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Oakley Radarlock Glasses.

By Tom Demerly for

Radarlock uses two lens shapes initially and comes in a number of lens and frame colors.

Sport sunglass category originator Oakley debuted their new Radarlock sunglass system earlier this year. We’ve been wearing the Radarlock in the sunniest place in the United States, Arizona, to experience the new developments in lens interchangeability, frame and optics performance.

Oakley faces the challenge of getting customers to understand how truly sophisticated their products are. Most athletes simply don’t understand how advanced Oakley eyewear is, and what a difference in performance it makes. Technologies developed by Oakley have been licensed to numerous eyewear brands as Oakley has gone on to new and more advanced ones. Some developments are small refinements, others are revolutionary. The new Radarlock has both.
Radarlocks are sold with a sun lens and a low light lens that varies with frame color. The ballistic hard case is included.
Interchangeable lenses aren’t new to Oakley sport glasses. The primary improvement with Radarlock is easier, faster lens interchangeability with even better frame fit and performance. Previous Radar sunglass models required a little experience to quickly remove and replace the lens. The new lens release and installation is controlled by a miniature “lock” or catch that holds a small hinged clamp securing the lens. The system is easy to open, you don’t touch the lens as much and it disappears when closed. You simply slide a small white switch on the left earstem rearward and hinge the earstem (temple) open, then gently squeeze the nosepiece. The lens can be easily removed and replaced then.
Oakley's new Radarlock glasses bring improved lens interchangeability to their sport glasses while making additional refinements on their already strong Radar glass design.

This new design makes changing lenses much faster, cleaner and easier. Users may be more likely to change lenses for different light conditions since the entire process is designed in and two lenses are included with the package. Before the development of the new “Switchlock” lens technology many people simply owned a few pairs of glasses with different lens tints. Switchlock is a less expensive alternative that provides a better overall eye protection product with the advances in lens colors, designs and frame fit.

Oakley also expands on the fit of their iconic sportglass with a few subtle refinements. The eyewear system still uses a shape that nearly surrounds your head as viewed from above. This keeps the glasses in place even during motion sports like running. In addition to the unique shape of the frames the polymer used is tuned to provide an appropriate level of flex and tension on your head. The glasses are designed to never “squeeze” or create pressure points. The fit remains constant across a wide range of head sizes and shapes.

(left) Compared to lower end glasses the Oakley Radarlock frame has a more complex and rounded shape that mimics the shape of the human head. It wraps more completely around the skull and only contacts the head with hydrophobic polymer grippers. (right) A close-up of lens quality suggests a difference between the Oakley lens on the left of the photo and the less expensive lens on the right.

Included in the box with the Oakley Radarlock, as with most previous versions of their sport glasses, are two interchangeable hydrophobic nose pieces. The nose piece is easily interchanged to customize fit of the glasses based on the shape of the nose. People with a broad, shallow nose will use the optional (extra) nosepiece included to achieve optimal fit and lens proximity while typically shaped noses that may be narrower and protrude more will use the nosepiece mounted on the glasses out of the box. Interchanging the nose pieces to optimize fit is simple and fast. The “hydrophobic” moniker Oakley gives its nosepieces refers to how the polymer grips your nose better as it gets wet.

Oakley includes two interchangeable, different shaped hydrophobic nosepieces with their Radarlocks to tune fit and performance.

Two lens shapes are offered initially in the new Radarlock; the Path with a concave lower lens profile and the Pitch with its larger, convex lower lens shape. The Pitch offers slightly more lens coverage but may not fit faces with ample cheeks as well. There are currently four configurations in the Radarlock Path each with different lens and frame colors. One option in the Path shape, Polished Black with Black Iridium and Persimmon lenses comes without  the four vents in the top of the lens. The other three versions each have four vents in the top of the lens to avoid fogging and keep air moving over your face. We obtained an additional version not seen on Oakley’s website with a bright orange frame and a polarized Fire Iridium lens. This lens color enhances contrast in medium to high leight conditions and reduces glare with its polarized lamination.

Oakley shows four styles of the Radarlock, with the Matte Heather Grey with G30 Iridium lens not shown here and substituted by a new Blood Orange style with polarized Fire Iridium and Persimmon lenses shown 2nd from left above.

As with all Oakley sport specific eyewear the lenses use Oakley’s Hydrophobic permanent lens coating. This coating causes liquid to sheet off the lens, reduce condensation and make the lenses easier to clean using the microfiber cloth bag included.  The hydrophobic treatment even resists static electricity that causes dust to adhere.

Oakley’s high strength polymer lenses use a proprietary material called Plutonite. The sport styles exceed the federal ANSI standard for safety glasses.

The Radarlock is a natural progression and a welcomed introduction from Oakley. It makes their interchangeable lens technology easier to use and provides the same level of optical quality and protection that has won numerous independent category tests. The refinements in the Radarlock are a welcomed next step in the constant evolution of Oakley’s iconic sports specific eye wear.

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