Oakley A-Frame Assault goggles

Oakley
Assault A-Frame

review by Arnie

Stock
Specifications

RRP

unknown
at this time


According
to Oakley:
“Our A Frame® is built to withstand long-range solar
attacks and short-range meteorological raids. The anti-fog lens
is optimized for a full field of peripheral clarity with POLARIC
ELLIPSOID™ geometry. The flexible urethane chassis is chiseled
with ram-air surge ports for a circular flow of defogging ventilation.
A triple layer of face foam insulates and cushions the contact
surface for the ultimate in thermal shielding and comfort. Available
only to active duty military at this time.”
Oakley

These
goggles are available in a black frame with a brown/amber tinted
lense and a lightly tinted clear colour. The goggles that I
reviewed are of the amber variety.

ExtremeProcurement
kindly sent me these goggles for review ( a big thanks go out
to the guys there), and well… they are Oakleys aren’t they?

Well
I could just leave it at that, but I was very critical of the
ESS TurboCAM
set, so I see it as only fair to treat these in the same (fair)
way.

When
I opened the box to have a look at these the first thing
that drew my attention was the ‘Ski goggle’ text on the
box, which worried me somewhat to say the least. As anyone
that has tried ski goggles and tested them for BB safety
will contest, Airsoft AEGs punch right through standard
ski goggle lenses. Thankfully upon inspection your doubts
are dismissed once you see the thickness of the lense
in the Oakley Assault A Frames. these may be similar to
a ski goggle frame, but the lense is thankfully very thick
and spec’d much beyond anything you’d ever require.

I
don’t know if anyone knows the lengths that Oakley test
these lenses to, but I have it on good authority that
they’ll stop a 12 gauge shot blast. Needless to say I
won’t be testing that theory out myself.

The
first thing I did with this set was to take an upgraded
rifle and bounce some shots off the lenses at point blank
range. Not only did the lenses take the extended punishment,
but there wasn’t a single mark on the lense. The lenses
passed the “Dimwit tests”* with
no problem at all.

*
– one of these days I’ll drestroy a set of goggles/glasses
I get sent for review doing this, and I’m going to feel
all embaressed. ^_^ ..but it’s better to test them now,
than find out the awful truth on the field.

What
do you get in the box?
Well with the Oakley goggles you
simply get a bag and the goggles themselves (oh and some instructions).

Of
note is a warning that Oakley place inside the box that states:

“…Your
new goggle is designed for rugged durability, but precision
instruments demand proper care.

Follow
these guidelines to maximize performance and longevity:

  • Avoid
    resting the goggle on your forehead or hat. This reduces the efficiency
    of ventilation ports and exposes the interior to moisture vapor
    from melting snow and perspiration. To minimize fogging, keep
    the goggle on your face.

For
proper cleaning and storage, remember the following:

  • Do
    not use paper products, ski gloves or other abrasive materials
    to clean the goggle.
  • Allow
    the goggle to air dry before storing for extended periods.
  • Do
    not leave the goggle in areas of concentrated heat and sunlight,
    such as on a car dashboard or hanging from a rearview mirror.
  • Protect
    the lens and face foam by storing the goggle in its protective
    bag or case.”

There’s also a
note about goggle care:

No
not rub inner lense when wet.
If snow or water should collect
inside the goggle follow these steps:

  • Shake excess
    snow from the interior. Clear all ventilation ports and lens vents
  • Use the
    Microclear bag that is included with your goggle to gently blot
    any remaining moisture.
  • Allow time
    for moisture to dissipate. Once the goggle is put back on, keep
    moving as much as possible. Airflow through the vents will help
    dry the goggle”

Apart
from the references to snow which clearly don’t have any real
relevance the guidance notes are pretty clear about how to look
after the goggles. These guidelines should really be taken into
account for just about any goggle. Nearly all goggles are delivered
inside a carry case that is made from the material recommended
for cleaning the manufacturers lense. the care notes not only
protect the inner lense coating, but ensure that there is no
buildup of any particles that mist or dampness can condense
on.

Oakley
go into great depth about their lenses in terms of the UV it
absorbs, it’s response to certain strengths of light and the
clarity and conformity of the lense. I won’t bore you with details,
but basically the lense is basically perfect is just about all
measurable specifications. In short, it’s clear and doesn’t
affect your vision.

What
are they like?
Well these are remarkably comfortable to
wear, the foam is of a lighter compound than that found on the
ESS range which is good an bad news. Good news is that it’s
actually comfier, the bad news is that is has the capability
to soak up more water/sweat.

The
goggles feature a one piece strap with two tightening loop rings
for adjustment. They can be worn over a PASGT helmet or similar
(you’ll need the strap undone all the way), but I have seen
side extensions that better aim fitting these goggles over helmets.
Oakley’s documentation on their website is somewhat minimal,
so sadly I can’t bring you any more detail on that option/accessory.

The
frame is rather funky really, and much like any Oakley gear
this shape is a blend of style and functionality. Milled along
the top of the lense are a line of holes that allow air to vent
through the top of the lense, and some vents can be found at
the bottom of the frame to allow air in. This is quite sensible
really, as hot air rises and all that, the holes are large –
but not large enough for a BB to get through.

At
the bottom of the goggle you’ll see the two lower vents and
at the top you’ll see that the frame is completely vented allowing
an incredibly free air flow.

Vision:
The lense is for want of a better word ‘perfect’. The lense
is very good, with no pierceable bending of images or light,
and the view from inside the mask is also very good. There’s
nothing worse that having your vision impaired by goggles that
cramp your peripheral vision.

Fogability?
Considering that these are simply treated single lenses they
actually fair very well. MrsArnie field tested these out (not
myself), and they were operating in the same conditions as the
ESS TurboCAM
goggles
.

It
should be noted that the Oakley goggles are brand new, whereas
the age of the ESS
goggles is an unknown factor. This moisture somewhat blurred
the vision, but was not “blinding”.

Problems?
The Oakley goggles never steamed up, although after prolonged
use over a 12 hour period water droplets did start to form on
the inside of the lense. I say droplets as it distinctly wasn’t
what you’d call fog, I’d put this down to the special coating
on the inside of the goggles which prevented the goggles steaming
up, but couldn’t cater for the dampness inside the goggles once
the wearer got seriously hot. That’s actually quite impressive
for a single lense goggle.

The
damp areas on the inside of the lense disappeared once they
were used outside – the moisture started to appear indoors with
limited air movement. It’s quite apparent that the lenses aren’t
‘unmistable’, but then again Oakley do not claim them to be
^_^. The frame is actually very good at venting itself while
out in the open, which says a lot for the design of the goggle
frame and the lense.

On
other minor issue was that the strap for the goggles kept coming
loose. This could be put down to the strap sliding too easily
slide through the buckles.

Design
issues:
The only one problem that I can foresee with these
goggles are the vents at the top. Unlike other pairs I have
seen, the gap at the top between the lense and the wearer’s
face is covered with a foam lining.. that’s it. There’s very
little to stop a stray (and very unlucky shot) coming through
the foam at the top and into the goggles.

It
must be said that a BB hitting the very top cover of the goggles
and punching through the foam is rather unlikely, but it’s not
impossible. I only bring it up as the point of wearing goggles
is that for Airsoft they provide wrap around protection and
not allow BBs to get near the wearer’s face, there is a possibility
of penetration with these goggles.

Conclusion:
Well these are the best single lense (non gadgety) goggles I
have tried. The fact that they are Oakleys and therefore beautifully
designed and fashion items is a major bonus. Sure the manufacturer
shouldn’t be a huge issue, but it’s rather like comparing a
SureFire lamp to a copy, there’s just something about the label
and the logo.

Looks
and design aside the goggles function very well, they ventilate
very well out in the open and take a long time to start condensing
any droplets when indoors, the lenses are also spec’ed well
above even the most intense Airsofters needs.

Apart
from the two minor issues (strap loosening and the possible
problem with the top vents) these goggles are extremely hard
to fault. In short, niggles aside, these goggles are stylish,
functional and very well (over) engineered. Nice one Oakley!

The
Oakley Assault frames are only available through Oakley’s military
dealers. Here in the UK you can purchase them them from ExtremeProcurement.

As
at 19/03/02 the goggles are not listed on ExtremeProcurement‘s
website, but you can simply email them at their website to ask
for more details.

External
Links:
Oakley
ExtremeProcurement

Site
links:
ESS
TurboCAM review

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 6:32 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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