Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.
Created: Feb 12, 2016.

Ray-Ban vs Oakley: which brand has better sunglasses?

Ray-Ban and Oakley are both one of the most famous sunglasses brands on the market. Both brands are owned by Luxottica Group – the world’s leader in premium fashion and sports eyewear.

Ray-Ban versus Oakley is an interesting setting. Both brands sell millions of sunglasses every year but they have almost completely different customer base. Let’s find out why.

At first, we will compare the main differences between Oakley’s and Ray-Ban’s. After that we go through positive and negative factors of both brands’ sunglasses so you will get a firm knowledge which one would suit better for your specific needs.

Main Differences Between Oakley & Ray-Ban Sunglasses

The difference between Oakley and Ray-Ban sunglasses is actually quite enormous. Both represent different part of sunglasses market so they target opposite group of consumers, in most cases. Oakley and Ray-Ban sunglasses lens and material technology differs a lot because they serve different purposes.

Oakley is aimed for sport-minded people. People who prefers performance over fashion. You may see them wear by famous athletes like Tiger Woods and Shaun White, numerous Tour de France cyclists and all kind of active-lifestyle people who wants to benefit from physical eye-protection and make sure their sunglasses cling to their face during sport activities.

Oakley Radar Path BlackOakley Radar Path Black

Here's one of the coolest Oakley designs. Check out Oakley Radar Path product description and price.

Oakley’s lenses are made to take hits; they offer great strength as well as clarity. In fact, Oakley lenses offer unbeatable clarity and protection combination without sacrificing its optics too much. Several head-to-head tests, their extensive eye-wear patents (most in the world) and the truth they are one of the few brands that US military soldiers are allowed to wear in combat, makes Oakley a top choice for every active people.

Ray-Bans, on the other hand, are mainly fashion led, targeting those who are after luxury shades wear by numerous celebrities. They are created to be stylish high quality sunglasses for everyday use. No matter if you’re going to shop or job, to parties or funerals, to drive a car or boat… Ray-Bans are suitable for all the occasions.

Ray-Ban AviatorsRay-Ban Aviators

In the picture you can see one of the most iconic Ray-Bans ever: Aviator style. Click for Ray-Ban Aviator product description and reviews.

Ray-Ban use often crystal in their lenses which is optically superior and allows to turn almost any pair of sunglasses into prescription sunglasses. But still, they are much less technical in general than Oakley sunglasses.

Pros & Cons of Oakley & Ray-Ban Shades

Despite both brands being high quality sunglasses, Ray-Ban and Oakley represent different edge of sunglasses markets. What’s ‘best’ for someone depends what is best for one’s specific needs. Anyway, here comes our ‘objective’ pros and cons list.

Oakley Pros:

  • Lens clarity and strength. Oakley have a method to eliminate distortion on curved lenses to provide improved peripheral vision and side protection. Lenses are also made to endure high-speed object hits. Oakley lenses are ANSI Z87.1 licensed.
  • Frame materials. Oakley sunglasses are highly technical, crafted from materials like titanium, high strength polycarbonate and similar valuable compositions. If you accidentally sit on your shades they hardly ever broke. Temple might snap out but all you need is to clip it back.
  • Sporty design. These are the sunglasses you want to wear while sailing, cycling, golfing, snowboarding… you name it. Oakley’s offer great durability, lightness and clarity. They will sit on your face during the most active performance. Oakley’s fresh, young and futuristic design makes a statement that you’re active and healthy.
  • Innovative technology. Oakley is improving its products every year. Eye-wear market unquestioned patent leader in numbers, and in quality. Numerous test wins in recent decades.

Oakley Cons:

  • Optics. Oakley sunglasses lenses do have a great optics but when it comes to comparing them with crystal or glass lenses they can’t beat them.
  • Price. Oakley’s price level is on par with Ray-Ban, except when it comes to turning them into prescription sunglasses.
  • Usability. You can wear Oakley sunglasses in many situations but compared to Ray-Ban’s they lose some ground. OK, most Ray-Ban sunglasses are not for sport but most Oakley’s are not very suitable to wear with a suit or comparable stylish outfit.

Ray-Ban Pros:

  • Timeless classic fashionable look. Ray-Bans have come a long way since 1937. Not any other sunglasses brand has as many product placements on films nor has been seen wear by as many celebrities as Ray-Bans has.
  • Variety. Ray-Ban is a market leader in a wide section of sunglasses. It has a stand out sunglasses designs for men, women and children. Everyone is familiar with classic Wayfarers and Aviators but they have a lot more hugely popular frame designs as well. Ray-Ban’s color, print, pattern and material options for frames and lenses are also remarkably broad.
  • Practicality and suitability. Ray-Ban sunglasses selection is outstanding. You can find practical and compact Folding Wayfarers (read our review), iconic Original Wayfarers for almost any event and they even have a sport sunglasses collection for sporting activities.
  • Optics. Most Ray-Bans comes with high quality crystal lenses. They are easily turned into prescription sunglasses with a little bit cheaper price than Oakley sunglasses.

Ray-Ban Cons:

  • Strength and curves. Ray-Ban’s lenses are usually made of crystal. It gives superior optics but lacks of safe and curves. Lenses are also heavier and may brake more easily. Also, Ray-Ban frames still use steel hinges to attach temples into the frame, so they may brake easily if you sit on them. Read more from our article about how to repair your broken Ray-Bans.
  • Technology improvements. Ray-Ban does extensively amount of research every single year but as we are comparing it to Oakley it seems Oakley is always one step ahead. Ray-Ban sticks to already proven formulas and their focus is to create timeless long lasting designs. Oakley is a forerunner in a technology field.
  • Too conservative. As for most people who love Ray-Bans it is important that they are iconic and classic. But, there are always young people and tech focused guys who refuse to wear them, until they turn over 30. ;)

As always, it’s matter of taste and specific needs, who prefers Ray-Ban’s over Oakley’s and vice versa. Anyhow, most people who are outdoor enthusiastic and/or active in sport, prefer Oakley sunglasses.

On the other hand, people who like to spend their time in bars, coffee shops, walking or driving in the city, may prefer Ray-Bans. And, there’s lot of us who owns sunglasses of both brands and use them in ‘right’ occasions.