OAKLEY PRIZM™: See what you’ve been missing!

When Oakley Prizm™ was initially launched in 2014 for the 2015 snow season there was enormous relief in the mountains; finally a range of lenses that really blocked the ‘wrong’ light waves lengths, tuned & boosted the colours around you on the slopes, and gave you a real understanding of the detailing in the landscape.

Skiers and Snowboarders the world over took to the range with epic levels of enthusiasm, loving the various lens colour options on offer – Prizm Black Iridium, Prizm Jade Iridium & Prizm Rose.


Their lens choice really could determine how easy it was to play, train and enjoy the snow all day long, with no faffing about switching out lenses as conditions changed.  Time to just ride and smile!

Now, the range deepens and we welcome Prizm Sapphire Iridium & Prizm Torch to the line-up.

They are both aesthetically striking; the Prizm Sapphire Iridium is a stunning, cool and vibrant blue, while the Prizm Torch comes in a lush, fiery red.

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Performance-wise, both of these lens colours offer use over a wide light range, providing crisp, clear results in different conditions, dramatically enhancing contrast and visibility along the way.  With Prizm™ technology, the boffins at Foothill Ranch have made it super simple to work out if that’s beautiful powder coming up or something to be avoided. Reaction times reduced equates to more time carving and smiling!


The launch of Prizm

After 15 years in the making Oakley Prizm™  lenses have finally hit the open market, so what’s all the hype about? With claims that ‘you’ll never see life the same way again’ and that you’ll only need one lens for all light conditions, the Oakley Prizm™ is positioning itself as the cream of the crop, and preferred lens for professional athletes and tech conscious amateurs alike.

you’ll never see life the same way again and you’ll only need one lens for all light conditions.. positioning itself as the preferred lens for professional athletes and tech conscious amateurs alike.

The data-loving science bods at Oakley spent months collecting atmospheric light condition stats from a range of environments as part of their initial research to design their innovative new lens. From the outset Prizm sought to develop a solution for different sports, terrains and conditions.

One of the problems it needed to overcome for snow sports was that of light saturation and ‘white out’ effect caused in certain snowy conditions. Due to the white balance of snow it reduces the accuracy of depth perception, and it obliterates a large percentage of visible detail. Boarders and skiers alike can struggle at times to clearly see the best line to ski as a result; that’s our excuse for wiping out anyway!

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The Oakley development team set about tackling this problem by going back to basics and using a fundamental understanding of how the human eye works, and this is the point at which a C in GCSE biology leaves me in the dark!

According to the Oakley team, certain conditions require specific lens tints in order to (and I’m over simplifying here) ‘let in good light, and keep out bad light’. If you really want to get your geek on and understand the actual science behind it watch this.

In snowy conditions a specific blue and orange colour tint will allow only the ‘good light’ to be absorbed and as a result provide the wearer with the clearest possible view.

Armed with the stats from extensive number crunching, Oakley managed to determine exactly which range of dyes was needed for certain conditions so that only the ‘good’ or ‘useful’ light from the environment is allowed to be absorbed by the lens and passed on to the eye. This gave birth to their trio of Prizm™ lenses:

  • Prizm™ ‘Black Iridium’ for bright sun
  • Prizm™ ‘Jade Iridium’ for sun and clouds
  • Prizm™ ‘Rose’ for snow and overcast

See for yourself

This is the difference in contrast and detail that the Oakley Prizm™ claims to provide when hitting the slopes; if seeing is believing then this looks pretty good to us!


As with all Oakley products these were rigorously tested prior to launch and as with all Oakley testing they roped in some pretty top notch talent to be their guinea pigs. Gold medalist and multiple World Cup-winning champ Lindsey Vonn was impressed with their performance. 

When emerging from a wooded section of the slope back into bright sunlight she remarked on how the lenses did the work adjusting between the changing light conditions, and as a result she felt no need to squint or narrow her gaze. To those of us who struggle to ride even the button lift this might sound somewhat insignificant, but with sports performance increasingly focussing on ‘marginal gains’, this could prove to be the difference between first and second.

“ I have one final secret weapon, which is Prizm. With this new lens I’m able to see those holes, bumps and little details in the snow that normally I wouldn’t be able to see”

Lindsey Vonn


Upgrade your existing Oakleys

If you’ve already got a pair of Oakley sunglasses or goggles then you’re just a simple lens switch away from upgrading to Prizm technology without breaking the bank, and if you want to splash the cash on some brand new gear click here to view the whole range.

Oakley Prizm™ Sunglasses

The improved Prizm™ definition doesn’t stop at the slopes, the benefits of ‘amped up’ contrast also applies to their sports sunglasses range. When it comes to accuracy and depth perception, few sports rely on this as a key skill as much as golf, so maybe a pair of Prizms™ could be all that’s standing in the way of you birdieing the next hole, or maybe not!

Still there’s no denying that good glasses can be a real advantage when dealing with glare on the golf course, and if you’re going to end up in a bunker at least you can retain a shred of dignity by ‘styling it out’ in the sand. #allthegearnoidea

This is Oakley’s before and after image for the effects of Prizm™ on the golf course. As you can see the traditional lens looks like its had the Instagram treatment (if I’m not mistaken that is the ‘nashville’ filter popular with selfie-takers everywhere) and the Prizm™ provides a more heightened, almost HD, view in comparison.



Oakley is rolling Prizm™ technology out across a wide range of styles, so cyclists, runners, watersport nuts and every single one of you who likes nothing more than embracing the great outdoors, don’t worry there’s a Prizm™ for you too.