Spy Ace ReviewNovember 29, 2016
- Lower price point for an interchangeable lens goggle
- Good field of view for a mid-sized frame
- Two-sleeved bag for carrying the extra lens
- Impossible interchange system
- Lens does not form a good seal on the frame
- Rigid frame has little flex
Spy’s Quick Draw interchange system was created to offer a lower-priced interchangeable-lens goggle. But you get what you pay for. Changing these lenses is really challenging. The field of view in the Ace is good, especially since the lens sat pretty far off of my face. It has good venting and I had no fogging issues. This is a quality goggle – as long as you don’t want to change out the lenses.
FIELD OF VIEW
The field of view from the Ace stands out because the vertical spectrum is bigger than expected while the horizontal dimensions hold their own. I felt like I could see everything I needed to through this goggle. It’s nothing exceptional but is definitely above average.
The frame on the Ace is rigid so this model will either fit your face or not. The face foam is fine but not especially cushy or comfy so this goggle didn’t get great points on fit.
No fogging occurred under any conditions. Note that I tested in the relatively dry climes of Colorado and don’t generally overheat when I ski. So use in humidity might yield a different result.
Spy says its “Happy Lens” technology will make you feel better and, therefore, perform better. My test model came with Spy’s Happy Lens (designed to maximize transmission of the sun’s “good” rays) but there was no noticeable difference from this lens (other than the higher price point). My mood may have been affected by the snow conditions or the weather but I can’t say that these lenses made a difference in my mood. On the up side, Spy offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your Happy Lens (if you return them within 14 days).
SPY’s intention to develop an interchangeable-lens goggle should be applauded. Interchangeable lenses should be available to all! Unfortunately, the result is sub-par. It’s just too difficult to change these lenses. I was told that I’d have to do it 15-20 times to get the hang of it and Spy offers online videos to teach the special technique.
Even at the lower price point, this goggle is not a great value. The “Happy Lens” didn’t deliver a happier mood and changing the lenses took a lot of effort. However, it’s not a bad deal if you go for the lower price without the Happy Lens and accept that you won’t want to change the lenses very often.
Dave Ratner is a hard charging telemark skier from Denver. He spends every weekend powering his way through the I-70 corridor to test helmets and ski goggles for the Gear Institute.