Expert Review: Smith I/O MAG Goggles

Published on 12/27/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the goggles, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2022.
Sam Tipps, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Sam Tipps

Summiting Silver Star Mountain, North Cascades, WA! All photos courtesy of Sam Tipps

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

My take

The Smith I/O Mag Goggles offer superior optics, durable construction, and a quick-change lens system that is top of the game. They come at a price, but if one’s looking for a pair of goggles that do not compromise, these are it.

Skinning up after I left my sunglasses at home

About the goggles I own

  • Model: 2022 Smith I/O Mag
  • Size: Regular
  • Does it feature lens replacement?: Yes
  • Fit: True to size

About me

  • Helmet: 2012 FiveForty T9
  • Wear glasses with goggles: No
  • Experience: 17 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought them: June 2022
  • Days used: 30+
  • Lenses I own: Storm Orange + ChromaPop everyday red + ChromaPop platinum
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny, cloudy, sunup to sundown, snow (light & heavy), rain (light & heavy)
  • Where I’ve used them: Whistler, Red Mountain, BC; Stevens Pass, Crystal Mountain, Washington; North Cascades, Rainier, St. Helens, Baker, Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • Terrain: All types

How they perform

Comfort
5/5
Durability
5/5
Quality
5/5
Anti Fog
4/5
Field of View
4/5
Ventilation
3/5

What I was looking for

I needed high-quality lenses that can easily be interchanged for backcountry days, and a durable frame to handle what I put them through. Smith is state-of-the-art in lenses, and I was open to try out the durability because they have the quick-change mag lens system.

Summit post!

Why I chose these goggles

I was between these and Oakleys, but the Oakleys didn’t have such an intuitive lens change system and were out of my budget. I have used random K2 goggles for the last eight years, and these are an immense upgrade. I highly recommend getting one of the packs with multiple lenses.

In Whistler, BC

What I love about them

  • Fit: Comfy foam pads the face, and the frame is a soft but durable plastic that adjusts to my head shape. It’s important to make sure to get the right size for one’s head shape. Sometimes, the band can stretch the goggle frame a little bit tight around the cheek.
  • Comfort: These offer all-day comfort. They can get a bit hot if I am touring and using them on the uphill.
  • Lens replacement: The mag lens replacement system is ridiculously fast and easy to use. I was shocked at how well the magnets hold the lenses in place, which I think helps since the frame is made from soft and durable plastic.
  • Visibility: Excellent visibility in all conditions, given I have one dark lens and one light lens. The ChromaPop really does work its magic.
  • Face frame: I use the regular fit, and they fit my face well. If I had to nitpick, they’re a bit tight around the cheeks.
  • Strap: These goggles use a plastic clip to clip the two straps together. The band is comfortable and elastic, and they have fun colors.
  • Helmet compatibility: They fit snugly and comfortably with my generic helmet, but they have an even more seamless and integrated fit with other Smith helmets.
  • Features: The Smith I/O Mags are known for the magnetic lens swapping system. I decided to dip my toes into the hype, which paid off. Combined with the solid build quality, the magnetic lens system’s ease of use and speed make them a very useful tool on days when the weather can change quickly
  • Durability: I took one icy faceplant at Mt. Rainier, and the ChromaPop everyday red lens took a 2in scratch in the center. This is luckily directly out of my line of sight and is hard to notice from the front. I have used both lenses extensively (only had that one direct-contact incident), but there are no signs of the normal wear and tear I would expect.

Closeup of 1 year of heavy wear

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Ventilation: The Smith I/O Mags are close to fog-proof, but not quite. On the sweatiest of days, my face perspiration will fog up the lenses, and if the snow gets in there, it can condense on the lenses, which can take some minutes to clear out. This is only when there is lots of water in the goggles, whether from sweat or snow.

Summit of St. Helens!

Favorite moment with these goggles

I was touring up Silver Star Mountain and was about two hours into a long day. The sun was coming up, so I reached into my backpack only to discover I left my sunglasses in the car. While getting out my goggles with the platinum lens (since it was a very sunny day), I dropped them and they slid ~50 feet down the slope I was on. I was shocked to find they had no lens damage, and continued on with a ~6000 feet uphill day with those goggles. Sometimes they fogged because I was sweating so damn hard, but they gave me the best day of the season by protecting my eyes from retinal damage (sun reflecting off snow), and they took everything I threw at them.

Value for the money vs. other options

These goggles are a high value if on sale. For MSRP, there are comparable options such as the Anon M4 or Oakley Flight Deck, but I still recommend the I/O Mags due to the immense versatility of the lens-swap system coupled with the high-quality optics Smith puts out.

Final verdict

These will take everything I throw at them and give back more. While they could be slightly more ventilated, they are durable, high-quality, and versatile goggles that one can wear every day.

Out of stock

Smith I/O MAG Goggles

$252.44$280.49
10% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
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