Oakley Lab at Vail Mountain shows the science behind the brand | VailDaily.com

Oakley Lab at Vail Mountain shows the science behind the brand

Inaugural Oakley Week wraps up this weekend

Oakley Week in Vail features booths set up across the mountain, including the O Lab at the base of Golden Peak.
Ross Leonhart | rleonhart@vaildaily,com

VAIL — The inaugural Oakley Week wraps up this weekend at Vail Mountain. Demos, golden tickets, prizes and more take place through Sunday. Oakley tents are set up at the base of Gondola One and the top of Eagle’s Nest, and headquarters is set up at the base of Golden Peak.

A unique experience not to be missed this weekend is the Oakley O Lab, a trailer at the base of Golden Peak dedicated to informing people about the science behind Oakley’s eyewear products.

Catch it before it leaves town — it’s heading to the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.

The friendly, knowledgeable Oakley staff in town are showing off their line of products through impressive tests in the O Lab, from a spectrometer that displays visible light to the high-velocity test — shooting a steel ball at about 102 mph at the eyewear, simulating a rock or ice kicking up while on the hill. Other tests to check out include the lasers, scope and the high mass tests.

At the O Lab, Oakley representatives will test “gas station” sunglasses and other competitors on the same tests as the Oakley products.

“Every pair of sports performance Oakley eyewear will pass all of these tests,” said Noah Vincent, a representative with Oakley at the O Lab. “The majority of lifestyle pieces will pass.”

Other things to learn from the folks at Oakley include the company’s history.

Did you know Prizm technology started with the U.S. military working with Oakley on designing eyewear that withstands lasers on the battlefield?

While the technology has been around for 15 years, it has only been available to the public for the past five years.

The science behind Oakley eyewear is impressive. In addition to the tests, the company simulates real-life scenarios — such as freezing goggles before testing to simulate cold mountain conditions.

Oakley is also one of the first companies to use a 3D printer — behind NASA. Reps at the O Lab credit the company for being innovative years ago, and using that technology still today.

Noah Vincent and other representatives with Oakley are in town for Oakley Week.
Ross Leonhart | rleonhart@vaildaily.com

For many customers of Oakley, there is love and loyalty to the brand — whether they know why or not. A 20-minute tour of the O Lab this weekend will explain the science behind why Oakley continues to be ahead of the curve in eyewear. After learning what goes into an Oakley product, it might be hard to look at sports eyewear the same.

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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