*Originally published on June 25, 2018
“Oakley this, Oakley that, Oakley’s are the Greatest”… But are they really? Sure they have the best selection and a style for almost everyone. All the big names wear them in the sports world. From surfer to wakeboarder, to golfer, to football player’s (Visor’s), to snowboarders (Goggle’s) but do they really offer the best quality? Or is it more of a “so and so wears them so they must be good”? Those athletes are paid to promote a company and what they wear is usually a lot different than what we can find online or in a store even though they are the same style or look. I have worn Oakley’s for 7 years. My parents got me my first pair for a birthday gift way back 7 years ago and I’ve gone through 3 sets in that time frame. I wore Oakley’s because that was the cool thing to do and because I thought they offered the best quality… That was until I found out about Gatorz. Well, that’s a lie. I’ve known about Gatorz for awhile but I just never gave them a shot and truthfully I’m kicking myself in the ass because I should’ve tried them sooner. Gatorz are a “team guy” brand. If you’re in Virginia Beach at Hot Tuna or Chick’s Oyster Bar, you’ll usually see guys wearing Gatorz or if you’re a “weekend airsoft operator” that happens to frequent those bars. But for me? I’m just a dude that gets to shoots guns and drive fast boats for a living that’s looking for the best eye pro out there.
I hate having to squint and I hate being blinded by the wind when I’m chasing after a target on the open ocean. It’s just annoying. Throw in some crap weather and now you deal with sea spray coming up over the bow and hitting you in the face – no Bueno. With my Oakley Fuel Cells, I always had a problem with them bouncing up and down as we jump wave after wave. Gatorz? Well, they’re adjustable and I can adjust the fit depending on what is going on during the day. Hitting the range? I’m going for a loose fit. 45knots on a rhib? I’m going to tighten them down. Gatorz wins that argument. You can also throw in the weight factor – Gatorz are “heavy” compared to Oakley’s but they’re also light. Doesn’t make sense – I know, but hear me out. What I mean is that Gatorz carry weight when they’re in your hand but it’s not noticeable when you’re wearing them. Gatorz wins again.
Style or Quality
I would have to say Oakley wins that department if you’re about style one because they have more options, but quality? That goes to Gatorz. Oakley has more options but like I said… Is it really about style or do you care about quality? The Magnum Gatorz are a little like Oakley Fuel Cell’s from the looks of them but the quality is WAY above subpar. My Fuel Cell’s were never sub-par until I got my hand’s on the Magnums. I would much rather have something more durable (A frame made out of metal rather than a frame made out of plastic). A win for Gatorz. I’ve had 2 pairs of the Fuel Cell hinges break on me. The hinges on the Gatorz are made out of metal and they have a total of 4 hinges. A win for Gatorz.
I’m all about crystal clear – from 4K TV’s, to Vortex optics, to Gatorz shades. The vision clarity when looking through the “Smoked Polarized Lens“ its almost like a new outlook on life. It’s a drastic difference compared to the Fuel Cell Black lens that I have on my Oakley’s. A win for Gatorz. The Smoked Polarized take the glare out of the water on a sunny day a lot more than my polarized Lens on my Oakley’s. Another win for Gatorz. As far as Lens durability? I was on the range the first day I got these and I decided to wear them. Now I’ve had shrapnel hit me in the face a couple times including a few days ago – A piece hit the lens on my Magnums… Long story short.. 1) This is why we wear eye pro 2) not a single scratch on my Gatorz. My Fuel Cells have multiple scratches on them from shrapnel and everyday life. My Gatorz have zero. It’s surreal. I was worried when the Gatorz got hit that they would have some huge scratch. I was wrong.
I think that tallies up to 9-1 for Gatorz vs. Oakley’s (I’m bad at math). Long story short, do yourself a favor and get some Gatorz. They should be a part of your EDC and mission essential gear. You won’t regret your decision. As for Y’all over at Gatorz, keep doing your thing! You’re taking over the game one pair of shades at a time!