What We Like
Stunning lens quality
Light on the face
What We Don't Like
Not the most stylish
Difficult to find ball when on long grass
Oakley’s proprietary Prizm lens technology is built on years of color science research. All that knowledge makes the course pop like it’s in 4K. While Oakley uses the tech across a wide variety of sports glasses, the golf lenses, in particular, provide pumped-up contrast and color control for spotting a golf ball in flight down the fairway. I took the brand’s Half Jacket 2.0 XL Prizm Golf Sunglasses out on the course to see if they’re really a good choice for players who need help seeing things a little clearer.
Technology: Iridium Prizm lenses
Oakley’s Half Jacket glasses are available with Iridium, polarized, and photochromic lenses. The ones we tested featured Iridium, a proprietary, non-polarized, scratch-resistant lens coating which precisely controls the light that is allowed through the lens, allowing for different optics for different conditions—in this case, for golf. The Prizm lens technology offers HD clarity and contrast, especially helpful on the course.
Even during a sweaty round, the glasses stayed cemented in place, whether I was ripping a drive or just bending over to tee up the ball.
Oakley calls the lightweight plastic that makes up the frames “O Matter,” and it does feel fairly feathery in contrast to my usual aviators. Oakley also has its own grippy rubber called “Unobtainium,” cleverly deployed on the ear socks and nose pads to keep the glasses from slipping during a swing.
I found, even during a sweaty round, the glasses stayed cemented in place, whether I was ripping a drive or just bending over to tee up the ball.
Performance: High definition pop
The Prizm golf lenses are second to none for helping players watch their golf ball fly. At 40 years old, my vision isn’t what it once was. My naked eyes have a little trouble watching drives finish, whether it’s in the fairway or the rough. With the Iridium Prizm lenses, I was able to follow the ball farther toward the hole. Popped colors and enhanced visibility helped me see the white ball against the sky or as the tree line crept in. Seeing the ball finish helped me find it faster, improving my pace of play and confidence—wasting a few minutes searching for a ball can bring frustration as well as mistakes, needless strokes, and poor scoring.
But the Prizm lenses are far from perfect. I found that the Half Jacket 2.0 XLs actually made balls in the rough harder to find, as do most sunglasses. Removing them made it easier to spot my ball in the long grass or in the shade of a tree. Reading the grain of greens when putting was also better without the Prizm lenses in front of my eyes. It was crucial to take the glasses off when putting.
Popped colors and enhanced visibility helped me see the white ball against the sky or as the tree line crept in.
The Half Jackets offer 100 percent UV protection and 30 percent visible light transmission (VLT), an indication of how much light can pass through to the eye. Oakley says they are ideal for “medium-light” conditions, but you can also opt for the Prizm Dark Golf style, with a 22 percent VLT rated for medium light. At high noon with no cloud cover, darker lenses protect my eyes a bit better, so I found myself reaching for my everyday polarized Ray-Ban sunglasses. In cloudy or overcast conditions, however, the Half Jacket 2.0 XLs also allow you to follow the ball with less strain.
Design: Slightly off
The only downside to the Half Jackets is that they may be, for some faces, rather unattractive. For outdoor sports, I like larger glasses, and the Half Jacket’s 62-millimeter width is a nice dimension, but the 37-millimeter lens height is much too small for my bigger face. In some conditions, I noticed light reflecting off my cheeks under the lenses.
I also found the angles a bit too severe to present myself in the best light. But thankfully on a golf course, poor sartorial decisions are more or less ignored, and no one refused to be paired with me. Note that Oakley does offer its Prizm Golf lenses in the Targetline and Mainlink frames, which feature a more classic silhouette.
If you play as much golf as I do, investing in Oakley’s Prizm lenses makes sense.
Oakley only offers the Half Jacket 2.0 XL Prizm Golf Sunglasses in one color combination—black with a golf-specific purple lens—but you can create a custom pair on the Oakley site (with a prescription if you wish). They come with an electrostatic “Micro clear” bag, or micro bag, which you can use to store your Half Jackets and wipe down any smudges or sweat drops, as well as a spare pair of nose pads.
Care: Almost effortless
Clean your glasses. Optics work best when lenses are free from dirt, grease, and smudges, so utilize the micro bag during the round.
The Half Jackets are a durable pair of specs to be sure. I stored mine in my golf bag’s valuables pocket for a few weeks and found them no worse for the wear. Dropping them or leaving them to rest in a bumpy golf cart left zero damage. After three rounds, there is nary a mark on them. But Oakley does sell replacement lenses for $50, in case you somehow manage to scratch them.
For those traveling to courses, it’s worth noting that I’ve also checked a previous pair of Prizms on several transcontinental and international flights and experienced no issues.
Price: You get what you pay for
At $146, these glasses are priced a little on the high side for a pair you’re probably only going to use when playing golf. But they are cheaper than most other Oakley golf sunglasses, and the Prizm lenses are top-notch. If you play as much golf as I do, investing in Oakley’s Prizm lenses makes sense.
Competition: A crowded field
The sports sunglasses market is saturated with numerous options, and big names including Under Armour and Nike also make golf-specific frames. Still, Oakley’s lens quality sets it apart in the golf space. I also tested the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Prizm Golf Sunglasses, and while I slightly prefer the Half Jacket 2.0 XLs design, I think the Targetline frame offers a more appealing aesthetic than either of these.
- Product Name Half Jacket 2.0 XL Prizm Golf Sunglasses
- Product Brand Oakley
- MPN OO9154
- Price $146.00
- Lens Dimensions 62 millimeters x 37 mm
- Bridge Width 15 mm
- Arm Length 133 mm