Oakley Half Jacket Sunglasses

14 ratings (13 Epinions reviews)
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Pleasant surprise

Feb 8, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:lightweight, great periphery vision, lower entry price (for Oakley), many options

Cons:still expensive sunglasses for some, otherwise...none

The Bottom Line: Great Oakleys at comparatively cheaper price. Lightweight glasses that always feel good. Great optics, customer service as well.


Let me start off being honest. I bought these glasses not because I saw them and had to have them. I had a pair of four year old eye jackets, and when I called customer service for help with parts for them, I was told they no longer had parts, but would give me a $40 credit towards any member of the jacket family if I wanted to purchase a new one. Hmmmm, keep my broken glasses, or get $40 off a new pair? I decided to go cheap and start looking. I ended up with the Half Jacket XLJ carbon fiber frame with titanium iridium lenses, for $105 minus my $40 credit for sending in those old Eye Jackets. $65 is not a bad price, and for Oakleys, the $105 original price is almost reasonable! These are the Oakleys for you if you do not want to spend a ton of money just to have Oakleys, but want the inherent benefits that Oakleys provide. To be sure, even in this frame, you can choose options which will push the purchase price to $160.

To be sure, I was not left without choices. There are a dizzying array of frame colors and lens colors to chose from, not to mention the two different frame sizes (I have a big head, thus I automatically chose the larger XLJ, although having not seen the other in person, I am unsure how much bigger they are). Just from looking at pictures though, I thought the XLJ looked more ominous, the lens shape just complemented the frame more. If that is not enough, you can also swap out the lenses you get with optional replacement lenses. I did not opt for this feature, but did pop out and in the lenses I have, just to see how it was done. Not too easy so that it is a problem with them falling out, but you do not have to be an engineer either. Oakley’s website has a whole page dedicated to the Half Jacket, all the jargon they use for the technical wonders that go into all Oakleys and instructions on how to change those lenses. From what I can see, if you want replacement lenses, you have ten different ones to chose from….at $40-$60 a pair. Ouch. Yeah, I will definitely take a rain check on that, thank you very much. Wait a month, save some more money and just buy another pair! Ah, but that is just me. If you had your heart set on a certain frame but with different lenses than what is standard, this would be your way to go, buying the specific lenses you want.

In terms of the fit of these glasses, I was pleasantly surprised. It is hard to describe any Oakley as heavy (well, maybe the XX metal), but these seem down right lightweight. This has been a great pair to drive with, or just have on all day without feeling like I have had glasses on all day. The titanium iridium lenses work well for me, almost like the black iridium. From the front, you can not really tell the difference between the two, and although the titanium is a brownish hue, I do not notice it when I am wearing them at all, it just seems….normal, which is the way it should be, the hue not overpowering the environment.

The optics are great as always, and I was surprised to find I liked the lack of a frame at the bottom of the lenses. These are still wrap around glasses, but not overly so, and give you great peripheral vision. I don’t use Oakleys to run in (Nike makes great running sunglasses), but if I did, these would be the ones to use.

So in a sense I am glad those old Eye Jackets were past their prime, and that Oakley customer service was great as always. I would definitely have missed out on these glasses…definitely a pleasant surprise.


Recommend this product? Yes

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