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Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles – Great High Definition Lenses

Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles Review

Are you looking for new ski or snowboard goggles? Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles are one of the most popular high end ski goggles available today. They were designed to give you the feel of a fighter pilot while flying down the slopes. They have high performance PRIZM lenses combined with Oakley style. Let’s take a deeper look at the Oakley Flight Deck ski and snowboard goggles and what makes them so good.

About Oakley

Oakley Inc was started as a garage business making motocross protective gear in 1975. They started making ski goggles in 1983. Their first model was the O-Frame. They started making sunglasses in 1984 a year after ski goggles. They are one of the most popular brands for sunglasses, ski and snowboard gear, as well as motocross gear. They are known for high making innovative high performance and stylish gear.

oakley flight deck M at the slopes

Features of the Oakley Flight deck snow goggles

Oakley Flight Deck Ski and Snowboard Goggles

  • OAKLEY FLIGHT DECK SKI GOGGLES – Inspired by the helmet visors of fighter pilots, our snow goggles maximize your field of view, so you won’t miss a single target of opportunity.
  • PRIZM + HDO TECHNOLOGY – Prizm engineered lenses help you see contrast on the mountain in a variety of light and snow conditions, plus, ski goggles with Oakley High Definition Optics (HDO) offer truer, more accurate vision versus conventional lenses.
  • RIDGELOCK TECHNOLOGY + HIGH IMPACT – Changing lenses is quick and easy, while still allowing complete a lens seal to prevent harsh conditions from penetrating into your goggle + lenses meets impact requirements based on ANSI Z87.1 and EN 166 standards.

For this review, we got a set of Flight Deck M Goggles with Prizm Snow Saphire Iridium lens. We also got a Prizm Snow Hi Pink lens to try with the goggles. Oakley flight deck goggles come in medium fit and large fit versions. Depending on where you look they are referred to as Oakley Flight Deck XM or Oakley Flight Deck M for the medium version. The Large version is referred to as the Oakley Flight Deck XL or Oakley Flight Deck L.

Design

Oakley flight deck goggles are a frameless design with a spherical lens shape. They were designed with the spirit of a fighter pilot. They have a sleek appearance. The ski goggle straps have a simple design featuring the Oakley O logo.

flight deck front view

Price

Oakley Flight Deck goggles retail for $207. For $207 you get the goggles and a microfiber goggle bag. You do not get a second lens or a hard lens or goggle case. Most other goggles in this price range at least include a second lens.

PRIZM lens

The heart of Oakley Snow goggles is the PRIZM lens. PRIZM lens technology lets you see better than you can with the naked eye. It gives you better clarity, icreased color contrast, and better focus. It works by filtering out shades of blue. This lets you see differences in the snow terrain much better. PRIZM lenses are the leader right now in snow lenses. They are a notch above the best lenses from Smith Optics, Anon, or Giro.

How well do PRIZM lenses work on the snow? They work really well. I have the Saphire Iridium lens (VLT 13%) that I ordered with the goggles and a Prizm Snow Hi Pink Iridium lens (VLT 46%). The Saphire lens has a nice blue look to it. It works well on bright sunny days and cloudy days. It gets a little dark on flat overcast days. The Hi Pink Lens is a true performer on grey flat light days. It really brings out definition in the snow surface. You won’t find yourself playing ski by feel on flat light days.

flight deck lenses
back of flight deck lens

I would rate the lenses as a little better than Smith Optic ChromaPop for clarity and terrain differentiation

Flight deck lens selection

There are 7 lenses available for the 2 Flight Deck models. They have a VLT range from 5.5% for the Snow Black Iridium lens to 64% for the Prizm Snow Clear lens for any light conditions. Lenses with a VLT from 5.5 to 15% are great for sunny conditions. Lenses in the 25-45% VLT range are good for flat light days. The 64% clear lens is good for evening and night skiing.

Frames

The goggle frame is made from a fairly soft feeling TPU plastic. The frames are flexible to allow the lenses to be replaced and to conform around your face. The frame inner has triple layer foam for comfort. They do not have the really soft inner layer that Smith I/O Mag goggles have. They don’t slide on your face as easily either. The goggles have a very good feel on my face. I have no complaints about the fit and feel at all.

flight deck frame
flight deck rear

Field of view

The field of view of these goggles is in line with what you get from other medium fit spherical lens goggles. It is good but not as great as a set of large fit goggles with toric lenses. For people with smaller faces who don’t want large fit, you get really good field of view.

Anti-fog performance

Oakley has one of the best anti-fog lens treatments out there. Flight Deck goggles have really good ventilation to go with it. Lenses are dual pane as well. The ridgelock system gives a complete lens seal around the lens which magnetic swap lenses don’t get. This helps airflow through the goggle. Oakley Flight Deck goggles are one of the best anti-fog goggles out there. I have experienced zero fogging with these goggles so far.

As with most goggles, you get better anti-fog performance when using a similar brand helmet. The Oakley MOD helmets have goggle anti-fog vents that work very well with any Oakley goggle.

OTG Compatible

Oakley Flight Deck M or XM goggles are not OTG compatible. Glasses will not fit in them. I wear glasses and I’ve tried. Flight Deck L/XL goggles are OTG compatible for those wearing prescription glasses.

Swappable lenses

The Oakley Flight Deck goggle uses Oakleys Ridgelock Technology for swapping lenses. This is a plastic ridge attached to the lens. There is a tab in the frames that snaps into this ridge. I’m not going to lie. This is not the quick and easy to change magnetic lens system that other goggles have.

I have practiced changing lens quite a bit and can get it down to about a minute. There is no way you could swap lenses with this goggle while it’s on your face or helmet. It’s pretty hard to do without getting your fingers all over the lens. It’s very hard to avoid touching the inside of the lens where the anti-fog coating is. Getting grease and oil from your fingers onto the anti-fog coating is a great way to get foggy goggles.

Oakley Flight Deck XM Lens swap animation

Swapping lenses on a set of Anon M4 Toric goggles takes only seconds. It’s easy to avoid touching the anti-fog coating. You can easily do it while the goggles are still on your head.

I would rate the Ridgelock system at similar ease of lens swapping as the original Smith I/O system. This was their old system before they switch to magnets.

A replacement lens for a flight deck snowboard goggle retails for $105. Complete goggles are $207. I would recommend getting a second set of goggles with the other lens you want over buying a second lens to swap.

How to change lens on oakley flight deck goggles

To swap Ridgelock goggles lenses you need to do the following:

  1. Pull the frame away from the goggle lens along the top. This is the easiest place to start seperating the ridgelock.
  2. Pull the frame away from the sides of the goggle lens.
  3. Pull the frame away from the bottoms of the goggle lens.
  4. Pull the frame out of the goggle lens at the nose.
  5. Get the new lens out.
  6. Snap the frame into the lens at the top of the nose first.
  7. Work the frame into the rest of the nose area. It helps to hold the frame in at the nose so it doesn’t slide out.
  8. Work the frame into the bottom edges while holding the nose into the frame.
  9. Work the frame around the sides of the lens.
  10. Work the frame onto the top corners of the sides. You may need to stretch the top edge out a bit to get the top corners in.
  11. After both top corners are snapped in, push the top edge of the frame into the lens.

See the below video for a demonstration of how to swap Oakley Flight Deck lenses.

Helmet compatibility

Oakley goggles offer seamless compatibility with Oakley helmets. They have a

fairly standard shape for large frameless goggles. They will work with almost any helmet. They work best with helmet visors so the goggle doesn’t stick out farther than the helmet. We tried them out with the Oakley MOD 3 helmet and the new OutdoorMaster Diamond MIPS helmet. The goggles worked well with both helmets. See the images below.

Oakley Helmet and Goggle front
Oakley MOD 3 Helmet
Oakley Helmet and Goggle side
Oakley MOD 3 Helmet
diamond oakley front
OutdoorMaster Diamond MIPS Helmet
diamond oakley side
OutdoorMaster Diamond MIPS Helmet

Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles Summary

Oakley Flight Deck XM Ski Goggles

What we liked
  • Flat light performance of PRIZM lens
  • Stylish Oakley appearance
  • Great anti-fog performance
  • Comfortable to wear
What we didn’t like
  • Ridgelock Lens swap system
  • XM/M medium fit versions are not OTG compatible

Wrap Up

The high points of the Oakley Flight Deck goggles are the PRIZM lens and anti fog performance. If you want a snow goggle with the best high definition optics you can get then you can’t go wrong with Oakley Flight Deck Prizm goggles. If you like Oakley style and the look of MOD helmets then these goggles are a great choice. If you want easy to swap lenses these probably aren’t the goggles for you. If performance is what matters most then you may not care about that anyways. You can have quick swap lenses by getting a second pair of goggles.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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