It has been almost two decades since the gorgeous venture with my Smith’s sunglasses started and I couldn’t have asked for a better pair. We’ve been all over the world together from the likes of much East Asia to the crowded bustling cities of Europe.
However, as great as my sunnies are, they’re no match for alpine skiing conditions, which explains the reason I’ve updated to the huge guns. Tallington Lakes were kind enough to let me test a pair of Smith I/OX snow goggles as I stumbled on my adventure to the French Alps. When I first opened the box a glowing grin was looking back , it was my own reflection throw in the pristine conditioned’ChromaPop’ lenses.
I’ve been skiing now for the best aspect of twenty years and I will be honest, I’ve never actually invested a lot of into my snow goggles. Assessing my previous pair to these I/OX goggles, it is clear to see there is no rivalry. It’s like trading in your old banger of a car, that’s just about managed to get you from point A to point B; to get a souped up, all singing, all dancing teched out super car!
When I knew it wasn’t impossible, I’d have put a bet that had rigged the weather program so as to really let me examine these goggles. At the one week I was there, I struck harsh snow blizzards, gale force winds, torrential rain, and depressingly overcast to extreme dazzling sunshine without a cloud in sight.
All these I/OX goggles come equipped with two distinct lenses in order to combat the varied weather you can clearly come across whilst in the mountains. Don’t worry however, contrary to other interchangeable lenses where it feels as if you’re solving a rubix cube for hours, the lens swapping process here is very straight forward.
The very first lens provided is your’ChromaPop Sun Platinum Mirror’ using a VLT (Visual Light Transmittance) of 13%. In English, it means only 13 percent of light passes through the lens. 13 percent?! I’ll do the maths for you, so your eyes are protected against a whopping 87% of all light particles seeking to glow. You’ll be correct in believing, that is an astronomical quantity of light being blocked — however what you need to realise, is that the UV rays from the sun are more powerful once you’re stood on top of a mountain. Those beams are then reflected from the snow that make the super annoying blinding-glare effect. Therefore a 13% VLT rating truly is a remarkable feat and not only does it function, but it works brilliantly. I never once felt myself squinting from the sun glare. The goggles let me easily select out my turns to be able to prevent the treacherous trees and murderous moguls. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to ski in a snowy out, you may remember the dreaded feeling of being lost, lonely and confused as you eyesight becomes extremely impaired. You will remember attempting to select out those piste pole markers you took for granted as you attempt to safely escape the mountain — the skiers and snowboarders who were just several feet off completely vanish and all you wind up saying on replicate is”I can not see a thing in these goggles”. Sound familiar?
A significant issue with snow drives would be the potential build-up of these lenses. This can be due to a range of different reasons from the change in air temperature to difference in elevation to only the hot panting breath you create when working your thighs overtime to find those ends in.
Thankfully Smith have countered all the problems by installing an incredible feature called the’AirEvac’. It allows for a continuous air flow so as to reduce the danger of foggy goggles. On top of the wonderful feature, the Smith lenses are equipped with 5x anti-fog interior lenses that provide five times the fog absorption compared to anything else on the market!
I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold so I always wear my neck-warmer around my face and above my nose to remain warm. Therefore every time that I breathe out, the hot air rises and tries to pierce through my goggles defences. If I had been in my’old banger’ abilities I certainly would have fogged up and skied off a cliff. These goggles did not even marginally fog up after during my entire week!
The extra-large spherical lens of this I/OX enables unparalleled peripheral vision which is absolutely vital once you’re skiing on a busy incline surrounded by potential collisions.
Together with the weather prediction ahead still calling a large amount of snow this year, it’s not too late to reserve another ski adventure. I cannot recommend these ski goggles en