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 best pool goggles
The brand-new Viper Speed from Zone3 are a race-specific goggle with an increasingly-popular curved lens shape to improve hydrodynamics and decrease drag through the water. The tinted lenses are best for indoor use, and the tint is subtle enough for pools without natural light.
The straps adjust via two buttons like Vorgee’s Vortech, although they’re placed on a clip at the back through which the strap is fed. It’s perfectly simple and makes them easy to adjust, although it left us with considerable excess strap at the rear. The gaskets are nice and soft, provide a strong seal, and we experienced no lens fogging during the test. They do feel quite large on our face for a racing goggle, though, and aren’t as super sleek as Swans’ Valkyrie, for example, but they’re durable and comfortable so will also be suitable for training sessions.
Verdict A top quality and comfortable racing goggle with wide-ranging appeal 85%
Buy from zone3.com
With large mirrored lenses and a very flexy build, the Tiger Race goggles conform to your face shape well and are very soft around the eyes, which will be appreciated by those who struggle for comfort with harsher goggle seals. The lenses appear to be of reasonable quality, with no fogging and minimal marking on the outer coating after a few test swims. The nose piece is so squidgy you can literally twist them around 180 degrees in the middle. From a dive the gaskets did prove to be a bit too flimsy, as without over-tightening the straps the goggles tended to fill up with water on impact; meaning we’d be using these strictly for training only, which is unfortunate as they’re called ‘Tiger Race’. In all the comfort is ok, but most swimmers will want something more robust if they’re training multiple times a week. head.com
Verdict: Nice clear lenses, but the seal is a little flimsy 74%
Buy from www.swiminn.com
The Michael Phelps/Aqua Sphere collaboration mostly consists of quite pricey kit and equipment, so we were keen to see if we’d get on with these budget goggles. They’re described as a modern take on the build-your-own Swedish-style goggles popular with competition swimmers (which just consist of a strap, piece of string and two plastic cups), and instead include some silicon around the eyes to give some protection and a small piece of additional strapping to use as a nose bridge. While the suction is very watertight, we didn’t feel MP’s Softeril micro gasket made for a very comfortable experience. Actual Swedish goggles are less than half the price of the Chronos, and, from our test swims, these simply don’t provide enough of an upgrade for us to choose them over a ‘normal’ goggle with a proper protective gasket. michaelphelps.com
Verdict: They have a place and are easy on the wallet, but are just too niche for most triathletes 74%
Buy from www.swiminn.com
The new Ultima Air have large curved lenses for plenty of peripheral vision, and tough titanium mirrored lenses to increase protection from reflected light. The slide-adjust strap mechanism is similar to that used on Speedo’s Aquapure goggles, although there’s no dial here, so arguably you can’t get the fit quite as precise.
Zoggs’ Air Cushion gaskets provide the seal and, while they’re fairly comfortable compared to the cheaper goggles on test, they felt harsher around the eyes than the Aquapure or Vorgee’s Vortech goggle, for example. We also experienced slight fogging and the hefty mirrored frontage on the lens gets marked easily if you
don’t keep them in a case, but they’re still perfectly useable with a quick rinse after numerous sessions. They also come with multiple nose pieces to further customise the fit.
Verdict: Versatile and built to last, just lacking some of the comfort of their rivals 81%
Buy from www.zoggs.com