CW Evaluation: Oakley Wind Jacket

Cocoons for your eyeballs.

CW Evaluation: Oakley Wind Jacket

CW Evaluation: Oakley Wind Jacket

With so many street riders wearing half-shell, open-face or skull-cap-type helmets (or none at all!), you’d think premium-sunglasses-maker Oakley would have developed motorcycle-specific shades long ago.

Think again. Oakley introduced the Split Jacket-based Wind Jacket just last year, but it was worth the wait because these glasses have features that immediately put them at or near the front of the pack. For example, a snap-in, molded plastic gasket creates a wind barrier, blocking airflow to your eyes, while an adjustable and likewise-removable retaining strap pulls the gasket tightly against your face to maximize sealing.

Included with each Wind Jacket are two sets of Switchlock High Definition Optics lenses in Warm Grey and Clear for bright- and low-light conditions. These lenses meet the American National Standards Institute’s Industrial Eyewear Impact Standard Z87.1 for High-Velocity and High-Mass impact protection, so you shouldn’t have to worry about flying road debris penetrating the lenses and reaching your eyes.

Though the gasket is velvety-soft, getting used to the feel of it against your skin takes time. You will, however, instantly notice a reduction in airflow around the eyes, which is great news for contact-lens wearers. An anti-fog coating eliminates condensation buildup, delivering a clear view regardless of the riding conditions.

While the retaining strap does a good job of holding the glasses in place, pulling any type of helmet other than a half-shell design onto your head and over the strap without altering its position is virtually impossible. This doesn’t render the glasses useless if you prefer to wear an open- or full-face helmet, but you will probably have to remove the strap.

There are other players in this category, but none of the frames that we’ve tried provide the same high level of optical quality, comfort, perceived safety, style and versatility as the Wind Jacket. Shame about the strap, though...

**Oakley, Inc.

1 Icon

Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

800/431-1439

Price...$220; $260 for Ducati Signature Series**

Up

  • No more tears

  • Prescription lenses available

  • You can wear them while running a lathe, too

Downs

  • One frame style

  • Strap must be removed to don most helmets

  • Gasket doesn't seal as well without the strap