Goggle Review: Oakley Airbrake

03 Jan, 2012

Intended Purpose: Ease and comfort – that’s the Airbrake goggle. With the SwitchLock™ Technology you can switch out lenses quickly with the push of a lever and the goggle is packed full of comfort to eliminate pressure.

Location: I wore the goggle at Mammoth and June in California, Canyons in Utah and Keystone in Colorado.

Conditions: Majority of sunny days on the mountain with very few overcast/flat light conditions.

Color: I received the Shaun White signature style goggle which is $20 cheaper than the regular Airbrake. I’ll be honest my first thought was the goggles look like gift wrapping on the design with the gold and black. But I’ve warmed up to the color choice because I like the fit and feel more than how the goggles look.

Lens: The Airbrake goggle come with two lens options. I received the Highlight Gold/Fire Iridium and Dark Grey lenses. Both lenses are designed for sunny days on the slopes which is perfect for the conditions I’ve been riding in. I’ve noticed the Highlight Gold/Fire Iridium lens helps block out the sun glare just a bit better than the Dark Grey but both are great for hiding your eyes from everyone.

Fit: The Airbrakes are designed for medium to large faces. This surprised me the most because the goggles actually fit my face and nose really good. The round design at the nose takes a while to get used to but the triple layer face foam does a good job of fitting to your nose without pressuring it.

Helmet Compatibility: I spent the most time with these goggles on my Smith Allure helmet. The Airbrake fits the allure helmet really good and is aligned great with the helmet design. There’s no gaps between the goggle and helmet.

Visibility: At first glance, the frame and lens is bigger than the average lens but the peripheral you get is not as big as the frame implies. After thinking about the visibility and peripheral, I realized the goggle description doesn’t even focus on the peripheral but a huge focus on the lens replacement instead. So with the Airbrake, it’s a decent peripheral but there are bigger visibility frames out there. It’s comparable to most other goggles for decent peripheral vision.

Features: The Oakley Airbrake goggle features SwitchLock™ Technology, a quick and easy way to change the lens (check out the video below for the lens changing). The Airbrake frame is a rigid frame support to help minimize optical distortion, eliminate nasal pressure and maximize airflow. The goggle features a moisture wicking triple-layer polar fleece foam. Balanced fit with or without a helmet with the fixed o-matter interchangeable strap outriggers. The goggle comes with two lens and a case to protect it when you aren’t wearing the goggle.

Durability: If you’ve ever been to the Oakley Revolution Tour you’ve seen what goes into testing and trying to break a Oakley goggle. I haven’t taken a beating to the goggles with a bat but on the mountain, they’ve held up without any scratches so far this season and I have no complaints on the durability so far.

Thoughts: The Airbrake goggles definitely won me over the second I wore them on the mountain. Before I wore them I was a bit so-so on the design and look of the goggle but once I put them on, the goggle fit and that’s what matters more than anything else. Since using them, I’ve played around with the SwitchLock™ Technology system, it really is easy to switch out the goggles. I like the option of both lenses but it would be good to have one of the lenses be more cloudy/overcast focused. The goggle is really comfortable and it offers a good fit around the nose which is exactly what I want in a goggle.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Oakley Airbrake or shop their full line of Oakley goggles

On-snow photos

Switching the lens on the Oakley Airbrake video

Oakley Airbrake Description

Review Disclosure: I received this goggle from Oakley to test and review.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. kc
    January 03, 2012

    hey shay- hope you had a happy new year! Great to see videos on your website- could you start adding more of these for various products- would be brilliant to get a good look by seeing them being used by yourself such as in this lens change video!

    Thanks for all the awesome hard work you do as usual & heres to 2012!

    p.s you sound cute!:-)

  2. January 05, 2012

    Kc, Thanks! Trying to get more videos out there, especially on gear I try out. Hoping 2012 is a good year! Thanks 🙂

  3. Tyler
    May 22, 2012

    Hey Shay, what goggle would you say has better periph, the smith i/o or airbrake? deciding between those two for next season. Thanks 🙂