Oakley Prizm Inferno Goggles Review

To anyone who’s serious about winter sports – or indeed, any sport – Oakley is a name that will need little introduction. Founded by motocross rider Jim Jannard in 1975 (and named after his dog!) Oakley expanded quickly, producing their first goggles in 1980 and their first ski specific model three years later.

By the end of the decade Oakley’s goggles were everywhere, the instantly recognisable ‘O’ logo on the strap helping to spread the message to skiers and snowboarders of all shades (pun intended). These days Oakley are still the best-known goggle brand in the business, and although you pay a premium for their products, the quality is second-to-none.

“Inferno is the ultimate fog-fighting technology. It’s a tiny heater pack which heats up the lens at the push of a button.”

The Inferno Prizm model is a case-in-point. Oakley’s top-of-the-range Prizm lenses were first released on certain frames two years ago. By filtering out certain light frequencies from the spectrum, they enhance the contrast in the snow, enabling you to see every little lump and contour ahead of you on the slope.

While there are a variety of lens colours for different light conditions Oakley have in fact designed each one to work across a range of conditions so you don’t need to change them as often as you might with conventional lenses. Having said that, when you do need to change them, switching them is easy, especially if you’ve got Prizm lenses in the Line Miner frame shown here.

The excellently-named frame is designed to be low-profile, bringing the lens close to your face, which means they offer brilliant peripheral vision. But the coolest and most unique thing about these goggles is that little widget on the side of the strap. That is the ‘Inferno’ mentioned in the goggles’ name – an addition that’s brand new for the 2016-17 winter season (so new in fact that Oakley still didn’t have a price for it at the time of going to press – the price quoted below is for the frame and lens without the ‘inferno’ attachment). It’s only available on the Line Miner Prizm model.

Inferno is the ultimate fog-fighting technology. It’s a tiny heater pack which heats up the whole lens evenly at the push of a button, clearing the lens of any fog quickly. The heating cycle automatically turns off after three minutes and the unit vibrates gently to tell you when it’s done so. The battery is rechargeable and lasts for up to six hours at a time, even in the coldest battery-sapping conditions – enough for most days on the hill. If you’re worried about melting your face off, don’t be. The heat has been designed to give you no more than a gentle warming sensation while melting the snow as quickly as possible.

Of course, this kind of trailblazing technology won’t come particularly cheap, but as anyone who’s experienced the frustration of fogged up goggles knows, they can totally ruin an otherwise great day on the hill. And if you can beat the fog with clever tech, why wouldn’t you?

Oakley Prizm Inferno Goggles:

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