. It’s a wide strap and is comfortable and easy to take on and off.
  • Helmet compatibility: This fits well with both a POC Obex helmet and Smith Mission helmet. If one’s wearing a Smith helmet, the vents also line up to help keep the goggles from fogging; no gap and seamless integration.
  • Features: Magnetic lens replacement is easy but also locks in place, and a wide-field view lets me see more of the mountain and have better awareness of my surroundings.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: Like any other goggle lens, I do have to be careful. I recommend keeping them in a case or goggle bag. Like all goggles, the lenses can get scratched easily if one doesn’t take care of them.

Favorite moment with this gear

I took these goggles out to Mt. Hood this summer and the Red Mirror lens was perfect for that bright glacier sun! They were key in keeping my face warm and my eyes protected.

Value for the money vs. other options

These are definitely a higher-end goggle with a price that reflects that, but considering that they typically come with a second lens, they’re absolutely worth the price. Other similar options would be the Giro Contact (large frame, magnetic lens) or the Oakley Flight Deck L Prizm (large frame), both at similar price points.

Final verdict

These goggles are ideal for any skier or snowboarder who wants the best eye protection, visibility, and flexibility for varying weather conditions. I would recommend them to anyone with a medium to large face.

Out of stock
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  • Returnable
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