We’ve briefly mentioned Oakley’s all-singing, all-dancing lens Plutonite before, perhaps being a little sceptical about the high-tech spec it comes wrapped up in. Plutonite is a lens material patented by Oakley, and they make a big thing about it stopping every wavelength of ultraviolet radiation from getting at your eyes.
They also point out that Plutonite is the lightest lens material available, and also has a low thermal conductivity, meaning the lenses are slow to heat up, meaning they are less likely to fog. It is generally agreed, too, that the Plutonite lenses provide excellent optical clarity. But what else makes them so special?
There are two main factors when it comes to ski goggles, two main necessities. They are optical clarity and protection, and sturdiness. You want your goggles to be able to survive crashes. You also want your eyes behind the goggles to survive the crashes. Fashion is all very well, and indeed vermillion lenses look amazing, but without your sight you wouldn’t be able to tell how good you look. Thankfully, many stress-tests have been done on Plutonite lenses, so you can see for yourself what Oakley ski goggles can cope with.
There are some very cool videos that enthusiastic YouTubers have made of Oakley lenses being subjected to velocity tests. If you have a minute and want to see someone shooting up sunglasses with 120mph pellets, check out the below:
Yes, okay, you might not be planning on going to war zone any time soon (and we should probably also point out that those aren’t bullets moving at the speed that they come out of weapons that you’ll find in an actual war zone). But when applied to ski goggles, it bodes well for crashes and arguments with patches of ice.
Want more convincing? Here’s another video, of Oakley doing their own velocity tests:
Did you catch that? The spike thing? For those at work or anti-YouTube, a metal spike was dropped from six feet in the air on top of the lens. It got a bit of a dent in it. That’s all. If that was a tree branch coming at speed towards you, your eyes would be fine. Once you gained consciousness, that is, from having crashed into a tree. And again, with the bullets – only a tiny mark was left on the surface of the lens.
Any downsides to Plutonite lenses? Yes, a big one which everyone agrees on: they do scratch rather easily, and the year’s warranty that comes with Oakley glasses doesn’t cover scratched lenses. Oakley let you know loud and clear that your lens is not to be touched by anything other than the cloth provided – and they mean it. Not even cotton t-shirts. The implication being that if you do crash badly and those fantastic protection specs are put to the test, you’ll need a new pair of goggles afterwards. Still, most people would prefer damaged goggles to damaged eyes.
Check out the Oakley range here.
Plutonite is a lens material made and patented by Oakley. But what makes it so special?
Posted 15 Feb 2012
- Prescription Optical Inserts for Ski Goggles | Posted 08 Feb 2012
- Over The Glasses Ski Goggles – The Lowdown | Posted 31 Jan 2012
- Oakley’s Ski Goggles Maintenance Information | Posted 24 Jan 2012
- Ski Goggles – Fogging and Venting | Posted 17 Jan 2012
- Maintaining Your Ski Goggles and Lenses | Posted 09 Jan 2012