My Prizm Trail arrived a few weeks ago but I only had a chance to take them out for a test today. Too much unseasonably nice weather was not ideal for what is supposed to be the 'intensity' equivalent of the Prizm line. But today was scattered, spotty, and eventually, total overcast. So on they went and I test drove with the new Prizm Trail.
As I went into this, I was to understand that Prizm Trail was in the same general intensity lens category as Persimmon or Yellow, as they were supposed to heighten or 'intensify' the perceived brightness of light. Under these inclimate conditions, Yellow and Persimmon tend to work reasonably well, with Persimmon being dark enough (at 60% VLT) to handle greater light changes. This ended up not being the case for Prizm Trail. From my perspective, the visual contrast was not necessarily intense, or at least as intense as I was expecting it to be.
The first thing one would notice about Prizm Trail is the lens base. It appears to come off as pink at first, much like what you would expect from a lens on the Land side of the Prizm spectrum. However, the Prizm Trail base isn't pink - it's orange. In fact, it is much closer in intensity to P42 Iridium than to Persimmon or Yellow. The contrast of the Blue Iridium on top of the Prizm Trail base is what gives the lens the perception of being pink when looking at it from the outside. At 36% VLT, Prizm Trail is darker than Persimmon, Yellow, or even P42.
As dark as the lens base is, the overall hue of the Blue Iridium is cast much lighter than if compared to OO RIP or G30 - both of which give off a solid Iridium reflection under darker lighting conditions. Prizm Trail, on the other hand, is light enough for the Blue Iridium to be somewhat washed away, even when put against a jet black background. The Blue Iridium is there, but it never quite shines through the way other light base lenses would have it. While this is not necessarily a hit against Prizm Trail, it is worth noting.
Once worn, it became obvious that Prizm Trail really isn't an 'intensity' lens as Oakley has defined the series in the past. Prizm Trail does have some very good attributes, but intensifying perceived light was not one of them. I used them for most of the day during high winds that brought lots of airborne dust, there were scattered clouds, and finally ending in thick cloud cover. So, the light went from hazy, to scattered, to dark. During all of this, Prizm Trail was most effective in the first two conditions, seemingly needing some light to function. When the overcast blocked all direct sunlight, Prizm Trail didn't heighten light perception; rather it made vision a bit murky. Even in scattered and hazy light, Prizm Trail still didn't brighten things up quite as much as Persimmon would have done.
Now here's what Prizm Trail can do - just like with the rest of Prizm, the lens gave much sharper contrasts to objects when moving. Whether in scattered, hazy, or overcast, Prizm Trail was consistent in providing a sharp definition of objects relative to their background. More so in motion than standing still, Prizm Trail took the fuzzy edge off when one object moved in front of another (relative to my POV) so I had more clarity of what was moving, making it easier (and faster) to focus on the object. So, basically Prizm Trail works much like a lighter version of Prizm Road, performing the same function but light enough to do so in environments that Road would simply be too dark for.
Prizm Trail is very effective in lower lighting conditions, or for indirect sunlight. When trees, hills rocks, clouds, or other obstruction blocks enough of the sun, Prizm Trail can come out and provide some great clarity for motion. But it does need some light in order to function; it's not an intensity lens and doesn't do a great job of intensifying light perception. But Prizm Trail is also pretty tricky - it looked pink until I put it on, it looked pretty dark until I took it out, and I thought it wasn't very effective until it was.
I don't think I will find myself in the environments Prizm Trail is meant for very often, so I don't know how much use I will get out of it. But that doesn't mean it's not worth a try. Cyclists, trail runners, & mountain bikers would probably find this lens more effective. The more trees in the sky and humidity in the air, the less direct sunlight you get and thus better conditions for Prizm Trail. I live in the Southwest so, it's either bright as s**t or it's not. So maybe Prizm Trail wasn't the best choice for me. But don't let me discourage anyone; try it out for yourself. It is good enough to keep at least one handy.
Overall: 3 - Recommended - Get One If You See One
This lens is amazing! It is like night vision for low light conditions and cloudy days. Having sensitive eyes, I would not normally even buy a 36% VLT lens, but a forum member recommended it for driving in rain which I do a lot plus I struggle seeing in low light grey-out conditions. I love this lens!!! It vastly improves visibility and brightens things up when the landscape turns bluish/grey, hazy, rainy, stormy, when it is hard to distinguish colors or see hazards whether driving or off trail under tree cover.
I have used amber/orange/persimmon lenses in the past and those tend to really distort colors, however Prizm Trail base lens is grapefruit, a tan/pink which retains true colors and makes them really pop; red, yellow, green, blue, orange, violet and all neon colors are enhanced tremendously!
One caution: This lens is NOT polarized. So beware when conditions are either bright or nearly dark out with oncoming headlights as things will seem much brighter due to the light enhancing qualities of this lens tint.