Gear Review: Oakley A FRAME ®
The Oakley A FRAME, Gear we love to hate. The A Frame is one of the most well thought out snow optics on the market when considering style, but one of its shortcomings could render it as useful as a dead fish.
Developed for small to medium faces, the Oakley A Frame Goggle offers a Polaric Ellipsoid profile that is clean and void of the almost-alien styling elements you see on many goggles. The lower vents feature foam plugs are a great conducive to airflow. The A Frame lacks a hinged articulated strap that many other status-symbol eyewear have, but that being said, this is all the peripheral coverage and comfort you’ll need for skiing and snowboarding. The triple-layered foam gasket is constructed of varied densities that conform to your facial features with far more comfort than traditional goggle designs, giving you a combination of peripheral clarity and fit that are great right out of the box. This isn’t a goggle for broad facial features, big helmets, warmer weather, or powder…
The warmer weather and powder part is where the problems start with the Oakley A Frame. When we say warm, we mean any temperature where you could come in contact with melting snow.. or deep powder, you know the kind of powder you can breath.
If the A Frames get wet inside or Fog, only use the Oakley micro bag to blot them dry… or better yet, put them away and let them dry on their own. If you use anything other than the micro bag, or if you wipe the inner lens rather than blot when wet, or if you look at them the wrong way you will have a permanently damaged lens. The inner anti-fog coating of the goggles will smear very easily leaving them to be no better than a smeared window forever. A $70 mistake we have made three times.
One yard-sale and its dia de la muerta for these goggles. If you’re a back bowl powder junky like us and thrash hard, its only a matter of time before you get your goggles wet on the inside. Having to snowboarded off a mountain in a blizzard without goggles because your A Frames are so cloudy you can’t see.. disappointing to say the least.
On a positive note, The lens clarity is amazing and they never fog up when they aren’t wet. Never having to squint even in the strongest of sun is a huge plus for any pair of goggles. The lenses pick up almost all the details of the snow; much better than any other pair of goggles we have owned (We have owned quite a few pairs).
Bottom line: There are a lot of other goggles on the market that will accommodate helmets better, and not fog up preeminently and put a kink in a perfect day of thrashing powder. Don’t buy, you can do better.