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Best Oakley cycling sunglasses of 2019

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Oakley Sutro

Oakley Sutro (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Flight Jacket

Oakley Flight Jacket (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Jawbreaker

Oakley Jawbreaker (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley EVZero Blade

Oakley EVZero Blade (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Radar EV Advancer

Oakley Radar EV Advancer (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Radar EV Path

Oakley Radar EV Path (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0

Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley Flak 2.0

Oakley Flak 2.0 (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)
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Oakley M2 Frame XL

Oakley M2 Frame XL (Image credit: Courtesy Oakley)

There is much more to cycling-specific sunglasses than keeping the sun out of your eyes and looking good during a ride.

For a long time, Oakley have been at the forefront of high quality and stylish riding eyewear. Since Greg LeMond sported the striking M Frames back in the ‘80s, Oakley have been the eyewear of choice for many of the biggest names in cycling. Today, Oakley continue to push eyewear technology through high-quality lenses, proprietary materials and other innovations.

Oakley now offer a wide range of sunglasses with custom options that fit every riders’ needs. To help you find the sunglasses that best suit you, we have compiled a list of some of Oakley’s most popular cycling options.

How to buy the best Oakley sunglasses for you

Why cycling-specific eyewear?

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to choosing sunglasses for riding and cycling-specific eyewear offers many benefits to riders over a pair of everyday sunglasses.

Oakley have been designing sports eyewear for a long time. All of these years of development have resulted in sunglasses that not only provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays but improves visibility in difficult or changing light, gives protection from debris and offers a secure fit so your sunglasses won’t fall off mid-ride.

Lenses

Oakley have strived to be at the forefront in lens technology, which has established themselves as one of the market leaders in eyewear. They have a number of lens options that are offered throughout their ranges which allow you to tailor your sunglasses to specific riding environments.

The Prizm lens is designed to enhance colour and contrast which brings out details that would otherwise be difficult to distinguish with your eyes alone. This is achieved by managing individual colour wavelengths, by doing this Oakley are able to offer Prizm lenses that excel in specific conditions such as road, trail or low light.

Prizm is also available in a Polarised option to combat glare that can hide potholes or cause distractions.

Another option is photochromatic lenses that will change their tint levels automatically depending on the levels of sunlight. Ideal for riding in changeable conditions, although photochromatic lenses do come at an extra cost.

Oakley Authentic Prescription lenses are available on select models, if you require a prescription, then these models will allow you to get the most from your cycling eyewear.

Coverage and field of view

Riding sunglasses don’t just protect against the sun but are also designed to shield your eyeballs from the wide range of debris that could potentially hit you while riding. Large lenses wrap around the face to give protection from all angles and ensure that dirt, weather or insects are not an issue while riding your bike.

Larger lenses are also becoming increasingly popular as they provide a wider field of view. Whether you are glancing over a shoulder to see what’s behind you, checking you're GPS or in a head down sprint a wider field of view means that you aren’t left with blind spots caused by the frames of your glasses.

Materials

Oakley construct their sunglasses from a material that they call O-Matter which is a nylon infused plastic. O-Matter’s flexibility allows Oakley’s glasses to gently shape to the wearer’s head and provide comfort as well as improving resistance to impacts. The lenses are also highly impact-resistant, constructed from Oakley’s Plutonite polycarbonate and tested against high-mass and high-velocity impacts.

To keep their sunglasses in place when on the bike Oakley use Unobtanium material on most of their models. Unobtanium is a hydrophilic material that gets tackier when wet. This is used for the contact points on the nose and arms of the sunglasses.

The 9 best Oakley sunglasses you can buy today

Oakley Flight Jacket

Verdict: Ultimate performance and feature-packed sunglasses

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, Prizm Polarised, Photochromatic and standard
  • Frame Type: Half frame
  • Oakley Customisable: Yes
  • Price: £185

+ Pro-level performance sunglasses with advanced ventilation
- Pro-level price tag

 

 

Building on the strong credentials of Oakley’s popular Jawbreaker model, the Oakley Flight Jackets pair exceptional lens performance and fit with increased peripheral visibility and a new approach to improving airflow and ventilation.

The Flight Jackets are available with Oakley’s proven Prizm lenses, which provide stunning optical clarity in a range of conditions. This combined with the large face coverage and removal of the upper frame edge gives a superb field of vision especially when riding in an aggressive position.

The ventilation is already very good but with Oakley’s Advancer feature riders can further regulate airflow when things start getting a bit hot and humid.

Oakley Flight Jacket full review

Oakley Sutro

Verdict: Performance sunglasses that are designed to work well on and off the bike

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm
  • Frame Type: Full frame
  • Oakley Customisable: No
  • Price: £130

+ Casual aesthetics, top of the range optics
- Strong look, limited lens options

Moving away from the traditional sportier styled cycling glasses the Oakley Sutro have a retro styling that is aimed to look good as well as perform on the bike. Primarily aimed at urban cyclists these glasses are not limited to riding in the city with the likes of Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) seen racing in the Oakley Sutro this season.

Large Prizm lenses are not just a styling cue but also give ample eye protection, a wide field of view and all the optical benefits of Oakley’s Prizm lens technology.

Build quality is as to be expected from Oakley and is constructed using Oakley’s O-Matter material, a nylon-infused plastic that is both lightweight and resilient to impacts and rough handling. The nose piece also features Unobtainium to help keep the Sutros secure.

Oakley Jawbreaker

Verdict: Customisable sunglasses designed specifically for cycling

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, Prizm Polarised, Photochromatic and standard. Oakley prescription lenses also available
  • Frame Type: Full frame
  • Oakley Customisable: Yes
  • Price: £175

+ Adjustable for perfect fit, quick and easy lens replacement
- “O” logos on the outside of the lenses obscure peripheral vision

Working with Mark Cavendish, Oakley developed the Jawbreakers to offer superb performance by packing the brand’s best features into one package.

Oakley implemented a number of technologies to assure that the Jawbreakers stay comfortably locked on your face throughout your ride. The arms can be adjusted to accommodate different head shapes and Unobtainium is used for the ear and nose pieces to keep things snug.

Switchlock allows for quick changing of lenses with little fuss, simply open latch in the nose piece and the frames open like a jaw. Oakley offer a wide range of lens options so that the Jawbreakers can be quickly tailored to accommodate different conditions.

Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm Road sunglasses full review

Oakley EVZero Blade

Verdict: ‘Forget you're wearing sunglasses’ level of comfort

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm
  • Frame Type: Rimless
  • Oakley Customisable: No
  • Price: £140

+ Super light, full field of vision
- Limited lens options

The EVZero Blades have a minimalist style that is inspired by the meeting of sports and fashion and pays tribute to the iconic Oakley RazorBlades.

The rimless design is super light which combined with the flexibility of the O-Matter arms create a pair of sunglasses with all-day comfort levels. The other benefit of a rimless design is a true 100 percent field of view with no frame obstructions.

Lens choices are limited for the EVZero Blades as photochromatic or polarised options are not available however EVZero Blades are specced with top end Prizm lenses.

Oakley Radar EV Advancer

Verdict: Radar styling now featuring larger lenses and Oakley’s Advancer technology

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, Prizm Polarised, Photochromatic and standard
  • Frame Type: Half frame
  • Oakley Customisable: No
  • Price: £165

+ Larger lenses, Oakley Advancer technology
- Long arms may interfere with some helmets, Advancer technology may be an unnecessary feature

The Radar EV Advancer brings Oakley’s Advancer anti-fogging nose piece to the popular Oakley Radar range. Although the standard Radars already offer superb ventilation with their lower rimless design, if fogging is an issue on rides, then these are a great option.

The lens on the Radar EV Advancer is also larger than on the standard Radar models to provide extended coverage from debris.

The Radar EV Advancer does appear to simply be filling a gap in Oakley’s range but will no doubt appeal to those who ride in hot or humid conditions and prefer the aesthetic of the Radar range over the Flight Jackets.

Oakley Radar EV Path

Verdict: A lightweight half frame alternative to the popular Jawbreakers

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, Prizm Polarised, Photochromatic and standard
  • Frame Type: Half frame
  • Oakley Customisable: Yes
  • Price: £150

+ Lightweight performance
- Long arms may interfere with some helmets

An evolution of the original Radar model the Radar EV Path offers a stripped back alternative to the Jawbreaker. Like the Jawbreaker these are designed to maximise top peripheral vision but by developing a half frame construction and dropping the adjustable arms the Radar EV Path is lighter and maximises lower peripheral vision as well.

The Radar EV Path has a smaller design than the other Radar models which allows them to sit closer to your face. If you have smaller facial features, then these may fit better than the other larger Radar models.

Available with the full selection of Oakley’s top optics as well as being fully customisable when purchased through the Oakley website.

Oakley Radar EV Path Prizm sunglasses full review

Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0

Verdict: Designed for the ski slopes but still performs on the bike

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm
  • Frame Type: Full frame
  • Oakley Customisable No
  • Price: £125

+ Huge lenses offer incredible coverage
- Large lenses may not fit with all helmets, arms are not rubberised

Oakley’s Wind Jacket 2.0’s may be a bit divisive. Originally designed for the snow sports and technically classed as a goggle by Oakley, they come in big and loud as a surprisingly strong contender on the bike.

The lenses are massive, dwarfing Jawbreakers and giving the wearer an impressive field of view as well as protection from all the grit, bugs and weather that is thrown in your face while riding. The large lenses are not without drawbacks though and some may find they do not play well with low slung helmets and can experience some fogging when riding is slow and hot.

Oakley Windjacket 2.0 sunglasses full review

Oakley Flak 2.0

Verdict: Do everything glasses for many outdoor activities

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, HD Polarised and standard
  • Frame Type: Half frame
  • Oakley Customisable: Yes
  • Price: £130

+ Comfortable, robust and light glasses suited to multiple activities
- Limited coverage and visibility compared to cycling specific models

Oakley have really struck a strong balance with the Flak 2.0, being less cycling-focused means they will happily adapt to any non-cycling related outdoor activities with ease.

They will also appeal to those who are not a fan of the supersize lens trend that features on many other models. Coverage is still good but the frames will be visible in your periphery. This will likely only be an issue for the most aggressive riders in attacking positions.

Their smaller size will also reduce protection from dirt and rain as they cover less of your face compared to models such as Jawbreakers or Radars.

Oakley M2 Frame XL

Verdict: The classic M Frame gets updated with bigger lenses

Specifications

  • Lens technology: Prizm, HD Polarised and standard. Oakley prescription lenses available
  • Frame Type: Half frame
  • Oakley Customisable: No
  • Price: £105

+ M frame heritage, Oakley quality at a lower price
- Wind ingress

The original Oakley M Frame became a cycling icon in the ‘90s and early 2000s as they adorned the face of Lance Armstrong during his infamous Tour De France career. Much has changed in the world of cycling since however but the Oakley M Frame styling still has a strong fanbase.

The Radar is the true cycling orientated successor of the old M Frame but the M2 Frame XL still offers good performance on the bike. Don’t think that you can use your old M Frame lenses, though, as they are not compatible with the new style frames.

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