Oakley Radar: History And Differences
Oakley Radar sunglasses are a staple in the sports world and have been around for over ten years. You can still buy all three versions of the Radars, unlike other products that are discontinued once a new model is available.
This comparison can help you decide which frame you prefer.
We'll be clear from the beginning: Radarlock, Radar EV or Radarlock are the names of the frames. Path, Pitch, Range, etc. These are the names for the different lens styles. All lenses can be interchanged within the respective frames (e.g. Radarlock Pitch lenses or Radarlock Path lens both fit into Radarlock frames).
The Radars were introduced by Oakley in 2006. The Radars are reminiscent of the heritage style characteristics of M Frames and feature hammer stem profiles, an angled brow in the middle, and one shield lens.
Oakley refers to the stems as "surge ports", which are round holes that allow for better airflow. The earsocks extend almost to the ends of the stems and the tips flare slightly (almost inaudibly) outward. You'll see the shift if you move your fingers along the stem ends. These flared tips are supposed to make it easier to put the sunglasses on, especially if you're riding a bike one-handed.
There are four Oakley lens options for Radars (8 if counting the vented versions). They are listed in order from smallest to biggest:
Oakley promoted the Edge in the women's collection, but the shape is not particularly feminine. Although I won't be promoting any "Pink it, Shrink it" theories, I will say that the Edge is as gender-neutral as all the other options.
It all comes down to the shape you prefer.
OAKLEY RADAR XL
The Radar XL has a similar frame to the Radar. However, it features an extra length between the nose bridge (brow) and the nose bridge. This 7 mm extra vertical coverage is particularly helpful for cyclists who are riding in the attack position.
The XL version has only one lens, unlike the standard Radar.
While the original name was "Radar XL", the lens is now often referred to simply as "Radar XL".
You can convert a Radar XL to a Radar XL if you have the parts. However, there are always risks of damaging the frames.
Oakley's Radarlock was released in 2012. The second generation of the Radarlock has the same design and feel as the original, with similar lens shapes and size. However, there are enough distinctive differences to make it stand out.
Oakley's patent-pending "Switchlock” technology is the main difference. Instead of pressing and popping, the left temple has a locking mechanism. The temple opens when the lock is not in use, which makes it easier to remove/install lenses.
OAKLEY RADAR EV
The Radar EV, a modern version of the Radar family's previous generations, is easily recognizable as part of the Radar clan but has a different look. It departs from the traditional curving sweep of the brow and adopts a more angular style. Radar EV's brow is not angled above the nose bridge. Instead, it runs straight across the middle and then angling downwards into two sloping steps that reach the temples.
Oakley returned to the original Radar frame's functionality and abandoned its Switchlock technology in favor of the pressure click-in system. The hinges are pulled in closer so the tips don’t touch the lens when folded. The surge ports are smaller, more rectangular and closer to the hinge.
Unobtanium earsocks extend almost to the length of the stems. Only the flared ends around the surge ports are left unaffected.