Snowboarder Goggle Exam 2019—Smith I/O Mag
Last spring, SNOWBOARDER Magazine traveled with Frank April all the way to a famed cat operation outside of Nelson, British Columbia to partake in a vision quest of sorts. While we won't confirm or deny any ingesting of Scooby Snacks, we will admit to spending four days straight tripping out on the chest deep conditions! And then there were the visuals…
Not long ago, goggles were largely looked upon as an afterthought and often, the last item acquired when dialing in one's kit. Price and fashion were a selling point, leading many to view them as a commodity item. Now in 2019, the term "accessory" can hardly be applied to how these high-tech tools are viewed and more importantly, to how they improve what's viewed by snowboarders while they are strapped in.
With snowfall measured in meters and a tenure packed with a lifetime's worth of untracked trees, chutes, open bowls and off-piste goodness, Baldface provided all the terrain and accoutrements we could ever want for a test of this sort.
Frank is more known for his skills in the back alleys of Quebec than the backcountry of BC, but his enthusiasm, accent and charisma while laying down powder turns and occasionally "tumbling" was infectious. After countless cat laps, multiple tomahawks, several clutch high-speed butters and 48 lens changes, Frank had gathered enough firsthand knowledge to be considered an eyewear expert. The following evaluations are intended to help SNOWBOARDER's readers see their way to the best goggle for this upcoming season. — Pat Bridges
What I like about these goggles is that they are really light and small in a good way. What I mean by that is that the lens is close to your eyes. This makes the view nice because you don't see the frame. From right to left and from up to down you see really well because the frame isn't in the way. With the ChromaPop lens all of the details pop. The magnet system with the lock is great because it means the lens will always stay on your face. These Smith goggles are the lightest of all the models I tried with the best view.
The I/O MAG™, utilizing Smith MAG™ lens change system, is designed for optimized performance and perfected fit: two locking mechanisms for lens security, AirEvac ventilation for fog-free integration with Smith helmets, and a frame designed around one of Smith's largest spherical lenses, providing a maximized field of view and 5X anti-fog technology.
• 16 strong weatherproof magnets to align and anchor lens
• Includes bright light and low light performance lenses
• Patented Porex filter prevents optical distortion during changes in elevation
• 3-layer DriWix face foam