All posts by Tallington Lakes

Chas is and aggregator tying to communicate useful information from our experts to a lot of people who like outdoor activities such as water sports and snow sports. Participates and has had a go at many of the sports, so sees things from the customer's perspective!

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 Ski Boot And Atomic Backland 95 Ski Review

There’s a ‘shift’ to ski touring (free touring), and it’s growing in popularity! So if you’re skiing frontside on the resort pistes or finding that un-tracked snow on the backside of the mountain,  the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is the perfect all round boot. It’s comfortable, lightweight and gives you the performance you want. The same can be said of the Atomic Backland skis, lightweight and performance!

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130

Before I left for Colorado; I was impressed with the customisation of the boot. The Hawx Ultra has a narrow last, and my foot is defiantly not narrow. However, thanks to the expert fitting of the Memory Fit 3D Platinum Light Liner, these  are the comfiest boots I had ever worn; and light! They only weigh  1420g (size 26.5  boot). The lace up liners are a great addition because you can put the linear on before putting the boot on; which is a great help in the cold car parks of the Colorado Rockies.

New to the touring scene I was interested to see how I would get on with the pin bindings compared to a traditional alpine bindings.  Safe to say any doubts I had were quickly put to bed. The pre-cut skins were also an easy fit (and removal), thanks to a new tip fitting.

atomic backland skis
The carbon backbone of the ski gives it the stiffness and performance you want making those powder turns!

My guide (brother) had been up in the mountains for a month skiing and touring every day; so I was expecting to be absolutely beasted when we pulled off the highway at Shrine Pass, Vail (3380M). The extreme light weight of the Hawx Ultra XTD and the Backland 95 skis (1370g  size 177cm ski) meant, that although I was behind, my pride was still intact – which is always key when trying to keep up with your brother. After two hours of going up my legs were feeling surprisingly better than I first expected; mostly due to the boots and skis rather than my superior fitness levels. The hike mode on the Hawx Ultra allows the boot to articulate further than my legs possibly can.

Atomic Backland 95 Skis

After an avalanche check it was time to charge down the untracked snow on the Atomic Backland 95 skis that took me uphill so well. They were just as good on the downhill. The carbon backbone of the ski gives it the stiffness and performance you want making those powder turns!

The best part about this set up is that it gives you uncharted access. Find yourself a touring buddy and go wherever the snow takes you. For me personally there isn’t much better than being out in the mountains with just yourself and your touring buddy; away from all the noise and lift ques in resort. 

The next day, with somewhat tired legs, we took the lifts to ski frontside. This is where I had my doubts about pin bindings. Skiing in America for the first time, it was my first experience of someone pulling my skis out of the gondola for me. I was met by an American guy who was extremely excited about how light my skis and bindings were. First run down and all those doubts about the bindings and skis were gone; putting in harder carving turns each time. The pin binding work just as well on piste; and it was noticeable how many people were skiing on pin bindings!

The next wave of skiing is defiantly coming in quick, so keep an eye out for our freetouring gear!

 

 

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Why I Chose Faction CT 2.0 Skis

With help from their amazingly talented team of athletes, including Candide Thovex, Faction are  renowned for making world class skis. Their recent edits and full length films, especially ‘This Is Home’, really show the diversity they have in their skiers and the skis they make.

The Candide range of four different skis cover all bases for any type of shredding on the mountain. Whether you like sending huge straight airs off cat tracks, bouncing through powder in the backcountry or ripping around the piste or park, Faction have got it covered. The four CT skis vary in size and flex but share an attraction of being fun, playful and ‘rippable’ skis in differing terrain. Obviously the dream would be to have all four skis in the quiver but when the budget is tight it’s decision time! 

faction ct 2.0 skis
I chose the CT 2.0 because I was looking for a new playful ski that will enable me to learn butters, be light in the air for trying new spins and still be comfortable on crud and cruising home in the powder.

I chose the CT 2.0 because I was looking for a new playful ski that will enable me to learn butters, be light in the air for trying new spins and still be comfortable on crud and cruising home in the powder. The poplar/beech core is light, strong and responsive making it a great ski for extra pop and control in the air, not forgetting being buttery soft. With their carbon reinforcement underfoot, the impact of heavy landings is spread, whilst hard packed, cruddy terrain is dampened. The symmetrical shape of the 2.0 has made it easier to link and flow between turns whilst skiing switch and gives confidence for landing backwards. While this ski is ‘freestyle at heart’ it’s flat camber and tip and tail rocker mean it maintains a good edge on piste and still floats over powder effortlessly, making it a great all-round ski.

Overall the 2.0 is a lightweight, soft but strong ski with enough underfoot to be fun all over the mountain. Combine this with its slick, simplistic design and you have a very sexy ski. 

Louise (Ski Ambassador)

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Salomon Drifter Mid-Layer Jacket Review

I work outdoors at a Watersports Centre, and I am an avid hill walker in my spare time, so I was interested to see if the Salomon Drifter mid-layer jacket would be a welcome addition to my assortment of gear.

The  Drifter mid-layer is really light weight, weighing in at just 500g, and packs down really small, thanks to the Primaloft 60g insulation, consequently you can carry it anywhere.

The mid layer has a pretty cool reversible function which allows you to wear it inside out. This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions. Or treat it as two jackets!

salomon drifter mid-layer jacket
This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions.

This mid layer jacket is also snow/water proof with Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Shield technology, and Pertex water repellent finish, which means you can wear it as an outer layer. I have found the jacket does not fare well to harsh rain conditions as the water does eventually seep through, but in light drizzle there are no problems.

The jacket was ideal for hill walking, and nipping down some caverns, in the peaks; because it is light and thanks to its breathability I did not overheat! It fits well and is consistent with all other Salomon clothing sizes.

Although I have other jackets for outdoor use the Salomon Drifter mid layer jacket has become my preference every time; especially at work, on those windy cold days at the centre, where the  AdvancedSkin Warm and Primaloft has helped keep me comfortably warm.  There is a ladies specific version too!

Thanks Craig (Watersports Centre Manager)

 

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Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″ Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Review

With the stand-up paddle board market rapidly expanding, it can be a minefield in finding the right board for you.  Look no further! The Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″ stand-up paddle board is the perfect board for all occasions, whether your exploring a river or entertaining the family on a lake the ride 10’6″ will do it all!

Having only recently been introduced to the world of inflatable SUPs, I was amazed by how stable and versatile this board really is. The way Red Paddle Co have designed this board with it monocoque structural laminate (MSL) is truly revolutionary. This way of manufacturing a board means that between the layers of material they have fused a second layer and added in drop stitches, which bind the top and bottom of the board together, to add rigidity and strength. It also allows the board to be 2Kgs lighter due to there not being as much glue between the layers or material. The 10’6″ has also been designed with iFin technology which means that the three fins are mounted to the board area as a permanent fixture;  meaning no tools, no replacement, and most importantly not missing out on that sunset paddle!

Having ridden the board in all conditions I find that the 10”6″ moves smoothly through the water, due to its sleek design and rounded edges. It is extremely easy to manoeuvre making it perfect for someone who is either new to paddle boarding or someone who is looking for more of a cruiser board.  Due to its width it gives the rider that little bit more confidence and stability. And with it’s thermo sealed crocodile deck pad it provides improved grip.

Red Paddle Co also provide a coiled leash with the 10’6″.  I prefer the coiled leash as it doesn’t drag behind you as you paddle, reducing the potential for the leash to get caught up. 

The board can easily be deployed whenever, wherever and can be completely deflated, rolled up and put in a backpack! 

When you purchase a Red Paddle Co board they provide you with a Titan pump which has a dual chamber system which allows you to inflate the board in under 5 minutes!

Don’t believe us? Come and try one out at our Watersports Centre; we will have you from pack to paddling in 5 minutes!!

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Why One Should Take Up A Watersport

It’s safe to say that summer is the season to go out, be adventurous and try something new!

Floating around in a garden paddling pool is great and all… but how many times can you handle the children jumping on you, or turning the water a different shade before you want to “accidentally” puncture the side?

This article is here to throw you a summer lifeline by giving you the ins and outs of why one should take up a watersport!

It doesn’t matter how old you are, who you are or even what current fitness shape you are in. Here at Tallington Lakes we host numerous different sports that are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Being a boat driver and wakeboard instructor, I can assure you there is no greater feeling in watersports than when you first get up on water skis or a wakeboard.

water skiing tallington lakes

Water-Skiing

Water-skiing involves the use of two separate skis whilst being towed behind a boat. As you progress in your skill, you learn how to mono-ski by only using one ski. Finally, once you have conquered the turning and stability on one ski, you will be able to slalom through our course and look exactly like the guys on our posters! (who doesn’t want that).

If that doesn’t convince you to give it go, then here are a few benefits I pulled from “Health Fitness Revolution”:

  • Increased Balance and Core Strength: getting up on the skis- and staying up- require you to develop both your balance and core strength.
  • Resistance Training: water skiing forces you to hold yourself up and keep going using resistance. It works core muscles, arm muscles, leg muscles, and all the muscles around them.
  • Easy on the Joints: Water skiing uses just about every muscle in the body without wearing down joints because it is all body weight resistance in free range of motion.
  • Meditative aspect: Being on the water, much like in sailing, can have a calming effect on the mind and forces you to focus on the task at hand, forgetting about the day to day stresses and worries. Not to mention that the endorphins from being active will keep you happy and healthy!

wakeboarding tallington lakes

Wakeboarding

The best way to describe wakeboarding is essentially by saying it is a snowboard on water… minus the snow. Just like water-skiing, you are pulled behind a boat. The way in which you progress in wakeboarding is by learning how to “pop” the wake of the boat to achieve “gnarly air man” (a term commonly used by boarders).

Rest assured it is a fantastic feeling to be able to glide smoothly across the water, whilst also learning how to soar through the air performing 180s or 360s!

Again, if that didn’t convince you, my friends at ‘Health Fitness Revolution have these benefits to persuade you:

  • Strengthens arm and leg muscles: When you wakeboard you have to flex, resist and hold positions for periods at a time. Often you also have to build on these held positions and then explode or move from these static flexed positions to execute tricks and techniques.
  • Improves flexibility in the hands and feet: All the jump and turns performed while wakeboarding require hand and foot flexibility to avoid injury. Being agile and nimble on your feet will carry over to everyday activities.
  • Improves reaction times and versatility: With sudden changes of direction and position required, especially based on the boat’s direction and the shift in waves, regular practice improves reaction time and ability to adapt to differences in the water, direction, etc.
  • Develops hand-eye coordination and balance: Stability and balance are the foundation for wakeboarding, so core strength is a key component to this sport. Also, many of the tricks require fast hand switches, rotations, and jumps — all of which require hand-eye coordination and balance.

Wakesurfing

We have lakes, but they are no ordinary lakes. For here at Tallington Lakes we have the power to create an almighty tsunami behind our boats. This tsunami will release the inner surfer dude inside you just dying to rad on out. If skiing or wakeboarding seem a little too strenuous, then wake surfing is for you! It is exactly as it sounds, using the smaller version of a surfboard on a boat wake, in order to continuously glide and surf around the lake!

Once you have learnt to comfortably get up on a wakesurf, you will look the epitome of cool as friends, family and passers-by look at you in awe.

Kneeboarding

We understand that these activities may look daunting to a young child which is exactly why we offer the option of kneeboarding. This is great for children who are less confident on the water and is a fantastic way of slowly building them up to water-skis or wakeboard.  A kneeboard is similar to a body board which many use in the sea. To start, you lie on the board and wait for the boat to slowly pull the board to speed. Once the child feels comfortable they will move to a kneeling position on the board, then simply hold onto the handle and enjoy the ride!

So… Water you waking for?  Come down to Tallington Lakes and try something new!

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver and Wakeboarding Instructor)

 

 

 

 

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Volcom Draft Shoes Review

We all have that one embarrassing memory of walking on a wet surface, only to end up awkwardly flailing in sheer panic, desperately trying to grab onto anything in arms reach. Sadly though, the final result often leaves us sprawled painfully on the floor, greeted by the laughter of friends, family or anyone lucky enough to have witnessed our misfortune.

Depressingly, I was cursed with being accident prone from birth, so this memory is a reoccurring nightmare for me on a weekly basis due to working as a boat driver and wakeboarding instructor.   

“Should have worn better shoes” a phrase that is frequently repeated to me every time a colleague or kind stranger picks me up from my slip of doom.

Volcom Draft Shoes

I feel the guys at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop were taking pity on me when they offered me the chance to try out these ‘Volcom Draft Shoes’, assuring me that I would never fall again. This is essentially like telling a child they are about to move to Disneyland.

It was love at first sight when I opened the box to these pristine conditioned Volcom’s staring up at me. I have never really been a fan of wearing shoes without socks (be they water shoes or not), but when I discovered these Volcoms are lycra lined for ultimate comfort, I decided to test the theory. If feet could talk, they would be singing with joy. Putting on these shoes is like slipping into pure bliss. I was a little hesitant because the width of my feet are on par with bigfoot, but the lycra lining easily adjusts to the shape of your feet.

According to Volcom’s website:

“The Draft shoe was created for incredible breathability and control… design features laser perforations for steady air flow. Sweat and moisture are quickly dispersed, allowing for rapid drying.”

Thankfully, working on a lake provides me with just about enough water to test Volcom’s “rapid drying” statement. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how rapid the drying truly was.  After fully submerging both feet, the shoes did not become uncomfortable to wear or walk around in – if only they could walk on water, it would make them the perfect shoe.

vplcom draft shoes
It was love at first sight when I opened the box to these pristine conditioned Volcom’s staring up at me.

“Ortholite anti-microbial footbed prevents odors and bacteria from spreading”

Now not only do I have abnormally shaped feet, whenever they get sweaty or wet, the smell that is produced is enough to knock out all forms of life in a 10-metre radius. Therefore, I was pessimistic about Volcoms anti-microbial claim. Once again, I was surprised to find that the shoes were holding the toxic smell at bay. People were willingly approaching me without pinching their nose whilst the squirrels and birds didn’t fall from the trees. 

“Custom rubber trading provides enhanced traction and stability for wet and dry surfaces. Lightweight compression moulded EVA midsole offers lasting comfort for years of non-stop wear.”

Here comes the most important aspect for me. When the decking on the dock becomes wet, it turns into a minefield of banana skins. It’s safe to say at first, I was treading gingerly on egg shells when conducting this test, however as time went by and my confidence in the shoe support grew, I could comfortably walk up and down the decking with ease. I’ve safely arrived at Disneyland folks.

To top it off the shoe comes with an EVA midsole which stands for ‘Ethyl Vinyl Acetate’ which basically means your foot is resting in the VIP section of shoe world.

If you’re after a pair of water shoes/ trainers to use near the water then you would be ‘draft’ not to purchase a pair of these!

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver and Wakeboarding Instructor)

 

 

 

 

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Smith Optics Outlier Sunglasses Review

When it comes to sunglasses, I am fussier than a fashion model with OCD:

  • Do I like the colour? Do they fit correctly on my abnormally shaped ears?
  • Are the lenses dark enough to hide my eyes, while also not impairing my vision in the shade?  
  • Will they make my nose appear the same size as Pinocchio’s?
  • Will my street cred rise a considerable amount, finally bringing me to the definition of looking “cool”?

Smith Outlier XL Polarised Chromapop Sunglasses

Therefore I was more than a little sceptical when Tallington Lakes Pro Shop asked me to review these “Smith Outlier XL Polarised ChromaPop” sunglasses. Now, as a boat driver and wakeboard instructor, having polarised sunglasses is an absolute must for me.  If the lenses fail to block the sunlight glare from the water, then I’m basically driving blind and nobody wants that…especially the poor beginner clinging to the handle for dear life behind the boat.

If you, like me, had no idea what the word “ChromaPop” meant and simply thought it was added in order to enhance the “coolness” effect of the sunglasses, then it turns out we were very wrong. Back in 2013 Smith declared:

“ChromaPop Lenses are the most advanced polarised lenses in the world… By blocking colour wave intersections as they pass through the lens, ChromaPop is able to eliminate colour confusion… ChromaPop optimises colour and increases clarity, enabling you to see the outside world with an unparalleled level of vibrancy.”

In other words, they cut through sunlight glare like a hot knife through butter whilst simultaneously spreading the jam on the bread all in one swoop…sweet.

smith optics outlier xl sunglasses
ChromaPop optimises colour and increases clarity, enabling you to see the outside world with an unparalleled level of vibrancy.

Little did I realise how truly magical that jam sandwich would be. I decided to test them around sunset when the glare from the water is at its finest, often resulting in severe wrinkles from squinting so hard, you age by at least ten years.

I was honestly blown away at how the glare from the water turned almost non-existent. I felt I was watching my life behind a new HD TV monitor and Johnny Nash ‘I can see clearly now’ began playing in my ears. 

Not only did the world now look bright and cheerful, when I glanced in my rear view mirror at myself – I wasn’t bombarded with negative thoughts regarding fitting size, shape or colour. I was pleasantly surprised with the way these glasses looked whilst sitting comfortably on the bridge of my nose. I reluctantly removed them, allowing others to test the glasses, and it was clear to see they had the same immediate reaction I did.  Noting the fact our head and faces were all different sizes, yet the glasses always fit perfectly just like Cinderella’s slipper.

If you’re a snow skier/boarder, fishing enthusiast, avid mountaineer or a fussy boat driver like me – these ‘Outliers’ are certainly high contenders in the sunglasses market and will not disappoint.

…Oh and yes, these glasses will definitely raise your street cred!  

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver)

Check out our selection of Smith Optics sunglasses; in store or online!

 

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Women’s Hoodies Fleeces Review

Ladies if you are thinking of a hoody or fleece, for when it gets a bit nippy this summer, why not have a look at a few Charlie has been trying on – it might help !

Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece

The Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T fleece is ideal in a variety of ways. Firstly this fleece provides a thermal heat with it being 100% recycled polyester which creates a snugly feeling throughout the day, especially if the day is quite chilly! The fleece is also excellent for comfort, thanks to a soft short fur layer lining the inside and high neck. The large all in one pocket not only keeps your hands warm   but can hold objects securely. There is also a small pocket on the chest of the fleece and branded badge.

Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Fleece

From personal experience trying on this fleece I found it had a slim fit but not tight on the arms. I tried a size up than usual which I found more comfortable because of the larger fit; especially wearing a shirt underneath.

Picture Organic Clothing Nesla Hoody

The women’s Picture Nesla is another groovy styled hoody. This has a large ‘Picture Organic Clothing’ print in the centre surrounded by a summer pattern; which stands out from the navy blue colour. The hoody has  pink and white striped band around the bottom, which can be tightened. A large front pouch pocket which is ideal for keeping everyday items, or your hands warm. Extremely comfortable thanks to the 70% organic cotton.  Thick hood which was well wrapped around the neck with a unique twist.

Picture Organic Clothing Nesla Hoody

This had a slim fit and it fit me perfectly in the correct size ; so no need to go an extra size up for a comfier fit. 

Roxy Cruiser Night’s Hoody

The Roxy Cruiser Night’s hoody is a popular fashion item. This is ideal for wearing in the summer season as a form of casual wear for evenings or daytime due to the thin lining made of 60% cotton which is perfect for the summer weather and chilly evenings. The inner layer has a soft layer of fur which maintains a bearable amount of heat. This also features a simple but potent design which gives off a summer feel and represents the Roxy brand on the centre of the hoody. A front pouch which I found was ideal for keeping everyday items in or useful for just heating up my hands.

Roxy Cruiser Night’s Hoody

Volcom In A Dayz Hoody

 The Volcom In A Dayz hoody is a simple but trendsetting product however, different in a variety of ways compared to the previous hoodies. This has a zip which is perfect for matching with a shirt beneath which may contrast of the heather grey colour. I found this is easy to match with any day outfits as well as being a comfortable and thermal ideal for breezy weather, featuring two pockets ideal for warmth with the thick lining.

Volcom In A Dayz Hoody

The sizing was perfect as this wasn’t too tight or too baggy but had a stretched fit which was cosy to lounge in.

Why not check out the rest of our women’s hoodies from these and other brands!

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Stand Up Paddleboarding – the must try sport for 2017

Stand Up Paddleboarding (or SUP as it’s commonly known) has quickly grown to become one of the most popular watersports on Earth. SUP has set the world alight because a whole host of different reasons. It’s incredibly inclusive – if you’re fit enough to walk up a flight of stairs you’re fit enough to paddleboard, it’s very easy to get standing and paddling away and it is fantastic exercise. SUP is not only a fantastic cardiovascular workout but it also gives more than 11 of your core muscle groups a serious workout. Not forgetting SUP Yoga! On top of all that SUP is the best way to explore new and existing areas, see wildlife and most importantly, have fun.

Stand Up Paddle Board

All you need to SUP is a board, a paddle and a leash (to keep you attached to your board in case you fall off). We recommend Red Paddle Co inflatable boards. Red Paddle Co boards are the best on the market and are incredibly stiff, durable and have the same performance as a hardboard. The liberating thing about an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is how portable it is – it can go practically everywhere with you. You don’t need a van or a roof rack to take it on a road trip, or even a large space to store it at home. Red Paddle Co inflatable boards can be rolled up to fit into their own compact bags and can be worn as a backpack or rolled along on wheels. They also come with a pump, paddle and leash as standard.

So, start SUPing this summer and get ready for every waterway to become an avenue for adventure, for escape, and for discovering areas of natural beauty that you’ve never even dreamt of. Learn that it’s possible to keep fit while having fun and sharing quality time with family and friends.

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Oakley Crossrange Sunglasses Review

When it comes to a pair of sunglasses that are suitable for both lifestyle and active wear, Oakley have got it right. The Oakley Crossrange sunglasses aren’t a hybrid. Theses shades come with two sets of nose pads and temples, or arms (the bit that extends over the ear to help keep the sunglasses in place), to suit the conditions/mood you are wearing them in!

Oakley has a video of some cheeky hipsters, including Chas Christiansen, riding bicycles to show the versatility of these sunglasses, however, I chose to wear them:
Lifestyle – attending a Game and Country Fair
Active – walking in the Derbyshire Peak District

Lifestyle Sunglasses

The lifestyle nose pad and temples were extremely comfortable; and made the shades easy to take off and put back on, as you walked in and out of marquees and the sun. Certainly did the job, and didn’t look out of place –hipster!

Active Sunglasses

You immediately felt the active nose pad and temples get into position, when putting them on, giving you confidence that they would not be slipping out of place; thanks to the grippy nose pads and earsocks. These are made from Oakley’s ‘Unobtanium’; a patented Oakley material that becomes tacky when wet/or you sweat and holds the frame in perfect optical alignment. 

OK walking in the Peak District may not be classed as extreme, but we were keeping up a healthy pace, along undulating terrain (including a bit of scrambling). It was a warm day, so perspiration was building up, yet the sunglasses did not move. Once again extremely comfortable and I was confident they were not going to fall off!

oakley crossrange sunglasses

Crossrange

The Crossrange comes in three styles: the Crossrange, Crossrange XL, and the Crossrange R (coming soon). All are made to Oakley’s exceptionally high standards, and seeing-is-believing with these ‘High Definition Optics’. The Crossrange XL, as its name implies is for a larger face, with a lens height of 46.7mm; compared to 46.1mm and 43mm  for the Crossrange R and Crossrange. The temples and bridge are identical on all three: 137mm and 17mm respectively.

The mechanism to swap the nose pads or temples is very simple to use, yet secure, but not designed to be change mid-activity!

Prizm Lenses

Oakley is moving towards Prizm lenses in all their sunglasses, following the success of Prizm in goggles. The lenses are designed for different environment such as: Everyday, Sport – Road, Golf, Trail, Deep Water, Snow etc.

However, as I found, although designed for a particular environment they are equally effective outside of that environment. Back to my stroll around a Country Fair and walk in the Peak District; the Prizm Sapphire Snow lenses performed outstandingly without a flake of snow in sight! Obviously I will update this blog once I have experienced them in the snow; but for now, as ever, Oakley have designed another excellent pair of sunglasses….

 

 

 

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