Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL (Polished Rootbeer, Bronze Polarized)

10 Oct

Over the past twelve years I logged nearly 50,000 miles on my bike and have worn cycling glasses for every single mile. When I started cycling I wore inexpensive sunglasses that one of the major bicycle chains sells—they were good for a season, but not much more because cheap glasses are made with cheap parts. I’ve bought several pairs of Oakley sunglasses, but have never owned a pair myself (I have two sons who served in Iraq and ended up buying Oakley sunglasses for them and a few of their friends—if you know anything about Marines you know how much they love their Oakleys). A few weeks ago the folks at ADS Sports Eyewear offered to send me a pair of Oakley sunglasses to review and I jumped at the chance!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

ADS Sports Eyewear sent a pair of Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL polarized sunglasses and I’ve used them for over 900 miles of cycling last month alone. The box that these glasses came in said they had “Oakley High Definition Optics.” My first thought was that this was just marketing hype. However, after I put the glasses on I realized this was not hype! I’ve never worn a pair of sunglasses that provided a clearer or sharper image than these Oakleys! According to Oakley, these glasses have an “Iridium lens coatings (to) balance light transmission and reduce glare.” I can’t explain how the magic happens, but am happy to tell you it works!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

I would rather show you how the lenses on these glasses work than tell you, but photographing through the curvature of the Oakley lens is very difficult. I you were an old-school photographer I’d tell you that these lenses are like adding a Tiffen warming filter to your Nikon camera. However, since we all use Adobe Photoshop now, let me explain it this way: The lenses on these glasses take your scene and bump up the contrast, increase saturation, adjust the hue to a warmer color and the sharpen the image. If neither of these descriptions help you much, let me try it another way. The first picture below is just a standard photo of a bike trail. In the second photo I’ve adjusted the hue, saturation and sharpness to the way I perceive the Oakley sunglasses work (again, this is just my interpretation—these photos represent the way I think the glasses render a scene).

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

A normal view of a bike trail without color correction

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

After I bumped up the saturation, contrast, sharpness and hue

In addition to giving you a beautiful view of the world, these glasses have special components in the rims that increase grip when you sweat—something every athlete will appreciate! These Oakley frames have a “Three-Point Fit” that keeps the lenses in precise alignment. These glasses filter out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC light and meet all ANSI Z87.1 standards for impact resistance. The curvature of the lens protects you from the sun, wind and impact, and the wide peripheral view stays sharp no matter where you are looking!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL polarized sunglasses retail for $180. ADS Sports Eyewear is an authorized web-dealer for Oakley sunglasses—you need to be aware of the fact that many of the “cheap Oakleys” you see advertised online are just knock-offs. One more thing about ADS Sports Eyewear, according to their website, “All of your credit card information is encrypted, and none of this information is stored on the ADS Sports Eyewear web site.” As a security freak this really appeals to me!

ADS Sports Eyewear also offers Prescription Oakley Sunglasses. This past summer a good friend of mine got a pair of Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Sunglasses from ADS and was very pleased—she used them for both bike riding and motorcycle riding.

One Warning: Just because you can see better doesn’t mean that cars can see you better! There is no question that these glasses will sharpen and improve the contrast of whatever you are looking at, but it is very easy to assume that because your vision is clear everyone else has improved vision as well. One foggy morning I went out for a ride with these sunglasses on and had no trouble seeing, but when I stopped at a rest area to check my email I realized just how foggy the day was—and how glad I was to be wearing “high-definition” glasses!


Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Product Reviews


Tags: , , , , , ,

22 responses to “Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL (Polished Rootbeer, Bronze Polarized)

  1. cyardin

    October 10, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Great review! I swear by my Oakley half jacket 1.0s, and the iridium coated lens really do sharpen your visuals. Proof in the pudding is how much sharper an overcast day is when riding with a set of Oakleys. There is a reason that the majority of the pro peloton ride with Oakley eyes.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 10, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Thanks for the confirmation! It is hard to believe how much better they can make a dreary day look!

  2. Jason Pearlman

    October 10, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Though nobody ever really mentions it, the reality is that owning a pair of Oakleys is a right of passage for any serious cyclist, much like it is to own at least one thing – anything – Campagnolo (at least it was up until the mid-90s). I’ve got a pair of half jackets also, though I rock them with clear prescription lenses.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 11, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      Thanks! You are absolutely correct! I just put off buying them because of the initial cost — but now that I’ve used them a while it would be very difficult o switch to something else!

  3. Sandra

    October 11, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    When someone stole my Oakleys at a conference, this exact pair is what I bought. I also have. Oakley Half Jacket XL (originals). These fit so much better and I will not leave the house without them. I have had the older pair 10 years. I used to never spend money on glasses because I lost or scratched them.
    Forget that. I have never lost a pair (I may have four different kind of Oakleys). Best part?
    Replaceable lenses!!! If you scratch these, just buy replacements. AND! The case these come in have a place for extra lenses. So switch them out for clear or darker lenses depending upon the daily conditions.
    Love ‘me. But you will never find them on sale. If you do, they are probably ripoffs.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Somebody stole your Oakleys? That had to hurt! you are so correct about no finding them “on sale” from legitimate sources.

      • Sandra

        October 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        It hurt. Badly.

  4. isaac976

    October 11, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Totally awesome post, I have been collecting Oakleys from their M-frame days and you hit spot on for the polarized lenses, I am trying to get Oakley to send me a video of the lens correction for eye etc..etc.. which they use for their workshop. Will share soon.

    Don’t ever get those fake Oakleys as they do not use premium for their product, in the end our eyes will suffer in fatigue. Great review as always

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 12, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Collecting Oakleys? Now there is an expensive hobby! The more I wear these glasses the more I love them!

  5. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    October 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    If that’s what it really looks like, or darn close, when you wear them, wow! (Referring to photos) You are creating a great Christmas list for either my husband or myself! Tights and glasses. What else, please?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 12, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Actually, the photos don’t do the glasses justice — the actual image is even better (and if you read the comments above you will see that I am not the only cyclist with this opinion).

      As for the Christmas list: The week of Thanksgiving I always publish an article on the “Best Christmas Gifts For Cyclists.” You and you husband can share the list. :)

      By the way, it is good that both you AND your husband cycle and understand the expense involved. Where I go to church a lot of the women don’t like their husbands going to the bike shop with me (something about me encouraging them to empty their savings account on new bike gear).

  6. Adam C. Henderson

    October 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Great review of a great product.

    I have owned a few pair, never been able to try these lenses tho. I would add a couple things. First, the straight earpiece is critical for guys like me with a big head! I can never get a pair of glasses with curved earpieces to fit. Second, you tried the square lenses. I believe Oakley also offers an oval lens that looks stylish, but allows too much light and air in and around the lenses. Useless for cycling. Finally, Oakley sells replacement parts for these glasses at very reasonable prices. The vast majority of the price is in the lens, so when the rubbers on the ear pieces wear out, or the frame breaks, you can purchase new ones and use your original lenses. Good deal when the full cost fits the category of “minor investment.”

    Love these glasses! (No give away eh? Hmmm… I wonder why) :)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Thanks for the additional information! I actually thought of doing a “give away” for these glasses, but was a little squeamish about giving away a used sunglasses (I am a germaphobe and couldn’t imagine wearing a pair of sunglasses that someone else had worn).

  7. Nancy L. Seibel

    October 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    I’ve been considering some new RX cycling sunglasses. These look well worth checking out. Thanks for the review!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      A few months ago a young woman I ride with got a pair of RX cycling glasses from ADS Sports Eyewear and she loves them! She was really impressed by their customer service as well.

  8. Dante

    October 14, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Gotta love those Oakleys. I have the Oakley X-Metal/X-Men Penny frame (the Cyclops frame and it is made in U.S.A.). It is a perfect fit for my face. Oakleys make the best sunglasses, just make sure you get the ones that are made in U.S.A. Oakleys are starting to have those Made in China B.S. –not sure if the China made Oakleys are really a good quality or worth the price. I’d say the real Oakleys are made in U.S.A.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 14, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      I’ve seen the fake Oakleys all over the place — the Chicago area has more than it’s share of rip-off artists (and not just our corrupt politicians).

  9. Dra Martha Castro Médico WMA

    October 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM

  10. the drunken cyclist

    October 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    How are they size-wise? I have a large face and that is always a consideration….

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 21, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      I really don’t know how to answer your question except to say that I am 5’10 tall and weigh less than an Clydesdale (as in cyclist, not the horse), and they fit me perfectly. You would probably be better off calling ADS Sports Eyewear and asking them (they are really nice folks to deal with).


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