10 of the best pool goggles
A good pair of pool goggles are an essential part of a triathlete's kit. We review 10 of the pool goggles, priced from £10 to a whopping £55.
220's best buy
The Vector goggles from Scottish watersport specialists Lomo are the cheapest on test, but you wouldn’t know it. The construction is very strong and robust, with thick rubber and tough lenses. Lomo say the goggles are suitable for pool or open water, and swimming in an outdoor pool on a sunny day we found the slight tint and UV protection is fine. Indoors, the slight tint was fine for our darker pool. The Vectors are one of three pairs on test made with a strap that splits at the back, and you adjust the tension at the sides, which is simple and stress-free. A fixed nosepiece means the Vectors may not fit swimmers with a wider face as they’re actually quite narrow, but the majority will find they’re versatile, no-nonsense training goggles that won’t break the bank.
Verdict: Great value, comfortable trainers that will suit most swimmers 87%
220 Ed's choice
The design on this offering from TYR, inspired by the birdcage stadium built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was somewhat divisive with our swim buddies, but in every other way feedback was unanimous: the Nest Pro is a very capable all-round goggle, which provides a wide range of vision and great seal. Though TYR claim it’s a performance goggle it doesn’t look out-and-out racey, and we think it’s more at home in the training pool. Though we’d prefer completely flat straps (these are rounded at the sides and flatten out at the back), this really is nitpicking and barely affected the comfort at all. You could swim in these all day, and the wide lenses are suitable for various light conditions so could also make the Nest Pro a good option for the open water.
Verdict: Sturdy and comfortable, and the most versatile goggles on test 90%
Zoggs’ Predator goggles always get unanimous high marks from us, and the Fusions have a much lower profile, with more of a race geometry and a simple design. They come with two nosepieces, moulded into a noticeably different shape than the others on test here, as they’re raised in the middle to fit over your nose rather than across. This didn’t feel more or less comfortable for us, but its position means if the sizes aren’t right it could dig in and become irritating. The light blue lenses are suitable for low light conditions, and the range of vision is nice and wide. The straps and seal are a little flimsy, and we didn’t find them too comfortable around the eye socket. We think Zoggs have better goggles, and the Fusions are only a passable training/racing in-between.
Verdict: Not the best value goggle on test, and the seal isn’t perfect for us 74%
Maru’s Sonic Mirror goggles are on the budget end of our 10 test pairs, and on first appearance they look like a good value race option. But soon after pushing off the wall we began to encounter serious problems with the lenses. The gold-coloured front is in contrast to the side of the lenses, and because there’s no curvature to them you get two very distinct gaps to peer out from, meaning you can’t see anything to the sides. The anti-fog also didn’t appear to work and they’re very dark, which made it incredibly difficult to swim in a lane. It actually affected our split times in a set because we couldn’t even sight the wall, and we may as well have been swimming with our eyes shut. The split strap and nosepiece are both passable, but this is a pretty moot point if you can’t see.
Verdict: Difficult to swim in due to a complete lack of peripheral vision: disappointing 51%