Most of Spy’s sunglasses aim to please surf bums rather than backcountry types, but with the Quanta, the company gives hiker/bikers a model that stays put during aerobic efforts and delivers best-in-test ventilation. “They never misted up, even during sweaty, stop-and-go climbing on chilly autumn mornings,” reports our tester. Credit the temple vents that catch air curving around the frame and direct it behind the lens. While not polarized, Quanta lenses use a glare-diffusing coating that reduced testers’ eyestrain when they were hiking on rock or snow. Sharp optics (bronze tint) kill distortion and create a clear view, and sticky nose- and earpieces deliver impressive security. Downside: They aren’t as versatile as some similarly priced shades.
> Price $100
> Weight 1 oz.
> VLT 10.6%
See the Light
Use the VLT* percentage to choose the right lens. Less than 8 percent is ideal for open water, above treeline, and on snow; 9 to 18 percent is an all-purpose range; higher VLTs are best for low light, like overcast days and rainforest.
*VLT Visible Light Transmission = how much light passes through a lens