Oakley Airbrake Men's Ski Goggles
- Model - Airbrake
- Lens Colour - HI Yellow & Dark Grey
- Frame Colour - Polished White
- Comes With -
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Introducing Oakley Airbrake, a performance snow goggle with an interchangeable lens design that helps you adapt to the environment and enjoy the best vision possible. Oakley Switchlock Technology makes lens changing fast and easy, and two lens colors are included with each goggle so you¿ll be ready for a range of conditions right from the get-go. Additional lens options are available, so no matter what the mountain has in mind, you will be able to keep up with changing light conditions and maximize both performance and safety.
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I returned my first pair after they fogged permanently on my first day out and didn't clear for the rest of the week.
My replacement second pair despite no falls and not fogging and therefore requiring no wiping I have just removed at our chalet to find a massive scratch across the lens - visibility was poor so I hadn't noticed until we got back. I have no idea how it has happened, but I certainly haven't been struck in the face with a blade!
I will not buy again. Very disappointed with the most expensive googles I've ever worn.
I suspect it is due to poor design, as the lens is proud of the chassis for 2/3 of the goggle.
This brings me to these Oakley Airbrake goggles, which with an RRP of £200 are anything but cheap (although I did snap them up here on Amazon for £140!). I suppose the main reason I was drawn to these particular goggles was the fast changing of goggle lenses. It really is as good as the adverts suggest. The ability to swap lenses without a worry in a gondola (or a chair if you don't mind getting cold hands!) is a revolution in ski googles, and I would wager that it will be on many goggles within 5 years. You really have to have a go at swapping the lenses yourself to appreciate how easy it is. On most goggles you have to (as I'm sure you realise) pry the frame apart to take a lens out, and then with the other lens you have to carefully line up the ridges and holes in order to get it in. This normally takes around 5 minutes. With the Airbrake you simply lift up a lever and push the lens to get it out; and to put a lens in you just slot the lens in on the left side and line the lens up, and then close the lever.
But isn't £100+ extra a bit much to spend on just one feature that simply makes changing lenses a bit easier? Yes, I would definitely agree. However these are not, to use a cliche, a one trick pony. They are sized as such that they will fit virtually any helmet perfectly, ensuring that there is never that awkward gap between the top of the goggles and the helmet (which as well as making you look a fool, also makes your forehead pretty chilly!). They also have bars on each side of the goggles, these are called outriggers and cause less pressure to be exerted on your face by the goggles - preventing any red lines on your face at lunch. It does this by putting the elastic band at such an angle that it pulls on the outriggers and slightly stretches the goggles out. Another common issue with ski goggles is that they slide around your helmet (or head/hat) while your skiing which quickly becomes irritating. Oakley have resolved this by putting very grippy lines of rubber (I think?) on the inside of the elastic strap, preventing any unwanted movement.
Also it should be noted that these goggles are aesthetically brilliant - just flashy enough to get a few jealous looks, but not at all pretentious and look subdued enough to be appropriate for any age bracket. They look especially amazing with the Jet black/fire iridium lens in, which creates a sort of rainbow effect on the lens and I was complimented on my goggles on many occasions on my last ski holiday in December.
Onto the more technical side, the goggles I bought came with the Jet Black/Fire Iridium lens and the Persimmon lens. The iridium lens has a light transmission of 18% I believe and the persimmon has 62% respectively. This makes the iridium lens ideal for sunny days, and the persimmon lens suitable for pretty mud everything else. I had a wide variety of weather on my latest trip, which was ideal to give the lenses a good test. Both lenses are excellent for what they were designed for, and it is perfectly fine to leave an iridium lens on all day on a sunny day (it's fine in the shade). However one thing I would say is that even the persimmon lens was struggling (as you would expect) in a whiteout I experienced over there, although I know that is the nature of the beast as it were, I have been told the 'high-intensity yellow' lens is the best for these conditions. You can purchase this lens from Oakley, however it is £60, making it somewhat of an investment. You could also purchase a set of Airbrake's which include the high-intensity yellow lenses. However I wouldn't really recommend this unless you are a serious skier who is prepared to ski all day no matter the conditions.
The only negative I have found with these goggles is that the lenses are extremely easily scratches - mine have a few small but visible scratches after 6 days of skiing. I also kept good care of them, not leaving on helmet etc. This problem is compounded by the £60 price tag of replacement lenses.
I wouldn't let this stop you buying these goggles though, I reckon they do just enough to justify the high price tag - which is saying something!
My pair was supplied with two lenses and the low-light lens would not fit into the frames despite all my efforts. This forced me to use the very dark Black Iridium lens (which could be fitted and removed with no difficulty at all) on the two very cloudy days of my trip. Poor quality negates the very reason I bought these: the option of using lenses suited ideally to the light conditions without fiddling with frames that must be dismantled.
When I finished skiing on the last day I put unscratched goggles into a spare micro-fibre goggle bag and then packed them, in their case, into my pack. When I arrived home, in London, they were scratched.beyond use, leading me to conclude that the Black Iridium lens is excessively delicate. (The bag was not dirty and an identical one had housed my wife's goggles (of a different brand) without issue, in the same part of the same pack on the same trip.)
I would not recommend these under any circumstances and my opinion of Oakley's quality is so low I would strongly advise avoiding the brand entirely.
As described and delivered on-time.
As someone else mentioned, take the storage bag on he mountain with you and put the goggles in this if you are not using them to prevent scratches on the lens.
I have looked at these at Snow & Rock and had a long discussion with one o their specialists about the various brands and lens materials. These goggles are about as good as you can buy.
can't wait to use them
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