Sporting the new “Happy Lens” technology designed to improve the mood of the wearer, Spy has designed a stylish, durable set of glasses for the outdoor enthusiast. But, can a pair of sunglasses really improve your mood? I decided to find out. I’ve put them to the test, and this is what I found.
As far as the design goes, they body is constructed of a lightweight, yet incredibly durable plastic called Grilamid. The lenses are polycarbonate ARC with 100% UV protection baked right in. This is also where the Happy Lens technology falls into play, filtering out the UV rays and allowing through a warmer, more uplifting color palate that somewhat exaggerates blues and oranges, which have been shown to improve the mood. Also included is a nice carry sack that doubles as a lens wipe and a leash to keep them on your face or neck during a wind storm. Available now for $160.
What I liked
Happy lenses…fact or fiction? Well, I’m going to say mostly fact on this one. While the effect isn’t as profound as sliding them on and forgetting that burning loathing of a co-worker that you might have, putting them on does certainly bring forth a color palate that I much prefer over the natural world. Blues are bluer, colors in general are more vivid, and dark or overcast days have a much warmer feel to them than the grays muted spectrum that would otherwise be present. This is in coordination with not a darker image, but a more appreciable one with less harsh whites and glare. Even on dimly lit days, where I could use a mood boost, the optics were clear and more vibrant. Dodging the muddy and flat colors normally associated with the dull day was always an enjoyable experience.
As far as wearing the glasses goes, they are quite comfortable and lightweight. The frames curve naturally to the contours of the human face, and having very little weight bearing down on contact points creates a very pleasing feel that is appreciable after many hours of use. I typically forget that I’m even wearing them, especially after long bike rides and vigorous hikes. Where I would normally be well aware of the hunk of plastic draped across my face, they simply fade into the background, protecting my eyes from the harsh conditions of the earth.
Protect they do; The UV protection is solid. The eyes feel especially pampered when the harsh evening sun is starting to set and I slide them on, instantly feeling a sense of relief from the damaging rays of a burning gas ball. They sit close to the face which also provides excellent wind protection. Even on full exposed peaks under hours of harsh winds, my eyes never dried out or became irritated from the pounding air current.
They also look great, earning many compliments from fellow hikers and co-workers alike. The style isn’t a terribly modest one, with thick frames that cover a large proportion of the face, but it’s one that’s appreciated and very modern, owning the last fashion trend of slightly larger lenses and coverage.
The included storage sack doubles as a lens wipe and protects the glasses from UV damage themselves when not in use. Even your sun glasses should be protected from UV rays when not in use to prolong their life span, and the included bag is infinitely valuable here. It will also protect them from scratches and scuffs when stored.
Finally, the durability is great. Being stuffed into backpacks and into various compartments of my car has yet to have any affect on the frame or lenses. The fame has a slight flex to it, which allows it to take a bit of impact and survive being packed under pressure too. I expect these to last a long time, under the proper conditions.
What I didn’t like
Being the man beast that I am, complete with burly eye brows long eye lashes, I find that the lenses sit a little close to my face at times. I can sometimes notice that my brows are rubbing the frame, and occasionally my eye lashes will slide across the lenses. This is more a factor of having distinct and exaggerated facial features, but it’s worth noting for those with similar issues. They sit very close to the face, but I did get used to it
The Rover Sunglasses from Spy Optics are exceptional. The Happy Lens technology does a great job of providing a warmer, more inviting version of the already beautiful world to view, all while providing solid wind, debris and UV protection. They fit well, feel great on the eyes, and the lightweight, durable build makes them ideal for hiking, backpacking and even biking. It doesn’t hurt that they look stellar either. If you’re looking for an all one, do it all pair of sunglasses, these should be a definite consideration.
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For more information on Spy Optics and their exceptional line of gear, check out http://www.spyoptic.com/
I wanted to send a special thanks out to Spy Optics for their support and for providing this excellent piece of equipment to review. We couldn’t do this without their help. Thank you so much! Our full disclosure can be found on the about me/contact page.