Oakley EV Zero Range Prizm Trail Review
September 21st, 2016
Product Full Name | Oakley EV Zero Range Prizm Trail
Retail Price | £140
Available From | Oakley UK
Oakley EV Zero Range Prizm Trail – ultra light and fog resistant
Oakley is renowned for producing some of the best riding eyewear around.
Most recently, the excellent Radarlock and Jawbreaker, which follows the usual Oakley rule of a light weight frame, detachable nose piece and interchangeable lenses. Due to it’s huge coverage, the Jawbreaker has become one of my favourites – though it still suffers from fogging on humid days.
Unlike the Radarlock and Jawbreaker, the new EV Zero is a frameless design that has completely unobstructed vision; weighs barely anything and is almost fog resistant…
Essentially a lens with ear stems, the EV Zero weighs virtually nothing. Our test EV Zero Range Prizm Trail weighed a smidge over 23grams – virtually nothing!
The ear stems feature unobtainium rubber on the ends, which get stickier when you sweat to help keep them in place, and they clip on to the lens to prevent damage if the lens is twisted, though the EX Zero system isn’t an interchangeable lens design like other Oakley’s.
The lens is the special thing with the EV Zero. Firstly there is the huge, frame-free design that gives completely unobstructed vision – other than the clip on nose piece. Like the Jawbreaker, the lens has a lot of space above the eye line – meaning when you are head down and attacking there is still plenty of protection and you won’t find yourself looking over the top of the lens.
Secondly, there are the lens options. The smaller Path lens is aimed at road riding, and the larger Range lens optimised for off road use. Both Path and Range lenses are available in Asian fit (smaller, for smaller faces) and in various lens tints including standard High Definition Optics; Polorized; Photochromic; Prizm Polarized; Prizm Road and Prizm Trail. We tested the Prizm Trail.
This lens at a glance looks has a slight blue iridium mirrored tint, over a persimmon style lens. Known as Grapefruit, this lens has a 36% light transmission. The magic trick up the sleeve of this lens is the way it increases contrast – notably with reds and browns.
Out on the Trail
The immediate thing you notice with the EV Zero, is the lack of weight. These things are so light they are barely noticeable – and the complete lack of frame means you soon forget they are on.
Looking through the lens really does enhance ticks, roots, holes and wet mud patches when diving in to the trails – be it in bright light or that confusing dappled light. Those of you who use Adobe Lightroom can see a similar effect with the ‘dehaze’ feature that adds definition in hazy landscape shots. It really does work superbly.
Coverage is the best yet on any pair of riding glasses I’ve used – and considering how close to the face they sit, perform astonishingly in humid conditions. These things have fogged up literally twice, and not bad enough to remove – passing air as you speed up clears them instantly. They have the best anti-fog performance of any glasses I’ve used.
Interestingly, a friend of mine who is colour blind particularly appreciates the Prizm Trail lens – as he struggles with reds. Normally he finds roots and the texture differences of wet and dry mud tricky to spot – but with this lens notices a clear difference. This lens is available in all modern Oakley sports glasses, so is well worth checking out if you struggle in similar conditions.
The Oakley EV Zero certainly isn’t cheap – and the lack of interchangeable lenses will put off a lot of riders, but they work so, so well I can’t not recommend them. Vision is excellent; the anti-fog properties are outstanding and the Prizm Trail lens works very well for picking out trail features.
On a personal note I prefer clear lenses for all but the brightest conditions – which is why an interchangable system will always appeal to me, but I could be swayed by the EV Zero in the clear photochromic version. That could be the perfect set of riding glasses.