Costa Del Mar Spearo Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Excellent protection, great clarity, extremely comfortable, good for active endeavors, good for many faces
Cons: Developed a slight lens defect, fit is less secure, coverage could be better
Manufacturer: Costa Del Mar
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Costa Del Mar Spearo
|Price||$141.71 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$209.00 at Amazon||$249.00 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$265 List||$149.25 at Amazon|
|Pros||Excellent protection, great clarity, extremely comfortable, good for active endeavors, good for many faces||Great clarity, excellent contrast with little color distortion, flexing frames, works for most faces||Excellent eye protection and coverage, durable design, great contrast with minimal color distortion, superb case||Great lens clarity, universally flattering style, surprisingly comfortable, durable build, good eye protection||Good contrast, superb clarity, excellent protective coatings, stay in place, lightweight, all-day comfort|
|Cons||Developed a slight lens defect, fit is less secure, coverage could be better||Peripheral coverage not ideal, cleaner bag a little stiff, may be sporty-looking||Heavy, large overall size and fit, expensive||Not polarized, heavy, large, case not overly protective, expensive||Not very stylish, lighter tint suffers in bright light, copper lens distorts colors, too small, expensive|
|Bottom Line||Excellent protection and great comfort, though not totally perfect||A top-notch combo of versatility, functionality, and style||A great pair with excellent coverage and top-notch lens quality, but a bit heavy||Not only do these sunglasses provide good eye protection, they also have swagger||For any activity on the water, you’ll be happy to have the top-notch quality and performance of these glasses|
|Rating Categories||Costa Del Mar Spearo||Kaenon Clarke||Maui Jim Kahi||Vuarnet District Medium Round||Costa Del Mar Hinano|
|Lens Quality (30%)|
|Frame Quality (20%)|
|Style And Versatility (15%)|
|Specs||Costa Del Mar Spearo||Kaenon Clarke||Maui Jim Kahi||Vuarnet District...||Costa Del Mar Hinano|
|Lens Tested||Blue Mirror||Grey 12 Pacific Blue Mirror||HCL Bronze||Brown Lynx||Copper 580P|
|Ideal Activity||water sports||water sports||everyday||everyday||everyday|
|Ideal Lens Light Conditions||Bright light||Bright light||Medium to bright light||Medium to bright light||Low to bright light|
|Polarized||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, but it is available||Yes|
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||10%||12%||15%||9%||12%|
|VLT Protection Index||cat 3||cat 3||cat 3||cat 3||cat 3|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim)||100%||not specified||95%||97%||100%|
|Infrared Protection (claim)||0%||0%||"infrared effective"||93%||0%|
|Neutral/Contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast|
|Lens Material||glass - 580 Polarized (polycarbonate available)||plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate||glass - "SuperThin Glass"||glass - mineral glass||glass - 580 Polarized|
|Protective Coatings||Anti-scratch, hydro-oleaophobic, mirror||Anti-reflective back, hydro-oleophobic, mirror||Anti-reflective on front and back||Anti-reflective back, silver bi-shade mirror||Anti-scratch, oil repellent, water repellent, naturally scratch resistant|
|Can take prescription lens?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Case Included||Rigid zippered and soft/cleaning bag||Rigid zippered and soft/cleaning bag||Hard rigid clam case and soft/cleaning bag||Semi-rigid flex case and cleaning cloth||Rigid zippered and cleaning cloth|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the Spearos with Blue Mirror 580P lenses, designed for all things water-related, from paddling to deepsea fishing. They're a medium-large, "regular" fit, come with a zippered case and microfiber cleaning cloth, and are available with prescription lenses.
Costa del Mar's 580P lenses are some of the most protective options out there. These glass lenses are one of just a handful that are 100% polarized (most are 99% or 99.9%). They also offer outside the visible spectrum light blockage of HEV (blue light) and infrared rays, which have been linked to certain eye health issues and fatigue. They also block harsh yellow light, helping to increase the contrast of the world you see. Yet as a base grey lens, they don't distort colors while still helping to increase contrast. We don't think they're as good at increasing contrast as some others out there, but they do a pretty solid job of providing a very clear picture that doesn't have you lifting up your shades to see details.
- 100% Polarization
- 100% UV Protection
- 10% Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
- 100% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
- Color: Grey, Material: 580P glass
- Not Impact Resistant, Anti-scratch, Hydro-oleophobic, Mirrored
Though these glass lenses aren't impact resistant, they do have some impressive coatings that are among the top-rated in scratch and abrasion resistance. The Blue Mirror coating helps keep out even more glare - a great feature for long days on the water - and a hydro-oleophobic layer makes it easy to wipe smudges and dust quickly and easily off these glasses.
Truly, our only complaint about these lenses is that they developed a minor defect during the several months we tested them. We're not sure how, but they acquired unevenness of the color and/or coatings along the inside edges of the lenses. It's very difficult to see under most lighting and only noticeable to us in very few bright lighting conditions. We noticed it when holding two pairs of sunglasses together against a bright sky.
The Spearos are unparalleled when it comes to comfort. A spring hinge and flexible frames go a long way toward making these shades comfortable on just about every size and shape of (adult) face. The bows don't bend in much, which means they're not really pinching the side of your head. Embedded Hydrolite rubber pads at the nose and along 2/3 the length of each arm not only help hold these looser-fitting glasses in place with comfort, but the bow pads are also specially molded to help channel sweat away from your temples. Weighing 29 grams, they're also quite light and very well-balanced, which makes it easy to forget you're even wearing them. Though their shape looks similar to many other styles, we discovered that they're a little higher from our cheekbones, helping to avoid that awkward face-bump a little better than most others.
While their looser fit can make them more susceptible to falling off with a jerking motion or as you look over the edge of the boat, those rubber pads do help. Really though, Costa made a great choice by adding holes to the back of each bow for easy, secure, and comfortable attachment of an eyewear leash. Anytime you're on the water, it's a good idea to have your sunnies securely attached so you don't lose them to the sea monsters. What makes the Spearos stand out is that having these holes on the back lets you use a secure clip to attach your leash and that it's located behind your ears where it's not affecting how your sunnies fit even slightly. We think these seemingly inconsequential little holes are actually a great asset to the security and comfort of the Spearos.
Made of castor-based nylon, these glasses are nice and flexible without feeling like they're about to snap. The embedded nose pads are excellent and don't make us at all worried about losing them later. However, we're less impressed by the rubber bow grips. While generally pretty solid, they have a lot of little edges sticking out and grabbing stray fuzzies and catching on things. While this never became anything more than an aesthetic issue during our testing, it does raise an itty bitty little flag for future use.
Costa backs up all their products with a lifetime warranty on manufacturer's defects, a great safety net for a pretty spendy little investment. They only don't offer that warranty for prescription sunglasses and limited edition or special collection specs, in which their warranty timeframe is just 2 years.
Style and Versatility
Though a bit on the sportier side, the Spearos are a pretty stylish option that works well as a crossover between your kayak adventures and hitting up the brewery for a bite with friends. Their size and shape work well for a large variety of faces and had people actually pretty impressed with how they looked wearing them.
They certainly aren't as trendy as some other pairs we reviewed, but the Spearos are a pretty solid crossover between sporty and everyday style that we think is pretty versatile.
With a base curve of 6, the Spearos are flatter rather than face-wrapping. They have a bit of contour that helps to surround your face without going over the top and hugging your head like a Ninja Turtles mask. Their lenses are large enough to give you a good field of vision without being so giant you feel like your cheeks should have eyes just to take advantage.
Like most of the models we tested, the Costas let in peripheral light, where they rest a bit farther from your face. And depending on if you like pushing them up to your eyebrows, you may also find some toplight sneaking in behind those frames as well. But all in all, these give a pretty good amount of coverage without compromising too much in style and functionality.
Costa sends these out with a semi-rigid zippered case and robust microfiber cleaning cloth. Though the zippered case isn't our favorite, as the zipper can get stuck and there are ends popping out after carting it around internationally for several months, it's totally adequate. We really love the large blue cleaning cloth that comes with Costas though, and frequently found ourselves using it to clean other sunglasses that come with cloths we like less.
The Spearos aren't cheap, but there's a reason for that. They have one of the absolute most impressive combination of protection, contrast, and clarity of any lens currently on the market. Particularly when it comes to spending your days on the water, Costa is never a poor choice. We think that in this case, you get what you pay for and these shades are totally worth it.
The Spearos are a super protective, ultra-comfortable pair of shades that are an excellent choice for any activity on or around the water. They also do a great job being able to cross over into everyday activities without being too unstylish or awkward looking. Though we discovered the development of a slight defect in the coatings of our lenses, Costa's warranty program has it covered. All in all, we love being able to wear these all day without any discomfort and know we're well protected along the way.
— Maggie Brandenburg