Pilots can’t go wrong with a good pair of Oakley sunglasses, but it’s important that the sunglasses be non-polarized, are comfortable to wear at all times, including when wearing an aviation headset, and screen just the right amount of light to ensure safety while flying.
Here are 5 pairs of Oakley sunglasses that tick all these boxes.
Note: Also check out our best sunglasses for pilots article.
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Best Oakley Sunglasses for Pilots
Oakley Frogskins were first seen in the ’80s and became somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon.
Thankfully, Oakley had the good sense to recently resurrect the original Frogskins, which is just as well for pilots who can’t get enough of that retro and classic look.
Updated for modern sensibilities, the Frogskins Lite Sunglasses that feature a semi-rimless frame is another option to consider.
Oakley Fuel Cell
No sunglasses manufacturer is able to design wraparound sunglasses quite like Oakley.
The Oakley Fuel Cell takes full advantage of their wide lenses to give you unmatched peripheral coverage while maximizing your field of view.
Made of lightweight and stress-resistant material, the frame is both durable and comfortable, especially when wearing an aviation headset for extended periods.
The Oakley Holbrook sunglasses take their inspiration from the 1940s and 50s stars of the screen.
Despite their timeless design, pilots will appreciate the Prizm lenses that enhance color, contrast, and detail.
11 percent light transmission is allowed through, making the Holbrook sunglasses perfect for those extra-bright days.
These sunglasses feature Oakley’s thinnest yet most durable frame yet. If you’ve previously struggled to find a pair of sunglasses that are comfortable to wear at all times, you can’t go wrong with the Oakley Crosshair.
Oakley Flak 2.0
Another pair of wraparound sunglasses from Oakley to consider is the Flak 2.0.
Besides their increased lens coverage for better peripheral vision, what pilots will really appreciate are the sunglasses’ lightweight and thin frame for a more comfortable fit.
Things to Consider When Buying Oakley Sunglasses for Flying
- Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Lenses
It’s key that pilots only buy Oakley sunglasses that use non-polarized lenses.
While pilots can wear polarized sunglasses, it’s not recommended.
Due to the presence of anti-glare cockpit instruments, polarized lenses filter out too much glare, making them unsuitable. Spotting other aircraft also becomes more difficult with polarized lenses, as the light reflecting off aircraft becomes harder to see.
- Thickness of Frame
It’s a good idea not to opt for frames that are overly thick. In some cases, wearing an aviation headset for long periods of time can then become uncomfortable.
The fit should always be excellent at all times. Not just for comfort purposes, but also so turbulence does not displace the sunglasses.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.