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Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggle

Oakley Airbrake, Seth Morrison Edition, Blister Gear ReviewOakley Airbrake Snow Goggle

Seth Morrison Signature Edition

Features:

  • Optimized to fit medium to large faces
  • Switchlock Technology
  • Comes standard with two lens tints and case
  • Dual Vented Lenes with F3 Anti-fog technology
  • Rigid Front Frame with flexible O-Matter chassis
  • Fixed O-Matter interchangeable strap outriggers
  • Moisture wicking triple-layer polar fleece foam
  • UV protection of Plutonite lens filter out 100% of UVA/UVB/UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm.

Test Locations: Las Leñas, Alta Ski Area, Park City Mountain Resort, LCC Backcountry

Days Tested: 28

MSRP: $220

The latest trend in goggle progression has been the simplifying of lens interchangeability. I take that back—the latest trend has been heads up data displays within goggles. However, the latest more affordable goggle advancement has been that of lens interchangeability.

As Will Brown stated in his Smith I/O review and Anon M1 review, if you spend a serious amount of time on the hill, there simply isn’t one lens that is going to cut it. Oakley has released a goggle to compete with the likes of the I/O and M1, and it’s called the Airbrake.

While it may not offer the absolute quickest lens change (that award goes to the M1, and I don’t foresee that being topped), the Airbrake does combine a sleek and very secure lens interchange system with the best optics I have personally used on the hill.

Since the key feature of the Airbrake is the lens-swapping ability, I’ll first explain the new Switchlock lens-change process.

Lens-Swappability

Located on the left side of the goggle frame is a dual-pivot locking mechanism with a short piece of nylon webbing. The first move in the lens change is pulling on the webbing and swinging the plastic lock away from the lens. Next, a careful push on the lens from inside the goggle on the extreme left releases the lens from a small tab. Grasping the left side of the lens a slight pivot away from the frame releases the right side of the lens, therefore setting the whole lens free of the frame.

Oakley Airbrake Lens Change, Blister Gear Review

To replace the lens, you basically reverse the order. The first crucial phase is wedging the right side of the lens into its little groove and the accompanying small tab. Next, pivot the left side onto another small tab (to temporarily hold the lens in place), swing down the locking mechanism, and you’re ready to go.

The system is very slick, and I can complete the entire process in less than eight seconds…starting with the goggle in hand. Which brings me to my first and perhaps only complaint concerning the Airbrake.

While the lens swap can be done with the goggle on the face, it isn’t exactly easy. This is due to the accuracy needed to place the right and left side of the lens on to their corresponding tabs. I’m not saying that—with a bit of practice—it’s not possible to master the task, but it’s nowhere near the ease of the Anon M1.

Other than the need to remove the goggle from your head for the most efficient lens swap, the Switchlock system works perfectly. The lens is held very securely in place, and the locking mechanism is tucked nicely behind the strap outriggers, preventing any unwanted releases. The lens is fully supported by the rigid outer frame when locked in place, offering exceptional impact protection.

 

10 Comments

  1. Zak (auvgeek) December 3, 2012 Reply

    This might be a dumb comment, but are the optics the same across the Oakley line, regardless of the frame? Obviously, the lens shape differs, but the H.I. Yellow should be the same in my crowbar as the Airbrake, right? For someone who does not change lenses often is it worth upgrading from other Oakley goggles to the airbrake? The second part to that question is this: I just carry spare goggles because if I take a huge crash, I’ll need a new pair anyway. If I took a huge digger and got snow all up in the Airbrake, would I be able to switch lenses without the new ones fogging up? That’s the chief reason I carry spare goggles — I can’t keep them from fogging when the inside gets wet after “McGoverning,” regardless of how hard I try to dry them afterwards.

    And yeah, I agree, the H.I. Yellow rocks for flat light.

    • Author
      Jason December 4, 2012 Reply

      Zak,
      Yes, the optics are the same regardless of the frame you have. The H.I. Yellow for the Airbrake is the same as an other Oakley goggle.

      As for the second part of your question, from what I can tell (and I haven’t had any big pow crashes yet to test this out) the Airbrake would function well in the scenario you painted out. My process to eliminate fogging concerns would be to first remove the snow covered lens. Then with the frame empty of a lens, I would blow out any snow blocking the vents or packed into any tight spots. Next, insert the new dry (2nd) lens and get back to skiing.

  2. MattM December 5, 2012 Reply

    That looks like a good system!
    Will you guys be reviewing the Oakley Canopy?

  3. Walker December 18, 2012 Reply

    I am deciding on buying new goggles and am not sure between these oakley airbreak goggles or the smith i-ox’s and am unsure which offers better fog protection and fit. Which goggles do you think are better?

  4. jqc December 30, 2012 Reply

    I just spent 3 days riding waste deep pow in storm conditions with my new airbrakes (fully customized at O Store in NYC!). I was constantly getting face shots and covered with snow and can comment on fogging. In a nutshell, yes they will fog if you’re not to keep the vents clear. Specifically I think the two long vents in the lens is a poor design relative to the multi holes in my old crobars simply because once they get covered and ice up they are hard to clean out and you have no vents, in comparison to clearing out at least a few lens vent holes in the crobars. Overall my impression is that they fog a little easier than my crobars. The advantage is if they get wet on the inside you can easily switch to a dry lens (unlike the crobars). In all fairness, they were pretty extreme conditions and I’m not sure how well the crobars would have held up.

    In the durability side I did take one header, on a groomer no less, and landed on my upper left cheek – so right on the bottom left of the goggle. After that I noticed the point at the nose of the lens was chipped and that same section was bent ever so slightly (you can see the line in certain light. I’m not sure the crobars would have done this given the edges are tucked into the frame and this protected.

    Check the link below for one gopro footage to see what I’m talking about snow wise, I’m wearing the airbrakes

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/5723841/My%20First%20Project%201.m4v

  5. Daryl January 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi guys,

    So I am looking to buy a new pair of goggles. I’ve seen a lot of hype over the crowbars and had in my mind to buy them. Then I’ve stumbled upon the airbrakes. The question is are they a lot better in general use and worth the extra £50?

  6. Rich February 9, 2013 Reply

    I bought the Airbrakes and they fog up loads I had a few days boarding when I could hardly see anything because of this. The temperature was about -3 so it wasn’t even very cold I tried taking them off to let the air clear them up but within a few mins of putting them back on it was all fogged up again very annoying. I don’t think much of the F3 anti fog technology. When you can see it’s got very nice clear optics from the two included lenses and you can see a lot more than with no goggles at all. The lense change is very quick and easy.

  7. Ben November 27, 2013 Reply

    Hi there. So I bought a pair of the Airbrakes last year, and LOVE them. However, I don’t love the fit with my Giro G9 helmet. The large frame size pushes my helmet back a bit on my head, which causes the adjustable wheel (not sure what else to call the piece that adjusts the helmet size/fit) to dig into my neck a little. I have a huge head, so my helmet choices are somewhat limited. An XL in some brands doesn’t even fit. Do you have any suggestions for a helmet that will fit a huge noggin like mine, and be a good fit with the Airbrakes? Thanks, Ben

  8. Brent December 2, 2014 Reply

    Do you have any thoughts about the new Prizm technology for the Airbrake model for the 2014 – 15 ski season?

  9. Jason February 24, 2017 Reply

    Possibly the worst oakley goggle made. The frame has gaps in it which allows snow to get inside the google. The actual lense allows snow to build up in between itself and the frame. After an hour or so of a weather event (anything other than mild bluebird) The lenses fog up and these $270 goggles are useless. I live in and ski every day in Utah and need products that perform in the elements, these goggles DO NOT. I have been using oakley optics my entire life and this is the only time I have had a problem with a product. It seems like the production of this model was rushed and not tested properly.

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