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Smith I/O Mag ReviewBest Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review

Best Overall Ski and Snowboard Goggle for Riders with Average to Small Faces

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Price: $162.00 – $270.00

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

What We Like: Top Notch Lenses, Magnetic Lense Change with Locking Tabs

What We Don’t: Pricey

Smith’s Chromapop, along with Oakley’s PRIZM, has been the cutting edge of definition increasing snow goggle lens technology for some time now. With lenses for every light condition, it makes sense that you would want a goggle that allowed you to quickly and easily change one lens for another, as light and visibility conditions on the mountain change. Smith’s I/O family of ski and snowboard goggles have been at the forefront of making on the fly lens changes quick and painless, and the new I/O Mag is the latest example of that.

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See Our Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review!

Anon M4 Toric

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses, Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive

Difficult to Find in Stock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Toric/Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith I/O Mag

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Top Notch Lenses

Magnetic Lense Change with Locking Tabs

Cons

Pricey

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Dragon X2

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Ultrawide Field of View

Spherical Lumalens Lenses

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Lenses are Not the Most Durable

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Smith I/OX Chromapop

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 70% 70%

Pros

Smith Chromapop Lenses

Great Field of View

Comfortable

Cons

Slightly Behind the Top Competitors in Ease of Changing Lenses

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Semi-frameless

Anon M3 MFI

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses

Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive for A Cylindrical Goggle

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith Squad XL

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Epic Price to Performance

Two Smith Chromapop Lenses

Cons

Not as Well Ventilated as I/O Series

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Oakley Line Miner Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

High Quality

Injection Molded Cylindrical Chromapop Lens

Cons

Only Comes With One Lens

Frame Size: Medium & Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon NFX2

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Spherical Lens Optical Quality in A Cylindrical Package

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Not the Most Durable Lens

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon PXV

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Panotech Lens

Photochromatic Lens Option

Cons

Lens Change System is a Huge Step Back from Swiftlock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 3

Lens Shape: Toric

Style: Frameless

Electric EG3

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Bold Style and Massive Field of View for Riders With Smaller Faces

Cons

Not the Best Ventilation

Too small for Riders with Larger Faces

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Frameless

Oakley Airbrake XL

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Lens Quality

Ease of Changing Lenses

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price Tag

Lens Reflects Frame

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Framed

Oakley Flight Deck Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

Oakley Prizm Lenses

Unique Look

Massive Field of View

Cons

Subpar Ventilation

Only Comes with One Lens

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Lens Shape and Quality

Comparing the quality of lenses between the top manufacturers comes down to a great deal of splitting hairs and no small amount of personal preference. Top of the line goggles from any company on our list are going to have lenses that are to die for. With that said, if we had to choose one as our favorite, the nod would go to Smith.

The Smith I/O family’s spherical lenses are made to perfectly match the shape of your eye, which results in a distortion-free representation of the world around you. Furthermore, the outer lens of the Smith I/O series lenses are all but scratch proof, and a “Porex filter” is built into the lenses which helps to equalize pressure between the inner and outer lenses, which could distort their shape while you are rapidly burning through elevation. The icing on the cake is Smith’s Chromapop lens technology, with different lenses that maximize clarity, crispness, and definition in just about every possible light condition that the mountain can throw at you.

While the Smith I/O Mag is a smaller goggle than the Smith I/O X, the lenses sit quite close to your face, in a non-claustrophobic sort of way. Combined with the spherical curves of the I/O Mag’s Chromapop lens, this gets the frame completely out of your field of view, making for a field of view that is unbeatable for a medium sized pair of ski and snowboard goggles.

Comfort

A medium sized goggle, the Smith I/O Mag is extremely comfortable if it is a good fit with your face, and thanks to its flexible frame, it will fit a wide variety of face shapes. Riders with the largest/widest faces might want to opt for the Smith I/O X or the Anon M4 Toric, while smaller faced riders might opt for the Smith I/O X Mag in the Asian fit.

Meanwhile, triple layer face foam with moisture-wicking DriWix technology is soft and cozy against your face and helps to keep it dry at the same time.

Ventilation

As always, keeping goggles fog free in the first place is much more effective than trying to wipe away the fog after it is already there. To this end, the Smith I/O Mag is 5 times treated with Smith’s anti-fog treatment. The I/O Mag also works exceptionally well with Smiths AirEvac equipped ski and snowboard helmets to keep air flowing through the goggle so that they stay fog free. However, should all of this fail, the I/O Mag’s lens is equipped with Smith’s Fog-X hydrophilic etched surface. What in the heck does that mean? Essentially, it means that the anti-fog lens treatment can’t be wiped off, which has traditionally been a huge problem for ski and snowboard goggles.

All in all, the Smith I/O Mag allows for great ventilation both in terms of anti-fog and comfort, both of which are aided by the DriWix padding. Better yet, the I/O Mag accomplishes this without feeling drafty, like the Oakley Airbrake.

Ease of Changing Lenses

Ease of changing lenses is what sets the I/O Mag apart from the rest of the Smith I/O lineup and from just about every other ski and snowboard goggle on the market. As you might expect, the name I/O Mag refers to the magnetic system that the I/O Mag uses for holding its lens in place. Nine small but powerful magnets hold the lens in place, and these are backed up by two locking tabs, one on each side. The tabs are a big bonus for the I/O Mag, because the last thing you want is for your lenses to go sailing through the air in the event of a hard landing or crash.

To remove the lenses, press the tabs and pull the lens away from the frame. To attach a lens, simply lineup the magnets and let them do their work.

The Smith I/O Mag’s ease of changing lenses is only matched by the Anon M4 Toric, which is even easier. However,  it is easier because it lacks any locking mechanism in addition to its magnets, and we are willing to press the tabs for each lens change for the security against losing our lenses.

The Bottom Line

If you want the best ski and snowboard goggle on the market, and you put a premium on the ability to easily change lenses on the fly, then there might not be a better choice than the Smith I/O Mag. With an MSRP of $240, the I/O Mag is not cheap, but it is in the ballpark of other premium snow goggles.

If you want the same great Chromapop lenses and top of the line comfort in a more budget-friendly package, the sale prices of the standard Smith I/O and Smith I/O X come in at around half of what you will pay for the I/O Mag, and they still offer some of the most convenient lens change systems on the market.

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