Product Reviews

REVIEW: Open water goggles

Are you looking for an optimum fit, hydrodynamic shape, polarized lenses or even an in-goggle display with real-time swim metrics? Omie Dale has your expert guide to open water goggles. 

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggles – £22.50-£35.50

They say: Created with vision and performance in mind, the Kayenne swim goggles are made with oversized Plexisol lens, quick-fit buckles, silicone straps for comfort and durability, a stabilising nose bridge, and Aqua Sphere Advanced Fit technology. The Kayenne swim goggles are constructed with 100 percent UVA/UVB protection, paired with a scratch-resistant anti-fog lens.

We say: These goggles fitted like a dream! There are four interchangeable nose bridges to fit a variety of face shapes, with a strong seal preventing water ingress. There are a number of different lens options when purchasing, to suit where you are going to swim and typical light conditions. The packaging also comes in a plastic-free box, part of Aquasphere’s wider commitment to sustainable production.

FORM smart goggles – annual membership from £216, including goggles

They say: FORM combines a transparent in-goggle display with real-time swim metrics and guided workouts to make swimming fun. They come with a workout library with guided workouts added weekly, along with a FORM app for reviewing swims, tracking progress, and social sharing.

We say: The goggles are great for real-time reactions to the effort you are putting in, or how a technique change impacts speed. The visual interface is really immersive, so it does take some adjustment to keep aware of others in the pool. Length counting is accurate and the tech on the side of the goggle doesn’t impact your stroke at all, only taking a few lengths to get used to. You can pair them with a watch for open water (Apple, Garmin, Polar) and with a Polar OHR for heart rate.

Zone3 Attack Swim Goggles – £25-£30

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, these are ideal for both open water and pool swims.

We say: I found these to be the most comfortable goggles on the list, with a great range of vision too. I used the tinted blue lenses, which helped prevent glare from the sun when swimming outdoors in the middle of the day. They were also well-suited to the artificial light of the swimming pool when using them for an indoor training session. These are definitely going to become a regular feature of my swim kit!

Aquasphere Vista Pro Swim Mask – £49 – £53

They say: Designed with the Open Water Adventure Swimmer in mind, the Vista Pro offers our greatest fifield of vision through its curved single lens. Utilising latest technologies, we have incorporated Advanced Fit Technology (AFT) into our silicone skirt to offer best fit and comfort for a wide range of faces. The new buckle system integrates a new pivoting technology providing two important benefits: structural stability and fit.

We say: As a full-face mask, these goggles offer a wider range of vision compared to normal goggles, with a single lens running across the face. The mirrored version that I used allowed for a comfortable swim in the middle of the day, deflecting the majority of glare from the sun. Whilst I’ve typically avoided larger masks in the past due to experiencing water ingress, the seal on these goggles was very secure with no leaks.

Huub Altair Swim Goggles – £49.99

They say: The world’s only goggles with three different lenses, designed to give you razor sharp vision in different light conditions. So now you simply swap the lens to match your needs. The goggles feature a flexible X-O Skeleton TM Frame for adaptive facial fit and pe-ripheral vision comfort and soft, flexible and comfortable double silicone head strap.

We say: It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the design of these goggles, resulting in a comfortable fit, a wide range of vision, and three separate lenses to be able to swim in almost any environment or weather condition. The brand is big on the small touches too; every pair comes with a protective case to keep the goggles in perfect condition.

Zoggs Predator Flex Polarized Ultra Goggles – £38

They say: 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. The goggles come equipped with a polarized lens, making them an ideal choice for the outdoor swimmer, as they battle any bright lighting and glare.

We say: As the name suggests, these goggles are flexible and designed

to a high-quality. Tested in an environment with bright lighting, the polarised lenses worked wonderfully at combatting glare. The anti-fog also seems to have worked too, as I didn’t find myself needing to stop and clean my goggles as I often do when swimming.

Buy ZOGGS goggles at the Outdoor Swimmer Shop.

Nike Swim Vapour Goggles – £25.99-£27

They say: Nike’s most hydrodynamic goggle, ever. The new FINA-approved performance goggle minimizes drag, offers a customized fit and maximizes field of view, through 180° of peripheral vision, allowing your focus to solely be on speed.

We say: The clever design of these goggles is designed to reduce drag – helpful to those who are seriously training and racing – but for a more leisurely swim I found them to be slightly less comfortable than the larger goggles. The lenses did a great job at reducing glare from the sun, allowing clear vision when swimming outdoors in the sun.

Zoggs Predator Titanium Goggles – £32

They say: Get ready to experience our best fit yet, with our Predator Titanium swimming goggles. Sporting a titanium lens, these goggles are ideal for high-level light and reducing glare from the sun. They also feature a double strap design with a pulley adjust system, so not only are they quick and easy to put on, but they will stay in place throughout your swim.

We say: The seal on the goggles is fantastic, feeling secure as soon as I tried them on. The titanium lens makes these a great all-rounder, ideal for those who frequent between swimming in the pool and open water. Just like the Flex goggles, these come in two different sizes, making it a great option for swimmers that find it hard to find a decent fit with regular-sized goggles.

Buy ZOGGS goggles at the Outdoor Swimmer Shop.

Find all the gear you need for open water swimming, from goggles and wetsuits to tow floats and changing robes, at the Outdoor Swimming Shop.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.