EXTRA,  GEAR,  July 2023,  Product Reviews

Review: Best Open Water Goggles

Polarising lenses with UVA/UVB filters for open water, anti-fog protection or a soft cushioned fit: whatever your priority when choosing a new pair of goggles, we’ve got you covered.

There aren’t many items of kit that are truly essential for open water swimming but goggles come close. You can do without them but it’s usually much more pleasant to swim with them: you can see better, they reduce the risk of infection from dirty water and they eliminate eye soreness. But their use isn’t always trouble free. Here is our in-depth feature on dealing with goggle troubles. Read on for our review of the latest open water goggles – whether your priority when choosing a new pair of goggles is a soft cushioned fit, anti-fog protection or polarising lenses, we’ve got you covered.

Best for training | The Magic5 Custom Goggle Indoor Outdoor Bundle, £119
Best for open water | Aquasphere Defy.Ultra Swim Mask, £129.99

The Magic5 Custom Goggle, Indoor Outdoor Bundle

£119

They say: This is the world’s first made-to-order custom-fit goggles. Our innovative and technically advanced goggles feature UV-protected lenses with a unique shape and superior peripheral vision. Our goggles are crafted using best-in-class materials and our innovative Optimal Fitting Technology (OFT) which shapes the goggles to your unique facial structure. This exclusive set of 2 x goggles is everything you need as a multipurpose swimmer. 

We say: I was sceptical of the claim that these goggles would be the ‘perfect fit’ – even after completing a face scan using the app – but they really were! Wearing these made me realise just how often I’m spent fiddling with and fixing goggles during swims – there was none of that with this pair. A big investment, but a complete game-changer.


Speedo Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Tri Goggles

£26.99

They say: The Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Triathlon goggles offers the ultimate in Speedo goggle comfort. The new super soft flexible seal offers greater flexibility versus previous Biofuse goggles for an even softer and more cushioned fit around the eye. Designed using super soft, gel-like materials and featuring Speedo Biofuse® technology, this goggle makes your comfort top priority. The Polarised lenses make this goggle ideal for open water swimming and triathlons.

We say: These goggles score top points for comfort, with the flexible seal preventing water ingress, without feeling too tight around my eyes. There was a great field of vision too. I did feel these goggles didn’t protect my eyes as much from the sun as other polarised lenses, so I would be inclined to use these more in cloudy conditions or indoors.


Zone3 Attack Swim Goggles

£25

They say: Built for the ultimate flexibility, the Attack goggle is designed to conform to a wide variety of face shapes and sizes. Featuring a curved lens for enhanced vision, and your choice of Polarized or Photochromatic lenses, they are ideal for both open water and pool swims. Anti-Fog treated lenses and 100% UVA/UVB protection.

We say: The goggles offer an incredible range of vision, and the polarised lenses work well, even in very sunny conditions. The goggles also claim to have Anti-Fog lens protection, and while time will tell for how long that will last, throughout my swim the goggles didn’t mist up, allowing me to concentrate solely on my swimming.


Aquasphere Defy.Ultra Swim Mask

£129.99

They say: Experience infinite vision and conquer open waters with the Defy. Ultra. Our new swim mask features an all-new DuoCurve lens, offering panoramic vision both laterally and vertically, ultra-thin silicone Precision Fit technology skirt for a comfortable, leak-free seal and a groundbreaking ultra-light frameless design thanks to our Cool Inject Technology for reduced drag in the water. 

We say: The style might look a bit futuristic and we felt a bit self-conscious at our local lake – but my goodness what a pair of goggles! Super comfortable, brilliant view, excellent in bright sunshine or dark clouds. Once on they stayed on, no leaks or faff. Expensive, but worth it. If you use the included case, which is also brilliant, and take care of them they will last.


Zoggs Predator Goggles

from £30.00

They say: Predator goggles are ideal for the versatile swimmer. Excelling indoors, these goggles can also hold their own outside with UV protection and anti-fog equipped. The pair are also sporting a pulley adjust system on the double strap, so there won’t be any time wasted fitting your goggles when you can quickly adjust the fit and jump straight in. Featuring the iconic WIRO frame look and original predator colours, they undisputedly look great too. That’s always a bonus.

We say: We love the superhero look of the new predator range (the “titanium” lens is a favourite) but these goggles do more than look good. They are comfortable, low profile and secure, and equally at home in the pool or the ocean. Our only (very minor) quibble with the Zoggs Predator is that the profile is so low that you can feel your eye lashes brushing against the lens.


Zoggs Predator Flex

from £35

They say: Get ready to experience our Best Fit Yet, with our Predator Flex swimming goggles. The Predator Flex range offers unrivalled comfort and fit, thanks to the use of 3D flexpoints for enhanced frame flexibility and a customised fit. As no two faces are the same, we have introduced two different sizes; Regular Profile Fit, and Smaller Profile Fit. Coupled with their new Advanced Ultra-Fit gasket, for exceptional comfort, our Predator goggles now fit more faces than ever before.

We say: The Predator Flex is a favourite of ours for open water racing and swimrun. The most noticeable difference between the Predator and the Predator Flex is the strap adjustment mechanism. On the “Flex”, there are ratchets on either side of the eye-pieces, making it super easy to tighten the fit while wearing them, although it’s slightly bulkier.


AquaSphere Kayenne Gold

£35.99

They say: Whether you’re racing or training, the Kayenne is designed to help you reach your goals in the water using a unique, oversized lens design with expanded vision and a low-profile micro-frame. Save valuable seconds with our Quick Fit Buckle offering easy one-touch strap adjustments, and guarantee your perfect position thanks to the Stabilising BiMaterial Nose Bridge for a secure and comfortable fit.

We say: Comfortable, secure, and with an eye-catching design, there’s lots to like about these goggles. The triangular shaped lenses look a bit unusual but actually fit nicely around your nose. The “Quick Fit Buckle” makes the strap easy to adjust as promised. The strap feels more heavy duty than it needs to be but it’s very secure.


Last updated Jan 2024. If you buy a product through a link on this page we may receive a commission.

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