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Are oakley goggles worth it?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I currently have a pretty standard pair off Bolle goggles, bought them for about €40/50 in resort in 2012. Never had any problems with them.

I'm looking at the Oakley Flight deck and the Oakley Fall Line goggles. Are they worth the expensive price tag? I'm doing a season next year so they'll definitely get their use, but am I just paying for the brand?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
gabbooc wrote:
I currently have a pretty standard pair off Bolle goggles, bought them for about €40/50 in resort in 2012. Never had any problems with them.

I'm looking at the Oakley Flight deck and the Oakley Fall Line goggles. Are they worth the expensive price tag? I'm doing a season next year so they'll definitely get their use, but am I just paying for the brand?

Assuming they fit, they are great Goggles (especially the FD, with peripheral vision that is best in class)....and can be bought with at least 20% discount online, from places like Freeze Pro Shop. IMO. Make sure you go for the Prizm Lens.

Bolle's Photochromic Light Control NXT Lens is excellent, but Oakley fit my face better.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 12-02-18 12:44; edited 1 time in total
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For me I think they are worth it, I have the canopy and line miner (Prizm Jade and Prizm Rose) and they were a marked improvement from Smith I-OX's in terms of fit and vision, they don't fog either even on a high humidity storm day. I picked up mine in the sales from Freeze Pro as they are my local shop.

Theres also a 100' of these same but different branded companies out there now, all of them with a 'very' similar goggle, I've seen some good and some bad but they aren't any cheaper than an Oakley now.
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Are Oakley's worth it. ? Yes
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Quote:

a marked improvement from Smith I-OX's in terms of fit and vision,


Interesting, as TOH and I have been delighted with our I/Os. and they've done 5 seasons so ~300 days. Which is pretty good.

But fit is of course entirely personal and will contribute to fogging, etc.
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IMO, yes. I had a pair of A-frames for about 12 years till the foam finally perished. But the lens is/was great. I replaced with a pair of airbrakes with black iridium lens, reduced to £69 in SnowandRock last year. Then this year i bought a pair of lower light goggles in Chamonix, reduced to 59EU... can't recall the model, but they are also great, with much improved peripheral vision.

I have a general view with such kit, that if I pay a little more then I tend to take better care of it anyway so it lasts longer and hence becomes better value for money in the long term.
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Branding probably isn't as important a fit/comfort particularly with the Helmet,
I've had many manufactures jublo, smith, Oakley, Bolle, Dragon, Anon, Can't say that any stand out more than other, i've been able to see well with all.
I tend to buy on the basis or skiing in poor visibility, so lenses suit low light.
They do all break if you face plant!
Current favorites are a pair of Smiths that I've had for a couple of years, we tend to fight over who gets to wear them...
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Bob wrote:
They do all break if you face plant!

I can confirm that they don't! I lost two pairs of (now discontinued) Oakley Stockholms to them splitting down the middle, one of them after a hefty face plant into hard pack. The lenses were very narrow in the centre, and this created a weak point which may be why they no longer make them. But my new Flight Decks have certainly suffered equally (many witnesses can confirm this Toofy Grin ) and are still as new. The coating doesn't scratch off like the old iridium coating used to either.
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

a marked improvement from Smith I-OX's in terms of fit and vision,


Interesting, as TOH and I have been delighted with our I/Os. and they've done 5 seasons so ~300 days. Which is pretty good.

But fit is of course entirely personal and will contribute to fogging, etc.


Ive got I/Os and have been delighted with them but i've found the most important thing is the fit relative to your helmet '' oooerrr!'. I've a Smith Helmet and the fit is perfect, I previously had Oakley Crowbars, they didn't fit so were useless.
Similarly my wife has just bought a Salomon Helmet and her Oakleys just didn't fit, she's now bought Salomon goggles and again a perfect fit.
Lets be honest Googles are very expensive pieces of plastic worth a fraction of the ridiculous prices charged, but they work well. Most of the Good Weather/ condition tints have very little Light Transmission differences they are there to catch you with the colour. The low light lenses are a bit difference, but they don't look as nice as a bright green/ blue/red lens.
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gabbooc wrote:
I currently have a pretty standard pair off Bolle goggles, bought them for about €40/50 in resort in 2012. Never had any problems with them.


I think you've answered your own question here, save some money and buy some more Bolle goggles if your old ones need replacing.
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If the oakley goggles have standard type lenses then I'm sure other companies will be just the same. Just because it is made in USA etc doesn't mean it is better than made in China. We buy optics from US companies and pay £200 for a coated 5cm mirror and the £30 one form China is nearly as good and does the job.

So if it is basic filtering then the lenses will be similar (though not exact) spec and will do the job. In a pair coming form a lower end brand (but perhaps at the top of this brands price range) compared to a low price or lower middle price in an expansive brand then you won't notice the difference.

At the high end you will probably get optics that are more expensive to make e.g. multi coatings; selective multi band coatings to improve contrast.

EG I have a set of these and they are good (bought in sale at £70).
https://www.ellis-brigham.com/products/dragon-rogue-split--lumalens-green-ionized--lumalens-amber-goggles-2017--2018/767713

They fit my helmet perfectly. I've had to change the lenses on a whiteout day etc.


However, I recently got these

https://www.ellis-brigham.com/products/oakley-airbrake-iron-fired-brick--prizm-hi-pink-iridium--prizm-black-iridium-goggles-2016--2017/762602

Using the Hi Pink (I was worried about being too bright on a clear day but are fine) and used them for the first time in Glencoe the other day. With full blaring sun they were good, then it got dull, then it ended up in a whiteout. I never noticed I was wearing them or changes in the light. What I did notice, and this has been a problem in the past with me, was a lack of contrast in flat light. With these I could see clear contrast in the bumps in the snow. So I think this lens tech is actually something that works and is not just hype.
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Quote:
If the oakley goggles have standard type lenses then I'm sure other companies will be just the same. Just because it is made in USA etc doesn't mean it is better than made in China. We buy optics from US companies and pay £200 for a coated 5cm mirror and the £30 one form China is nearly as good and does the job.


@GlasgowCyclops, I think that's an oversimplistic look at it. That takes manufacturing and materials into account but not knowledge and research. Knowledge and research is what sets aside the best and the rest. I am confident that Oakley have the knowledge, experience and the ongoing research to keep producing the best products.

To be fair, this argument happens all the time. I will always buy Oakley for ski goggles and sunglasses (and a lot of other stuff I own). Just because it's always quality stuff, and the optics, to me, are the best. I lived in the Middle East for several years where high quality sunglasses were genuinely important on a day to day basis and Oakley were by far the best thing I could find. I have swapped ski goggles with several people on bashes and not found anything which stands up to my Airbrakes, and a lot of the people I've lent them to have gone on to buy their own.
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@dp, Yes, this is true for initial technology (e.g. Prizm) but a simple ND + Bandpass is ld tech and "If" that is what Oakley use then my point stands.

As for over simplistic. Off course it is, but I thought that was more relevant than me (who works for a company making things with this type of optic) ranting on with terms that people would have to go on wikipedia (or have a qualification in optical physics) to vaguely understand. Happy
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You know it makes sense.
@dp, PS Oakley singleaases (not the sport one's) are made in the Luxottica factory, perhaps the one on the way to Arabba. Happy

As are Ray Ban and Prada etc etc. http://www.luxottica.com/en/eyewear-brands
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@dp, I like Oakley, but I feel where Sunglasses are concerned, I would rate brands like - Vuarnet, Serengeti and Maui Jim as better...probably in that order. There's also Randolph Engineering, as a less known choice.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 12-02-18 19:17; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Old Fartbag, And American Optical. nice and cheap now that RE have got the military contract and AO will be needing to boost sales.
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Bolle Light Control NXT - I have smaller old skool Nova frames as I don't like the daft oversize top gun stuff that most seem to punt . . .saying that I fancy a pair of Prizm shades . . .
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Oakley Flight Deck’s are 100% value for money. Brought a pair and just returned from using them in anger. They are simply game changes!! The Prizm lens is incredible. Had a blue sky day and they nailed it, the next day was a mix of sun and cloud, perfect again. The 3rd day was flat light and they coped Just as well!

I can safely say that they changed my skiing experience!
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They are the best, although some others come close, notably Smith.

That said, it's not just that the goggles are the best but also the customer service. I have broken lenses and Oakley have replaced them FOC.

My Iridium Fire Crowbars are reaching the end of their life after a decade of service. There are now a few scratches (mostly from impacts that I thought would break them) and the foam above the lens has now been UV damaged so is crumbling (that's the sign of a lot of use!). They are going to get replaced with some Flight Deck Prizms at the end of this season.

Sunglasses - Holbrooks. I have 3 different pairs. Love them.
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I really appreciate the googles that you can swap lenses out as needed. Not oakley per se, but its been useful as conditions change during the day. I have the dragon quick release version. I am sure oakley has a similar thing if you are committed to that brand.
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@Redwine, Prizm lenses literally solves that problem. They change what you see along with the conditions.
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@Roscoe, wow. that is fancy. I may need a pair!
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I've got airbrakes and they are amazing. Big wide frame and a lever for really fast lens swaps.
Sure, a big amount goes on brand - have you seen the number of athletes and events they sponsor!
But that also feeds back into R&D.
I am now a big fan and have Holbrooks, Jawbreakers for the road bike and Airbrake for snow.
After riding the prizm road lens I am getting a torch iridium prizm lens to go with my fire and persimmon, if it's as good as the road lens it'll be great.
This kind of technology breakthrough costs, and only the purchaser can define 'worth it'.
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I’ve been using goggles on the hill for a couple of decades and feel that there are major quality differences between brands, with high performance not always linked to high price.

Differences - lens performance, fit, durability of foam, lack of fogging, design of strap and not too tight and not too loose elastic.

Current favourites

Oakley canopy rose Prizm cat 2, iridium fire cat 3; excellent in low light despite lower Vlt
82 gbp in sale plus 40 gbp for second lens

Bolle 2 pairs emperor: vermillion gun cat 3; and aurora cat 2 - both excellent
30 gbp new on eBay

I rate both rose and aurora in zero viz and I mean really zero.

I have not used Oakley hi yellow but have heard good things

Oakleys can fog inside the double lens if snow melts into the top vents - easily happens on blizzard days - remedy: stick goggles inside jacket next to warm body on gondola ascent - clears in a few minutes.

Bloc have some good models but you need to be picky. Smith ignitor lens is excellent - my small son uses it in all conditions including zero viz and really rates it.

Poc make some excellent goggles with zeiss lenses - but eye watering prices. We use their downhill goggles - excellent quality.

My view: you can get cheap base layers and mid layers and they will work as well as expensive ones. But good goggles - they are worth paying good money for....
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Totally agree with @valais2.

I have Hi Yellow as well as Fire Iridium. I bought these as a full goggle, rather than a lens only. This is because you need to protect naked lenses, or they can easily crack if they are bent. You can put them in semi rigid cases, which I have done (eBay £10 Chinese ones), but then you might as well carry a full goggle.

Hi Yellow are as good as it gets in low light. Of course, the light can get so bad that nothing will help, but Hi Yellow are really good at giving contrast and are much better than no goggles at all.
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I used to have a two pair Hi Yellow/Fire Iridium set-up which I thought were excellent but the Prizm Jade's & Hi Pink's I got last year are a noticeable step up in performance.
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Redwine wrote:
@Roscoe, wow. that is fancy. I may need a pair!


Thats why I wrote this earlier.

"Using the Hi Pink for the first time in Glencoe the other day. With full blaring sun they were good, then it got dull, then it ended up in a whiteout. I never noticed I was wearing them or changes in the light. What I did notice, and this has been a problem in the past with me, was a lack of contrast in flat light. With these I could see clear contrast in the bumps in the snow. So I think this lens tech is actually something that works and is not just hype."
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@GlasgowCyclops, Your comments are reassuring - I recently bought some Hi Pinks based on what I've read and on youtube reviews, but I worry that it's all hype and exaggeration. I consider skiing in poor flat light to be a form of torture and I hope these goggles will change this for me.
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I guess I'm one of very few, who will say no. No they are not worth the price. They certainly were before Luxottica took over, but nowadays, they sell cheapest possible materials for super premium price. Quality is almost on pair with some cheap chinese crap, they came from goggles and glasses that lasted until you got sick of them or you lost them, to something that's good for 2 years max etc. So for me, no they are certainly not worth the price they have.
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@primoz, With a bit of research, there is no need to pay silly money. I picked up some A Frame 2 + Prizm Rose for 60 Quid and some Crowbar + Prizm Black for 50 for my Son. I also sourced some Canopy + Prixm Rose for a friend for 50 Quid as well.
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primoz wrote:
I guess I'm one of very few, who will say no. No they are not worth the price. They certainly were before Luxottica took over, but nowadays, they sell cheapest possible materials for super premium price. Quality is almost on pair with some cheap chinese crap, they came from goggles and glasses that lasted until you got sick of them or you lost them, to something that's good for 2 years max etc. So for me, no they are certainly not worth the price they have.


Nonsense for the googles, at least.

That buy out happened in 2007, I picked up my Crowbars in 2010 and, while still usable the foam has gone a bit in areas, lasted until my season finished in 2016 with about 30+ weeks skiing, numerous face plants, lens changes, dropped, scraped on trees and benches, you name it. I reckon it's actually me not taking enough time changing the lenses. GF will get use of them now! I wanted the FD's for the better peripheral vision anyway.. Maybe I was being tactical..

Good to here @GlasgowCyclops - I picked up my FD from Freeze with the blue sapphire lens and picked up the Rose as well.. seems that the more I read about FD's in use I didn't need the sapphire!
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I've wasted about £250 in buying £50 goggles over the last few years - entirely down to ignorance thinking the cheaper ones would do the job. And they did, I guess, in that they cut down glare and stopped the snow getting in my eyes.
But how I wish I'd gone for top quality, photochromic goggles right from the start.
Can't say whether Oakley's are worth it but my Julbo's are absolutely worth the price.
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motyl wrote:
@GlasgowCyclops, Your comments are reassuring - I recently bought some Hi Pinks based on what I've read and on youtube reviews, but I worry that it's all hype and exaggeration. I consider skiing in poor flat light to be a form of torture and I hope these goggles will change this for me.


For me, with only one eye and no 3D vision, contrast to notice bumps coming at me are everything. Also, I used to be microscopy specialist and I'm used to sorting out the optical tech-hype from the tech-reality.
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I have used the Oakley frame original version for many years - absolutely great goggle. When the foam started coming away I looked to replace them with a like for like but I happened to try out the Anon Mig goggle with the magnetic face covering. Absolutely no regrets with changing even though the A frame was great I got a very good price on the Mig which again has no fogging but the face mask takes it to the next level in poor conditions.
In terms of lens quality / visibility I think the Amber lens on the Anon beats prizm rose for me.
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Smith chromopop technology did for for me. Posters on the mountain, bit of clever kit in the shop to make it look like magic lighting, lens colours to match jacket and now proud owner of an Everyday Lens and a Storm Blue lens. No idea how they compare to Oakleys (other than on price - cheaper - and looks - not as sci-fi) but they work for me. Luv 'em.
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Follow up on the torch iridium prizm lens.
Stunning!
Today was a big mix of bright blue sky, overcast, patchy and fully covered at varying points and elevations during the day.
I had fire iridium before, only good in pure bright light, or persimmon not bad in low light but not good in partial cloud.

The prizm really does boost contrast well. The torch is a mid range lens and happily stayed in all day. I had one section of low viz but it was ten past five in heavy cloud!
Very impressed and definitely worth it for me. Was £56 with a discount code.
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I've always been an Oakley guy (been through a crowbar and a flight deck and loved both), but my wife who wears glasses just picked up the Bolle emperors on a whim. https://www.otg-goggles.com/7-bolle-ski-goggles-every-level-rider/ I gotta say, for the price point, I was kind of impressed. She only comes to the mountain with me a couple times a season, so it just wasn't worth convincing her to spring for something with better lenses.
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