Oakley Contrail Sunglasses Review: The Modern Oakley Aviator (2024)

The all-new Oakley Contrail isn’t just a pair of classic pilot sunglasses. Instead, the Contrail brings a modern Aviator design to Oakley’s sunglasses lineup. But how do these sunglasses actually stand up to the test?

We’re finding out as we wear the Contrail for an entire workweek, Monday through Friday.

See what happens in our complete Oakley Contrail Sunglasses review. Plus, we’ll cover everything you should know about these sunglasses before you rush out to buy them!

Table of Contents

Background and Release

The Oakley Contrail Sunglasses first appeared online in July 2021 and were rumored to be a part of the Oakley 3rd Quarter 2021 release cycle.

These sunglasses were released alongside the CMDN, HSTN, Parlay, and others. And compared to some of the abbreviated names like the NXTLVL, the Contrail has a pretty normal name (at least by Oakley standards).

The Contrail name refers to the line-shaped clouds of exhaust left by airplanes flying at speed. This is a nod to the Contrails aviator-style design.

Now let’s get into our Contrail review.

Oakley Contrail Sunglasses Review

Our Gear

We reviewed a pair of Oakley Contrail sunglasses with a Matte Gunmetal frame and Prizm Black lenses (Product Link).

Our goal? To wear only our Contrail sunglasses for a whole week and put them to the test!

Did they succeed? Kind of, but the answers are a bit more complicated. Now let’s get into it!

Oakley Contrail Highlights

  • Modern take on classic pilots aviators design with a full-rimmed frame
  • Made of ultra-lightweight C-5 alloy frame material
  • Unobtainium earsocks are molded to the temples for added comfort, grip and retention
  • Adjustable silicone nosepads provide an ideal fit and all day comfort
  • Available with Oakley Prizm lenses and Oakley Authentic Prescription Lenses
Related: Where to Buy and Sell Used Oakleys - The Complete Guide
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Frame and Design

We’ve reviewed a lot of Oakleys over the years. But it’s always fun when a pair like the Contrail comes around. Instead of a wild design like the Over The Top or sportier shades like the Radar, the Contrail is simple and refined. But still modern.

These sunglasses take the classic Aviator design and modernize it for 2022. And in true Oakley fashion, they packed this frame with tons of features!

Starting off, these sunglasses are light!

The ultra-lightweight C-5 metal material in the frame and slim design help these weigh in under 25 grams!

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Plus, these sunglasses still feature Oakley Unobtainium earsocks for added grip. On this pair, Oakley slimmed down the classic rubber material and molded it directly to the temples giving you grip without ruining the classic silhouette of this pair.

Despite their lightweight design and weight, it never felt like they were going to fall off our face during our week wearing the Contrail.

Overall the Contrail takes classic Oakley aviators and gives them a modern refresh with a double bridge and sharp edges along with the lens and earstems.

Now let’s talk about lenses.

Prizm Lenses

The Oakley Contrail features large Prizm lenses in a teardrop shape. We’ve already covered Oakley Prizm technology and why you need these contrast-enhancing lenses in your sunglasses. And they definitely delivered here.

Our Contrail sunglasses had Prizm Black lenses in them, and we’re big fans. Prizm Black is a part of Oakley’s Everyday Prizm collection, focused on color and contrast-enhancing for your everyday life.

You can see the comparison below showing the difference Prizm Black makes. Instead of washing out color, it helps them pop. And we especially loved having these innovative lenses in a classic aviator like the Contrail.

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Plus, if you’re an actual Pilot, Prizm lenses are perfect. That’s because Pilots can’t wear Polarized lenses in the co*ckpit since they interfere with electronics.

But Prizm lenses don’t have this problem. So make sure you don’t buy Prizm Polarized lenses if you’re a Pilot!

Dimensions and Size

The Oakley Contrail is a medium to large size frame that will look best on oval, square and heart-shaped faces thanks to its Aviator design.

We’ve included the full dimensions of this frame for your reference below:

  • Frame Width: 129mm
  • Frame Length: 144mm
  • Lens Heigh: 49.1mm
  • Lens Width: 57mm

And if you’re wondering the best size for you, check out our Oakley Sunglasses Size Guide.

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Available Colorways

The Oakley Contrail is available in various colorways for everyone’s taste.

If you’re looking for a classic simple design, we recommend the Matte Gunmetal with Prizm Black lenses that we reviewed.

But if you prefer to make more of a statement, try the Satin Chrome with Prizm Sapphire. The blue in the Prizm Sapphire lenses will pop in these aviator sunglasses!

You can see the complete listing of colors below:

  • Satin Rose Gold w/Prizm Brown Gradient
  • Satin Black w/Prizm Grey
  • Matte Gunmetal w/Prizm Black
  • Satin Chrome w/Prizm Sapphire
  • Satin Toast w/Prizm Tungsten Polarized
  • Satin Black w/Prizm Black Polarized

Contrail Patrick Mahomes II Collection

In September 2021, Oakley also released the Patrick Mahomes II Edition Contrail (Product Link).

Similar to the Kato X launch, it appears this special edition colorway was released a few weeks before the remaining colorways made it on the shelves.

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But we’re still a fan of the original colorways. Keep reading for our final thoughts and whether these sunglasses are worth your time!

Our Thoughts – Are They Worth It?

We loved wearing our Oakley Contrail sunglasses. And they definitely stood up to the wear and tear of our week with them.

Oakley’s updates to the classic Aviator and Crosshair design are pretty minor, but they help bring the Contrail into this decade.

Overall we’d recommend the Contrail over the Oakley Crosshair if you’re looking for a more modern aviator sunglasses design. But if you prefer a classic Aviator design, go for the Crosshair, Feedback, or another Top Oakley Aviator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Contrail Replacement Lenses Available?

Yes, Oakley Contrail replacement lenses are available, but not from Oakley.

Over the last few years, Oakley has begun selling fewer replacement lenses for non-sport lenses.

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

You can still find replacement lenses for just about every pair of Oakley sunglasses, including the Contrail through aftermarket lens manufacturers.

Check out our complete guide to the Best Oakley Replacement Lenses to see your options and compare aftermarket lens suppliers.

How to Buy Oakley Contrail Sunglasses?

Since releasing in September 2021 (as we predicted), you can now buy Oakley Contrail sunglasses through Oakley and its authorized retailers (Product Link).

But if you’re looking to save, you may want to wait.

That’s because you can usually save 30-50% off through periodic Oakley sales. For more information, check out our complete schedule of when to expect Oakley sales.

And if you don’t want to wait for the next sale, you still have options to save. Aftermarket sites like our Oakley Forum Exchange and eBay allow you to easily save 30%+ on new Oakleys.

For more tips on saving, check out our guide to Never Pay Retail Again for Oakleys.

Looking for More?

Looking for more information on the Oakley Contrail sunglasses or have a question? Join the largest online Oakley community and let us know in the thread below.

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Oakley Contrail Sunglasses Review: The Modern Oakley Aviator (2024)
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