Oakley A-Frame 2.0 Review
Cons: Too much airflow, poor fit for larger users
Our Analysis and Test Results
The A-Frame 2.0 is an updated version of Oakley's long-standing and popular A-Frame model. They have a similar unique rounded look to the original, with the primary changes in the ventilation on the lens and the frame design. This is a quality goggle with great optics, although the fit is on the smaller side and the ventilation may be a little too much for some users. Read on to find out how it compares to the competition.
When testing Oakley products, we expect top quality optics with great protection and a crystal clear view. The A-Frame 2.0 lives up to that expectation fully. As we've already discussed in "Breathability," we didn't experience any fogging at all during our testing, partially due to the optically correct dual venting and the P3 anti-fog coating. We tested the Prizm Snow Jade Iridium lens which is intended for sunny and cloudy conditions, and we were impressed with its performance overall while skiing and boarding on both sunny and overcast days.
There was some color washout due to the lens tint. We set the bar a little higher and skied with the Iridium lens on some snowy days. Other than the lowest-light days, we were happy with the lens' ability to provide a clear view.
The A-Frame 2.0 has a comfortable fit for users with smaller to medium sized faces. The goggle uses a flexible "O Matter" frame with a soft foam padding that makes for a generally comfortable ride. Several testers noted that excessive ventilation led to discomfort with these goggles, especially on windy days, as mentioned above. A wide silicone-backed strap gives a secure and comfortable fit without pressure points for most users. Backcountry skiers and boarders with smaller faces may enjoy the fit and comfort and of the A-Frame 2.0. The strap is wide, comfortable, and adjustable and is anchored to the goggle frame with Oakley's articulated O Matter outriggers which keep the goggles balanced and comfy, whether with a helmet or without. Our primary comfort concern is with their size, and testers with larger faces complained that due to the smaller size, they experienced pressure on the cheekbones and under the eyes.
Ventilation and Breathability
This Oakley model has a lot of ventilation going on. Where several of our test goggles use a thin layer of foam on the top and bottom of the lens, like the Smith I/OX, the A-Frame 2.0 also has "dual surge" vents integrated into the top of the lens itself, as well as at the bottom of the frame. Additional venting is also present around the frame/lens connection. After hiking and skiing, most of our testers agreed that while high ventilation is generally a good thing, the A-Frame 2.0's vents may be excessive, especially if you wear contact lenses or have sensitive eyes.
With such a large amount of airflow and ventilation through and around the lens, several of us experienced dry eyes, especially on windier days, although this made fogging nonexistent. Due to the smaller fit, some of our testers with wider faces experienced gaps around the frame in various places. For skiers who run hot or are routinely skiing in warmer locations, the A-Frame 2.0 may be a good choice. If the A-Frame 2.0's breathability seems like too much for you, check out our Editors' Choice Anon M4, Electric EG3, Dragon NFX, or the Smith Squad for more moderate ventilation.
Ease of Changing Lenses
The A-Frame 2.0 uses a relatively standard attachment system with large notches on the outside edge of the lens that snap onto posts within the lip of the frame. This model uses fewer notches than some of the competition and is therefore slightly easier to swap lenses than some of the models that have a similar style opf lens attachment. Changing lenses on the A-Frame 2.0 does require forcibly pulling the frame away from the lens and pushing it back together, and it is more time consuming than some of the more user-friendly models. If you seek the easiest lenses to change then we suggest the Anon M4 and the Smith I/O Mag with their magnetic lens systems. The A-Frame 2.0's bigger and more expensive sibling, the Airbrake XL, also has a very simple Switchlock lens system. Many of the other goggles we tested, like the Giro Blok, Smith Squad, and Zeal Nomad, have a similar lens attachment style to the A-Frame 2.0 and changing lenses is roughly the same.
After extensive and sometimes abusive testing, our A-Frames came through unscathed. We stuffed them into stuff sacks, sometimes with the extra lens, packed them into our ski pack's internal goggle compartments, and even jammed them into our pockets. Despite this use and abuse, we didn't see any real signs of wear or tear. The strap is in fine shape without any fraying and it maintains its full elasticity. The O Matter frame is intact and doesn't show any wear marks or damage. Even the lenses look as good as the day we excitedly unpacked them. Durability doesn't seem to be a concern with this classic goggle from Oakley. Cheaper than our other Oakley test models like the Oakley Airbrake, but with the same durability, the A-Frame 2.0 would be a good choice for backcountry skiers looking for a durable all-purpose goggle.
Oakley's description is "a leaner and cleaner look" and we'd agree. Where some goggles like the Dragon NFX or the Electric EG3 have a bigger is better appearance, the A-Frame 2.0 is a bit more understated, with a classic look that has been around for nearly 20 years. Its lower profile and subsequent lighter weight make this a good choice for backcountry skiers and ski mountaineers looking for quality optics in a smaller and lighter package. Maybe not the most modern appearance, but a classic goggle comparable to the Smith Squad and the Bolle Carve. This competitor is a non-flashy goggle option for skiers and riders looking for a classic goggle.
This goggle is nice on warm skiing days, when the high level of ventilation will be most appreciated. Being durable, low profile, and lightweight, it slips into a touring backpack nicely. Due to the medium size and fit of the frame, we recommend this goggle for people with small to medium facial structures.
A durable, protective goggle, the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 shares several similarities with the Smith Squad and Bolle Carve. All of these goggles feature a classic non-flashy goggle style and solid functionality at a lower price point than many of our other test models, but the A-Frame is the most expensive in this class. While it's pricey, you still get Oakley-quality lenses under $200. Decent value.
With a better fit for smaller riders and skiers, the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 is a durable goggle with high-quality interchangeable lenses. The A-Frame 2.0 provides good performance both at the resort and perhaps more so out in the backcountry where its lower profile and lighter weight are more desirable.
— Jason Cronk
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