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Old 03-29-2010, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
RVM
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Default Smith Evolve I/O

I needed some goggles for a trip to Tahoe because my Spy Soldiers didn't have a lens and the replacement wouldn't arrive until after I was in the mountains. Since I have been eyeballing the Smith I/O for some time I decided to call around and see if anyone still had a set in stock.

I was hoping to get the I/O in one of the intersection colors, or grey alexandrite, but the only set I could find within 100 miles was the I/O Evolve in tan & sage. I went up and checked it out and actually found that they looked great in that scheme. The shop was asking $99 for them (they told me $90 over the phone but meh) so I went ahead and grabbed them.

First impression was that they were very well made. At least as good as my Spy Soldiers as far as quality goes. The cocona bag it came with, as well as the bamboo accents etc. on the goggles were really nice "green" touches. Unfortuantely the Evolve doesn't come with the hard case.

The mechanism to change lenses is indeed as easy as it looks. You flip two levers, pop the lens out, reverse the process for the new lens and you're done. It takes about 20 seconds.

The lenses are of remarkable quality. You can't wipe the antifog off (it's etched into the lens), the porex filter for the inside of the lens is ingenious and the ventilation was amazing. I could literally feel the cool breeze flowing from the top of the goggle and out the bottom while riding on the lift. I always have fogged goggles, so much so that I had resigned myself to always having to deal with poor vision on the mountain. I now resign that resignation! Saturday morning it was 31F in the morning and 55F when I left that afternoon. I didn't get any fog whatsoever at any point.

It was a perfect California bluebird day Saturday so I installed the darker of the two lenses, the Ignitor Mirror. It maintained brightness while keeping the sun from burning my eyes. You could nearly look directly at the sun with these lenses. On the runs the contrast was amazing. I was very confident as I could see every detail in the snow. I wasn't caught off guard once, whereas usually because of foggy lenses I get launched off a mogul or something I couldn't see at least once a day.

I didn't get a chance to try the sensor as it was too bright.

Visibility was superb. I had plenty of peripheral vision and the optics were perfectly clear.

Summary
I/O Evolve Frame: A++ (two pluses because it's made from recycled materials with no drawbacks)
Ignitor Lens: A+
Value: A+ (paid $99 for $180 goggles, if paying $180 I'd say value is still an A, as good vision on the mountain is very nearly the most important aspect of skiing/snowboarding and is almost pricless - I would be willing pay full retail for the I/O if there was no option to get them cheaper)
Overall: A+
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Last edited by RVM; 03-29-2010 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Update:

Wore these today at Northstar. It was 31F in the morning and when I left at 1630 it was 61F. I hiked uphill back to my car with the goggles on and me sweating like it is going out of style and they never once even pretended like they were going to fog.

It was a perfect, super bright, California bluebird day and the Igniter lens did a good job of keeping the sun out of my eyes while really bringing out details in the snow. The lens could have been a bit darker but meh... I'm not complaining.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can also vouch for Smith when it comes to fog resistance. I'm hot natured as a mofo and have always had goggle fog issues until I got the Phenoms. No more goggle fog for me!

Now, Smith sunglasses are another story. Look at 'em wrong and they fog.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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+1 for Smith's being Fog Resistant.

I have some old school smith goggles that are probably about 7 years or older that almost never fog up. Only time I ever had a problem was when I was off the snowboard climbing my way out of a little powder embankment.

Plus, they fit my face well.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I hate everyone who can fit the Smith I/O or I/Os. I want these goggles so badly

I should complain that their supposed superior "universal" foam and nose design doesn't universally fit my universally Asian face
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
I hate everyone who can fit the Smith I/O or I/Os. I want these goggles so badly

I should complain that their supposed superior "universal" foam and nose design doesn't universally fit my universally Asian face
I'm really confused about this...
none of the asians at my school I have talked about this to have had any problems about this. I even let one asian girl borrow my Smith goggles for a day (bad mistake, I'm not a big fan of my Scott pair... ) and she had no problems at all...

I'm not saying it doesn't exist necessarily, but is it really as bad as you guys talk about?
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am Asian and they fit me well.

The thing about the Smith I/O is that the foam conforms to your face over time. My nose didn't quite come into contact with the foam when I first got them but after a couple of days on the mountain the foam molded to the shape of my face and now they fit perfectly all around.

Unless it's a huge shape discrepancy the I/O will probably conform itself to your face and you'll essentially have a custom fit goggle frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
I hate everyone who can fit the Smith I/O or I/Os. I want these goggles so badly

I should complain that their supposed superior "universal" foam and nose design doesn't universally fit my universally Asian face
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Last edited by RVM; 04-12-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just picked up a pair of I/O's as well and love them so far but haven't gotten them up to the hill yet. One thing that concerns me is that even the darker lense (sensor?) seems a bit light for the bright sunny days that are on the horizon now that spring is here. Anyone try either the Sol-X or the gold Sol-X?
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterPog View Post
I just picked up a pair of I/O's as well and love them so far but haven't gotten them up to the hill yet. One thing that concerns me is that even the darker lense (sensor?) seems a bit light for the bright sunny days that are on the horizon now that spring is here. Anyone try either the Sol-X or the gold Sol-X?
If the Ignitor is too light, what about the Platinum mirror?

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Old 04-13-2010, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The sensor lens is for low light conditions. The igniter is for bright conditions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterPog View Post
I just picked up a pair of I/O's as well and love them so far but haven't gotten them up to the hill yet. One thing that concerns me is that even the darker lense (sensor?) seems a bit light for the bright sunny days that are on the horizon now that spring is here. Anyone try either the Sol-X or the gold Sol-X?
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