- Price: £225
- Frame/Lens: Night Camo / Prizm Snow Torch Iridium
Much like the Oakley A-Frame, the Oakley Airbrake XL is one of the longer serving models in the O’s line. It might not be as iconic in appearance, but that’s kind of the point; this one has a subtler design that delivers in all the ways that count.
"By lifting one side of the frame up like a door, the lens will just pop out, and you can place the new one in without smudging it"
While not quite frameless, this goggle has a barely-noticeable rim around the contrast-boosting Prizm lenses that gives it a streamlined look. Also, its ‘Switchlock’ lens changing system is one of the fastest around, and is reassuringly secure to boot.
By lifting one side of the frame up like a door, the lens will just pop out, and you can place the new one in without smudging it. Click the door back down, and you’re good to go.
The Oakley Airbrake XL is quite pricey, but that’s a lot of goggle you get in return. If convenience is king for you, and yet you want the very best performance at all times, the Oakley Airbrake XL with Prizm lenses would be a fine choice.
Ed Blomfield - whitelines.com
"Changing your lens used to be a pain in the ass – pulling them out felt almost violent, while trying to line up all the notches on your replacement inevitably ended in thumbprints and frustration.
These days various manufacturers offer quick change systems, but Oakley’s Airbrake remains the original and arguably the best.
"You pull the outrigger forward a touch to reveal a lever behind – like opening a secret door"
It’s a clean-looking goggle with no obvious switch cluttering the design. To remove the lens, you pull the outrigger forward a touch to reveal a lever behind – like opening a secret door. Pull up this lever and the lens will easily pop out with no yanking required.
To put a new lens in, you simply line up the slot at each end, pull the lever back down with a reassuring click and push the outrigger back into place. Voila! It’s a super rapid yet robust system.
Riding wise, the Airbrakes offer all the performance you’d expect from Oakley, with good ventilation, comfortable foam and awesome peripheral vision – especially on the XL version.
If you’re a powder lover who needs to switch lens after the occasional tumble or to make the most of low light tree conditions then these come highly recommended."