Sunglasses/Oakley Flak Jacket question
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  1. #1
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    Sunglasses/Oakley Flak Jacket question

    I've always used 'regular' glasses with lenses that change color and those are fine in the summer. But after a rather scary 45mph descent on a cold morning down a pot holed road I've decided I really need to address the watery eyes issue I get in cold weather and get some proper prescription cycling sun glasses. My thinking is that being able to see will be good.

    If you've used Flak Jacket are they pretty good at blocking wind from your eyes? I know others are more full coverage but I don't believe those goggle style ones are available as prescription.

    I'm choosing that brand/model simply because in the store they felt the most comfortable. But are they decent quality glasses? I also like that they make a lense specific for cycling....but not sure if there's anything to that.
    I'm open to other suggestion if you have them, keeping in mind I need prescription and the only issue I'm looking to address is watery eyes when it's cold.

  2. #2
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    I used Flak Jackets when I first started, but moved the progressively larger sunglasses. Racing Jackets, then Jawbreakers. Bigger = better for blocking out wind and sun from all angles.

    IMO you should be getting Jawbreakers because the size of the lens will accommodate prescription inserts better.

  3. #3
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    Watery eyes in the cold, entirely depends on your face shape, and how close the lenses/frame hug the eyeball socket IME....the less the lens hugs your face, the worse eye watering is. It is pretty well entirely a face/glasses geometry problem. The smaller your head/eyes/eye-sockets, the better smaller lens shades work.


    Which is why I use face shield helmets. After trying the Giro Air Attack I settled on the Casco SpeedAiro....I'm also less likely to lose or have-stolen or scratch a helmet visor than a $200 pair of sunglasses...

  4. #4
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    I had a pair of Flak Jackets with prescription lenses.

    Note that the frames fit medium to larger heads. On my size 7 head, they kept slipping down every 30 seconds or so. It drove me nuts so I worked a deal with the vendor and exchanged the frames for Half Jackets. Much better fit. I would seriously consider bringing your helmet along to try out the fit of the Flak Jackets. Shake your head around while looking at the ground to see if the glasses stay secure on your face or slip down your nose.

    But they sat too low on my face so I was peering into the frames, especially while in the drops. If they sat higher on my face they would have worked better. It would be worthwhile if possible to even bring your bike with you to see if the frames interfere with your vision while in the drops or on the hoods.

    Did they prevent my eyes from tearing up? I'd say yes, even in their less than optimal position on my face.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. I'm not looking to get inserts. I want prescription glasses.

    An aero helmet with a shield is something I had considered but was worried about fog. I used to play hockey with that was essentially the same set up but contacts and I remember the one time I tried using regular glasses under a half shield fog was a big problem.
    So Marc, no problem with fog using a shield and glasses?
    Those Casco helmets are really nice. I tried one on last time I was in Germany and a store had one at it fit perfect so I would definitely go that route if fog with a shield and glasses won't be an issue.

    Contacts with non prescription glasses is probably the smart move but I'm to lazy to deal with contacts every ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I had a pair of Flak Jackets with prescription lenses.

    Note that the frames fit medium to larger heads. On my size 7 head, they kept slipping down every 30 seconds or so. It drove me nuts so I worked a deal with the vendor and exchanged the frames for Half Jackets. Much better fit. I would seriously consider bringing your helmet along to try out the fit of the Flak Jackets. Shake your head around while looking at the ground to see if the glasses stay secure on your face or slip down your nose.

    But they sat too low on my face so I was peering into the frames, especially while in the drops. If they sat higher on my face they would have worked better. It would be worthwhile if possible to even bring your bike with you to see if the frames interfere with your vision while in the drops or on the hoods.

    Did they prevent my eyes from tearing up? I'd say yes, even in their less than optimal position on my face.
    I have a massive head and they felt perfect in the store shaking my head around and simulating riding positions so I'm fairly confident fit wise, but yes, I do plan to go back and bring my helmet and the skull cap thing I wear in the winter before actually buying. I also plan to re-try some of the other ones I rejected so see if things are different with a helmet.

    Thanks,

  7. #7
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    Use the Flak Jacket XL - think they are great - very light yet stay on my face really well.
    Highly recommended.
    Size 7 3/8 head.
    Very good optics.
    Also cannot use the wrap around glasses because of prescription.

  8. #8
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    i have some half jackets (similar to flak jackets) and they are good, bought them for mtbing have one set of clear and one set of dark prescription lenses, but not that great for exactly what you are after. I also have racing jackets with transition prescription lenses. These are better for road riding, but even still on cold descents, I still tear up, I can see fine straight ahead, put peripheral vision goes to crap.
    All the gear and no idea

  9. #9
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    I have been wearing Half Jackets with prescription lenses for years and love them. My prescription is pretty light, and I can right without the prescription, but I won't ride without some kind of eye protection. I can't count how many bug strikes I've had to my lenses. I can't imagine what that would be like without protection.

    As far as blocking wind, they do a pretty good job, but on really cold days, they sit far enough from your face to allow air through.

    This is a bit of a trade off. I sweat quite a bit, and without that air flow over my face and forehead, I would have sweat pouring down into my glasses constantly.

    I recently picked up a pair of bottle rockets for $20 (frame) and had Lenscrafters make some prescription transition lenses for them. These have become my goto cycling glasses now. They offer a bit more coverage than the *jackets and with the transitions, I can wear them in any light conditions.

  10. #10
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    I use Oakley Flak Jacket with XLJ lens. This lens has extra coverage area so it works well for me.
    Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ® Replacement Lenses , | Oakley US Store

    BTW, my hat size is L/XL.

  11. #11
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    Jawbreaker user here. Used them for MTB and they transition to road rather well. As a few others, the melon is rather large. Fit is great. Smaller head you should try on a pair that are "Asia" fit.

  12. #12
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    Were you able to try the Flak 2.0? I believe that the lenses are just a bit bigger than the regular flak and a smidge taller overall so the frame won't get in the way as much when down low. I also get watery eyes in the cool to cold temps. Pretty freaking scary if you ask me.

    With the Flak 2.0 I've hit 40MPH in 40degree and colder weather without issue.

    As for the riding specific lenses, I use them - Prizm Road. I really like them. When over cast, there is a slight red tint. When sunny, colors just seem brighter. Some people might want them a little darker but I don't. I can use them from sunrise to sundown and I am comfortable.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnardone View Post
    Were you able to try the Flak 2.0? I believe that the lenses are just a bit bigger than the regular flak and a smidge taller overall so the frame won't get in the way as much when down low. I also get watery eyes in the cool to cold temps. Pretty freaking scary if you ask me.

    With the Flak 2.0 I've hit 40MPH in 40degree and colder weather without issue.

    As for the riding specific lenses, I use them - Prizm Road. I really like them. When over cast, there is a slight red tint. When sunny, colors just seem brighter. Some people might want them a little darker but I don't. I can use them from sunrise to sundown and I am comfortable.
    I was actually just about to update this thread. yesterday all I knew was they were flak but have since done a lot of googleing and it was actually the flak 2.0 that I tried on.

    The rest of your post is very helpful/reassuring because you had the same watery eye issue and also I was trying to decide between 'road' and 'trail'. So thanks, I appreciate it.

  14. #14
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    I am glad I could help. I've learned a lot here when I started riding (and still learning). you are definitely among the group that I've learned from. It is nice to be able to give back a little.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I was actually just about to update this thread. yesterday all I knew was they were flak but have since done a lot of googleing and it was actually the flak 2.0 that I tried on.

    The rest of your post is very helpful/reassuring because you had the same watery eye issue and also I was trying to decide between 'road' and 'trail'. So thanks, I appreciate it.
    I have both Flak versions. Only because it was getting harder to find new old stock of original Flak. They are both good. If I were you, I would go with the newer version in case you need to find replacement parts.

  16. #16
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    Just in case anyone stumbles upon this researching the same thing; I learned there's actually 2 versions of the Flak 2.0. That's not including all the different tints and stuff. There's the 2.0 and 2.0 XL. The XL has more coverage for wind....so definitely the one I want and probably the better choice for anyone getting them for cycling.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    There's the 2.0 and 2.0 XL. The XL has more coverage for wind....so definitely the one I want and probably the better choice for anyone getting them for cycling.
    XL is the lens shape. It's got little more coverage at lower outer portion.

    Standard: https://www.shadestation.co.uk/media...50fh218.75.jpg

    XL: http://www.oakleysi.com/medias/OO918...mE1ZWNhZDNiYWU

  18. #18
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    Here's my personal experience

    1. I get watery eyes with or without contacts, although I think watery eyes with contacts is a tad worse to get rid of because I usually have to blink a little harder to clear the water out

    2. I have used these Oakley glasses: Flakjacket, Zero EV, Jawbreaker
    They all can give me watery eyes, depending on my head angle to the wind allowing the wind to hit my eyes. If the wind hits my eyes, they can get watery

    3. Now the Giro Attack Shield, man, if anything, it has done wonder to my eyes. This helmet with the big shield really shield out the wind. And the shield is way LESS likely to fog up than the glasses. During Socal winter (which is nothing compare to east coast), the shield does not fog up at all even during the steamiest climb at a snail pace. Oakleys will fog up easily here.

    4. Regarding prescription. If the frames fit your face nicely, then prescription is THE way to go. It is clear, and you don't have to deal with contacts. If you go prescription, you should get the "polycarbonate lens" and "polarized" options, these are the main 2 options you'll need. Polycarbonate makes the lens almost unbreakable, yes I've seen my optometrist put a hammer to the lens, it didn't break. You'll want that for protection. The polarized option will allow you to see clearly during bright sunglight AND it'll even allow you to see nicely during dusk and even dark (I've driven in the dark with them when I was caught going home late). But note that RX prescription will only make lenses for frames that are full frame (not like many cycling classes that are half-frame). So this is a drawback here if you prefer half-frame (which is lighter). Also, if you do go this route, make sure you buy a good frame with a GOOD nose piece. My prescription glasses, after 5 years of hard use, have its rubber nose piece going rot, and I can't replace it like an Oakley, so now I'm thinking of improvising and just glue a piece of rubber into the frame and call it a nose piece. So choose your frame wisely if you go prescription.

  19. #19
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    Thanks again, all. I'm feeling well informed now.

    To my surprise I learned my insurance will pick up a pretty good chunk of the cost. So I think I'll use the windfall to get a second set of lenses. The first being their Road tint with all the bells and whistles, and the second being a no frills not tint (or very light) to use on dark days. I live in New England and ride pretty much all year so needing or wanting real 'sun' glasses isn't a given. But when there's no sun that's usually when it's cold so I'll need the coverage so I think having some clear set also will be good.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thanks again, all. I'm feeling well informed now.

    To my surprise I learned my insurance will pick up a pretty good chunk of the cost. So I think I'll use the windfall to get a second set of lenses. The first being their Road tint with all the bells and whistles, and the second being a no frills not tint (or very light) to use on dark days. I live in New England and ride pretty much all year so needing or wanting real 'sun' glasses isn't a given. But when there's no sun that's usually when it's cold so I'll need the coverage so I think having some clear set also will be good.
    The possible issues with "road tint" with all the bells and whistles is that the coatings may wear off (and there is no polarized version of these lens). You will want to ask your optometrist about the durability of these lens and their coating for your expected environmental use. I know that for polycarb polarized lens, it's pretty damn bulletproof for me. And unless you plan to ride in complete darkness, I would not worry about dark polarized lens. You can still see very well in dusk light. And like I've said, I've even driven in complete darkness with them when caught out. I also want to add one more point, polarized lens can completely make certain LCD screen (like a Garmin 500) go completely blank when turned 90 degrees. But many of the newer LCD (like iphone, newer Garmins) won't go completely blank when turned 90 degrees, instead you'll see weird distored colors a bit from these screens, but some screens won't be affected at all. But who really views their Garmins turned at 90 degrees much right?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    The possible issues with "road tint" with all the bells and whistles is that the coatings may wear off (and there is no polarized version of these lens). You will want to ask your optometrist about the durability of these lens and their coating for your expected environmental use. I know that for polycarb polarized lens, it's pretty damn bulletproof for me. And unless you plan to ride in complete darkness, I would not worry about dark polarized lens. You can still see very well in dusk light. And like I've said, I've even driven in complete darkness with them when caught out. I also want to add one more point, polarized lens can completely make certain LCD screen (like a Garmin 500) go completely blank when turned 90 degrees. But many of the newer LCD (like iphone, newer Garmins) won't go completely blank when turned 90 degrees, instead you'll see weird distored colors a bit from these screens, but some screens won't be affected at all. But who really views their Garmins turned at 90 degrees much right?
    okay, thanks. I'll be sure to get the optometrist opinion for sure before finalizing anything.

    I don't use a bike computer of any sort so no problem there.

  22. #22
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    I found the Flak jacket's to be way too small (even the xli models). My eyes teared up immediately on the first decent downhill. They're fine for walking around, but I needed bigger lenses.
    I'm now using full size Oakley's without issues.

  23. #23
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    I ended up getting Flak 2.0 XL with Prizm Road lenses. Should have them in about 10 days.

    Had a bunch of different thoughts re: lens tint and options but in the end decided it would be stupid of me to think after a couple days of messing around on the interwebs that I could determine which of Oakley's lens options is best for road cycling better than Oakley could. They may be prone to marketing BS like a lot of companies but I trust that the lens they call 'road' is the one they think is best for road.

    Worse case scenario is I get a spare set of lenses for other situations like trail riding on a bad weather day. And no matter what they'll be a big improvement over the beat up scratched regular glasses I've been using.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I ended up getting Flak 2.0 XL with Prizm Road lenses. Should have them in about 10 days.

    Had a bunch of different thoughts re: lens tint and options but in the end decided it would be stupid of me to think after a couple days of messing around on the interwebs that I could determine which of Oakley's lens options is best for road cycling better than Oakley could. They may be prone to marketing BS like a lot of companies but I trust that the lens they call 'road' is the one they think is best for road.

    Worse case scenario is I get a spare set of lenses for other situations like trail riding on a bad weather day. And no matter what they'll be a big improvement over the beat up scratched regular glasses I've been using.
    I have this exact combo, been riding with them over this season, and I can assure you they are fantastic. Perhaps not as perfect coverage as my assos zegho glasses, but I needed prescription and these glasses with prescription are great. The tint provides great contrast ( with a slight red shift to what you see). I am very happy with them.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    Flaks are pretty good multipurpose sunglasses.

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