What’s the Difference?
Can you tell the difference between these two styles of sunglasses? It’s not a trick question. These two seemingly identical frames are technically 2 different styles.
One is a Jawbone and one is a Racing Jacket. Which is which?
Chances are, you’re blindly guessing. And that’s fair because these sunglasses are more or less identical.
Both feature the same swinging hinges, the same temples (for the most part), the same specs, and the same frame material. But, there are a few notable differences.
The trademarked Oakley O icon that’s set into the temples is a permanent fixture on the Jawbones. Whatever color they came in is the color they’ll stay, unless someone decides to get creative and paint over them. You don’t have to go that route with the Racing Jackets. Oakley upgraded these frames to include icons that can be taken out and switched for new colors, so you can have a little added customization if you feel so inclined. The icons in the Racing Jackets are also slightly larger than those in the Jawbones.
The shape and size of the stems are exactly the same—126 mm. But, the Racing Jackets feature perforations at the ends to accommodate a retention strap.
3) THRU BOLTS
If you were making a judgment by the naked eye alone, then you would assume that the thru bolts for the Jawbone and Racing Jacket were interchangeable. It’s a logical conclusion, but you would be wrong. The thru bolts on the Jawbones are actually one-quarter of a millimeter longer than those in the Racing Jackets, and therefore shouldn’t be swapped. It seems infinitesimal, but that added length can cause stripping if you put thru bolts for Jawbones into your Racing Jackets.
Of course, the most obvious difference of all is the name. Oakley first started out calling this line Racing Jacket, and then switched to Jawbone in 2009, only to return to Racing Jacket a few years later. Chatter on discussion boards suggests that Oakley returned to the name Racing Jacket due to a conflict with the headset company known as Jawbone, but this hasn’t been substantiated.
What is known is that the name change has caused some confusion regarding whether the two styles are 2 totally distinct frames and what parts are interchangeable. Here’s what you can definitely swap out between the two frame styles:
- Lenses—both vented and non-vented will fit either of these frames. Just ensure that you’ve got the latest version of Racing Jackets, not the first or second generation. The first two generations look different than the most recent generation; the most obvious tell is that they do not have the hinge and thru bolts of the latest generation and have holes (vents) on the upper and lower portions of the front of the frames.
- Ear sleeves
- The nose pieces
- The Jaws
Unless you’re a real stickler for the details, it’s probably safe to say that in the battle of Oakley Jawbone vs Racing Jacket, they are essentially the same sunglasses. Then again, if you don’t want to strip your Racing Jackets with thru bolts for Jawbones, it’s probably worth being a stickler. If you’re just in it for the replacement lenses, go back to thinking of them as interchangeable.