Oakley’s Airbrake MTB goggles are designed specifically for mountain biking, in particular enduro and downhill, with a focus on stopping heat build-up and fogging.
Oakley Airbrake MTB goggles details
Sold with its own hard-shell carry case bag and microfibre cloth-come-bag, the Airbrakes feel like a premium package, which is reflected in the price tag.
The clear low-light Prizm lens has a slightly pink hue to it and is claimed to be best in sunshine and cloud, letting in around 75 per cent of visible light. Other lenses are available, each costing between £20 and £70.
It’s pre-curved and features tear-off posts – a pack of 25 costs £15. The lens is attached to the frame using Oakley’s quick-release system, where two sprung clips either side of the goggle’s frame keep it in place, and there are also tabs to make sure it’s positioned correctly.
The large strap has three bands of silicone gripper and is attached to outriggers either side of the frame, to help the goggles fit different shaped helmets.
The two-layer, removable foam has a soft, fleece-like backing where it contacts the wearer’s face. Between the foam and frame are vents with mesh covers, rather than foam covers, to help improve air flow and cooling, and reduce fogging.
Oakley Airbrake MTB goggles performance
Despite the view port feeling quite small – because the foam sat close to the side of my eyes – the field of vision provided by the Airbrakes was wide.
I didn’t struggle to find a sweet-spot with fit and thought they were very comfortable, with the foam feeling robust rather than spongy. This provided a solid and secure fit on my face, and they didn’t bounce around or move when riding over rough terrain. The luxuriously-soft foam remained comfortable even once drenched in sweat, too.
The goggles fitted well in my Giro Switchblade test lid and also filled out the Bell Full 9 helmet’s aperture well, feeling exceptionally comfortable in the DH lid. They had a low enough profile to fit comfortably with open face lids, too, such as Troy Lee’s A1.
Their frames didn’t interfere with my peripheral vision, although it was possible to see the very edges through the lens. The Prizm low-light lens had fantastically clear optics with no distortion.
The light pink tint made colours pop and vastly improved contrast in low-light conditions, such as dark forests. They also performed admirably in bright conditions and could be worn year-round without issue.
The inside of the lens fogged up very quickly if it wasn’t spotlessly clean and free of any grease, moisture or debris, whether moving or stationary. This was worse at the lens’s edges, where moisture would condense on the surface and refused to clear.
However, once the lens was meticulously cleaned it refused to fog up even in damp and cold conditions on the move, and took a long time to finally fog once I’d stopped moving.
Luckily, the microfibre bag was all that was needed to clean the lens suitably to stop fogging, and thanks to Oakley’s quick release lens system, it was easy to remove lenses trail-side to clean them.
The open vents didn’t let moisture drip down the inside of the lens in really wet or sweat-saturated conditions, like the Smith Squad XL goggles I also had on test.
Oakley Airbrake MTB goggles bottom line
Initially disappointed with their anti-fog performance, once I’d cleaned the lens the Airbrakes performed admirably with one of the clearest optics and best fog-resistance I’ve tested recently.