Lens: Black Iridium Polarized
After my extensive review of the Blue Iridium/White Chrome Radars I think anyone can see that the Radars have quickly become my new favorites. Knowing this fact my wonderful wife bought another pair for me for my birthday. She *tried* to keep it from me, but didn't know which ones to buy (path? pitch? range? it can be pretty daunting to pick the right ones.) So she had me come with her to pick them out. Without further adieu, onto my review:
What more can I say about these that I already haven't said about the blue irid's? I want to highlight some of the differences between the two. For one the Black lenses tint is surprisingly "old school" The tint is less like the Black Iridium on, say, the Juliets and more like the Black Iridium on the Zero .3's. If you are unfamiliar with the differences let me try to summarize, the Juliets or most other models with newer black lenses have a hint of green. The old black irid's have a very cool and more neutral coloration (and I mean "cool" as in color temperature, not "cool" like the Fonz). They seem to be preferred by most, including myself, because of this.
As a result of the more neutral coloration they do not have aberrations in color from the sides to the middle of the lens. For instance depending on which part of the Blue iridium lenses you look through you may see more yellowish tint, perhaps a bit of pink through the side, and persimmon as well. Very trippy in a way that the lens can vary so much in hue just by looking through different parts. If you're not following me, try a pair out at a store and you should notice it right away. In the case of the Black iridium polarized the color is much more even in this respect.
As far as the frames the lack of the FMJ coating makes for a much quieter frame. The FMJ's tend to make creaking noise when flexed. A very small detail in the scheme of things, but none the less for some this may be cause for concern. I find that the fit is consistent between the two.
Any way I wanted to point out that the reason I bought these is because I wanted a darker tint and after reading this: http://www.o-review.com/forum_detail.asp?ID=8110 I decided against ordering just lenses as I would be very paranoid about changing the lenses all the time.
I think anyone that is an avid outdoorsman or sportsman understands that one needs different Shades for different lighting conditions. The Blue irid's are great for low light/medium light conditions and the black pols are great for medium to extremely bright conditions. You can't go wrong with either or, but having both has major advantages.
Frame: metallic red
Lens: + red iridium
i was never a big fan of the mono lens glasses like the m-frame. i decided to try the radar because of all the new technology that went in to there making.
the frame is considerably more flexible then most of the older o mater frames. it seems to conform better to your head and temples with no real pressure points that i have had at times for some of the other o mater. i also like the design of the arms they blend nicely to the lenses. the "vents on the side i think are more of a gimmick but that said it dose give the glasses a different look that is understated but noticeable.
the lenses are great as always the XYZ optics is one thing that Oakley dose great. the interchangeability is a great feature and for a person that only has one pair it would be the one. the hydrophobic coating is another great feature of the lenses that help in keeping them clean and for someone that never takes his glasses of that is a plus.
The glasses are a great light weight flexible pair that feel good and look good with all the right features. It is just to bad that the + red iridium has been discontinued but the rest of the radar line up is just as nice.
Frame: White Chrome
Lens: Blue Iridium
I have played with my Radars for about a month now. I used them extensively in Maui for everything from hanging out on the beach to crashing through waves at high speeds to horse back riding. Let me start by dispelling any potential myths about these. First of all these are not 100% hydrophobic or oil phobic.
They do greatly reduce the amount of water that can collect on them and as an added benefit greatly reduce the effect of oil on the lense. Instead of smudging oils tend to condense into smaller "streaks". This has an effect of reducing the annoyance caused by normal oils collecting on the lense.
As far as water on the lense let me reiterate, these do not eliminate water from collecting completely. What happens is that most water on the lense rolls off. There is a tendency for really small droplets to remain. This has much less effect on your ability to see through the lense than with any other sunglasses I have worn. In other words these lenses are effective, but not perfect.
One thing I would like to add is that because of the fact that you are less annoyed by oil and water you will clean these a lot less. This has the added benefit of less chance to scratch your lenses. Also cleaning off oil and water is significantly easier with the lense coating.
Frame construction is like none other. It definitely shows its "M-frame heritage" with its quasi-hammerstem look, but adds quite a few things that in my opinion are lacking from M-frame. The Radars have a much wider earstem profile which adds a fair amount of grip and surface area which will increase the over all strength of their grip. A fair warning on these is that they are a tight fit. They loosen up a bit over time, but they are not the most comfortable pair if you are wearing for extended periods of time, say 6 hours. That's not to say they are uncomfortable, it's just that I can think of plenty other shades I'd rather wear for that long (please keep in mind that these are sport specific and are intentionally designed to have a snug fit).
The nose-piece is significantly more robust than that of the m-frame giving a bridge from the nose piece to the frame. This has an effect of stabilizing the entire frame rather than allowing it to bounce up and down on your nose. You have two options for the nose piece which also lead to a better fit. If you have a flatter facial profile than you will definitely appreciate this as most common complaint I hear about M-frame is that the fit is poor with more "Asian" faces.
The earstems themselves seem to be attached with a metal rod through top to bottom insuring that they do not break away like the M-frames would if stressed. I can tell the frame is extrodinarily flexible and don't worry that they would break. This also lends itself to a more secure fit.
The most obvious difference between these and the M-frames is the surge port on either side of the earstems. The website says "The aerodynamic design includes surge ports that channel a cooling flow of air, an essential for the heat of competition."
I can say 100% without a doubt that I have no idea if they actually do any of that and I have worn them extensively. Being that they are all of a fraction of an inch thick I have my doubts that a surge port does much of anything, let alone a cooling effect. The only "cooling" effect I got was when people would say "those are cool" perceptions aside, I'm sure Oakley did their homework with the decision to include this rather eclectic feature on these, but I fail to see the real world benefit.
I really give these 4 1/2 stars because the lenses on mine are not coated 100% there is a slight lack of iridium coating on the left portion of the lense which leads to slight color differential from left to right, but it's hardly noticable. Perhaps just a case of first shipment blues. One of the problems of being an early adopter. ***update*** I was able to get the lenses replaced and they have full coverage on the iridium coating and much more even on coloration looking through the lenses as a result. They are now perfect! I now give these 5 stars with no reservations.
All that said I think these a spectacualar follow up to Oakleys famous M-frames. Rather than a step side ways they are a clear step up. How do you follow up the most successful pair of sunglasses on the planet? I think that's the question Jim Jannard and crew asked themselves. Their answer was a loud and proud Radar.
Frame: Anti Freeze
Lens: Jade Iridium
I remember trying the black ones on and thinking these are way too wide for me. Later I saw the anti freeze frogskins and I fell in love with the color but couldn't get my hands on any. So when I saw these I snatched them right up. This frame color is amazing, it reminds me if candy I just want to lick the frame (too far?). The jade lens makes this a true head turner. The first time I wore these out I got so many compliments.
Frame: Radar Path
Lens: Jet Black/Black Iridium Polarized
Lightweight, durable, and comfortable are the three best words to describe this pair. Oakley's latest rendition to the M-Frame family pairs the aesthetics of some of the older-generation model glasses (i.e. Razorblade) with a new design. A soft (shelled) case with an extra nosepiece is also included. In the soft case there's room for an extra lens as well, should you choose to purchase one. The highpoint of these glasses (besides the fact that they're Oakley and provide outstanding optics and visual protection) is their extreme level of comfort/fit. They fit like a glove and the redesigned nosepiece literally feels like a small pillow on the bridge of your nose. Unfortunately, the lens shapes are rather dull compared to what the M-Frames offer... and unless you've got at least a "medium" sized profile, you'll find that the lenses are simply too large - even the Path, which are the smallest of the array. Oakley needs to seriously consider redesigning the lenses and offering some for those of us who have smaller heads. Overall, however, an excellent pair of shades!