Oakley Radar Path sunglasses with light-sensitive lenses are so comfortable you can hardly tell you're wearing glasses. The photochromic lenses make them spot on for all but the gloomiest or persistently bright conditions and deal for changeable light. They're a sound investment in versatile eye comfort.
Available in both standard unisex and a women's fit (suitable for narrower faces), the Radar Paths come from the more technical end of Oakley's range, aimed at those looking for high levels of performance for sport. These aren't glasses you'd buy for mooching about the shops (although you could, you'd just look a bit daft), these are glasses for riding, running, skiing or wherever else your eyes need protecting.
Weighing in at just 30g they are no heavyweights, although you'd not want to carry them around in their semi-hard protective zip case if you're on the bike. The frames allow you to easily swap lenses for changes in light levels or just different needs and are available in several colour options for both the women's and unisex versions. The protective case has slots for spare lenses, and these are available reasonably easily, from around £40.
The point of trying out the photochromic option, though, was to try and get the best of all worlds, a pair of glasses suitable for most light conditions, without having to fiddle about changing lenses.
In use these were extremely comfortable, with the narrower 'women's fit' being just right for the size for my face. My other half tried them on and found them too narrow, so this shape is strictly one for the ladies or men with narrower/smaller face. The initial colour of the lenses as you take the glasses out of the case is a fairly light brown tint. This was suitable for all but the gloomiest days.
The photochromic element was pleasantly subtle, with no real sense of the colour of the lens changing in brighter light, just a constant feeling of comfort for the eyes. Only the absolutely fiercest sun had me thinking I might need darker glasses, but as we all know, those aren't conditions we encounter in the UK all that often. For the vast majority of the three main riding seasons these cover a range of tints that's just right.
The quality of the Oakley optics here was as good as you'd expect. You're paying £205 for a reason and that reason is the clarity, durability and exceptional quality of the lenses. Looking through these was relaxing for the eye, with good clarity of vision and great field of view with no obstructions.
The size and shape of the lenses meant that eyes were well protected from the wind and dust, with no risk of looking over or below the glasses and no problems with peripheral vision. There was no issue with interaction with a helmet either, with the arms fitting easily over helmet straps with no trouble or discomfort.
These glasses mark a significant initial investment, but for most riding conditions they will give relaxed and effective performance for years to come, especially considering you can replace the lenses for just £40 or so. The likelihood of you needing to, however, is pretty small.
Expensive, but a sound investment in versatile eye comfort for years to come.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Oakley Radar Path Photochromic
Size tested: Blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Sports sunglasses with light-reactive lenses.
Spot on for all but the gloomiest or persistently bright conditions. Ideal for changeable light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight stress-resistant frame material
Vents for cooling
Optimized peripheral view and side coverage
Interchangeable nose pads
Different lenses available
Also available as men's/unisex version
Solid and well made with excellent quality optics
Spot on. Comfortable, protective, good tint with adjustment for most light levels
Oakley last well and you can even replace the lenses at a sensible price.
Pretty light. No feeling of weight when wearing
Comfortable both as a frame and also in the action of the lenses/optics on the eyes.
It's a lot of money, but it's a sound investment.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, clarity of optics, feeling of not wearing sunglasses
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really. Maybe some more attractive colours?
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Highly effective cycling sunglasses offering great protection, good comfort and relaxing for the eyes. Expensive, but worth it.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.