I suppose it’s fitting that my third year here in the Pacific Northwest would be complemented by a pair of sunglasses like the Discords.  I have finally assimilated into the culture by getting a pair of sharp, ironic sunglasses through which I can survey the despairing world; I’m from Nevada originally and things are quite a bit sunnier there in the first place, so I always appreciate a good pair of sunglasses and Spy makes some of the finest.

Features of the Spy Discord with Happy Lenses:

  • Available with the SPY Happy Lens™ and Trident™ polarization
  • Constructed from high-quality propionate
  • Sturdy 5-barrel hinges
  • 6-base polycarbonate ARC® lenses
  • 100% UV protection
  • FRAME MEASURES: 57-17-145
  • MSRP:  $149.95

Photo Oct 25, 4 13 11 PM

The Discords in action

Spy has always made great sunglasses.  Jason and I have tested several of their cycling/activity models and we’ve been impressed by the robust construction and clever materials.  This is the first time we’ve branched into one of their style pieces, though – and what a style it is.  The Discords are a big, bold take on the Wayfarer classic with sharp, critical lines and large lenses to conceal the scorn which you pour out on the proletarians.

Although the style is firmly rooted in the 80’s, nothing about the technology is outdated.  The frame is a sturdy plastic called propionate and the temples are joined by burly five-barrel hinges that swing very smoothly.  One my particular frame, the temples are accented by Spy’s signature chrome Chevron which give a little bit of pop to the black frame’s dramatic shape.  The frame is dead simple – no delicate temple pieces or nose pads to break off or to become dirty.

Photo Oct 25, 4 12 57 PM

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the Discords is their use of Spy’s new proprietary Happy lens.  Delightfully irreverent as always, Spy calls this the ‘lens with benefits;’ according to spy, their polarization scheme leads to an increase in mental alertness and an uplift in mood.  This is, they say, due to the superior color enhancement and distortion-free properties of their ARC lenses.  Like any good polarized lens, this will lead to decreased eye fatigue and makes it easier to distinguish distant objects in harsh light.  Spy’s claim on happiness comes from a study that suggested that long-wave blue light is beneficial to our eyes; so, they built a polarizer that lets in an appropriate amount of long-wave blue and blocks the UV/short wave nasties.

My particular tester is the grey green lens; I love grey green lenses because they don’t distort any natural colors.  I’ve never been a fan of lenses that wildly favor greens or blues because I’d rather appreciate the natural balance in a scene.  To me, the Happy grey green lens is an excellent combination of good optical quality, low distortion and discerning polarization but I definitely didn’t notice any uptick in my mood while wearing the glasses.

Photo Oct 25, 4 14 17 PM

The Good

  • Strong, simple frame design
  • Happy lenses feature excellent optics overall
  • Lightweight and comfortable on the face
  • Absolutely huge lenses provide tons of protection from the sun

The Bad

  • Since there are no hydrophilic temples or nose pieces, the glasses tend to slide when you sweat

The Bottom Line: Spy Discord Happy Lens Sunglasses

The Spy Discords are a ton of fun to wear.  They’re huge, trendy sunglasses which take the Wayfarer look one step up.  I appreciate the care with which Spy designed the polarization and it definitely rewards the wearer with excellent optics and comfortable viewing.  You’ll have to see for yourself if the Happy lens offers any mood boosters, but regardless they’re definitely easy on the eyes.

Buy Now: Buy from Backcountry.com

About Author

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

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