SPY ACE EC

Backpacker - - Eyewear -

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

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