Best Goggles for Open Water Swimming and Triathlon



  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
    Update: After using nootca 5 for a few long swims, I've found them just that little bit too uncomfortable after a few hours. I've gone back to swedes.
  • Donal is right about View Visio V200AM-R. They're the only goggle I've ever worn that I can don a soon as I pull out of the case, without adjustment, but then that's probably just the shape of my head. Very comfy over time, low profile, good UV, sun protection, sick look -- we call them the Fully Sicks -- and you can get them in Europe if you order through us at Delivery to Europe is c. 13eu or 10 parnd, and gogs cost is 21eu/18 parnd. We despatch in most cases on the same day. Have a look at
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
    So, I stupidly didn't pack a second pair of goggles and my swim is tomorrow. I did an emergency shopping trip and got the Zoggs Reactor. I felt a bit ridiculous paying so much for a pair of goggles, but my goodness, what a marvel that thing is! It changes from clear to dark based on the amount of light outside, which should help a lot tomorrow, as we're starting in the dark and will only see the sunrise about two or three hours into the swim.
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CACharter Member
    edited December 2013
    I am convenienced that it is the oil on ones head and face that causes the fogging problem (chemists anyone??) so a good soap like dawn and warm water after each use works better than a weak soap like baby shampoo (I used to use it) can take a eye dropper filled with dawn to use in an emergency (one drop is all you need and smear on both lenses) and clean where ever you have some water to rinse....what do you think??? I am liking my zoggs polarides but if I don't clean them they fog...

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    So far so good with the Zoggs. I hope they won't disappoint tomorrow.
  • IronMikeIronMike inch.houseboat.primeCharter Member
    How did the Zoggs do in the swim, @heart?

    Where the hell is IronMike located? Find out here:

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    The Zoggs were awesome, @IronMike. I got the Reactor ones, which become tinted as the sun comes up. It was great that they were clear when I jumped in at nighttime, because there were LOTS of scary slippery rocks and I would never have been able to see where I was going with tinted lenses. They gradually picked up tint as the sun rose in the sky, and I didn't have any glare or any other annoying problems.

    The seal held up most of the time, except for one unpleasant patch at the beginning. But that was probably my fault, because the glowsticks I stuck in the goggle strap started rolling forward toward my face and broke the seal.

    Overall, I would highly, highly recommend these for swims that involve changing light conditions, the one caveat being the prohibitive price.
  • IronMikeIronMike inch.houseboat.primeCharter Member
    Wow, that'd be nice to have "transition" lenses like that. I'll have to check them out. I'm so scared of spending the money for different goggles since the speedos I've been using for years work great.

    Where the hell is IronMike located? Find out here:

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    edited January 2014
    Whatever works for you. I wear $7 Speedo Sprints. EVMO digs the Swedes, which are cool. However, they offer no protection when kicked in the face. $7 Sprints to the rescue.

    Anything that resembles or looks like a mask is inherently lame and uncool. Never be uncool.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2014
    Yeah. For mass-start races I avoid Swedes and instead opt for Blueseventy Hydra Visions.

    I believe Chad Ho (the South African pro OW swimmer) was seriously injured a few years ago from a kick to the eyes with Swedes on.
  • I also use the Zoggs Reactor with the monochromatic lenses and have had a lot of success with them.
  • how long do you find goggles generally last? I've had my last pair of goggles now for about 11 months and I use then at least 3 times a week in the gym pool. They are now finished and are leaking. Seems like a reasonable time but curious to hear others experiences
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    mongoose said:

    how long do you find goggles generally last? I've had my last pair of goggles now for about 11 months and I use then at least 3 times a week in the gym pool. They are now finished and are leaking. Seems like a reasonable time but curious to hear others experiences

    I go through about 3 pairs a year. I switch them out when the gasket unglues or the lenses get scratched up too much. Before a big race I used to get a new pair broken in a few weeks before. The lenses are usually still pretty clear by then.
  • KevinKevin Member
    I purchased Zoggs Predator Flex goggles about 2 months ago and have found them to be extremely comfortable and was almost converted . They were never abused and carefully looked after . Swimming down the pool today the nose bridge just split and the goggles fell apart ! Has this happened to anybody ? I don't think I can trust them again to buy a new pair . If it happened out at sea , it would not be fun . Just trying to figure out if this is common or not . It has never happened before , for me , with any other goggles .
  • My Zoggs Predators broke similarly at the nose piece. However, I had lent them to someone who had really tightened the straps a lot (seemed excessive when I got them back because my head is not that big and neither was hers) and they snapped in that swim. Too bad because I liked 'em too. I might try again though and not lend them.
  • I swim in TYR special ops goggles. polarized lenses. very comfortable. great at cutting the glare.can go to and design your own goggles! they have them in country colors, zebra is a favorite...and cheeta. way cool goggles.
  • helengheleng Hertfordshire, EnglandMember
    edited September 2014
    I have had trouble with goggles leaking on most long swims - including my EC :-( Basically standard size predators, kaiman, kayenne etc are too large, and the women's sizes are too small.
    I am going to try the Aquasphere Vista, but can anyone tell me (since these are borderline masks and cover more of the face) whether there are any specific rules about goggles for any channel swims?image
  • HollyTHollyT Member

    Thanks for this thread. My Aquaspheres didn't give me the love yesterday at St Pete, so, now many options....Nootca seems an option as I have a very narrow and small face, so hard to really fit the goggles...

  • SilkySharkSilkyShark Member
    edited June 2015

    After trying all the brand names and high tech lens, TYR Special Ops is my choice. Polarized, great colors and most importantly they have a wide, soft seal around the eye. The smaller race googles always dig into my eye lids and are very uncomfortable after a long swim. While the TYR Special Ops provide exceptional comfort and good seal with the added bonus of polarized lens and awesome colors. I do use a google case as they are prone to breaking at the nose bridge. If you care for these googles, they will care for you. and they dont break the bank at $25.

  • bobcablecarbobcablecar San Francisco, CA Member
    edited June 2015

    I love this discussion. I'm partial to the Speedo Air Seal Tri Swim goggle.

    They're hands down the most comfortable I've ever worn, and I swim with contact lenses so the fit is crucial. The only caveat is the annoying strap. It becomes very slippery when wet and it has a rather loose fastener so it tends to come undone at the slightest provocation. However, I just replace it with a cheap bungee strap and then it's good to go. I don't seem to find them on SwimOutlet anymore but they're available from Amazon.

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    I finally figured out how to make a pair of Swedes fit, and have to say I am a convert. The are dirt cheap and last for ever, unlike my previous favorite, Aquasphere Kaimans.
    Cole_G - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • CharlieDoSurfCharlieDoSurf Member
    edited December 2015

    My goggle preference has come full circle recently.

    In college I wore Speedo Vanquishers and Swedes. As my love for open water grew and my fear of something creeping up out of the corner of my eye never went away, I switched to Aquasphere Kaimans for a while. They more than live up to the hype, but they're just wrong for my face, and the solid bridge means no adjustments.

    So now I'm back to Speedo Speed Sockets, the g-string of goggles. It could just be my face, but I find the low profile gives me more peripheral vision than wider lenses with big clunky gaskets.

    Buy on Amazon

  • ChrisBChrisB Issaquah, WAMember
    edited January 12

    I'm all over the board with this topic. Growing up a competitive swimmer I have a soft spot for Swedes (Sporti Swedes are good too). I always have a pair in the bag if not two. For OW I think the variables of the race dictate which pairs I use. In a race when I don't think I have to worry about getting kicked or elbowed I go with either a blue pair of swedes or mirrored depending on light conditions. For the mass start races I like the ROKA Sports F2 blue for low light and the Nootca 207 for bright conditions. The TYR Special Ops Transitions are comfy and would be great in partly cloudy conditions or for long swim where the light conditions may change during the race.

    Word of warning: If you are doing a lot of chlorine pool training you will go through a fair amount of straps. The bungee straps seem to be popular for the swedes but be careful as the stiff ends and quick toggle can easily rub against the shoulders when breathing if not perfectly positioned. Also, the more scratched your goggles are the more likely they will fog. I store my goggles in a soft sunglasses case to prolong life.

    I have a pretty small face so that obviously effects fit. Zoggs Predator, Blue Seventy Nero, and Aquasphere Kayenne were all pretty comfy but distorted my vision. I think I tried 8 different pairs last year alone and returned half.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    I'll be a loyal swede-wearer til the day I die, but that being said...

    I've been hearing good things about ROKA goggles from some of my South End swim-pod-mates.

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