Oakley Guides

Oakley M Frame Sunglasses – The Complete Guide

Baseball or Battlefield? Find out what separates Oakley M Frames from the rest, which M Frame lenses are right for you, and how you can save on your pair!

What are Oakley M Frames?

Originally released in 1989 as the Oakley “Mumbo” (hint hint). After some legal battles with the clothing company “Mambo”, Oakley agreed to shorten the name to “M Frame” which has stuck to date. The sportier older brother to the already popular Oakley Blades, they’ve become a staple of athletes and service-men and women.

Oakley M Frame
Oakley M Frame

The M Frame’s key features include:

  • Large wraparound lens with rounded edges for maximum coverage
  • Rubber ear stems and nose piece (an addition in recent years), to grip your face at all times
  • “Hammer stem” – the bend in the stem at the temple that moves the stem out from the head to accentuate the 3-Point-Fit principle

The initial launch in ’89 featured 3 variations, the V, 67, and Hybrid. It wasn’t until 2 years later that Oakley introduce the Strip, Sweep and Heater, Strike and Slash. Variations of these names have stuck around until today. But what’s the difference? We’ll break down each of the M Frame lenses, and what makes each special.

M Frame vs. M2? What’s the difference?

Currently Oakley offers 2 M frame variations to the public, M Frame, and M2 Frame. We’ll breakdown each, outlining what’s different and which is right for you. For the purposes of this guide, we’ve separated out the Oakley Standard Issue variations (Alpha, 2.0 and 3.0) – for those scroll down to the next section.

M Frame

Link: https://www.oakley.com/en-us/product/W0OO9024

The standard M frame, which was modernized in 1999 has generally been replaced by the M2 but is still sold on Oakley.com. Retailing for $136.00, they are currently only offered with Clear or Grey lenses. If you’re purchasing a pair for longevity, you’ll likely want to look at the M2 Frame as it will offer more lens options in the future.

Key benefits of the M Frame include:

  • Features O Matter frame for more durability and flexibility than previous pairs
  • Large lens coverage
  • Lightweight design with 1.05-ounce total weight
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1-2003/2010 standards
  • Meets MIL PRF-31013, Clause 3.5.1.1. ballistic fragmentation impact standard
White M Frame
Oakley M Frame Sunglasses

M2 Frame

Link: https://www.oakley.com/en-us/product/W0OO9343

In 2014, Oakley introduced the M2 Frame to the public. While Oakley Standard Issue already had a 2.0 and 3.0 frame, the M2 market the first public redesign in 15 years. For the complete history and M2 Frame Review, head over to Rustpot’s review.

The M2 featured similar styling to other modern Oakley pairs such as the Radarlock and various Jackets.

  • Features O Matter frame and HDO Lens technology
  • •Unobtainium™ earsocks and nosepads increase grip with perspiration
  • Available XL Lens
  • Available with Prizm lenses
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1-2003/2010 standards
  • Meets MIL PRF-31013, Clause 3.5.1.1. ballistic fragmentation impact standard
Oakley M2 Sunglasses
Oakley M2 Sunglasses

Alpha, 2.0 and 3.0? Which is best for you?

If you meet the criteria and are a member of Oakley Standard Issue, you probably noticed some SI variations of the M Frame. We’ll explain the differences so you can decide which is best for you to serve.

SI Ballistic M Frame 2.0

Link: https://www.oakleysi.com/en-us/product/W0OO9060SI

In 2006, Oakley released the M Frame 2.0. Originally a military specific pair, Subtle changes to the existing M Frame in the 2.0 included thicker lenses to resist harsher impact, and the addition of a lens clip to pass military requirements for lens retention during an impact.

Key benefits of the M Frame 2.0 include:

  • Provides an eyewear package that fits inside helmet
  • Less wrap to the stems to make use easier
  • Thicker frame for enhanced durability
  • Substantially less torsional flex
  • Optional clip-on strap
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 2.0
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 2.0 (From oakleysi.com)

SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0

Link: https://www.oakleysi.com/en-us/product/W0OO9146AR?variant=700285621944

In 2012, Oakley SI released the M Frame 3.0. Similar to the 2.0, this revision included changes designed for military enhancement, including better compatibility with night vision equipment.

Key benefits of the M Frame 3.0 include:

  • Slightly slimmer fit with lenses that hug the face closer
  • Venting of lenses to prevent fogging
  • Increase lens size
  • Thinner ear stems for compatibility with digital ear equipment
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 (From oakleysi.com)

Oakley M Frame Alpha

Link: https://www.oakleysi.com/en-us/product/W0OO9296

In 2016, Oakley SI released another iteration to the M Frame called the Alpha. With an updated design and enhanced features, this is one of the largest design leaps for the M Frame family.

Key features include:

  • Radarlock-esq technology for lens swaps makes them easier and quicker
  • Vented frame including the nosepiece for extreme anti-fogging
  • Updated frame design with a larger lens for more coverage
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha
Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha (From oakleysi.com)

Strike, Sweep, XL? Which lens shape is right for you?

Oakley M frames are notorious for the tons of variations available on the market, geared towards every niche. From baseball to the battlefield, the variety of lenses demonstrates the depth of use. We’ll break down some of the most common lens types/shapes on the market today.

Heater Lens

The largest lens in the M Frame family. The lens has a large wrap around your face to provide maximum coverage of 173mm wide with 56mm in height.

Oakley M Frame Heater Lens
M Frame Heater Lens

Strike Lens

With 51mm in height and 155mm in width of lens coverage, the Strike lens provides a large surface area all around.

Oakley M Frame Strike Lens
M Frame Strike Lens

Hybrid Lens

A hybrid lens featuring the curved side design of the heater lens with the straight bottom lens cut of the strike lens. With a width of 155mm, and height of 48mm it strikes a balance between it’s sibling lenses.

Oakley M Frame Hybrid Lens
M Frame Hybrid Lens

Sweep Lens

One of the smallest lenses by height at 50mm but also one of the widest providing maximum peripheral lens coverage at 170mm.

Oakley M Frame Sweep Lens
M Frame Sweep Lens
M Frame Lens Options including vintage and current pairs

XL Lens

Along with the introduction of the M2 Frame, Oakley updated the lens size to offer a Standard and XL option.

Both frames offer 145mm of width however the XL offers 50mm of lens height at it’s peak and 31mm at the edges vs. the Standard which clocks in at 48mm of height and 25mm respectively.

Oakley M2 Frame XL
Oakley M2 Frame XL (From Oakley.com)

Conclusion

The M Frame is a winner for anyone who needs a tried and tested pair of sunglasses. For military members, an SI pair is a no brainer given the constant enhancements to meet the needs in the field.

Don’t forget if you’re looking to save on your M Frames to check out our exchange areas! Buy, Sell and Trade with other members and no fees.

A huge shoutout to member @rustpot and @ventruck, as they laid the foundation for this guide in his related threads – Check them out for additional info:

Created this site because of the lack of a place for the Oakley Community to talk. Feel free to Message me any time with feedback for the site, tips o...

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Yeah that is what I thougt but some other guy -cant remember who insists that it is a tiny bit taller.