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Oakley A-Frame 2.0 Review

Oakley A-Frame 2.0
Price:   $140 List | $90.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, soft frame, fits small faces
Cons:  Too much airflow, poor fit for larger users
Bottom line:  A classic all-around lightweight goggle for backcountry users.
Editors' Rating:   
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Lens tested:  Persimmon, Fire Iridium
Ventilation:  Dual-Vented Lens with F3 Anti-fog coating
Lens Style/ Material:  Plutonite (polycarbonate)
Manufacturer:   Oakley

Our Verdict

A standby classic from Oakley with a low-profile, flexible frame, and a classic look. Undoubtedly, if you check out the eyewear at any ski resort, you'll see the A-Frame 2.0 in many different shades. Testers found ventilation may be a little excessive for some users, but the A-Frame's overall performance was acceptable. The A-Frame 2.0 is a good entry level to intermediate goggle.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jason Cronk

Last Updated:
Friday
June 9, 2017

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A durable, protective goggle, the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 shares several similarities with the Smith Squad and Bolle Carve. All of these goggles feature a classic non-flashy goggle style and solid functionality at a lower pricepoint than many of our other test models.

The bright light lens performed well except in the lowest light conditions.
The bright light lens performed well except in the lowest light conditions.

Breathability


This Oakley model is the most breathable goggle in our test. Where several of our test goggles use a thin layer of foam on the top and bottom of the lens, like the Smith I/OX, the A-Frame 2.0 has "dual surge" vents integrated into the top of the lens, as well as the bottom of the frame. Additional venting is also present around the frame/lens connection. After hiking and skiing, most of our testers agreed that while breathability is generally a good thing, the A-Frame 2.0's breathability may be excessive.

With such a large amount of airflow and ventilation through and around the lens, several of us experienced dry eyes, especially on windier days, although this made fogging nonexistent. Due to the smaller fit, some of our testers with wider faces experienced gaps around the frame in various places. For skiers who run hot or are routinely skiing in warmer locations, the A-Frame 2.0 may be a good choice. If the Oakley A-Frame 2.0's breathability seems like too much for you, check out our Editors' Choice Oakley Airbrake for more moderate ventilation.

Oakley Fire Iridium lens.
Oakley Fire Iridium lens.

Comfort


The A-Frame 2.0 has a comfortable fit for users with smaller faces with a good snug fit. Our larger testers complained that due to its smaller size, they experienced pressure on the cheekbones and under the eyes. The goggle uses a flexible O Matter frame with a soft foam padding that makes for a comfortable ride. One common comment from several testers was the amount of airflow through the vents. While some ventilation is good, most testers commented that it was excessive and caused dry eyes. For those who run a little hotter and prefer more ventilation rather than less, the A-Frame 2.0 is likely a more logical choice than goggles like the Dragon NFX or Oakley Flight Deck. A silicone-backed wide strap gives a secure and comfortable fit without pressure points for most users. Backcountry skiers and boarders with smaller faces may enjoy the fit and comfort and of the A-Frame 2.0. The strap is wide, comfortable, and adjustable and is anchored to the goggle frame with Oakley's articulated O Matter outriggers which keep the goggles balanced and comfy, whether with a helmet or without.

Pushing the light conditions with this lens
Pushing the light conditions with this lens
Low light Persimmon lens on a low light day.
Low light Persimmon lens on a low light day.
Low light view with the bright light Fire Iridium lens.
Low light view with the bright light Fire Iridium lens.

Lens Quality


When testing Oakley products, we expect top quality optics, with great protection and a crystal clear view, and the A-Frame 2.0 lives up to that expectation fully. The view through the A-Frame 2.0's lenses is on par with the Editors' Choice Oakley Airbrake and the Oakley Flight Deck. As we've already discussed in "Breathability," we didn't experience any fogging at all during our testing, partially due to the optically correct dual venting and the P3 anti-fog coating. We tested the Fire Iridium lens which is intended for bright light conditions and were impressed with its performance overall while skiing and boarding on sunny days.

There was some color washout due to the lens tint. We set the bar a little higher and skied with the Iridium lens on some snowy days and other than the lowest light days were happy with the lenses abilities to provide a clear view. When we went to change the Iridium lens out, we realized there were no directions provided for lens swapping but figured it out relatively quickly, although changing lenses out is not nearly as smooth as our other test goggles. The second lens we utilized was the Persimmon lens which is a low light lens. As expected, low-light performance was good, providing good contrast when the view was monochromatic and flat.

On a powder day  the Persimmon lens would be a better choice (with this lighting).
On a powder day, the Persimmon lens would be a better choice (with this lighting).

Durability


After extensive and sometimes abusive testing, our A-Frames came through unscathed. We stuffed them into stuff sacks, sometimes with the extra lens, packed them into our ski packs internal goggle compartments, and even jammed them into our pockets. Even after this use and abuse, we didn't see any real signs of wear or tear. The strap is still fully elastic without fraying and it maintains its full elasticity. The O Matter frame is intact and doesn't show any wear marks or damage. Even the lenses look as good as the day we excitedly unpacked them. Durability doesn't seem to be a concern with this classic goggle from Oakley. Cheaper than our other Oakley test models like the Oakley Airbrake, but with the same durability, the A-Frame would be a good choice for backcountry skiers looking for a durable all-purpose goggle.

Solid performance on a bright light day at Heavenly Ski Resort.
Solid performance on a bright light day at Heavenly Ski Resort.

Protection


The A-Frame 2.0 has a relatively flexible frame which forms to skiers and boarders faces well, especially those with small to medium sized facial structure. For those smaller users, the fit ensured good protection with a nice snug seal around the goggle. Our testers with more medium to large faces found the goggle was smaller than they preferred and caused gapping around the edges of the frame which allowed fairly significant airflow. Other larger models, like the Smith Squad or our Editors' Choice Oakley Airbrake would provide a better fit for some. For those testers who felt comfortable in the A-Frame 2.0, the protection was good with quality impact-resistant lenses that also block UV light effectively.

The Iridium lens works well on mixed lighting days.
The Iridium lens works well on mixed lighting days.

Style


Oakley's description is "a leaner and cleaner look" and we'd agree. Where some goggles like the Dragon NFX have a large and in-charge appearance, the A-Frame 2.0 is a bit more understated, with a classic look. Its lower profile and subsequent lighter weight make this a good choice for backcountry skiers and ski mountaineers looking for quality optics in a smaller package. Maybe not the most modern appearance, but a classic goggle comparable to the Smith Squad and the Bolle Carve. This competitor is an attractive but not flashy goggle option for skiers and riders looking for a classic goggle.

Conclusion


With a better fit for smaller riders and skiers, the Oakley A-Frame 2.0 is a durable goggle with high-quality interchangeable lenses. The A-Frame 2.0 provides good performance both at the resort and perhaps more so out in the backcountry where its lower profile and lighter weight are more desirable.

The 2016/17 A-Frame 2.0.
The 2016/17 A-Frame 2.0.
Jason Cronk