Throwback Thursday: Oakley Jawbreaker VS. 100% Speedcraft SL Shootout
When you leave your house for a ride, sunglasses are always at the top of the “Oh no, did I forget that?” list of items. Sunglasses are such a small accessory, but they are just as important on the trail as a bottle of water. It is tough to find a lens that will work in the sun but also in the shade under trees. While more and more riders are opting for goggles, a new breed of glasses has sprung up, offering larger lenses similar to those of a goggle without the clumsy straps. Two of the new glasses that caught our eye were the Oakley Jawbreaker and 100% Speedcraft. We pitted them retina to retina and found that this style of eye protection, while relatively new to the scene, has a lot of potential. That made this shootout a tough one.
The 100% Speedcraft SL has a unique style that made us feel like we were starring in a David Bowie music video, but not in a bad way. Our SL came with a red mirror and clear lens, which gave us good options for the kind of riding we wanted to do. The red mirror has a darker tint, which was great in exposed and bright sections. 100% uses a hydrophobic coating on its lenses that repels moisture and sweat. 100% made the Speedcraft to sit off the face for optimum airflow, but to offer good coverage with a shield-shaped lens. Two separate nosepieces are included to customize the fit. The Speedcraft SL retails for $195.
We would be lying if we said Oakley hasn’t been ruling the sunglass market for the last decade. The Jawbreaker is just another example of how advanced Oakley’s lens technology is. Oakley has introduced the Prizm Trail lens, which brightens the field of view to allow riders to see the changing variations of the trail, and Oakley uses a larger lens shape to offer maximum coverage. The Jawbreaker features adjustable arms that allow riders to dial in how far back they want the arms to go behind their ears. To keep the fit customized, Oakley includes two different nosepieces. The glasses retail for $220.
The Jawbreaker was the first set of shades that we started testing. We were pretty amazed at how well the Prizm lens worked to distinguish the varying types of terrain. Hardpack and sand were easy to see, and even rocks stood out more. The Speedcraft lens was great in exposed sunny sections, but in the shade we had a harder time seeing as well as we did with the Oakley lens. The Jawbreaker uses vented lenses, but fogged up on long climbs and in humid climates. We didn’t have this issue with the Speedcraft, as the spacing between the frame and rider’s face really did allow for more airflow and felt lighter on the face of testers. Both sunglasses offered a lot of adjustability with the nose- pieces, but only the Oakley glasses allowed us to adjust the reach of the arms, which played a big part in fit. The Speedcraft wasn’t uncomfortable, but we would like to see more versatility in the fit.
While this shootout is intended for mountain bikers, we did feel that the lens options from 100% made the Speedcraft the most versatile option. The Speedcraft doesn’t just work well on the trail; it has a dark enough tint for riding on the road and driving. Most riders can’t afford two sets of $200 sunglasses for different purposes. Since the Speedcraft comes with two different lens tints, that makes it the winner of this shootout. While we loved Oakley’s Prizm lens, we think that the lower price and the included clear lens from 100% put the Speedcraft at the top of the list of sunglasses you should be considering.
The winner is: Both sets of shades have serious strengths that any rider will benefit from. There is a competitive list of pros and cons that made this shootout a tough call.
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