Products of the Year
WomensCycling.net has tested many items throughout the year, on our travels, at races, in races and training. All of the products have been purchased and used in the same manner as anyone else would do - nothing has been received for test from suppliers or manufacturers, the items listed below are therefore considered as serious contenders for something you might like to buy for yourself.
Oakley Half Jackets
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Some of the latest in the Oakley stable, Half Jackets represent an alternative to wrap-arounds, such as the well-respected "M-Frames", but allow the flexibility of interchangeable lenses for different lighting conditions.
Half Jackets sit relatively close to the face and, as such, provide good peripheral vision despite the smaller lens size / sweep than M-Frames. Rather than one lens with a clip-on nose piece, Half Jackets are comprised of a more traditional spectacles frame, with integral nose piece, the two lenses clip into slots along the top and nose parts of the frame.
Lens changing is easy, although a little scarey the first time attempted. They need to be fitted into the slots quite carefully and click into place with a solid "clunk". There is no doubt when they are securely fitted into place.
In use, the glasses are comfortable and provide good clarity of vision all-round. Because they sit close to the face, fogging could be a problem at times, but keeping them clean generally and pushing them down the nose a little if it occurs in action works a treat.
Half Jackets are available in various colours, with lens colours determined by Oakley. However, they also produce the "Half Jacket Array" which is a pair of Half Jackets with spare lenses included in a standard box set.
Additional / spare lenses are easily available and come in the popular variants - clear, yellow, persimmon, and the rainbow of Iridium coated shades it is customary to expect of Oakley. Each set comes in a compartmentalised soft pouch which prevents the lenses scratching against each other when packed - nice touch! Due to their size when packed, additional lenses are easily carried - a bonus for anyone who has transported wraparound lenses in the past with the large cases they require... Furthermore, additional lenses are relatively cheap - at 30GBP a pair, even for Iridiums.
Overall - take a bit of getting used to because they sit close to the face, but comfortable. The portability and ease of change of spare lenses make these an ideal pair of glasses for racing, training and day-to-day wear.
ActionBikes in London have a vast selection of both glasses and lenses and can get most things they don't have in for you within a couple of days.
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