Alf has always been a fan of Smith ski goggles - but will their latest offering, the I/O7s, cut the mustard?

WEBSITE: Smith Optics

WHAT THEY SAY: "The I/O 7 is designed for optimized performance and perfected fit: single-pivot quick release for easy lens change, AirEvac™ ventilation for fog-free integration with Smith helmets, dual-axis outriggers that pivot in multiple directions to ensure superior helmet integration, and a frame designed for contoured face fit. All this technology is designed around one of Smith’s largest spherical lenses, providing a maximized field of view and 5X™ anti-fog technology. The I/O 7 was designed through a process of reducing elements to only the most essential, so there’s nothing getting in the way of a great day on the mountain."

WHAT ALF SAYS: I should admit a certain bias here – Smith have always been amongst my favourite goggles because they fit my face so well, and the I/O7 was no exception. I found the peripheral vision to be superb and the three-layer face foam is exceptionally comfortable. I also liked the ‘QuickFit’ strap system which has a clip buckle so you can easily get them on and off, particularly when wearing a helmet.

The cool black ‘Chromapop’ lens which came with our goggles is interchangeable (you actually get two lenses when you buy the I/O7 – one for bright light, one for low) and filters light at two different wavelengths to offer better detail, clarity, colour and definition over a greater range of conditions than a traditional lens.

It is, however, tricky to change until you get the hang of it, and you’ll invariably end up with fingermarks on the lens – use the microfibre goggle bag that comes with the I/O7 to clean them off.

Other useful features include an anti-fog inner lens and ‘AirEvac’ integration technology to further reduce fogging. Smith’s patented ‘Porex’ filter prevents optical distortion during changes in elevation and a dual-axis outrigger position system pivots in multiple directions for better helmet integration.

The Smith I/O7 goggles are expensive, but they’re extremely comfortable and versatile, as well as looking very cool too.

FOR: Great fit, top quality lenses

AGAINST: Expensive, changing lenses a bit of a faff

This originally appeared in the October 2016 Issue of Ski+board - click here for a link to the online version.

Alf Alderson is an award-winning freelance ski journalist who will be working on gear reviews throughout the 2016/17 season for the Ski Club of Great Britain.