We compared the Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep and the Sutro Lite Sweep (Vented) sunglasses to see which we preferred when trail running, cycling and backcountry skiing!


Oakley has more types of sunglasses than Sydney has had sunny days this whole year. So, choosing the right pair for you — and your sport of choice — can be a little overwhelming.

There are no less than 95 different pairs of sunglasses in Oakley’s Sutro range and that’s only counting the different coloured and shaped frames. Throw in dozens of various Prizm lenses and it’s easy to get confused.

So with some tunnel vision, we zeroed in on two pairs to compare. The Sutro Lite Sweep and the Sutro Lite Sweep Vented


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented

The Sutro Lite

The Sutro Lite is a big and bold multisport sunglass. They’re almost double the size of more traditional road cycling sunglasses like the Radar or M2’s.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


They may not be for the real cycling purists, but we rate the boldness and the fact they don’t look so much like service station speed dealers. 

Depending on your frame selection and lens tint, they’re also more versatile than the real slim-line sunglasses of yesteryear.

A massive field of view and dozens of colour options mean you can match these to suit your sport and feel comfortable keeping them on when you’ve finished your run or ride. 


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


Where the original Sutro range had a frame around the entire lens, the ‘Lite’ version is semi-rimless with only a frame covering the top half of the glasses. 

This helps your vision down low around your feet/wheels as there is no frame there to obstruct your peripheral vision. They also appear to be a more sporty-looking pair of glasses than the chunkier traditional Sutro’s with the flat bottom lens.

The Sutro Lite Sweep Vented

In the Lite Sweep you also have a choice between vented and non-vented. 


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


The vents are 10 small holes at the top of the lens that allow greater airflow making them a good option for humid conditions or high-intensity activities where fogging might be an issue. 

We found this feature to be especially valuable while backcountry skiing. During a snowy ascent and despite being tucked into a balaclava at times, they vented heat and heavy breathing superbly. 

They remained fog-free the entire time, whereas a pair of ray bans and a pair of Oakley Clifden sunglasses (glacier goggles) did not.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


Despite being some of the biggest and boldest pairs in the Oakley range, when compared to other high-tech, almost futuristic-looking glasses like the Oakley Kato’s — you might recall them from a certain high jump final in Tokyo — these seem relatively understated. Relatively being the operative word…

For a more classic, less sporty-looking pair of sunnies then the OG Sutro mode with its full frame might be a better choice. But, if you want to look like you run or ride fast, but don’t take yourself (tooooo) seriously, the Sutro Lite might be for you.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


In keeping with the futuristic, laser beam eye vibe that Oakley has been putting out of late, the frame is made of so-called O Matter® and there are Unobtainium® nose pads and temple grips that comfortably lock the frame to your face. X-ray vision might be in the next drop…

Yet, the result is a sturdy yet supremely light pair of sunglasses.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented

Fit and Feel

To match the lightness and surprisingly comfortable feel of the Sutro range, they also come in a variety of fits for different faces. There’s a wide universal fit, a high bridge fit and a low bridge fit.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


I have something of a melon and was impressed by how comfortable these felt on. The wraparound arms convincingly cling to your head but are not too tight to be uncomfortable.

They stayed firmly on while trail running over fairly bumpy and technical terrain, and when you hit patches of shade or feel like taking them off, they’ll stay firmly stuck to the top of your head as well.

There’s also no difference between the fit of both the Lite and Lite Sweeps.

Sport Preference

We’ve worn the Sutro range running on roads, trails, riding mountain bikes and road cycling as well as ski touring and skiing in the resort. 

They’ve met the challenge each time and been super versatile.

For high-speed sports like cycling and resort skiing, you’d probably not go with the vented option given the increased airflow, but for something like running, the vents do an excellent job of preventing fog.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented

Prizm Lens Performance

Oakley’s pièce de résistance is undoubtedly their Prizm™ lenses which are tuned for specific environments and sports. 

Each lens is made with a different colour-specific dye that accentuates the contrast on certain colours that are likely to be encountered during an activity.

For example, ‘Prizm Snow accentuates cyan and reds – colours that we can best detect snow contrast with.’

As we were mostly using these for running and riding we opted for the Road Lens, which is said to, ‘brighten whites and enhance yellows, greens and reds so riders can see subtle changes in road texture and spot hazards more easily for a confident riding experience.’

The trail lens is quite similar and, ‘enhances browns and reds of dirt while maintaining a colour pop in greens so riders can spot transitions between dirt in a variety of lighting conditions.’


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


Wearing the road lens on a long trail run around midday I was very impressed with the level of definition and light filtration I was getting.

They were comfortably dark enough to wear running under bright sunshine, but not too dark that I felt like I needed to take them off when running through dense, shaded trails.

They also performed well later in the day when the sun was low, but cutting through the trees and creating either blinding bright patches or dark shade.

With a light transmission of 20% and built for medium light, these feel like a very safe all-rounder.


Oakley Sutro Sunglasses - Lite, Vented or Non-Vented


Our takeaway was you can’t go wrong with the Prizm tech as they’re all designed to enhance contrast and will be superior to a regular tinted lens. So, you want to focus as much on the percentage of light transmission and intended brightness as the activity designation, as this will ultimately determine how often and in what light conditions you can wear them.

Clear as mud?

Hopefully, we cut through the differences in the Oakley Sutro range like a pair of razor-sharp Prizm lenses and you’re no longer seeing double — despite the similarities.

Still not sure which pair to get? 

We’d say, the Oakley Sutro for everyday versatility, the Sutro Lite to look a little faster and the Sutro Lite Sweep to make a statement that you’re most definitely the fastest. Especially in hot pink…