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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses | Review

Top quality, great-fitting, action sports eye protection with an ingenious quick lens swap system and a choice of activity-specific lenses designed to improve vision for your specific sport plus a universal low light Persimmon lens.

Slick design gives clear vision with the frame well out of field of view for us at least. This is the road-specific version of the Prizm lens technology.

The Oakley Radarlock Path sunglasses we tried were provided by www.shadestation.co.uk and they’re some of the best eye protection we’ve used, not least because they come complete with low light-friendly additional Persimmon lenses and a clever quick-release system that allows you to change optics quickly and easily.

Add in a main lens that’s designed specifically for a particular activity – ours were optimised for road cycling – and you end up with a really versatile set of shades that you can use all year round.

Fit is subjective obviously, but with a small to medium face, we found them a good all-round compromise.

Worth The Cash?

Oakley and similar brands are expensive, but you only have one pair of eyes and while we’re absolutely not saying that cheaper glasses aren’t worth using, we’re really impressed with the excellent lens performance of the Oakleys along with their overall fit and comfort.

You also get two sets of lenses – in this case a Prizm road cycling lens and a low-light Persimmon one – and a handy protective case that holds the shades.

The SwitchLock mechanism makes it quick and easy to change lenses on the hoof. A small lever releases one side of the lens so it can be removed.

The Basics

We found the Oakleys fitted really well. The sprung arms grip your head confidently and they stayed happily and comfortably in place while running and biking on uneven ground and never slipped even when things got slick and sweaty.

They also suited our smallish head, though your mileage may, as they say, vary depending on your head size and facial shape. One thing we did notice was that there was a minor rattle/creak when the glasses were off, but once under tension on your face, the noise disappeared completely.

The alternative Persimmon lens supplied works well in low light conditions – think of it as instant sunshine…

The Lenses

Our Radarlock Paths came with a road-friendly reddish-hued Prizm lens designed to increase contrast in all light conditions and help you pick out irregularities in the road surface along with white lines and other markings – you can buy Prizm lenses for other activities including ‘Trail’ ones which are intended to pick out changes in off-road surfaces and are what we’d pick for walking, trail running and mountain biking.

On the road we found the Prizms excellent across a really wide range of light conditions. They’re not doomy dark and work well under tree coverage for example, but also take the edge off bright sunlight too. A really good all-round compromise with no obvious distortion.

Two lenses are supplied – Persimmon (behind) and the reddish-tinted Prizm Road which accentuate road markings and irregularities.

Did they accentuate road irregularities? Well, we certainly felt confident that we could see where we were heading and never once did that thing of crashing through an unseen pothole or being caught out by an unexpected ripple or ridge in the road surface. So that’s a yes.

And if things get darker, the SwitchLock system means you can rapidly swap the Prizm lenses for the alternative Persimmon, orange-tinted ones, by simply flicking up a lever, disengaging the nose piece and slotting the new lens into place. Really that easy. And while the mechanism looks slightly fiddly and fragile, we haven’t managed to break it yet.

Distinctive Oakley logo decorates the arms.

Low Light

In truth the Prizm lenses were good enough in most light conditions that we rarely used the Persimmon ones, but on those dull, grey winter days and in early evening murk, they’re like applying an instant dose of mood-brightening sunshine.

They really do accentuate the positive to the point where taking them off again is almost depressing: ‘Oh, that’s what reality looks like’. We started to think of them as optical anti-depressants and it has to be pretty dark and gloomy before you need to remove them.

And because swapping the lenses over is so quick and easy, you can simply carry a spare set in a jersey pocket and change them if things cloud over markedly.

Padded hard-case ‘Vault’ supplied protects the glasses along with a spare lens. You also get a bag come lens-cleaning cloth and spare nose piece.

Steaming…

The only real issue we had with the glasses was very occasional mild fogging and smearing up of the inside of the lenses when things got really hot and sweaty on climbs despite the venting that comes as standard.

To be fair, at this point, sweat was normally running into our eyes anyway and we doubt anything out there would have fared any better. Under normal use or with any sort of breeze, they worked fine.

Oakley Vault case and replacement nose piece supplied.

Verdict

Excellent, unobtrusively comfortable, all-round sports eye-protection with the added bonus not just of easy-to-swap lenses, but innovative activity-specific optics.

They stayed firmly in place even on uneven terrain and you can change the lenses to suit the light conditions too with the Persimmon option doing an excellent job of brightening the gloom when things got too dark for the Prizms.

There are plenty of other lens options out there as well including a trail-friendly option and myriad other colour tints and finishes. No, they’re not cheap, but you’re getting a really versatile, all-year-round, set of shades that adapts to the environment, your activity and light levels too.

Prizm Road & Persimmon Vented Replacement Lens.

Pros

Top build quality, good fit and head hold, comfortable, excellent, sport-specific optics, clever quick lens-swap system, compete wth case and spare lens.

Cons

We did have some misting issues when working hard, quite expensive

Performance: 5/5
Reliability: 5/5
Value: 4/5

More info: www.shadestation.co.uk.

Well-engineered hinge for added flex and durability.

Full Specification

  • £159.00 / 28g
  • White polished OMatter Plastic Composite (Plastic) frame
  • Plutonite lens material
  • Switchlock™ interchangeable lens technology
  • Prizm Road & Persimmon Vented Replacement Lens
  • Oakley Vault case and replacement nose piece supplied
  • Microbag soft glasses bag

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