As the leader in sporting eyewear it would be easy for Oakley to rest on its laurels however that certainly doesn’t appear to be Oakley’s way of doing things. While there are already plenty of choices in the Oakley arsenal for triathletes with the Radar EV, Racing Jacket and also the Jawbreaker styles Oakley have further augmented this line-up with the EVZERO range.
The new Zero range are a reimagining of the Sub Zeros that some may remember from the early 90’s. I had a pair of blue iridium numbers I remember fondly, as they protected my eyes from a late night of partying celebrating Sydney being awarded the Olympics.
The EVZeros are Oakley’s lightweight frameless model. Weighing in at just 23 grams it’s hard to tell if they are in the case or not, and when on your face the story is similar.
The lenses of the test pair are the Prizm Daily Polarised version. The Prizm technology allows the lenses to be tuned for certain environments or activities. I have previously used the Prizm Road and Prizm Trail lenses and found them to be exceptional in delivering on their promise of giving optimal contrast and visibility. The Prizm Road lenses have becoming my everyday driving glasses as they allow my eyes to remain relaxed through a greater range of light conditions in all but the harshest of light. The “daily” iteration of the Prizm lenses suits changing conditions and gives added contrast, good for those long days in the saddle when the weather leaving home can be vastly different to the weather coming back.
As with all Oakley products there is a long list of patented technologies that go into making the finished product. Most importantly for sweaty triathletes is the “Unobtanium” earsocks and nose pieces which keep the glasses in place during the rigors of racing and training. Depending on your helmet choice the earsocks can end up clashing with some retention mechanisms although they are flexible enough to find a way to sit over or under the offending mechanism.
The EVZero range offer extended visibility which, with the frameless construction, allows an unparalleled, uninterrupted field of view especially above the eyes. This I believe is the biggest selling point for triathletes. I used the EVZeros with my selection of road and TT helmets and in both road and aero positions the upper reaches of the EVZeros sat so far to the extreme of my field of view that I was looking at the outer edge of my helmet before seeing the upper edge of the glasses.
The Polarising is a nice touch on these lenses but not overly essential for triathlon. The high-tech lens coatings on Oakley’s premium lenses can be a bit susceptible to damage so it is important to look after them, especially as the EVZeros are a non-replaceable lens, unlike many of Oakley’s other sports glasses.
As is to be expected with a premium product the Oakley EVZeros come with a premium price tag coming in at $279.95. The Prizm Road versions is available for $219.95 and the standard Iridium lens tints come in at $199.95. All however have the impeccable visual clarity that you come to expect from all Oakley eyewear.
So if you find other glasses annoying and don’t want anything spoiling your view, especially when cycling or time trialling then the EVZeros could be just the ticket for you. While not cheap, the EVZeros style and lens tint lends itself to more than just sporting use, allowing you to get a good return on your investment.