Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (2024)

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (1)

Ah the eternal debate when it comes to sunglasses: Ray-Ban vs. Oakley.

They both make high quality sunglasses using the latest designs with superior lens technologies, so which is better?

We’ll compare the two brands side by side based on style, frame, and lens offerings so you can decide which is right for you. Finally, we’ll also look at pricing to determine which brand provides better value.

Table of Contents

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  • Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Which Is Better?
  • Ray-Ban: Short Backstory
  • Oakley History and Founding
  • Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Style
  • Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Frame
  • Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Lenses
  • Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Price
  • Which Brand Is Better For You?

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Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Which Is Better?

Comparing Ray-Ban and Oakley is definitely a battle of the titans. Both brands are well-known for their stylish, high quality sunglasses, with a cool factor that’s second to none.

In truth, it’s not really an apples to apples comparison as Ray-Ban is more of a fashion and style brand while Oakley is a sport and performance eyewear company, though it does have a lifestyle collection that’s geared to everyday wearers too.

Both are actually owned by the same parent company – Luxottica – the eyewear conglomerate that owns a huge portfolio of famous glasses brands and retailers like Costa, Persol, Michael Kors, Sunglass Hut, and LensCrafters.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of their most popular models:

Ray-Ban Aviator Classic

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Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer

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Ray-Ban Clubmaster

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Oakley Holbrook

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Oakley Gascan

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Oakley Flak 2.0 XL

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In short, Ray-Bans are better for fashionistas and style trendsetters, while Oakleys are better for sport and active lifestyles.

Ray-Ban: Short Backstory

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (8)

Ray-Ban launched in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb with aviation sunglasses designed for military pilots.

The initial prototype was aplastic frame with green lensesbefore it was redesigned using metal and eventually patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator.

Aviators became a sought-after style afterimages of General Douglas MacArthur wearing Aviatorsduring WWII created his signature look in uniform.

In the 1950s, Ray-Ban came out with the Wayfarer, a bold, trapezoidal-shape frame made out of plastic.

It had it’s day in the sun but didn’t become truly iconic until Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business made it skyrocket in popularity in 1983.

Ray-Ban cemented it’s place as an iconic brand once the company used product placement of their sunglasses in movies and tv shows in the 80s.

Ever since,Ray-Bans have been fixtures on celebritiesfrom Brad Pitt and Justin Bieber to Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyoncé.

Persol vs. Ray-Ban

Oakley History and Founding

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (9)

Unlike Ray-Ban, Oakley wasn’t born out of an optical lab. Founded in 1975 by Jim Jannard in his garage, the fledgling company initially sold handlebar grips for motocross.

Oakley didn’t even create eyewear until 1980 when the company launched a pair of goggles called O-Frame.

From there, Oakley branched out from motocross to ski goggles and eventually into sport and tactical sunglasses.

Best Oakley Sunglasses For Fishing

Despite it’s humble beginnings, Oakley ended up becoming an official eyewear provider for the U.S. military given it’s technological innovations and rigorous impact-testing in the field.

Oakley SI(the Oakley Standard Issue division) actually produces ballistic and tactical-approved eyewear for both the military and law enforcement agencies.

For regular civilians, Oakley offers a wide range of ANSI-rated athletic and safety glasses for everything from cycling and skiing, to shooting and training glasses.

Best Ray-Ban Alternatives

Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Style

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When it comes to style, both Ray-Ban and Oakley have plenty of it. There’s no denying that sporting a pair of Ray-Bans or Oakleys automatically adds glamour and sex appeal to both men and women (and all genders) alike.

For Hollywood royalty or a rock n’ roll vibe that will dazzle poolside or make a fashion statement for a night on the town, Ray-Ban is where it’s at.

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The New Wayfarer, the Justin, or one of their round metal frames always hit the mark.

And if you’re wearing a leather jacket? Gotta pull a Top Gun with a pair of mirrored Aviators.

On the other hand, Oakleys are more biker-chic and cool-kid athletic.

You’re not laying out in the sand, you’re playing beach volleyball with the Half Jacket 2.0 XL or the EV Zero Blades.

Or, you’re hitting the road with the wind in your hair and the wraparound Fuel Cell or Shocktube.

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (12)

Maui Jim vs. Ray-Ban

Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Frame

Both Ray-Ban and Oakley use high quality materials in the making of their frames. Ray-Ban’s frames are built for everyday use while Oakley is more focused on protection and performance with durable, flexible frames that can withstand impact.

Ray-Ban uses various materials includingacetate(a plant-based synthetic plastic), nylon, titanium and other metals in their sunglasses and eyeglasses.

Best Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Acetate frames like the Wayfarer are smooth and seamless because theycut them from a single block.

If you’ve ever owned or tried on a pair of Ray-Ban knockoffs, you’ll see and feel the difference in the details – the real thing has perfectly aligned fit and edges with hinges that open and close smoothly.

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Oakley makes frames with the same basic components, but they also create their own proprietary materials like the lightweight, indestructible O Matter™ frame and Unobtainium™ temple and nosepad grips.

They also utilize a special “3-point fit” technology, where the frame only makes contact with your head at 3 points:

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (14)

Oakley’s signature straight temple arms work because the temple tips hug your head rather than holding on behind your ears.

You’ll also find several wraparound shield frames in addition to low-profile half-rim sports sunglasses, whereas the majority of Ray-Bans are full-rim frames.

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (15)

Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Lenses

Ray-Ban and Oakley both produce excellent lenses, giving you high-definition color vibrancy as well as crisp, crystal-clear views.

Naturally, their sunglasses provide 100% UV protection and both companies offer polarized lenses for even more clarity in bright conditions.

Let’s take a look at their most popular lens technologies: Ray-Ban’s Chromance and Oakley’s Prizm.

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (16)

Chromance lenses are made out of polycarbonate and enhance color and details so your world looks more vivid and high-def.

They are also polarized and have anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.

What you might not know is that Chromance lenses use the same technology as Oakley’s Prizm (courtesy of the fact that they’re both Luxottica companies).

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (17)

So what’s the difference?

Prizm lenses come in both polarized and non-polarized options, plus there are sport-specific Prizms that cater to the visual environments of each activity.

For example, Prizm Golf lenses enhance greens and browns while Prizm Deep Water filters out blues, adding reds and greens for better contrast on the open ocean.

Bottom line? Given that Chromance and Prizm lenses use the same technology, there isn’t a huge difference between the two unless you need sport-specific lenses.

Best Oakley Alternatives

Ray-Ban vs. Oakley: Price

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (18)

Let’s face it, a pair of Ray-Ban or Oakley sunglasses isn’t going to come cheap.

You’re going to have spend 3 figures on either brand no matter how you slice it. But is one a better value than the other?

In general, you’ll find both brands pretty neck and neck in price for their everyday eyewear collections, setting you back between $150-$175 per pair.

Oakley might have a slight edge over Ray-Ban here as some of their most popular frames like the Gascan start a little over $100.

Save over 30% on Ray-Ban Sunglasses

However, if you’re getting one of their performance sport sunglasses, Oakley will definitely get more expensive than Ray-Ban.

Their highly technical lens and frame innovations start to add up, with a base price range between $180-$220.

One good way of getting a good deal on Ray-Bans or Oakleys is by buying through an authorized retailer that offers discounts and promos.

CheckEyeBuyDirect,GlassesUSA, Gaffos or SmartBuyGlassesfor the best deals.

You can also get prescription lenses through any one of these shops too.

Deals on Oakley Sunglasses

Which Brand Is Better For You?

If style and fashion is your thing, Ray-Bans are a no-brainer. Their iconic frames never get old – plus, they come out with modern versions that look fresh and new even though the “bones” of the original is still in there.

On the other hand, for an active adventurer or endurance athlete, Oakley is your jam. Between their ergonomically-designed wraparound frames and precision performance lenses, you’ll be better equipped to go faster, longer, and harder in one of their sunglasses.

Ray-Bans vs. Oakleys: Battle of the Titans (2024)

FAQs

Which is better, Oakley or Ray-Ban? ›

In general, if you are looking for sunglasses with classic and durable styles, Ray-Ban is a good choice. If you are looking for sunglasses with innovative and technological designs for extreme situations, Oakley may be a good choice.

Is Ray-Ban owned by Oakley? ›

Luxottica owns not only a large portfolio of brands (over a dozen) such as Ray-Ban and Oakley but also retailers such as Sunglass Hut, Lenscrafters and Oliver Peoples, the optical departments at Target, and (formerly) Sears, as well as key eye insurance groups including the second largest glasses insurance firm in the ...

Is prizm better than polarized? ›

Whereas polarized lenses block glare from reflected light, Prizm lenses amplify what you're seeing. That being said, most polarized and all Prizm lenses offer 100% UV protection from the sun's rays, keeping your eyes safe from strain and burn while out of doors.

Why does the military use Oakley sunglasses? ›

Oakley's partnership with the U.S. Armed Forces began in the 1980s. The alliance was formed to develop new technologies that improvethe safety, performance and comfort of our service members and safety professionals.

Why are Oakley so expensive? ›

The premium cost means Oakley can spend more time making sure they've produced quality, durable products than other companies. Both the frames and lenses are made to resist impacts, protecting your eyes from potentially dangerous material and helping them last even longer.

Is Oakley considered a luxury brand? ›

The Oakley brand also collaborates with various artists and designers on special editions, staying at the forefront of the fashion industry. Social and Environmental Responsibility: Oakley has become one of the first luxury brands to engage in social and environmental responsibility.

Is Maui Jim better than Ray-Ban? ›

Ray Bans and Maui Jims both bolster eye health because of their highly protective makeup. It is worth noting that Ray Bans, unlike Maui Jims, are not the best option for outdoor sports because of their inability to block harsh glares off water or snow. That said, they will certainly make a fashion statement.

Are Ray-Bans luxury? ›

Ray-Ban is a brand of luxury sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb. The brand is best known for its Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses.

Why are Oakleys not polarized? ›

Prizm ™ will intensify the colors, when the polarization will reduce glare. But not all Prizm lenses are polarized, because polarization is not always useful and necessary. It will be a plus, for example, to reduce reflections on the water, which allows you to see better under the surface of the water.

What is special about Oakley Prizm? ›

PRIZM™ is Oakley's proprietary lens technology that fine-tunes vision for specific environments. PRIZM lenses emphasize colors where the eye is most sensitive to detail, which in turn enhances performance, safety, and your overall experience.

What's so special about Oakley sunglasses? ›

Oakley prides itself on lens quality. Their lenses are engineered to provide exceptional clarity and sharpness. The High Definition Optics (HDO) technology ensures a clearer, sharper, and more accurate vision. This is crucial for activities where precision is key, such as cycling or golfing.

What Oakleys do Marines wear? ›

The Oakley® SI Uniform Collection is a colorway authorized for wear in all uniforms, both military and law enforcement. For the military, the collection falls within the eyewear guidelines in AR670-1.

What sunglasses do special forces wear? ›

Currently, the Wiley X Romer 3 is one of the most popular military sunglasses used by Navy Seals. They offer great protection against the elements and include three different lens options for various lighting conditions.

Do cops wear Oakleys? ›

Oakley has grown from a niche action sports brand to the all-but-official shades of the right wing and police, Josh Marcus writes.

Is Ray-Ban considered luxury? ›

Are Ray-Bans considered luxury? While not as exclusive as some luxury brands, Ray-Ban is considered a premium eyewear brand due to its quality, heritage, and iconic status.

What is the highest rating for sunglasses? ›

You should already know that the best way to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays is to wear sunglasses when outside, but just how much UV protection do you need? The answer lies within the numbered rating, and the highest UV protection rating offered is UV 400.

Why Ray-Ban is the best? ›

They offer sturdy, durable, scratch-resistant, and quality frames that offer round-the-clock protection against UV rays, blue light, and glare. The price point of Ray-Ban is also not something that will make your budget go haywire. They are known to be affordable luxury sunglasses.

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