Oakley Airbrake XL Goggle Review

Oakley Airbrake XL Goggle ReviewOakley Airbrake XL Goggle Review

Goggle features:

  • Oversized Airbrake goggle with Prizm™ lens technology
  • Prizm lens boosts contrast for uncompromising acuity
  • Rigid exoskeleton with flexible O Matter faceplate
  • Switch Lock technology allows for rapid lens swapping
  • Outrigger frame attachments for helmet integration
  • Bonus Prizm lens included
  • Oakley AirBrake XL

Intended Use:
Snowboarding, skiing.

Recommended for:
Riders seeking uncompromising vision and lens swapping ease.

Review Date and Location: December 2016 – March 2017 in Idaho/Wyoming/Colorado

Review:

At SIA in 2016, we received a preview of Oakley’s new Prizm™ lens.  I was immediately intrigued by their Prizm Hi-Pink and Prizm Rose lens.  I ride mostly at Grand Targhee Resort where flat light and fog are pretty much a constant occurrence. While at SIA in 2016 Oakley had a flat light simulator with these lenses and I was impressed with the Prizm Hi-Pink visibility in flat light conditions.  I had been riding with a hi-yellow lens but December can bring some down right nasty storms to Targhee.  We had a day in mid December where the fog was really socked in, snow was coming down hard, the wind was blowing snow uphill…even with the hi-yellow lens, visibility was almost nonexistent.  I was excited to try out the Oakley Airbrake XL Prizm goggle.  The frame and lens are much bigger than I’d used in the past but within minutes of using these goggles, I really enjoyed the extra peripheral vision they provide.  The larger frame still fit well with my Protec Riot helmet.

The Prizm lens technology works by emphasizing colors where the eye is most sensitive to detail, allowing you to visualize nuances in terrain and features lurking just beneath the snow, even in glaring-bright conditions. Adding to Prizm’s exceptional clarity, the F3 anti-fog coating prevents condensation from obscuring vision during socked-in storms and soggy spring days. There are six Prizm lenses varying in color based on light conditions.  The ones I tested were the Prizm Hi-Pink and Fire Iridium.  For most low light days at Targhee the Hi-Pink lens works very well.  I’ve used it on blue bird days also and it worked well but a bright light lens is highly recommend for sunny days.

The SwitchLock technology makes swapping lenses very easy.  There is a lever hidden behind the frame that locks the lens in place.  To change the lens just open the lever and pop the lens out.  It was a little bit tricky to get the lens positioned right the first time I swapped lenses, but overall the process is very simple and designed to work with keeping your gloves on.

The Airbrake XL has triple foam, with the last layer being moisture wicking.  This works very well to keep sweat and other moisture from causing fogging issues.  They are also well vented, I’ve done some hiking in them with very little to no fogging issues.  The anti-fogging coating and the ventilation design did its job well. The foam was very comfortable against my face and seals nicely to keep elements out.

The outrigger system makes these goggles very helmet friendly. The lenses have held up surprisingly well, the anti-scratch coating really does its job.

The Airbrake XL is comparable to the Flight Deck goggle but the bonus lens that comes with most of the Airbrake XL Goggles makes them hard to pass up.  These goggles work well in sun, wind, fog, heavy snow, etc.

Oakley Airbrake XL Goggle Review

Pros

  • Extra peripheral vision
  • Do not fog
  • SwitchLock technology
  • Comfortable
  • Prizm Lens

Cons

  • Not for small faces
  • Price, however the Oakley Brand is highly regarded as a quality product
Price: (4.0 / 5)
Performance: (5.0 / 5)
Design: (5.0 / 5)
Overall: (4.7 / 5)

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