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What is Oakley Switchlock Technology? [Complete Guide & Review]

What is Oakley Switchlock Technology?

Oakley Switchlock technology is an easy-to-use mechanism that allows for fast lens replacements in Oakley sunglasses.

Usually, this technology appears as a switch or jaw that releases the lenses from your Oakleys.

Keep reading as we review everything to know about Switchlock technology and whether it’s worth it or just a gimmick.

Oakley Switchlock Technology
Switchlock pictured on the Oakley Style Switch

Why Did Oakley Invent Switchlock Technology?

Oakley has long recognized the need for interchangeable lenses. Athletes, especially cyclists and runners need lenses that constantly optimize their vision.

And with varying conditions as the weather changes or from morning to night, different lenses are needed for peak performance.

Plus when Oakley invented Prizm lenses it made lens swapping even more needed. And having a lens specifically for sports like fishing or trail riding makes it that much easier to perform at your best.

So it’s no wonder Oakley has focused on making replacing lenses even easier with Switchlock technology.

Can you replace lenses on non-Switchlock Oakleys?

Of course, Oakley sunglasses have featured replaceable lenses for long before Switchlock.

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But most pairs prior to Switchlock technology (and even after) use a friction fit that requires a firm grip to remove lenses.

You can learn how to replace lenses in any pair of Oakleys in our full guide here

Switchlock Review—Gimmick or Worth It?

We reviewed a pair of Oakley Radarlocks, a part of the popular Radar family of sunglasses, that feature Switchlock technology.

On this frame, Switchlock is integrated where the frame meets the lens. You can see this in action in the video below.

By flipping the “switch” in the temple we were easily able to remove and replace our lenses in less than 60 seconds.

Using Switchlock we found the process simple and easy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth it.

This will depend on personal preference.

The main downside of friction fit Oakleys is the uncertainty. Most average consumers are usually afraid that they’ll break their Oakleys while trying to get the lenses out since it can be a cumbersome process.

But the truth is, thanks to durable O Matter frame material, the chances of you doing any damage during a lens swap is slim. But if you’re changing lenses often it can cause slight wear over time.

Overall if you’re changing lenses often Switchlock technology is definitely worth it to avoid long-term damage to your Oakleys.

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But if you’re only changing lenses occasionally, you’re better off buying the Oakleys you want regardless of whether they have Switchlock or not.

Keep reading as we round up the top Oakley sunglasses with Switchlock technology.

Top Oakleys with Switchlock Technology

Oakley Radarlock

Oakley Radarlock Kokoro Asia Fit
Oakley Radarlock Asia Fit – Photo: Oakley

The Radarlock (Product Link), which we reviewed above, is part of the popular Radar family. This variation features Switchlock technology hence the name. Overall, this half-frame provides maximum coverage in a large shield frame.

Read more in our full Oakley Radar and Radarlock guide.

Radarlock Highlights

  • Half O Matter frame with a large shield lens
  • Switchlock technology built into the temples for quick release lenses
  • Available in Asian Fit

Oakley Jawbreaker

Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses with Switchlock Technology
Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses with Switchlock Technology – Photo: Oakley

The Jawbreaker (Product Link) is has a bold, full O Matter frame built for cycling with a large shield lens. Plus vented lenses in the design help to prevent fogging on long sweaty rides.

Read more in our full Oakley Jawbreaker review.

Jawbreaker Highlights

  • O Matter frame that’s lightweight and durable
  • Large single shield design with vented lenses to prevent fogging
  • Unobtainium earsocks and nosepads for added grip when wet or sweaty

Oakley Racing Jacket

Oakley Racing Jacket Sunglasses

Another big, bold, full O Matter frame, the Racing Jacket (Product Link), takes its inspiration from a pair of motorcycle goggles. Plus the vented lenses help to prevent fogging on long rides.

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Read more in our full Oakley Racing Jacket review.

Racing Jacket Highlights

  • Nose pad lift, drop-down bottom frame Switchlock system that is easy and intuitive
  • Unobtainium earsocks and nose pads keep the frame from slipping when wet
  • Available with prescription lenses but not in Asian Fit

Where to Buy Switchlock Sunglasses?

We’ve included direct links to all of the pairs mentioned above for quick reference. But if you’re considering buying your sunglasses direct from Oakley’s website or an authorized retailer, you may want to wait.

Oakley runs periodic sales that can offer up to 30-50% off a variety of sunglasses. So unless there’s an active sale, you’ll want to wait on your purchase. You can learn more in our complete Oakley sales guide.

But if you don’t want to wait, you’re not out of luck.

You can find new and authentic Oakleys at 30%+ off through aftermarket sites like eBay and our Oakley Forum Exchange. To learn more, check out our complete guide to Never Pay Retail for Oakleys Again.

Looking for more?

Still have a question about Switchlock technology? Or Oakley sunglasses in general? Join the largest online Oakley community and let us know in the thread below!

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Oakley Beginner
I own Radarlocks, Fast Jackets, and Flak Drafts. I still prefer the good ol' Half Jacket, Flak Jacket, and Flak 2.0's friction fit method better. Switchlock states that its, "no-fuss, no fingerprints" and that's just not true.

I just got two pairs of the Flak Drafts and that damned button is so hard to press down and I have small hands. I smeared finger grease all over the lenses, it was a complete mess and I was very frustrated by the process. Fast Jackets I find to be the easiest, while the Radarlocks are semi-easy. You still get fingerprints all over the lenses though. I am lucky in that I have multiple pairs of different glasses with different types of lenses for all the different conditions so I rarely even make lens changes anyway, but for some people, that definitely is not an option.

I would just stick with the friction fit method; I have Halfs and Flaks that are over 10-15 years old and have not had an issue with a frame becoming weak or cracking.