The Oakley PRIZM Road lives up to it's name, providing great performance for road cyclists that like to keep the gears big and the tempo high.
The Oakley PRIZM Road's specialized design kept it from earning a top overall score in our testing, but it did well where it counts for serious cyclists. In the sections below we further discuss how these glasses did in all of our individual tests.
The Oakley PRIZM Road was the clear winner in our eye protection testing. The wide lenses cover more of the face than any of the other models we tested. Even on fast descents these glasses kept the wind away and our eyes tear free. They also provide unobscured peripheral vision, which gave us more confidence when navigating twisting roads at high speed.
Comfort was one place where the Oakley PRIZM Road didn't do so well. This boiled down the two main factors, the weight and the temple design. These glasses sacrifice a light weight to provide wider coverage, and thus tip the scales at 34 grams, where most of our glasses were in the mid 20's. This can make them feel unstable for things like trail running that involves a lot of jostling. The temples are also straight and don't curve behind the ear, adding to that feeling of instability. However, in a road cycling setting those straight temples play nice with helmet straps, and helmet straps actually seem to lock the glasses in place. They always felt comfortable and secure when we wore them while road biking, but that comfort doesn't translate to other sports well.
Here again the Oakley PRIZM Road earned an average score simply because it only performed well in a road cycling environment. When riding on sundrenched roads the lenses kept us from squinting and provided a high contrast view of the road so we could easily pick out small potholes and divots. However, when taking these glasses out onto a lake or into a snow field they struggled a bit to cut out the glare.
These lenses work great on the road, but don't perform well in other situations.
We were impressed with the quality of the Oakley PRIZM Road's farmes. They felt just flexible enough that they'd bend rather than break, and the hinges are bulkier and stiffer than most. Oakley also offers a two year warranty on all of their frames. This earned them a relatively high score of 7 out of 10.
We really like the semi-rigid cases that Oakley provides with all of its sunglasses. The case is solid enough that you can put the sunglasses in the top of a backpack without worrying about them, but light enough that you won't mind bringing the case around with you when you travel.
Oakleys always come with a high quality case.
At a list price of $213, the Oakley PRIZM Road is one of the most expensive pairs of sunglasses we tested. That high price is definitely worth it if you're looking for specific road cycling performance, but models like the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL are much cheaper and are suitable for a wider range of activities.
While the Oakley PRIZM Road doesn't provide much versatility, it is the perfect choice for serious road cyclists. Just remember, you'll probably end up wanting another pair of glasses for your other outdoor pursuits.