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Oakley Airbrake XL ReviewBest Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Price: $192.00 – $270.00

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

What We Like: Oakley Prizm Lenses, Unique Look, Massive Field of View

What We Don’t: Subpar Ventilation, Only Comes with One Lens

The Oakley Airbrake XL Prizm ski and snowboard goggle is on par with just about any goggle on our list. With an MSRP of $270, the Airbrake is an expensive goggle by any reckoning, and there is bound to be some fall off in bang for your buck. However, the Airbrake XL can be found for less than $200, putting it right line with the Smith I/O Mag.

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See Our Best Ski & Snowboard Goggles Review!

Anon M4 Toric

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses, Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive

Difficult to Find in Stock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Toric/Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith I/O Mag

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Top Notch Lenses

Magnetic Lense Change with Locking Tabs

Cons

Pricey

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Dragon X2

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Ultrawide Field of View

Spherical Lumalens Lenses

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Lenses are Not the Most Durable

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Smith I/OX Chromapop

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 70% 70%

Pros

Smith Chromapop Lenses

Great Field of View

Comfortable

Cons

Slightly Behind the Top Competitors in Ease of Changing Lenses

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Semi-frameless

Anon M3 MFI

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 100% 100%

Pros

SONAR Lenses

Magna-Tech Lens Change Tech

MFI Face Mask Integration

Cons

Expensive for A Cylindrical Goggle

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Smith Squad XL

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Epic Price to Performance

Two Smith Chromapop Lenses

Cons

Not as Well Ventilated as I/O Series

Frame Size: Medium/Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Oakley Line Miner Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

High Quality

Injection Molded Cylindrical Chromapop Lens

Cons

Only Comes With One Lens

Frame Size: Medium & Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon NFX2

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 90% 90%

Pros

Spherical Lens Optical Quality in A Cylindrical Package

Swiftlock Lens Change System

Cons

Not the Most Durable Lens

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Framed

Dragon PXV

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 60% 60%

Pros

Panotech Lens

Photochromatic Lens Option

Cons

Lens Change System is a Huge Step Back from Swiftlock

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 3

Lens Shape: Toric

Style: Frameless

Electric EG3

  • Lens shape and quality 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Bold Style and Massive Field of View for Riders With Smaller Faces

Cons

Not the Best Ventilation

Too small for Riders with Larger Faces

Frame Size: Medium

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Cylindrical

Style: Frameless

Oakley Airbrake XL

  • Lens shape and quality 100% 100%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 80% 80%

Pros

Lens Quality

Ease of Changing Lenses

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price Tag

Lens Reflects Frame

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 2

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Framed

Oakley Flight Deck Prizm

  • Lens shape and quality 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Ease of Changing Lenses 50% 50%

Pros

Oakley Prizm Lenses

Unique Look

Massive Field of View

Cons

Subpar Ventilation

Only Comes with One Lens

Frame Size: Large

Number of lenses included: 1

Lens Shape: Spherical

Style: Frameless

Lens Shape and Quality

If you just assumed that a premium snow goggle made by Oakley would have some of the best lenses on the market, then you’d be right. Oakley has a reputation for some of the best quality lenses on the market, and the Prizm lens of the Airbrake XL lives up to that reputation. Oakley also has a reputation for delivering expensive goggles with only one lens, while its competitors deliver two. Fortunately, the Oakley Airbrake XL does not live up to this reputation, shipping with two Prizm lenses, one for bluebird days and the other for when the mountain is socked in and dumping pow.

Like the lenses found in the Smith I/O series, the spherical lens of the Oakley Airbrake is made to mimic the shape of your eye, working with the Prizm technology to create a distortion-free view that is as crisp and clear as any lens on the market. However, one complaint is that the rose based lenses of the Oakley Airbrake XL give the world around you a very pinkish view. Having grown up wearing yellow and rose motocross goggles, I quite like the effect. But for some, it will take a bit of getting used to.

There is one complaint with the view through the Oakley Airbrake XL, though it is not really due to the lens. Some colored frames, particularly white, cause a reflection that you can see in the lens. This is a problem that we have experienced with other large framed Oakley goggles in the past, and one that drives me absolutely crazy.

Comfort

The Oakley Airbrake XL is top of the line in the comfort department, featuring three plush layers of foam and Oakley’s ultra-flexible O-matter frame.  The padding does a great job of wicking away moisture and providing a cushion between your face and the goggles, while the frame allows the Airbrake XL to conform perfectly to your face.

The Oakley Airbrake XL also fits an extremely wide range of face shapes and sizes. However, for riders with small and/or narrow faces, Oakley offers the smaller Airbrake XL Asia Fit.

Ventilation

The Oakley Airbrake XL is an extremely well-ventilated goggle, utilizing a dual lens system and Oakley’s F3 anti-fog coating that is just about impossible to fog up. Meanwhile, airflow is well above average without feeling drafty, which is a boon for riders who tend to sweat a lot and suffer from more trouble with fogging up lenses as a result.

Ease of Changing Lenses

Changing the lenses on the Oakley Airbrake XL is easier than on most goggles, but more difficult than changing those on the Smith I/O Mag or Anon M4 Toric. Releasing a lever on the left side of the Airbrake XL’s frame allows you to pop the lens out. To insert the new lens, simply seat it in the frame and relatch the lever. All in all, this is a perfectly viable lens change system, and it achieves what we feel is most important in a lens change system, the ability to change lenses without getting fingerprints on the lenses. However, with gloves on, it gets quite a bit more difficult, whereas the magnetic systems of the Smith I/O Mag and Anon M4 Toric remain a breeze.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Oakley Airbrake XL is undoubtedly a contender for the title of best ski and snowboard goggle on the market. While its MSRP of $290 is a bit outrageous, like most of the goggles on our list, it can be found well below this price. In the end, we felt that issues with the frame reflecting in the lens and a slightly more difficult lens change system gave the Smith I/O Mag and Anon M4 Toric a slight edge over the Oakley Airbrake XL, but this is splitting the tiniest of hairs, and Oakley fans will be more than pleased with the Airbrake XL, particularly if they snag it for a price below $200.

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