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Smith I/OS with Chromapop Review

Albertan ski girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
So I decided to buy new goggles this year - I had the Smith Anthem googles in blue sensor mirror, and a cheapo rc36 for years. I finally upgraded because the first day of the season, I was wearing my anthems in heavy snow and they kept fogging and icing, and they didn't fit with my new helmet etc etc.

I've now worn the I/os Chromapop for about 7 days and have some thoughts on the goggles. I decided to post this review because I know that there has been lots of discussion on the new lens technology/prizm vs. Chromapop etc. My goggles came with two lenses: Chromapop storm and Chromapop everyday.

For reference, I am 35, have blue eyes which are quite sensitive to sun, and wear contacts (blind as a bat without them).

Goggles: the goggles themselves are fantastic. This is a wonderfully sized pair of goggles that fit small faces perfectly. I have struggled before in finding goggles that fit because I have a regular sized head, but the space between my forehead and my nose is quite small. So most goggles that fit my head, would slip over my nose. I even tried kids goggles at one point (field of vision was too small) before finding the smith anthem which fit perfectly and I wore for 3 years. The I/OS is an even better fit with a wide field of vision. I also find them to be very comfortable, and have so far had no fogging whatsoever. They fit perfectly with my smith helmet.

Chromapop Storm lens: I had very high hopes for these lenses, as overcast and cloudy is common here. We also spend a lot of time in the alpine which gets pretty flat. I wear a low-light lens probably 80-90% of my time skiing. I had about 5 days of use of these Chromapop storms - 2 at whistler in all-out storm conditions, 3 at sunshine village in a variety of storm conditions below tree line and in the alpine. Overall, I would say that there is slightly more contrast visible in the terrain/snow. However I do not think these are much better than my Smith Blue Sensor Mirror lenses. I do not think they are worth the extra money over blue sensor mirror lenses. If you are using those now, you do not need to upgrade. In flat light, I noticed no difference at all compared to my blue sensor mirror.

Chromapop Everyday lens: I didn't really think much about this lens...until I wore it for the first time. I was really surprised at how impressed I was with this lens. The definition and contrast on terrain is amazing. Good ol' RC36 doesn't even come close. I wore this lens on one clear bright bluebird day, and one mixed cloud and sun day. On the bluebird day, this lens was amazing - and the one thing I really enjoyed was how well it worked in transitions from sun to shade and back. I have struggled before on bright days with the movement into shade - it felt often like flat light to me. But these goggles rocked that, and I could still see snow contrast in the shade. On the mixed sun and snow day, I was really impressed with how they performed in variable light conditions. I think this is an amazing lens. I'm actually going to try it next time there is a snowy day to see how it works. I think this is a great variable light lens, and works in a greater variety of conditions than any lens I've worn.

Price: I'm torn about this - because I did actually buy these. I paid $220 CAD for the goggles and the two lenses - I am told that is supposed to be a very good price, but I still feel a little guilty when I spend this much money for ski gear, like goggles. I guess my bottom line is the following: if you are concerned about cost, do not buy these goggles. You can get a pair of blue sensor mirror goggles online for about $40-$50, and then get an everyday lens of your choice. Having two pairs of goggles is much more cost effective than the I/OS. On the other hand, I am so impressed with the fit of the I/OS on my face, that I would say this goggle is worth it for me. I've never had a goggle fit my face so well. If you are committed to the I/OS (or I/O) purchase, then I would suggest getting a blue sensor mirror lens for it (much less than the Chromapop Storm) and a Chromapop Everyday. If there is a Chromapop lens that is worth every penny, it is the Chromapop Everyday and not the Chromapop Storm IMHO.
 

Albertan ski girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Very helpful review, thank you! Do you have any problems with fogging on your Blue Sensor Mirror lenses?
I didn't have any fogging issues until I got my new helmet - there's definite weirdness of fit now. But generally no, I think the blue sensor mirror and Smith lenses in general are great and tend to avoid fogging.
 

kiki

Angel Diva
#4
Hi @Albertan ski girl
Thank you for the review
You've had these goggles a while now, any updates?

I bought a pair of these this morning and love how they feel, so comfortable and no feelings of claustrophobia from them that I got with my last ones. But they were fogging all day. It was mix snow and rain and just above freeing.

Is there a trick to getting them to stay fog free?
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
I haven't had any issues with fogging in mine, except when I bring my gaitor up right under the lower edge of the goggles. I've used my I/Os with the Giro G10MX and the Marker Ampire.
 

kiki

Angel Diva
#6
I haven't had any issues with fogging in mine, except when I bring my gaitor up right under the lower edge of the goggles. I've used my I/Os with the Giro G10MX and the Marker Ampire.
It was quite blustery so i did have my coat zipped up and pulled up to the glasses with the hood on. I'll experiment with keeping it a bit more open
 

Albertan ski girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Hi @kiki - I just saw your note! Not much to update on my review. I feel pretty much the same about them still. I'm still enjoying my Chromapop Everyday and I'm fine with the Chromapop Storm - but I still don't see that much of a difference from the Blue Sensor Mirror. I do have fogging on my I/OS lenses as well - I notice it the most when it's really really cold. I was skiing a few weeks ago, and the high that day was -22 c. The sweat on my forehead was causing the top half of the lens to fog over and then freeze. So I don't have any good solutions for this. When it gets too bad, I run into a bathroom and blast the hand dryer on my goggles until the foam on them and the lens are dry. And then I stick my forehead under the hand dryer to dry that off. I'm told this is not a great thing to do (with my goggles not my forehead..tee hee) - but I don't really see any good alternative.
 

Eupatoria

Diva in Training
#9
I wear the IO/S. I wouldn’t say my face is on the smaller size (judging by my swimming goggles, it is quite average), but they fit really well and I have had no issues with fogging in all sorts of conditions (the coldest I have skied with these has been a very windy -15C). Overall, I have found that I need at least three types of lenses: one for everyday, one for sunny conditions, and one for low visibility. It is not very easy to change lenses on these goggles, but I come from a triathlon background, so perhaps it is more familiar to me.

I too have blue eyes that need a lot of protection when it is sunny out. I have found that various Chromapop lenses work for me in less sunny conditions, but I need some sort of Blackout lenses for when it is really sunny (those are the dedicated sun protection ones). Unfortunately, my eyes hurt with the Chromapop ones on once the sun shows up.

I also learned that when the visibility is really, really bad (overcast, snowing all the time, impossible to see anything), I do best with the clear lenses, which can be had for around $35 online (they are technically meant for night skiing). I just spent a week skiing in the Alps with really terrible visibility, and that was the only lens that workedq most of the time.

Since fogging seems to be an issue for some, I would suggest looking into de-fogging solutions. It usually works quite well for me for swimming goggles, hopefully, there are food options for skiing as well :smile:
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I don't have any fogging issues, I did get the grape split SUN RED MIRROR which comes with the storm lens. DD also has the SUN RED MIRROR and has been loving them. This lens is the replacement for the RED SOL X.

I too have blue eyes that need a lot of protection when it is sunny out. ... I need some sort of Blackout lenses for when it is really sunny
The Chroma Pop EVERYDAY red/ green do not have enough protection for Mammoth Bluebird days. If you are in a very sunny area, I would look into the Chromapop Black, Sun or the Red Sun Mirror. The EVERYDAY colors may not cut it. I spoke w/ a "lens tester" for smith who works on the mountain who said if you have light eyes, the Everyday may not be strong enough, and you need to go with lower VLT goggles (black, sun).

I have used the storm lens which I think is an improvement over the original.

I have not used the Sun Red Mirror as I have been using my Ignitor Mirror which is great for the current conditions in mammoth - shadowed trees and the sun isn't over the top yet. That lens works well for me, I'm going to order a back up pair.

I also learned that when the visibility is really, really bad (overcast, snowing all the time, impossible to see anything), I do best with the clear lenses
I also use the clear lens when its riders of the storm. Best $35 spent.
 

Eupatoria

Diva in Training
#11
The Chroma Pop EVERYDAY red/ green do not have enough protection for Mammoth Bluebird days. If you are in a very sunny area, I would look into the Chromapop Black, Sun or the Red Sun Mirror. The EVERYDAY colors may not cut it. I spoke w/ a "lens tester" for smith who works on the mountain who said if you have light eyes, the Everyday may not be strong enough, and you need to go with lower VLT goggles (black, sun).

I have used the storm lens which I think is an improvement over the original.

I have not used the Sun Red Mirror as I have been using my Ignitor Mirror which is great for the current conditions in mammoth - shadowed trees and the sun isn't over the top yet. That lens works well for me, I'm going to order a back up pair.

I also use the clear lens when its riders of the storm. Best $35 spent.
Got it -- I have the Blackout lens, if that's the one to which you are referring. I do need it when it's sunny out.

Glad I am not the only one buying the clear lens. At first, it felt like a waste, but totally worth it.

What does the storm lens do? I don't have one of those, but maybe I need it :smile:
 

CarverJill

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I have the Smith I/OS, I got last years model on sale over the summer. The strap is reddish with multi colored stripes. I don't remember which lenses I have though but know neither are chromapop or polarized. The one for bright light is red mirror, possibly the Red Sol-X Mirror and the low light is maybe the blue sensor mirror. I agree that these goggles fit my face really well. I have a Giro Sheer helmet that is tricky to find a goggle match for since it has a little visor lip on the front.

As for fogging; I used them in Mammoth in early January during a storm with a Airhole face mask. When I was standing in the lift line not moving I got some fog on the inside but once I was skiing/on the lift it cleared and stayed away for the whole day. The snow and ice did build up on the lens (as well as on my helmet and everywhere else) and I had to regularly scrape it off but that didn't seem to do any damage to the lens. I am also very pleased with the goggle so if you can find it on sale go for it!
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
@CarverJill - you have the same set of lenses I have! I have been very pleased with both of them - I'm totally fine with the Blue Sensor on flat light days when DH is bitching up a storm about his Oakley lenses.
 

CarverJill

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Oh cool, I'm not 100% sure those are the two but of your goggles came with those as well maybe I am correct. What frame do you have?

Thanks to this thread I did just order a clear lens as well. $35 direct from Smith and they shipped out already. It isn't bad to have that as an option as well. In the snowstorm in Mammoth my cloudy day lens made it a tad harder to see than w/o goggles but with all the snow coming down there was no way I'd be able to ski without goggles.
 

lucy

Certified Ski Diva
#15
I have a set of IOS with every lens offered. They were on clearance, so I picked up a few to see if there was a solution for crummy low light. The blue sensor and pink sensor worked well but not great. For me the goggles fogged up but it was especially bad with a neck gaiter pulled up, which was surprising because the goggles have a lot of air gaps between the lens and the goggle frame. I talked to a freestyle skier and he recommended clear or yellow lenses, so that’s next on the “try” list.
 
#19
For anyone having fogging issues, I bought a FaceSaver mask on the enthusiastic recommendation of many Divas. It's a game-changer, and I don't have the fogging issues I had when using a traditional face mask or balaclava.
EDIT: I use Smith I/O s goggles.

http://www.facesavermask.com/
I think I agree. I left my Facesaver at home the other day because it was so warm. So, sweat+damp+warmer air=fog.
 

2ski2moro

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
This post is so timely for me. I scratched my Blue Sensor I/OS lenses and I'm looking for a replacement. It's backordered on the Smith website, so I am trying to decide which to get.
 

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