Oakley Fast Jacket sunglasses£190.00

Pimp eye protection

BikeRadar score4/5

Oakley have long been associated with making the best sports eyewear on the market. Other brands are thrilled to be compared with them and it sets the bar others jump. The Fast Jacket is Oakley’s latest ‘open frame’ design, and differs from their existing Half and Flak Jacket models in that it has a new Switchlock lens changing mechanism.

Pull the little lever at the side down and forward, and the pinhole-secured lens is ready for removal. It means lenses are extremely secure even in a crash. The lenses themselves follow Oakley’s standard geometry to provide the most accurate field of vision of any sports eyewear. The shape of the Fast Jacket lenses is straightforward, with the standard shape shown in our pic or the larger XL version for the shallow cheeked among us.

Standard Oakley eyewear O Matter (that’s tough plastic to you) features are the classic three-point fit with the ear stems and nosepiece sporting the infamous Oakley Unobtanium hydrophilic rubber (rubber which gets grippier when wet). Anyone who's used Radars, Jawbones or M Frames in the past will attest to the impressive cranial grip Oakleys generate.

So, with Radar and Jawbone already available, where does Fast Jacket sit? Jawbone is the model Oakley are pushing at mountain bikers, but outright frame grip remains less than the Radar; still the ultimate in cycling eyewear fit and performance. That said, Radar with its wraparound lens doesn’t float everyone’s boat, which is where the split lens Fast Jackets come in.

The fit is nearer Radar than Jawbone and the look is a lot less ‘look at me’, even in our mirror-silver Full Metal Jacket finish. The cost is, as ever with Oakley, prohibitively high for what they are in terms of raw material, and if that’s how you buy eyewear then you'll be well served by the great products from Bloc, NeroCorsa, Endura and DHB, among others. But try as we do, we simply can’t ignore the fact that Oakley sweep the floor when it comes to fit, feel and optical performance.

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