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