Snowplanners

GEAR REVIEW: OAKLEY FLIGHT DECK XM GOGGLES & PRIZM LENSES

I am in my third season with the Oakley Flight Deck XM goggles. It’s time for a long term review. I have, by now, encountered just about all possible conditions as far as visibility and weather go. Moreover, I ski indoors in the off-season. So, plenty of experiences to share.

 

Frame

The frame – fit aside, which is very personal of course – facilitates ventilation and lens changes. The ventilation works perfectly. Sometimes my hot face causes some fogging on the inside of the lens when there is no air flow. Within a few turns, though, the goggle rapidly clears. Never an issue there. The ventilation in the frame definitely works for this kind of ‘hot face’ fogging.

The lens change is not the quickest on the market, but certainly under 30 seconds with some practice. The lens is properly set inside the harder rim of the frame, securing it properly. No snow will ever find its way inside the lens itself (I have had this problem a few times with other goggles).

 

Prizm lenses

I have three lenses with this goggle. A clear lens for indoor use – no special technology in them. They just keep my eyes from tearing up. For use in the mountains, I have the Prizm Iridium Torch (cat. 3) for sunny and partly cloudy conditions; I also have the Prizm Hi Pink (cat. 2) for very cloudy and white-out conditions. With these two lenses, I have skied in all kind of light conditions. And for me, they cover the entire range. That said, I have figured out that I like lenses that are quite light. Some people have more sensitive eyes and prefer darker lenses.

The million dollar question: is Prizm technology – Oakley’s take on filtering out unwanted tones of light in the spectrum – the holy grail in terms of contrast enhancement? Although I think they work very well, I would say it isn’t. Like I said: they work very well. But so do many other lens types by other manufacturers. I have skied with goggles by Bollé, Uvex, Adidas and Sinner. And only Sinner performed worse that the Oakley lenses. Especially in low light conditions (overcast), many premium brands offer great options. So no, Oakley Prizm is not the holy grail. They are great contrast enhancing lenses though, but not the only brand that has good options.

Moisture management

When I get off the mountain, I keep my goggle (with one lens in it) in the soft bag that comes with it. The spare lens I keep in a hard cover that I bought seperately. If either the spare lens case or the soft cover is even slightly damp, moisture collects between the two layers of the lens. When I put that lens in the frame, the moisture stays there for a long time. Since the frame seals the edges of the lens, moisture has a hard time getting out, even with enough air flow.

To manage this, I take the lenses out of their covers and cases at night and of wet days put them over the radiator. Just to make sure that there is no moisture in between the two layers of the lens. I have never needed to do this with other goggles or lenses. So I would say the risk of moisture remaining between the layers of these lenses is real. And definitely something to be aware of.

 

Conclusion

The Oakley Flight Deck XM is a strong and quite easy to use frame. The lens change is not the quickest, but it works well once you master it. The Prizm lenses are great. They do what they have to do. They are, however, not the holy grail of contrast enhancement that Oakley claim them to be. There are many great lenses by quite a few manufacturers that offer same qualities. In fact, the risk of moisture collecting between the layers of the lenses might just outweigh the added vallue of the Prizm technology. They are great goggles, but they need to be taken care of and managed a bit.

 

Geschreven door: Gijs van Lieshout

Gijs van Lieshout (1981) only became addicted to skiing at a later age. But he has more than made up for that. Although he is not a “professional” (he is not a ski instructor or otherwise works in the winter sports world), he can be found in the snow for 30 to 50 days every year. Of course for great skiing on and off the piste, but especially also for testing ski equipment. Ever since Gijs became involved in skiing in 2010, there has also been an interest in the various skis that come onto the market every year. This fascination initially came from a personal search for a suitable bar. He has since built up a considerable reputation as a “GiGi” as a ski connoisseur at the wintersport.nl forum. Since 2016 he has his own website gigiski.com about everything that has to do with ski equipment. Background articles, explanation of the techniques and construction methods in skis and a lot of ski reviews. Gijs is an independent consumer who takes a critical look at everything the ski brands have to offer. Nice products, but also a lot of bla bla. Gijs will mainly write about ski equipment. But also about testing skis, in the mountains and even on Dutch indoor courts.

Lees verder
Gijs van Lieshout

Gijs van Lieshout (1981) only became addicted to skiing at a later age. But he has more than made up for that. Although he is not a “professional” (he is not a ski instructor or otherwise works in the winter sports world), he can be found in the snow for 30 to 50 days every year. Of course for great skiing on and off the piste, but especially also for testing ski equipment. Ever since Gijs became involved in skiing in 2010, there has also been an interest in the various skis that come onto the market every year. This fascination initially came from a personal search for a suitable bar. He has since built up a considerable reputation as a “GiGi” as a ski connoisseur at the wintersport.nl forum. Since 2016 he has his own website gigiski.com about everything that has to do with ski equipment. Background articles, explanation of the techniques and construction methods in skis and a lot of ski reviews. Gijs is an independent consumer who takes a critical look at everything the ski brands have to offer. Nice products, but also a lot of bla bla. Gijs will mainly write about ski equipment. But also about testing skis, in the mountains and even on Dutch indoor courts.

Datum:

26-02-2020

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Blog categorie:

GEAR & TECH

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