SPY ACE EC
OUR TAKE Photochromic lenses are great—until you find yourself skiing on an overcast day. Even though there’s low light outside, high UV will trigger a photochromic lens to darken. SPY sets out to solve that issue with an innovative electrochromic lens. The single lens ranges from low-light to mid-light to high-light persimmon much like a photochromic lens, but you, the wearer, control tint with a glove-friendly button on the battery pack. Called the ONE Lens, SPY’s offering changes faster than a true photochromic lens, reaching the desired tint about four seconds after pressing the button. It uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (micro-USB), which is good for about 450 tint changes. (Bummer: The battery pack, which is about as big as a pack of dental floss, sits on the head strap awkwardly.) As for the frame: basic, nofrills. The Ace is mid-sized and uses a flat, cylindrical lens, but SPY has plans to roll out the ONE Lens in other frames next year.
TRAIL CRED “I like that the battery pack vibrates when you hit the button to change tints, letting you know you’ve triggered the mechanism,” one tester says. “It was easy to toggle through the three settings.” $275; 6.2 oz.; spyoptics.com