When I was testing the Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 sunglasses I was struck by the realisation that the design has come full circle. The Wind Jacket 2.0s are intended for use on snow and I’ve been using them on the road, yet they were inspired by Oakley’s iconic Eyeshades, a design intended for use on the road but often used on the slopes.
It is a testament to the design of both pairs that they function equally well in either environment and as such, the Wind Jacket 2.0s are easy to convert to suit - they come with a detachable foam brow strip: attach it to the top bar of the glasses and they become snow goggles; remove it and they morph into road shades.
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As a result of the sunglasses’ original inspiration, the Eyeshades, and the necessity for protection from the sub-zero wind you encounter in snowsports, the Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 sunglasses have a huge lens which has been treated with Oakley’s Prizm technology.
Oakley says this technology better tunes the contrast of light in sporting situations to improve the clarity with which you view your environment.
The Prizm Snow lens in the Wind Jacket sunglasses apparently tunes the light slightly differently to Prizm Road lenses, and I’d say that is indeed perceptible.
Road-specific Prizm lenses generally lend a slightly richer contrast to your environment, but having used the Prizm Snow lens of the Wind Jacket 2.0s in a variety of weather conditions I think the difference is small enough to not really be a serious consideration: at no point did I think that the Prizm Snow lens hindered my performance on the road.
Oakley’s Prizm technology is just a brilliant treatment to use regardless of its advised application. It combines well with size of the lens, which is by far the biggest in the road market and offers a totally unhindered field of vision.
I enjoyed it immediately and noticed the restriction when I swapped back to smaller-framed glasses.
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In the Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 sunglasses' intended application, airflow is never an issue because more often than not you are hurtling down a mountain so venting isn’t as comprehensive as on road-specific glasses.
The sheer expanse of the lens makes them slightly prone to fogging in the upper portion as it covers an unusual amount of your forehead, but I found this was only when you slow after generating a lot of heat - it seemed to struggled to escape due to the smaller than normal gap between my sunglasses and helmet.
Once back up to speed the lens cleared quickly.
You’d think the Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 would carry a weight penalty due to their size but they are relatively simply constructed, so cede just one gram to Oakley’s infinitely more complicated Jawbreaker design (37g vs. 36g).
Personally, I happen to love the look of the Wind Jacket 2.0s but I’m in no doubt the bold design will be divisive in the road market.
While their styling may be controversial, thankfully their performance isn’t up for debate.
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