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Oakley Holbrook Polarized Review

Lightweight and sporty with overly-textured frames and almost psychedelic levels of color enhancement
Oakley Holbrook Polarized
Photo: Oakley
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Price:  $193 List | $154.40 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Face-hugging fit, lightweight, durable lenses, color-popping view
Cons:  Textured frames are abrasive, only floppy case included, boring style
Manufacturer:   Oakley
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 27, 2021
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Lens Quality - 30% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Frame Quality - 20% 7
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 7
  • Coverage - 10% 8

Our Verdict

A decently performing pair of sunglasses, the Oakley Holbrook offer great coverage and above-average protection. They're fairly lightweight among sport sunglasses and are large enough to block out most sun, glare, and even dust without being enormous on small faces. However, their lack of nose or ear padding and rather abrasive texture makes them less comfortable for all-day wear. The Prizm Tungsten lenses we tested increase contrast and enhance certain colors, altering your perception of the world around you. They have plenty of frame colors available and just might be the HD shades you've been wanting.

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Price $154.40 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Face-hugging fit, lightweight, durable lenses, color-popping viewGreat clarity, excellent contrast, minimal color distortion, very comfortable, look good on pretty much everyoneGreat color retention, superb coverage, quality construction, fits many face sizes, great case and cleaning clothLightweight, comfortable, stable, good on many faces, nice caseLightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good
Cons Textured frames are abrasive, only floppy case included, boring stylePeripheral coverage not ideal, can still bounce a littleHeavy, large lens "look", weird inside reflective patchNot overly stylish, run small, temple grips could be cleaner cutHinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy
Bottom Line Lightweight and sporty with overly-textured frames and almost psychedelic levels of color enhancementExceptional lenses in impressively comfortable frames that manage to be extremely functional while still looking casualTop-notch coverage and superb color retention make these large-fit shades well-equipped to protect your eyes from water-reflected lightThese sunnies are light and comfortable for your face and eyes and a bit easier on your walletA solidly versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and a great price
Rating Categories Oakley Holbrook Polarized Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Quality (30%)
7
9
8
7
5
Comfort (25%)
5
9
8
6
7
Frame Quality (20%)
7
9
9
7
7
Style And Versatility (15%)
7
9
8
7
9
Coverage (10%)
8
7
9
8
8
Specs Oakley Holbrook... Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Tested PrizmTungsten Ultra Brown 12 Grey 580P Crystal Grey Brown
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Bright light Bright light Bright Light Medium to bright light Medium to bright light
Polarized Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fit Medium-XL Medium-Full XL/Wide Large Medium
Weight (grams) 29g 29g 33g 26g 25g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 14% 12% 12% 12% 15%
VLT Protection Index Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) None None 100% HEV blockage 90% None
Infrared Protection (claim) None None None 40% None
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Neutral Neutral Increased contrast
Lens Material Plastic - "Plutonite" polycarbonate Plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate Polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings None Anti-reflective back, hydroleophobic, anti-scratch C-WALL (anti-scratch, hydroleophobic) Anti-scratch, hydroleophobic Anti-reflective
Can take prescription lens? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Hinge type Standard/barrel Standard/barrel Spring Standard/barrel Standard/barrel
Case Included Microfiber bag Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag, microfiber cleaning cloth Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag Microfiber bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

We've tested the Holbrook twice, first with Black Iridium lenses, and most recently with Prizm Tungsten Polarized lenses. We purchased size Medium-XL and they come with just a simple microfiber drawstring case that doubles as a cleaning cloth. They are also available with prescription lenses — for three times the cost.

Performance Comparison


The Holbrook XL with Prizm Tungsten lenses.
The Holbrook XL with Prizm Tungsten lenses.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


We've tested two different versions of the Oakley Holbrook — first with Black Iridium lenses, and most recently with Prizm Tungsten lenses. While the grey lenses were fairly true to color, the Prizm Tungsten lenses are made to enhance specific shades, most notably greens. Wearing these sunglasses turns the light greens in the trees to a shade that's almost neon. Some of our testers love this High-Def version of the world, and others find it a bit too weird to enjoy.

Prizm Tungsten Polarized Lenses
  • 99% polarization
  • 100% UV protection
  • 14% Visible Light Transmission (category 3)
  • "Some" HEV/Blue light blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Brown, Material: Polycarbonate
  • Impact Resistant

These polycarbonate lenses are lighter weight than glass while still offering exceptional clarity. They will reflect parts of your face back at you in certain lighting, but are above average in this respect, meaning it's not too distracting. They offer solid protection during most times of day and angles of the sun.

If you want to live your life in High-Def, these Prizm Tungsten...
If you want to live your life in High-Def, these Prizm Tungsten lenses might just be for you.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The Holbrook weigh 29 grams, making them just barely on the high end of average weight among sport sunglasses we tested. They're very well-balanced from front to back, which helps prevent them from sliding down your nose easily. We've tested both the regular and XL versions of these shades. The regular version proved a tad tight, creating pressure points behind our ears after several hours of wear, while the XL version did not have this effect. They lack any rubber nose pads or temple grips, but the faux Woodgrain pattern we tested is very textured, helping to hold them in place. However, this pattern is so textured, we almost hate to wear it, as it's rather abrasive above the ears.

The regular-sized Holbrooks created pressure points above the ears...
The regular-sized Holbrooks created pressure points above the ears of many of our testers.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


The plastic frames of the Holbrook don't seem like anything fancy. They're lightweight, which we love, and flex a little, but they don't feel like they're meant to flex too much. Their hinges are auto-locking barrel hinges formed in the plastic frame, snapping open into place. Their thickness gives us confidence in their longevity, but they are a little too creaky for our taste.

The Holbrook XLs are a little heavier than their "regular"...
The Holbrook XLs are a little heavier than their "regular" counterparts.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style/Versatility


The Holbrook got an "okay" style rating across the board. While none of our testers despised them, no one was over the moon for them either. They were frequently described as fine, sporty, and alright by both men and women with all manner of face shapes and sizes. Even the woodgrain pattern proved to be "not as cool" as other woodgrain sunglasses.

We thought we would like the look of the Woodgrain pattern more than...
We thought we would like the look of the Woodgrain pattern more than we actually do.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


One of the best features of the Holbrook is their impressive coverage. The frame has a slight curve that hugs the face, and the lenses are large and rectangular to help fill the gaps often left between the face and the frame. There are gaps left, but they are far smaller than any other pair of everyday sunglasses we tested. Additionally, the inward angled arms help hold these sunglasses close to your face, and their low weight stops them from bouncing around. All of this helps provide consistent coverage. The Holbrook frames also have little lips or ledges around each lens. These extend toward your face, increasing coverage. All told, these provide more coverage than a lot of the other glasses in this review.

The size and shape of the Oakley Holbrooks provides great coverage...
The size and shape of the Oakley Holbrooks provides great coverage across most face shapes and sizes - the Holbrook XLs are even larger.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


We are disappointed by the simple cloth bag/cleaner provided as the case. While this limp bag won't stop your glasses from getting crushed, it does offer scratch protection and a way to keep your lenses clean. So at least there's that.

The Holbrooks come with just a lone limp cloth bag.
The Holbrooks come with just a lone limp cloth bag.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Oakley Holbrook falls about in the middle of the pack price-wise for sunglasses we reviewed. If you opt for the non-polarized lenses, they're even cheaper. However, they about triple in price with the addition of prescription lenses. We think you'd be better off spending a little more on a comfortable, higher-quality, or even more stylish pair of sunglasses. But if the Holbrook is your jam, they're a decent pair of sporty shades with great coverage.

The Holbrooks XL are a more comfortable fit, though this Woodgrain...
The Holbrooks XL are a more comfortable fit, though this Woodgrain texture is too abrasive for our liking.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


The Oakley Holbrook are an alright pair of sunglasses with the potential for a decent price tag (depending on what options you select). The Prizm Tungsten lenses we tested provide above-average protection, and the frame's curvature and shape provide excellent coverage.

We think the Holbrooks are a decent pair of lightweight sunglasses...
We think the Holbrooks are a decent pair of lightweight sunglasses with great coverage.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Maggie Brandenburg