Review: Oakley Airbrake v. Dragon APX v. POC Lobes v. SPY Platoon
Stole my post from EL—added SPY Platoon
So, yeah. Gear whore here so I'm going to break down the differences of the least reviewed spherical lensed goggles since I own/owned all of these goggles.
So, I'm asian with a flat face and I use a large bern brentwood and large giro shiv 2. My friend uses a giro g10 L.
Quality and Finish: tie. All are great—no excess plastic at mold seams. All the foam is even, lenses clean, etc. I think the quality is top notch on every pair.
Face Fit: Airbrake wins here—but this is qualified, I'm asian so the airbrake fits me the best without a helmet—meaning it has the flattest curve of the three (flatter and wider than the splice as well) the Platoon is a close second here though. With the other two, I've gotta cinch down the Lobes and APX's and between those two, the APX fit better. The pressure on my cheekbones from the narrower curve is negated by using a helmet since it splays the goggle. Essentially, it's all about preference when you're wearing a helmet especially with more flexible frames on the APX and Lobes. Additionally, I had my friends of the multiethnic variety try on all of them for purposes of this review and they said that the nose bridge design of the Airbrake has the least pressure and best nose fit across the spectrum—likely due to the rigid front frame
Helmet compatibility/integration: Airbrake with close second by the Platoon. All four goggles fit with helmets, provided you don't have a brim on your helmet—but the oakleys seem to have the best fit likely due to both the outriggers and distance from the lens to the face combined with the flat top of the goggle. Compared to the Airbrake, the Platoon, Lobes and APX sit a little closer to the face for less protrusion. The Platoon sits almost flush with the helmet edge but the other two leave more of a gap due to the the rounded top part of the goggle (this is more pronounced on the APX). This criteria is more a style tradeoff however as they are compatible regardless and provide no detriment to riding or vision.
Foam: Dragon APX wins. All the face foam from all four are relatively similar, triple layered—here I think the edge goes to the Dragon APX, just from the softness of the micro-fleece backing on the contact layer. The Airbrake seems to have less dense foam than the APX/Platoon/Lobes and feels like a better seal around the face but for sheer comfort/feel I prefer the APX.
Venting/Fogging: Dragon APX and wins by a sliver over the Airbrake/Platoon. The Airbrake/Platoon/APX don't fog—I even let my sweaty brother use them, no condensation—even when they had some snow on the interior! The reason I edged it to the APX was the hard vents—I love them and I wish everyone had them because of the wear and tear of accumulated snow/ice. The Lobes bring up the rear—at speed they're fine and don't fog but after some hard runs or waiting on a lift the smaller vents catch up and fog quite quickly and the interior anti-fog coating is very very delicate.
Clarity: tie. All three have amazingly clear lenses. I used the Platoon with Contact Bronze with a Persimmon extra lens. I used the POC All Blacks with a clear/gold mirror extra lens, Dragon APX with blue/yellow ionized, rose, eclipse lenses and the Airbrake with fire iridium and persimmon lenses. If you're going for lens variety the Airbrakes win by sheer amount of lens variation the tints are all great though—for all around I think blue ionized from Dragon have to be my favorite for look and function.
Durability: Airbrake and APX and Platoon win. The differences in lens clarity is imperceptible—for durability though, the oakleys and dragons seems to have a more durable lens coating than the POC from everyday riding. For reference—I fell face first into basically hardpack/ice with the Airbrake lenses and came away with no visible surface scratches. The same durability assessment applies to the APX/Platoon but the Lobes seem to accumulate scratches quite quickly from abrasive cloth to everyday riding.
Field of Vision: Dragon APX/Platoon win. Of these 4 they both have the largest field of vision—they beat the Lobes on vertical field and slightly on the peripheral aspect. The Airbrake sits farther away from your face and as such the frame obstructs vision a bit more than the APX and Lobes—don't get me wrong though, all of them have great views but the APX/Platoon it just that much more.
Lens switching: Oakley Airbrake, hands down. The lens change is too quick. Period. You can change the lens on a lift or in the forest without even taking your gloves off—you really can't beat that. For the other pairs, I'd say the APX and Lobes "frameless" look is detrimental to the lens change as it seems like interface is less secure and more prone to breakage especially on the APX lens pegs. The Platoon is the more conventional of these goggles and is pretty standard for lens changing.
Overall, all four are great goggles but if I had to choose one—I'd likely pick the APX, just because of the look. The pragmatic side of me would pick the Airbrake/Platoon and if I wanted to look like a murderer, I'd do the all black Lobes.
Last edited by 2813308004; 02-28-2012 at 04:53 PM.