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Costa Del Mar Spearo Review

Great protection and amazing comfort, but not completely perfect.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $270 List | $198.48 at Amazon
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
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 11, 2019
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Lens Quality - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Frame Quality - 20% 8
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 7
  • Coverage - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Spearos are a super comfortable pair of shades with some top-notch eye protection for both on and off the water, making them our Top Pick for All-Day Comfort. We love the harmful rays these lenses block out while providing excellent clarity and a supremely comfortable fit. With well thought out embedded nose and bow pads that help cushion and secure these specs while also channeling sweat away from your face, these flexible glasses are comfortable for just about any face shape and size. Though ours did develop a minor lens defect during testing, it had almost no effect on the quality of vision for this model that we love wearing all day long.


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Pros Excellent protection, great clarity, extremely comfortable, good for active endeavors, good for many facesGreat clarity, excellent contrast with little color distortion, flexing frames, works for most facesExcellent eye protection and coverage, durable design, great contrast with minimal color distortion, superb caseGreat lens clarity, universally flattering style, surprisingly comfortable, durable build, good eye protectionGood 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 betterPeripheral coverage not ideal, cleaner bag a little stiff, may be sporty-lookingHeavy, large overall size and fit, expensiveNot polarized, heavy, large, case not overly protective, expensiveNot very stylish, lighter tint suffers in bright light, copper lens distorts colors, too small, expensive
Bottom Line Great protection and amazing comfort, but not completely perfect.A high-quality blend of functionality, versatility, and style.A high-performing pair of shades with great coverage and exceptional lens quality, though a bit heavy.These shades are protective, clear, and very cool.These incredibly lightweight glasses have high quality lens and perform well, especially for water-related sports.
Rating Categories Costa Del Mar Spearo Kaenon Clarke Maui Jim Kahi Vuarnet District Medium Round Costa Hinano
Lens Quality (30%)
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8
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7
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9
Comfort (25%)
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8
Frame Quality (20%)
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7
Style And Versatility (15%)
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3
Coverage (10%)
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5
Specs Costa Del Mar Spearo Kaenon Clarke Maui Jim Kahi Vuarnet District... Costa 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
Fit Medium-Large Medium-Full Large Medium-Large Small
Weight (grams) 29g 29g 40g 37g 25g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
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 100% not specified 95% 97% 100%
Infrared Protection 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
Impact Resistance No Yes No Yes No
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
Hinge type Spring/flex Standard/barrel Spring/flex Standard/barrel Spring/flex
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.

Performance Comparison


We could -- and often did -- wear these shades comfortably all day!
We could -- and often did -- wear these shades comfortably all day!

Lens Quality


Costa del Mar's 580P lenses are some of the best 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.

Blue Mirror 580P Lenses
  • 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.

Though not bad  and nearly impossible to notice while you're wearing them  you can see here one of the lens defects that developed during our testing in the lens on the right hand side  in the top left corner.
Though not bad, and nearly impossible to notice while you're wearing them, you can see here one of the lens defects that developed during our testing in the lens on the right hand side, in the top left corner.

Comfort


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.

Grips along the bows that also help channel sweat away from your face and temples help make these specs comfy.
Grips along the bows that also help channel sweat away from your face and temples help make these specs comfy.

Frame Quality


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.

Embedded nose pads are secure and helpful without being too sticky.
Embedded nose pads are secure and helpful without being too sticky.

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.

We think the Spearos are a pretty decent crossover between function and fashion.
We think the Spearos are a pretty decent crossover between function and fashion.

Coverage


With a base curve of 6, the Spearos are flatter 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.

Wearing these a little lower may let light leak in over the top of the frames.
Wearing these a little lower may let light leak in over the top of the frames.

Case Quality


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 came with cloths we like less.

The case is great  but this cleaning cloth is fantastic.
The case is great, but this cleaning cloth is fantastic.

Value


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.

Protect your investment in the Spearos by easily attaching a super-secure eyewear leash to them.
Protect your investment in the Spearos by easily attaching a super-secure eyewear leash to them.

Conclusion


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.

No matter who we asked  they all think the Spearos are supremely lightweight and comfortable.
No matter who we asked, they all think the Spearos are supremely lightweight and comfortable.


Maggie Brandenburg