By Tom Demerly for TriSports.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.