Charlie BellEx-Army now London based with a love for the outdoors, you can usually find Charlie training for or competing in events which don’t involve much sleep and go on for excessively long periods of time. Most recently, the Atlas Mountain Race.
Yet another top-class design from Oakley – the Sutro Lite Sweeps are highly recommended for running and cycling. A slightly higher price tag than some of the competition but the quality of both the lens and frame build is noticeable.
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Oakley’s Prizm Lens Technology, range of funky lens colour options, Unobtainium® nose pad,
Wide field of view
Comfortable and lightweight
Colour enhancing lenses
Able to change out lenses
Long frame arms may not suit all
High price tag
What I’m Looking For
I dabble in anything from multi-day ultra distance bikepacking races, 1-hour criterium races, mountain biking, gravel biking and occasionally running and triathlon. I do a lot of endurance based events so I need a pair of sunglasses to be protective but also comfortable for hours (days!) on end.
I want them to be highly durable, particularly for bikepacking events so I don’t have to be concerned about packing them away in a bag when not needed, just in a soft case. I want sunglasses which will also sit in the helmet vents when not in use and not fall out. Being based in the UK, I want lenses that will be versatile for different light from bright summer road rides to flying through woodland trails in winter conditions and obviously… I want them to look good.
The white frame and the oversized green and purple lenses is a bold statement and looks pretty cool. They feel more robust than other brands I have used, and the frame material is highly flexible meaning little concern with chucking them in a soft case into a bikepacking bag during a trip.
When first putting them on they were noticeably comfortable and fit well although I did notice the long frame arms. They come in the standard Oakley hard case to keep them well protected.
Who Are These Glasses For?
I’ve been mainly using the Sutro Lite Sweeps for cycling but they’d be an excellent option for runners and triathletes alike.
The frames and lenses on these are fairly big but noticeably smaller than the standard Sutro and even Sutro Lite from Oakley, so while offering a lot of protection these might well suit those with a need for a smaller pair of glasses.
While obviously pretty sporty in their design, they are less aggressive than many of the other classic Oakley cycling designs so will suit someone who’s after something a little more causal while still performing really well.
I’ve been mainly using the Sutro Lite Sweeps for cycling but they’d be an excellent option for runners and triathletes alike
The test took place in the UK in March during quite a rainy period. I rode about 400KM total, mainly on road with the longest ride being just over 100km and in a criterium race. I also ventured off road to check the fit remained sturdy even when rattling around and out on a short run.
In the absence of any real heat (or more importantly sweat) to test them in due to the cold temperatures, I even tried them on the turbo trainer where there was sufficient (*significant) sweat to test they stayed in place. Lots of chance to test them in a range of conditions from the glare of low winter sun to rain and dull light.
What Stands out
COMFORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT
The Unobtainium (Oakley proprietary grip material) ear socks and nose pads really do ensure that even when bouncing around off road or running, sweating or in rain, there is no slippage or movement. Coupled with their lightweight feel, weighing in at just 32 grams and the flexible frame material, they always stayed snug to my face.
Having not owned them for an extensive amount of time this is perhaps a bold one to comment on. However, I have bent them, twisted them and used them robustly and the O’Matter frame material (which Oakley claims to be 25% lighter than normal acetate and 2x stronger) so far, stands up to the test.
Compared to the original squarish Sutro, the more rounded look on these is, in my opinion, a much better look. The loud option which I went for, I am also a huge fan of but there are some slightly more conservative colour options on offer too. There is also a bit of a retro design with these which I also really like.
The frame arm length comes in at 138mm. Whilst this works for me and sits nicely under the helmet whilst also providing increased hold around the head to stop moving, they are close to interfering with the helmet around the back, so worth checking this particularly if your head is on the smaller side.
At the same time though, the fact that the arms are so long, does ensure they stay securely stored in your helmet. When I’m not wearing them I’ll store them on the helmet with the arms through the vents and they always remain really sturdy and secure in this position.
The Prizm Road Jade lenses do exactly what Oakley claim ‘enhance colour and contrast to see more detail’. The lens quality really is second to none and even in dull light conditions, these still enable you to see very clearly. Coupled with the curved lenses, the visibility in the Prizm lenses is excellent.
Value For Money
At £152, these are at the higher end of the price scale. However, if you are willing to pay for it, you won’t be disappointed by the quality.
I have tried several lower priced sunglasses and simply put, the quality is not comparable. Having been a customer of Oakley before, I can attest to their products lasting for a long time and this new design seems even more durable.
BASE Bottom Line
The Oakley Sutro Lite Sweeps are durable, comfortable, lightweight, stylish and have excellent lens quality. At this stage, having tested them in rain, shine, off road, on road and running, I can’t really fault them.
With the sunglasses space becoming increasingly competitive but having always been an Oakley supporter, these sit above most other brands I have tried and if you are after a high performing pair of sports sunglasses, for a range of conditions that remain comfortable for extended periods of time, these are worth every penny.
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