REVIEW: Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha

Designed with military and law enforcement in mind, and compatible with a variety of helmets and even night-vision devices, the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha sunglasses are built to protect your vision and maximize visibility. These lightweight glasses are made in a hybrid shape, giving the user a wider view of the field, while simultaneously protecting them from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light. An “unobtainium” nose pad ensures it stays in place, and if you ever need to swap out the lenses, the trapdoor exchange frame allows you to quickly do so. The Ballistic M Frame Alpha also meets the stringent ANSI impact standard that delivers the ultimate performance with zero distortions to your field of view.

A Bit About Oakley

Oakley is a leading brand in sunglasses, known for its technological advances in the field of eyewear and its stylistic military design. Oakley is largely favored by the Armed Forces and police in the U.S. But, the company’s repertoire is not limited to just sunglasses; it also manufactures apparel, backpacks, accessories, and even watches. Oakley’s designs are suitable for a variety of environments and extreme situations. To this day, Oakley continues to move forward and pave the way for better and more advanced eyewear, whether you’re into extreme sports or in the middle of a battlefield.

M Frame Alpha Construction

The SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha sunglasses are amazingly durable for their light weight, weighing in at 1.05 ounces. They’re rather comfortable to wear and even easier to use (even when wearing a cranial). The frame is quite sturdy, sitting close to your face, which provides additional protection from debris. Furthermore, the sunglasses are highly resistant to impact.

However, the lenses can be pretty opaque, and in a shipboard environment where light is low, this can potentially be detrimental. They also smudge easily, but they’re easy to clean and the stains aren’t particularly noticeable from the inside of the lens. The “unobtainium” nose pad is quite sturdy. It’s also designed to fit snugly on the bridge of your nose, and while quick, jerky movements might make them fall off, a sudden turn will not shift them from their place.

Compared to other tactical sunglasses, the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha glasses are of excellent quality, and while they might not look like much at first glance, they become a welcome addition to your gear once you start wearing them.

How Did They Perform?

*This review pair of Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha was used on a Naval Aircraft Carrier shipboard environment*

The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha sunglasses are built to last, and one of the best forms of testing any product’s durability has to be the travel from the post office to a deployed Aircraft Carrier. You’ll be happy to know that the pair not only survived the trip, but it also did so with the box mangled up and a flap torn off. This means the product got banged, squashed between pallets filled with care packages and hundreds of pounds worth of other products with no visible damage to the frame or lens.
However, after receipt of the product, it was placed in a variety of situations common to shipboard life, to see how durable it is and how much protection it provides. You’ll be glad to know the sunglasses performed well on both accounts.

The first exam involved testing the glasses’ durability. This involved throwing them down one of the numerous ladder wells in the ship, dropping them from a standing position, and hitting them with the end of a screwdriver. This test was performed with the aid of a subject wearing them and simulating the action of taking them off and dropping them accidentally. While the lens survived the test no worse for the wear, the frame part did get a small, but slightly noticeable dent from the non-skid matting on the steps as it bounced off each one down to the bottom. The frames hit about 3 to 5 steps before coming to a complete stop.

The second part of this exam was dropping the sunglasses from a walking distance. This actually yielded no further damage. Afterward, testers took the blunt end of a screwdriver and tried hitting the lenses with what was assumed would be enough force to crack them. However, no additional signs of damage were observed.

The next test was the splash-proof test. This involved one of the most common activities in a sailor’s life: cleaning stations. This process involves cleaning supplies that, while not necessarily life-endangering, contain liquids such as bleaching agents and soap that can harm the eyes. While this might sound like a simple test in theory, the lenses performed well in this area too, protecting the eyes from residue splashes. One tester’s face got sprayed with mirror cleaner, and while the subject was not pleased, he survived the event no worse for the wear.

One third and final exam involved swapping out the lenses, as one of the perks of the SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha is the ability to switch out darker and lighter lenses. Unsurprisingly, it was very easy to make the swap, although it takes a deliberate attempt to remove them from the frame. This means you won’t accidentally drop the lenses.

Who Should Buy the Oakley SI M Frame Alpha Sunglasses?

Clearly, the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame Alpha sunglasses are produced for the military and law enforcement, but they’re also stylish enough for fans of tactical wear. Their ability to resist impact and be worn with military headwear has made them an asset for any tactically minded member. Their usefulness shines in a field of combat where dust, bullet casings, and debris can be an eye’s worst enemy. Additionally, they come in a variety of colors, which helps them blend in with the different tactical uniforms in the military’s repertoire.

Value for the Money

These darlings retail at an MSRP of $130.00, and they’re a steal at that price. The SI Ballistic Frame Alpha glasses are built to last in almost every environment possible, and that is invaluable for both people with active lifestyles and those with dangerous jobs such as those in the military. You can find similar products that run upwards of $250 dollars, and for the quality you get with these Oakleys, you absolutely won’t find a better cost-saving alternative.

Star Rating:

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Emmanuel

Emmanuel "Dash the Bomber" Barbosa

Emmanuel Barbosa, AKA Dash The Bomber, is currently serving in the 7th fleet, and has over 8 years of experience in the military. A writer with a penchant for the humorous and informative, he loves to share his stories with those who would be willing to listen. Having served in deployments that have taken him around the world, Dash has seen and heard about many things that would be hard to believe. A loving father and a faithful husband, he is dedicated to protecting his family and country. For fun he enjoys cosplaying, videogames, and writing for online magazines.
Emmanuel

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