The Koo Spectro sunglasses are striking to look at, the lenses offer great clarity, and fogging is minimal. They come at a price but are impressive nonetheless.
In my eyes (over my eyes?), the Spectro glasses are very good looking, but glasses are not simply for show – performance should be the key factor. I'm happy to report that these Koo sunnies, with their Zeiss lens, anti-slip elastomer gripper and well-designed vents, offer clarity of vision, sit securely on the head, and either prevent fogging or clear quickly.
The most important element of any pair of glasses is clarity, and the Zeiss Polycarbonate single lens does a great job here. The bronze lens that the glasses came with, with a VLT (visible light transmission) of 12%, offers excellent clarity of vision, especially for rides with the sun lower in the sky and the light more patchy. I found it simple to pick out wet patches, drain covers and so on, which can often be tricky at this time of year.
The field of vision is very good too, although there is slightly more infringement on your peripheral vision than other large full frame glasses I use, such as Oakley Jawbreakers and Roka CP-1s. That said, I didn't ever find that I was struggling to shoulder check effectively or missing anything beside me, so it's a minor issue.
Thanks to the anti-slip MEGOL elastomer material on the nose grippers and arms, the glasses stay firmly in place without moving.
Ventilation comes from four vents, two at the top of the lens and two at the bottom. These stop fogging effectively, even at slow speeds, and on the odd occasion when they do fog, the venting allows them to clear quickly. The vents are also relatively subtle, so they don't have too much impact on the aesthetics of the glasses.
The glasses hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 35g, which is about what I would expect for a full-frame set of glasses in this price range. That means they can sit on your ears and nose for a long time without causing irritation.
With an rrp of £169 the Spectros aren't cheap, though they are by no means the most expensive we've seen. For instance, the Rudy Project Defender ImpactX Photochromic 2s that I tested in 2019 are £20 more (and only 1g lighter).
The 100% S3 MAAP glasses that Liam tested last summer are just £1 more, and 1g lighter, but are not quite full frame.
I really like the Koo Spectro glasses. They look good, perform well, and are comfortable to wear for several hours. The big, bold design won't be for everybody and they are on the expensive side, but this is more than made up for by their other qualities.
These quality glasses offer a bold design and strong performance, though they are expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Koo Spectro sunglasses
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Koo says, "With on-point styling and huge panoramic vision courtesy of a broad lens, the new KOO Spectro are the perfect performance cycling and multi-sport sunglass."
This is a pretty accurate description of these glasses.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Uncompromised clarity with a Zeiss Polycarbonate lens
- Panoramic vision with a single-lens frame design
- Minimized fogging with 4 ventilation ports
- Anti-slip MEGOL elastomer temple inserts provide added grip and comfort
Very well made, with good quality materials combined with sturdy hinges and grippers.
Performed very well, offering excellent protection, ventilation, and comfort on the head.
The hinges feel high quality, the lens isn't easy to scratch, and the material used feels robust.
A decent weight, about where I would expect a full frame set of glasses in this price range to be.
Very comfortable for longer rides thanks to effective grippers combined with an adjustable nose insert.
Not cheap, but not the most expensive either.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: they stayed on my head nicely, didn't fog easily, and offered clarity of vision.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The bold design – I think they look fantastic.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There is slightly more obscuring of your peripheral vision than with some similar full frame glasses.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Not cheap, but not the most expensive we've tested... The 100% S3 MAAP glasses that Liam tested back in June are just £1 more, and 1g lighter, though they aren't quite full frame. The Rudy Project Defender ImpactX Photochromic 2 Blacks are £20 more expensive (and only 1g lighter).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A really good looking and comfortable pair of glasses that perform well. They aren't the cheapest and there is a slight obscuring of your peripheral vision, but this is more than made up for by their clarity, fit and anti-fogging. Plus their looks...
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.