Sun protection is always high on my priorities list. It can damage not only the skin, but the sensitive retina in the back of the eye, resulting in a whole world of problems. The Montana sunglasses from Spy offer affordable 100% UV protection and “happy” lenses for those who want to spend a lot of time outside, but not a lot on their shades.
Retailing for as low as $85, the Montana sunglasses are some of the most affordable on the Spy Optics line. They come equipped with solid polycarbonate ARC lenses utilizing the “Happy Lens” technology, which focuses on allowing blues and other colors to appear more vivid, potentially lifting the spirits of the wearer, while minimizing harsh bright tones. The frame is a essentially two rounded squares with a gentle arch in the middle, which provide a lot of coverage without being bulky or obtuse. It has a soft rubbery nose to prevent slippage while adding padding, and the thick pin hinges resist breaking or bending after being stuff inside a backpack.
The body is very ergonomic, seemingly molded to wrap around the contours of my nose and ears despite the squared shape, without feeling sharp or edgy like many sunglasses do. There are no abrasive seams or hard corners here. The nose padding is subtle yet grippy enough that it helps keep the glasses in place while moving, but also provide a little bit of padding to the otherwise stiff bridge. The plastic body provides some flexibility, but still manages to resist scratching and being crushed all at a minuscule weight that can barely be felt on the nose.
So far, the glasses have been holding up great, handily dealing with biking, hiking, being stuff inside backpacks and left out in the heat of my car with no issues. The set includes a soft carry case that helps to prevent scratches and doubles as a lens cleaner, which is a nice bonus.
The UV tent, happy lens gray in this review, is solid, providing excellent protection from harsh bright light without darkening the environment around me. It exaggerates the blues and yellows a bit, making everything appear a bit chipper, while somewhat subduing oranges, reds and especially bright white. Details in bright surface really pop out while wearing them, while dark areas retain much of their detail.
While I prefer the blue spectra happy lenses for for their somewhat warmer filtering (in sets like the Frazier from Spy), I found the gray tint in this model to be quite soothing and enjoyable, even if it does make things seem a bit colder than the blue. For biking and hiking, it’s actually preferable as it doesn’t darken shadows and dips as much, allowing me to more easily read the terrain while on the move.
Aesthetically, they look mighty fine. Following the current trend of slightly larger lenses, they look quite modern, with smooth curves paired with soft straight lines producing a minimalistic yet bold style. .
Overall, they’re solid sunglasses that provide much better performance than many others in their price range. I especially like the light weight, flexible frame and their resistance to scratching.
For more information on Spy Optics, check out http://www.spyoptic.com
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I want to extend a huge thanks SPY for providing these glasses for review. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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