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Review: Oakley Radar EV Advancer

Ventruck

I should Work at Oakley
8,272
1,193
In the past 5 years, there hasn't been too much changing up with Oakley's sport line when the Radar EV was introduced in 2018. Oakley followed up with their "Advancer" feature in the Flight Jacket (reviewed here ) in and Field Jacket in 2018. I own and wore both for some time. In short, I do like the Advancer feature and find it properly functional.

Soon after, Oakley decided to wind back and create the Radar EV Advancer I will be reviewing here. With the current climate of COVID-19 and mandated practices in some public places, I figured I had enough justification to pick up a new Oakley pair to serve as personal protective equipment (PPE) in an array of conditions — indoors and out. Having to wear a mask gave more draw to have the Advancer feature to manage any potential fogging issues.

I picked up OO9442-0638
Matte Black Frame (Standard Fit) with Clear-To-Black Iridium Photochromic Lenses

20200919_185508.jpg


Much of this review will really just build upon my original Radar EV Pitch Review (here) where you'll find further details about the Radar EV in general.


Contents
• Frame: Fit
• Features/Advancer
•• Lens
••• Conclusion


• Frame: Fit

Interesting bit I observed is that the ends finish a bit narrower, and the stems are a bit shorter than my 2015 release Radar EV Pitch.

20200920_133748.jpg


Variance could be just due to progressive change in the mold over time. I received these very close to the date of production on the box. The Vault smell was strong and noticeably kept springing open. Due to the presumed demand for PPE eyewear, my pair was very well could've been in a made-to-order production batch.

• Frame: Features/Advancer

There is an opposite design focus of the Flight Jacket, which caters to having a more generous exit path for heat/air for defogging. The Radar EV Advancer instead has a better intake path for air. Both ways work for me because, bottom line, the Advancer toggle creates space from my face. I can well imagine things can work out differently for each individual's face, so try before you buy — or more current circumstances: buy, try and return.

I have been wearing the Radar EV Advancer with Oakley's Fitted and Loose Mask offerings with no issue. However, I do have another mask that makes anything fog up. Very much a case where your mileage may vary.

20200919_185644.jpg


Otherwise, everything is seemingly the same: hammer stems, lock hinges, earsock design. Nothing is really different than the regular Radar EV frame — and this is opens possibilities, as I'll get into shortly. Apart from the obvious Advancer switch, one slight change in aesthetic is that the Advancer nosepiece protrudes a bit further out. Call it a more "aggressive" design detail, if you will. It was likely designed to be a bit stiffer to deal with repeated toggle/switches.

Now one thing I don't like about the Advancer toggle/switch is it usually requires a full hold on the frame and it's not hard to accidentally touch the lens. It's particularly a bit cumbersome to close the switch, which is stiff/tight, maybe for longevity and reliability reasons. It's just not the most refined on-the-fly feature, but it does work.

Also, the stems on the Radar EV in general are a bit dated. Oakley has transitioned towards flat stems with bonded Unobtainium/rubber in the Flight Jacket and Field Jacket. The as serve more capable with the likes of TT, full-face, and Baseball and Cricket helmets, among others. In my experience, the "bonded" design has never warranted a need for Unobtanium replacement. Nonetheless, the Radar EV has a lot of surface area, which proves to give the earsocks longevity, and it is evidently comfortable to a lot of wearers.

•• Lens

In pictures I was under the impression the Radar EV Advancer's cut is smaller, like Oakley's Radar Edge cut. It's actually just about as wide as the Pitch cut, but with evidently tapered corners, and a bit of extra drop towards the center. This actually makes some sense because you want to maintain coverage with the slightly adjusted angle when toggling the Advancer switch. But as always, the fit of the cut depends on the wearer's face.

20200919_190047.jpg


Specific to this model I acquired, I've been indifferent with the Photochromic performance. Notably not fond of it during sunny day driving because there's just not enough direct light to have it fully transition. When actually being outdoors, it does the job,

But to the point about maybe the most keen curiosity regarding the Radar EV Advancer: the cross-compatibility. This has been previously reported on The Oakley Forum in the past by in this thread, and there is a video (or some) floating around as a demonstration.

Here, I've swapped the Advancer nosepiece to my regular Radar EV frame and have on a Prizm Outfield Pitch lens. I was never big on the whole clip-in swapping procedure, but you really can have your cake and eat it, too.

20200920_130936.jpg

20200920_124330.jpg20200920_124321.jpg

Now of course Oakley isn't going to sell just the nosepiece because that'd suck sales of their complete pairs, but as long as you're careful, one donor pair should go a long way.
I'm not sure why Oakley hasn't offered the Radar EV Advancer in their custom program, considering they could just source the same frame stock. Perhaps this version hasn't been selling well enough to warrant the additional lens production.

••• Conclusion

I said in my past Radar EV review that if I had to pick one Radar to start with, it would be the EV. I still stand by that here, and the Advancer inclusion adds sprinkles on top. Before this, my Radar EV was seeing limited use, well behind the Jawbreaker. For sports applications, I'm still a little more inclined to the Jawbreaker because having a full frame is less delicate to handle, but the Radar EV Advancer has been my daily/work pair for more of the last three months preceding this review due to the Advancer feature and lens.

The half-frame blueprint has been the prototypical design in sports eyewear for some time. Oakley has a rich lineage with this design stemming from the Blades, Mumbo/M-Frame, and then Radar line afterwards. I have some limited experience with other brands using this blueprint, and for me it's mainly been a case of "often imitated, never duplicated".

Of course I'm aware an outside reader is taking notice I'm saying this in a review posted at The Oakley Forum, and I have been pretty exclusive to Oakley for choice of eyewear. All I can say is, there is a reason why I haven't had to turn elsewhere anymore. The Radar EV Advancer takes something so long-developed and proven, and just makes it better.

Oakley seems to have had a bit of a pattern, introducing new Sport models every ~3 years. The next stop is 2021, but I've found it difficult to believe Oakley needs to reinvent the wheel here.

20200919_185338.jpg
 

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JasonDearing

Oakley Enthusiast
11
148
Nice write up. So the Advancer feature is more or less a gimmick or would you buy again if you lost this pair?
 

Ventruck

I should Work at Oakley
8,272
1,193
Nice write up. So the Advancer feature is more or less a gimmick or would you buy again if you lost this pair?

Right now my rotation is my EV Advancer and the Jawbreaker. If there was such a thing as a Jawbreaker Advancer, I probably wouldn't need this again. But how things are right now, if I lose this pair, I'd at least strongly consider getting a replacement.

In the broader Advancer spectrum. I was using the Field Jacket a lot for multi-use. That could've been an end all pair for me, and I far prefer full frames just so they're less delicate to handle. Reason that fell out of rotation is it just felt cheap. First world problems for sure, but I have other pairs on hand (Radar EV Advancer and the Jawbreaker) that I can freely use instead.
 

talbee

Oakley Beginner
83
83
New Jersey
I know transition lenses don't darken behind the windshield due to its UV protection, not sure if Oakley photochromic works the same way and that's why they're not useful driving.
 

Frosty1*

Oakley Beginner
Premium Member
2
53
I know transition lenses don't darken behind the windshield due to its UV protection, not sure if Oakley photochromic works the same way and that's why they're not useful driving.
Unless you are in a convertible, they work pretty well then. :cool-20:
 

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