The Oakley Water jacket is a development of the original Oakley Racing Jackets and were specifically developed for use by top pro-surfers in the Oakley team. In the UK a set of Oakley Water jackets will set you back around £150+, in the US a little less. So what do you get for all of that cash? Well all Water Jackets come with hydrophobic solution (which prevents water droplet build up), H20 strap, micro clear bag, and protective case. Is it all worth £150?
The Water jackets come equipped with “unobtanium” (rubber) nose piece and an H2O strap to fix them snugly to your face. The frames are made from very light weight plastic and are un-hinged (they don’t fold up!). They fit extremely well and are very comfortable to wear. Wearing them with my Sweet Strutter helmet was not a problem. On there first mission I wore them at a local play spot and played on/in a number of features which resulted in plenty of spray being thrown in my direction as well as a number of capsizes. The frames aren’t that special, you can get very similar shaped glasses that appear to be the same for around the £30 mark. However where Oakley outclass cheaper rivals is with the quality of the lens. The clarity of the lenses is second to none, the water was shed quickly and I found that when the lenses did fog up it was only for a matter of seconds. Rolling in a stopper wasn’t a problem the glasses didn’t move at all!!
Despite the price of these glasses I believe them to be a worthwhile investment. They do the job they a supposed to do and they do it well. In addition Oakley’s warranty and backup is A1, frames replaced cheaply or even free if required and damaged lenses replaced for a very reasonable price.
The Waterjacket has now been discontinued but they still can be found online. However the design lives on, as a number of manufacturers have picked up the design –