Today I’m reviewing a product that’s unusually close to home: my eyeglasses. If you have poor vision or require corrective lenses at all, then you’re familiar with the struggle of finding good outdoor eyewear. It needs to lightweight, of high optical quality, and ideally durable. I’ve used everything from cheap online prescriptions to boutique mountaineering-specific lens grinders in Colorado, and I can tell you that the quest for the perfect glasses continues. My Fall outdoor eyewear has been dominated by the Oakley Crossrange frames with lenses courtesy of SportRx. I have had a phenomenal experience, and I’m eager to share the story with our readers who can’t see.
Oakley Crossrange with SportsRX Lenses Features:
- Interchangeable earsocks and nosepads provide a nonslip grip when you perspire
- Shatterproof, impact- and scratch-resistant lenses provide durability to survive athletic activities
- Three-Point Fit holds lenses in precise optical alignment while eliminating pressure points
- Patented High Definition Optics® technologies maximize optical clarity and visual fidelity
- Lightweight, flexible polycarbonate frames resist damaging stresses
- MSRP: $258+
Top Shelf Optics for Cycling and Running
I have terrible eyesight. I’ve been in glasses since I was around 9 years old, and my eyesight slowly worsened throughout my teens before stabilizing at ‘truly abysmal’ in young adulthood. I’m around -4.5 sphere in each eye, which means that I cannot see anything far away; in fact, to be able to see something clearly, it has to be within about 10 inches from my face. This has been a real hassle in different ways throughout my outdoor career, and it’s often necessitated that I choose contact lenses.
Contact lenses are an imperfect solution: they can get ripped, torn, uncomfortable and lost. You are not medically supposed to leave them overnight (unless you buy the spendy overnight ones), so instead you have to worry about carrying contact solution and getting cold saline poked into your eyes or spilled on your sleeping bag. It’s either this or deal with the inevitable lens fog that comes when you have to keep your glasses on at every moment to see; the fog can be downright dangerous on glaciers or any technical climbing, and for me, going without glasses is not an option.
So that’s my preamble for why I’m excited about this review. For perhaps the first time in my outdoor life, I’ve found a pair of sunglasses that truly perform in a way that doesn’t hold me back at all. This is a mixed review because I’m reviewing the Oakley Crossrange frames, but what I really want to do is highlight what SportRx did to make the lenses integrate with the frames to work so well for me.
Frames: Oakley Crossrange
Let’s start with the frames. Oakley’s Crossrange has been around for a couple of years and is well-regarded as an outdoor frame. It’s unique in that it has detachable temples, so you can swap technical or more lifestyle pieces in and out.
The Crossrange frame has what you’d expect out of a high-performance piece of eyewear. One major contributor to this is their ‘Unobtanium’ grips on the temples and nosepads. This is a hydrophilic rubber that basically sticks to your head better when you start to sweat. Similarly, the frames are made out of a lightweight plastic proprietary to Oakley that they call their ‘O Matter’ material. It’s great, burly, lightweight stuff. As a package, they also meet or exceed the ANSI Z80.3 optical and basic impact standards. They have performed well, but I’ll talk a little bit more about my experiences after I describe the SportRx optics.
Optics courtesy of SportRx
So I had not heard of SportRx prior to this review, but they work with some of the biggest brands in eyewear to put their lenses in. They’ll source from Oakley, Ray-Ban, Smith, Nike and many others. These brand relationships are important primarily because SportRx needs to have a good sense of the shape, curvature and dimensions of the frames that they’ll put your lenses in. This helps them find a good fit for your prescription, and that’s especially important for heavy prescriptions like mine.
The process of getting new glasses through SportRx is made way easier by how closely you can work with their opticians. For me, I obtained a recent prescription from my optometrist and emailed it to Tyler Andersen, SportRx’s senior optician whose certification is through the American Board of Opticians. I told him what type of activities I wanted to do in the glasses, and whether I generally preferred lenses that filter more or less light. I wanted these glasses for running, mountain biking and road cycling but I didn’t want a frame that was so performance-oriented as to look like I’m trying too hard. Tyler took all of that into account and gave me a few options, of which I chose the Oakley Crossrange.
In the past, I’ve purchased frames from eBay and then had them sent to an optical company in Colorado to get prescription sunglasses. While that worked OK, the result was a little unexpected because the lenses bulged out of the frames more than I expected and wound up being really darkly tinted. I really, really appreciated the clear communication with SportRx because they helped me find a frame that would be a good fit for my prescription, and they helped me custom-pick a lens that would fit my activities. It felt like they took the guesswork out of getting new glasses, and anyone who depends on a strong prescription for daily life and their recreation knows how big of a deal that is.
Tyler wound up choosing the Oakley Prism Trail lens for me. I try very hard to avoid hyperbole and just tell the story straight in these reviews, but I’m not gonna lie, these lenses were a game-changer for me. In the past, I’d mostly stuck with grey-green lenses because they don’t distort colors. The Prism Trail lenses definitely distort colors, but in a really, really awesome way. They do an incredible job of increasing contrast on the trail. Just as important, they’re only moderately tinted, and as a result your eyes adjust more easily riding in and out of canopy cover. If you’ve ever plunged into densely shaded singletrack from a well-lit trail, you know the sketch factor increases significantly as your eyes struggle to adjust. The Prism Trails take care of you during those transitions.
Another thing that I appreciated more than I expected is the color enhancement during the grey Spokane fall. As I mentioned, I used to use a lot of neutral lenses. As a result, I accurately perceived PNW colors: namely, green, brown and grey. But mostly grey. To my surprise, running during the late afternoon cloud-covered dusk in Spokane has been way more fun in the Prism Trails because they really make colors in the sky pop. A tiny hint of orange in the clouds becomes magnified to dramatic sunset fiery hues. Maybe that’s artificial, but it genuinely made me more tuned into the beauty around me while I was grinding out those wet, cold fall miles. This is similarly true with the browns of fallen pine needles – they become a more vibrant orange that just feels way brighter and more cheerful.
Anyway, the combination of the Crossrange frames with SportRx’s finely ground Oakley Prism Trail lenses has been great for me as I’ve ran and cycled this fall. They’re particularly good for mountain biking where lighting conditions change quickly. They’ve also been helpful in the half-light of my afternoon runs, where I can wear them without having to put in my contacts but not have such a dark tint that I feel my vision becomes marginal.
It is a really nicely balanced lens. It reflects Oakley’s expertise with active eyewear, and it certainly reflects Sport Rx’s skill with the glass. To their credit, the lenses are without distortion anywhere in the field of vision.
- Exceptionally good optical quality in the prescription
- Very good color enhancement in the lenses
- Lenses are particularly good at aiding the transition between light and dark spaces while riding
- Comfortable fit overall
- Glasses stay put on my face reasonably well, even with heavier prescription lenses
- SportRx opticians worked very closely with me to help me get a great product
- Detachable temples on the Crossrange frames seem to have little practical utility
The Bottom Line: Oakley Crossrange Rx
If you have vision that requires significant correction and you like to play outside, recommending SportRx is a no-brainer for me. I wish I had invested in a pair of glasses from them years ago. The optical quality is top notch, their partner brands are premium, and their opticians will take you step-by-step to find a great option for your prescription and activities. I use mine almost every day.
Buy Now: Visit SportRx.com