GEAR,  Product Reviews

Blueye ‘Eel’ and ‘Squid’ Sunglasses

As far as we can remember, this is our first review of sunglasses, possibly for the obvious reason that most swimmers prefer to wear goggles than sunglasses when they’re in the water. However, we did like these two offerings from extreme sports eyewear specialist Blueye, an award-winning Australian brand that started out creating protective goggles for jockeys. They have since expanded their range to offer products for skydiving, paragliding and watersports such as kayaking, kitesurfing and surfing.

It’s two models from this latter range that we thought might be attractive for open water swimmers. Not, of course, for swimming in (except perhaps a bit of holiday head-up breaststroke) but pre- and post-swim. They are perhaps even more useful for support kayakers, boat crew, volunteers, marshals and anyone else connected with open water swimming but not actually swimming.

So what’s so special? They float for one thing, which is clearly a bonus if you drop them in the water. The lenses have a hydrophobic coating so drops and splashes tend to bead and roll off rather than smear. This is great for when you’re kayaking next to splashing swimmers. Both models are fitted with head straps to help them stay in place and both have closely fitting wrap around lenses for great eye protection.

The more expensive ‘eel’ sunglasses have polarised lenses, which reduce glare from the water while the ‘squid’ glasses have three holes drilled through the top of each lens to improve air circulation and reduce fogging.

We used both pairs for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking while supporting swimmers. We also thought they were pretty good for cycling.

Eel £115, Squid £80

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.