Plenty has happened at Form Swim since we gave their smart goggles a glowing review last year. Aimed squarely at pool swimmers at launch, a major firmware update has essentially revamped them with an open-water mode, leading pro triathletes such as Lionel Sanders to convert. (Form users can follow the Canadian’s progress on the Form app.)
- Swimming goggles: how should they fit and how tight should they be?
- What’s the difference between pool goggles and open-water goggles?
To summarise our thoughts about the Form Smart goggles in the pool, the basic but reasonably clear display gives you everything you need to know during your session and plenty more post-swim. They’re robustly built with premium anti-fog lenses, seven nose-bridge options and adjustable straps. Having your speed and lap count in front of you is useful for pacing and simply remembering how many lengths swam, and nothing short of revolutionary for data-driven swimmers and triathletes.
The new open-water mode tells you time and stroke rate without a watch. To get the full works including pace and heart rate you need to pair with a compatible device. We paired our Garmin 945 with minimal fuss by downloading the Form IQ Connect data field and took to the lake for testing. With no wall clock, arguably having your pace on-screen in open water is more useful than the pool, and the goggles largely did everything we wanted. Accuracy is coming from the Garmin’s GPS, and our local laps were around the distances we expected every time. We found the flat frontage meant that sighting wasn’t the easiest, as the top of the lens obscured our view a little, which made us want to raise our head out further to site buoys. The lenses also don’t have glare reduction on par with purpose-built open-water goggles, so we think lenses optimised for open water would be even better.
Our concerns about fogging turned out to be unfounded, and by rinsing after each session and storing in the case as Form Swim recommend, the lenses were like new after one month. Form Swim are always tight-lipped when we ask about lifespan and, while the price tag may make them too much of a gamble for casual swimmers, Form’s one-year guarantee suggests you can expect them to last at least 12 months, which we think is a reasonable investment compared to many bike and run tech products.
So, while Form Swim Goggles are hugely impressive, we think there’s still work to be done. A more refined lens for open water would be preferable and the display quality could be improved. Yet there’s currently nothing quite like Form Goggles, and we think they’re one of the most useful tech innovations for triathletes since the dawn of the GPS watch.
Verdict: ground-breaking goggles, and now even more suitable for triathletes, 85%