OAKLEY RADAR: The why and the when

Oakley Radar sunglasses have been knocking around the sports world for a decade now, and their popularity shows no signs of diminishing. Unlike other generational products that get phased out once a new version comes along, you can still purchase all three versions of the Radars.

If you’re trying to decide which frame is best for you, this comparison will hopefully guide you in the right direction.

Just so we’re all clear right from the start, “Radar” (or Radarlock or Radar EV) is the name of the frame. Path, Pitch, Range, etc. are the names of the lens styles. These lenses are all interchangeable within their respective frame (e.g., Radarlock Pitch lenses and Radarlock Path lenses both fit the Radarlock frames).




Oakley first introduced the Radars in 2006. In keeping with heritage style characteristics of the M Frames, the Radars feature hammer stem profiles, a brow that dips slightly in the center, and a single shield lens.

The stems feature round holes, which Oakley calls “surge ports,” designed to help improve airflow. The earsocks run almost to the end of the stems, and the tips of the stems flare slightly (almost imperceptibly) outward. If you run your fingers along the ends, you’ll notice the shift. In theory, these flared tips should assist with putting the sunglasses on — especially one-handed while riding a bicycle


There are 4 Oakley lens shapes available for the Radars (8 if you count the vented versions of each). In order of smallest to largest they are:

  • Edge
  • Path
  • Pitch
  • Range

Oakley marketed the Edge within the women’s line, but there’s nothing markedly feminine about the shape. I’m not going to pitch any “Pink it and Shrink it” theories here, but needless to say, the Edge is just as unisex as the other options.

Ultimately, it comes down to which shape you like best.



More or less the exact same frame as the Radar, the Radar XL features added length between the nose bridge and brow. This extra 7 mm provides more vertical coverage, which is especially helpful for cyclists riding in the attack position.

Unlike the standard Radar however, the XL version only has one lens — the Blade.

Although that was the name when first released, the lens is often marketed simply as “Radar XL.”

If you have the parts, you can change the nose piece to convert a standard Radar to a Radar XL (and vice versa), but there is always the risk of damaging the frames.



In 2012, Oakley released the Radarlock. This generation has the same look and feel as the first — similar size and the same lens shapes, but there are enough distinct differences to set it apart.

The main difference being Oakley’s patented “Switchlock” technology. Instead of a press and pop method, the left temple features a locking mechanism. When unlatched, the temple swings open, allowing for an easier lens removal/installation process.

Ironically, this is how Oakley has positioned this technology:

  • “If you haven’t heard about Oakley Switchlock Technology, you’re wasting too much time fumbling with the outdated designs of ordinary interchangeable lens systems. Our simple switch mechanism makes the process quick and easy, and the lens is held securely in place without uneven pressures that can bend it and distort your vision. Somebody finally got it right, and did so with a vengeance against conventional technology.”

Why is it ironic?

Because in the 3rd iteration of the Radar family, Oakley returned to the “outdated design” of a pressure click-in system for Radar EV.

Not saying there’s anything wrong with the Switchlock technology (I quite prefer it), just noting the irony. Oakley might want to consider updating the copy on their site — and also possibly not bagging on their own designs in the future.



In addition to the new technology, the temple featured a more angular surge port and a slightly larger icon. This design change also pushed the hinge a little further down the temple — a seemingly insignificant adjustment, but one which causes the ends of the temples to hit the back of the lenses when the frame is folded.

There’s also less Unobtainium on the earsocks — about two inches of length along the back of the ear stem compared to Radar’s three inches of Unobtainium. This could be seen as either a pro or a con depending on your needs.

  • Pro:Unobtainium becomes sticky when wet, so the more there is, the better the sunglasses may lock to your head and not shift around while moving.
  • Con:That added stickiness can also make it more difficult to put the sunglasses on one-handed.

Some other added features include perforations on the ends of the stems to accommodate a retention strap and spring hinges. The tips of the stems also don’t flare out much.

The Radarlock XLs are the exact same frame as the Radarlocks, but with an added 7 mm between the nose bridge and top of the frame (same concept as the Radars vs the Radar XL frames).



A modern twist on the previous generations, the Radar EV is still easily identifiable as part of the Radar family but departs from the curving sweep of the brow to a more angular look. Instead of dipping above the nose bridge, the brow of the Radar EV is straight across the middle before angling downward into 2 sloping steps about two-thirds of the way to the temples.

Returning to what worked in the original Radar frame, Oakley ditched its Switchlock technology for the 3rd generation of the Radars, favoring instead the pressure click-in system. The hinges are pulled closer in so that the tips don’t hit the lens when folded. And the surge ports are much smaller — more rectangular and positioned closer to the hinge.

The Unobtanium earsocks cover almost the entire length of the stems, with only the flared ends and the areas around the surge ports left untouched.

But what most sets the Radar EV apart from its predecessors in terms of function has to be its lens design.

The “EV” stands for “extended vision” and for obvious reasons. The lenses feature an added 5 mm above the nose bridge, extending the upper field of view. As with the XL versions of previous generations, this taller lens keeps the brow out of sight (or nearly so) when in a head down, eyes up position (such as the aero position while cycling).

Although still available in the Path and Pitch styles, the Radar EV only comes with vented versions of these lenses.

Unlike previous versions of vents, which were cone-shaped and positioned at a diagonal from the outer top corners of the lenses pointed inward towards the nose bridge, the vents on the lenses for Radar EV are subtly placed horizontally against the brow. These low profile vents were designed to still allow optimum airflow while staying out of the path of the wearer’s line of sight.


Are these lenses interchangeable across generations?

Short answer: no

The lenses for Radar EV are a definite no across the board – those lenses won’t fit in Radars or Radarlocks (or their XL counterparts), and the lenses for Radar and Radarlock won’t fit in the Radar EVs.

If you compare the notches on the lenses of the Radars and the Radarlocks, you’ll notice a difference.


Want to buy some OAKLEY RADARS? 

SOURCE: https://www.revantoptics.com





Oakley lenses for sport


PRIZM™ is a new Oakley lens technology that fine-tunes vision for specific sports and environments


Oakley analyzed each environment to determine which colors are important from a performance standpoint, and based on the mechanism of the eye and the visual demands of the specific environment, we adjust color filtering to enhance your vision.

Road – Trail – Golf – Field – Daily – MX – Cricket – Deep Water


PRIZM™ Road lens enhance your vision in both bright light and shadows, helping riders spot changes in the texture of the road surfaces



PRIZM™ Golf improves contrast for better separation of color and gives you more depth cues to gauge distance and grass conditions



PRIZM™ Trail enhances reds and browns so you can quickly spot sand, rocks, roots and other transitions in shade and bright light



With Oakley PRIZM™ Daily Polarized, dull colors become warm and rich for sharper contrast and a more pleasing, relaxing visual experience.  Great for everyday wear, everyday life.  All day Oakley Prizm.



PRIZM™ Cricket lenses are designed to enhance details and make it easier to track the ball against the green of the grass and the brown of the dirt. Grass is greener. The ball is more visible. The game is richer.




PRIZM™ Deep Water Polarized lenses filter out the shades of blue that overwhelm your vision on open water and boost greens and reds to give you a better view of what’s going on down. The perfect compliment to fishing, ocean, sea.



Everything you need to know about OAKLEY technology

The core of Oakley’s optical superiority is built on a true passion for enhancing performance in sports. Founder Jim Jannard first innovation was a new type of motorcycle handgrip with a unique tread and a shape that more closely fit into the rider’s closed hand. It was quickly adopted by top pros of the day for its ability to grip more with sweat.  Oakley made its next mark with the introduction of its O Frame goggle, which became a mainstay in motocross racing for almost 20 years.

From there, Jim launched into Oakley Optics with “Eyeshades”, taking on the optical industry’s big power players. Focusing on sunglasses as vital equipment instead of a generic accessory was groundbreaking. It positioned Oakley as the top in optical sport performance, where it continues to stand today. Professional athletes quickly took notice and today, no matter what sport you watch, from Cricket to Mountain Biking, you’ll see its top athletes sporting Oakley performance eyewear.

What Does Oakley Offer in Frame Material?

O Matter: Created for durability and controlled flexibility this lightweight material provides superior protection, comfort, and performance.

C-5Oakley’s wire frames are created form five metallic compounds that are fused into a single C-5™ alloy that is not only ultra-lightweight but also incredibly strong.

Available Frames: Plaintiff Squared, Crosshair, Crosshair 2.0, Oakley Blender, Tightrope, Whisker, Deviation, Plaintiff, Caveat, Changeover, Daisy Chain, Dangerous, Oakley Dart, Oakley Discreet, Given, Oakley Remedy, Restless

Acetate: Oakley’s acetate frames are hand-made and layered allowing for the frames to come in a variety of rich colors and textures.  Acetate illuminates the frames high quality look and feel.

Available Frames: Dangerous, Oakley Discreet, News Flash, Changeover, Frogskin LX

Titanium: Oakley uses titanium in a handful of their wire frames to create its strongest, lightest, and most comfortable wire frame.  Titanium is ultra-lightweight and virtually indestructible making it one of the most comfortable lens materials for all day wear.

Available Frames: TI Crosshair,

Carbon Fiber: This ultra-lightweight material is ideal for frames as it provides superior comfort and flexibility.

Available Frames:  Carbon Plate

Aluminum: Oakley uses Aluminum in a handful of their frames.  Oakley’s Aluminum is an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy that allows the frames to be both durable and extremely lightweight.

What does Oakley Offer in Frame Technology?

Frame Three Point Fit: Oakley created and patented the Three-Point Fit so that each frame only makes contact at the bridge of the nose and the temples.  This feature allows your frames to stay in perfect alignment, giving them a secure fit and eliminates any discomfort from your frame pressing on unbalanced pressure points.

UnobtainiumOakley first launched their Unobtainium™ technology on their sports performance frames on the nosepads, earpads, and earsocks.  Unobtanium™ provides superior comfort and performance as it increases the grip as you perspire.

SwitchlockOakley created the Switchlock™ technology to allow for easy, fast, hassle-free changing of lenses.  This technology allows athletes to quickly customize their frame to changing light conditions providing them with superior optical experience regardless of the light conditions they are performing in.

 Available in the following frames: Racing Jacket, Fast Jacket, Radarlock, Style Switch

What Does Oakley Offer in Lens Technology?

Oakley True Digital – Oakley True Digital™ lenses are uniquely designed for athletes and sports enthusiasts who demand the best vision possible in high-wrap frames. Oakley performs their magic by digitally joining two lens zones; mid-periphery and far-periphery. Simply put, these are the best active lifestyle lenses money can buy.

Plutonite – Oakley’s Plutonite Lens Material is lightweight and shatterproof; perfect for an active lifestyle. Oakley Plutonite stops every wavelength of ultraviolet radiation which includes UV-A, UV-B, UV-C and Blue Light. The Plutonite in Oakley’s performance sunglasses meets and exceeds the impact standards of the American National Standards Institute.  This means that as debris kicked up by a passing truck can travel up to 102mph and can be as heavy as a metal spike without chattering you lenses.

Oakley HDPolarized™ – Oakley HDPolarized™ sunglasses protect your eyes from harsh glare without compromising clarity. Oakley’s polarized lenses are engineered differently than most. Most companies polarize lenses by gluing addition filter layers on a plain lens. Each additional layer creates further distortion and loss of clarity. Instead of lots of layers, Oakley takes a powerful polarized filter and forms the lens around it with Plutonite, their proprietary polycarbonate. This creates a lens that is lean and powerful enough to block intense glare without compromising clarity.

Oakley’s Transitions® SOLFX™ – (also known as Photochromic) lenses darken and lighten automatically in response to changing intensity of UV light.

Oakley High Definition Optics (HDO) – provides clearer, sharper and more accurate vision.  Oakley’s HDO technology virtually eliminates any distortion that is common with high-wrapped sunglasses.  Conventional lenses can magnify images as you look through them, the HDO lenses give you a more accurate vision across your entire field of view.


Introducing the Oakley Latch

Just in, the new Oakley Latch. For us it looks vintage-inspired with a touch of innovation and modernism.

The Latch has a secret feature that inspired this product’s name. When skating indoors or after the sun goes down, you need a place to stash your shades so Latch was developed to clip onto your T-Shirt to help them stay in place

Oakley Latch