Open Water Swimming:
Open water swimming seems to be one of the most intimidating aspects of taking on a triathlon. I’ve talked to so many first time triathletes who are training for the first year and they are intimidated and afraid of open water swimming. The feeling of not seeing the pool floor or pool wall can be enough to set some people into a panic attack. Worse yet getting their goggles knocked off or leaking can be a race ender. So making sure you have a proper set of open water swim goggles triathlon ready can ensure you’re properly equipped with a set of goggles that stay on and work well.
What to look for in Open Water Swim Goggles For Triathlons –
When investing in a solid set of open water goggles triathlon ready you are going to want to look for a few things.
- Each pair of goggles fit and feel differently on your face. I’ve had the ability to shop at my local triathlon shop and try on multiple brands before I purchased. Having that ability can help selecting a comfortable set of goggles.
- The gasket and water seal around your eyes is extremely important. Be sure to look for goggles that have a soft silicone gasket and one that will last in all conditions. Having a seal stand up to UV rays and not break down is important to consider.
- Lastly, with comfort make sure the goggle straps will adjust to fit your head and also stand up to being pulled over your head numerous times.
- Most companies provide different tints and colors of lenses. Be sure to buy a set that will work for outside open water conditions. And a lens that will work in sunny to cloudy conditions.
- Most are UV protected and anti-fog lenses, however, be sure to check.
- Last for a few dollars a set of polarized lenses can help decrease the sun’s reflection and glare off the water.
Length of Life:
- Similar to what you look for on the comfort of a gasket. Looking for a rubber material that has a soft silicone feel while ensuring that you purchase a pair of goggle that won’t break down in the first few months of use and begin leaking.
- Look for goggle straps that are of substantial thickness. Some of the thinner straps tend to break under pressure.
- Goggles don’t need to break the bank and you usually can find a set for less than $40 dollars. The lens tint and color play the determining factor in higher priced goggles.
To help with the process I included some goggles that I have had the privilege of using and reviewing over the years. I’m not in anyway paid to review these, but rather with my years of training. I’ve been able to put these goggles to the test when training and racing.
Comfort: How do they fit around the eyes
Lenses: Visibility and Color
Length of Life: How long will they last
Value: How much do they cost
Top Rated Open Water Swim Goggles Triathlon Ready:
Length of Life: 8/10
Notes: ROKA is one of the newer companies in the triathlon world. However, that hasn’t stopped them from grabbing some of the biggest names in the game. They started in 2013 out of an Austin, Texas garage and in just three years had the honor of sending 18 athletes to the Rio Olympic games. So even though they may be newer they make very high-quality triathlon gear.
The ROKA R1 has a lean profile keeping them close to the face. They are lined with an ultra soft gasket to add comfort and a watertight seal. The lenses are offered in a mirrored finish, which for me I don’t mind having a tinted finish whether I’m in the pool or open water swimming. However, these R1 goggles are equipped with SPCTRUM optics technology that creates the optimal tint for any condition. As for the overall cost, they are a little on the higher side considering shipping they come at about a $40 dollar price point.
TOTAL SCORE: 34/40
Length of Life: 8/10
Notes: TYR created back in 1985 is a global company with years of knowledge and experience thanks to Joseph DiLorenzo and Steve Furniss. Therefore they sponsor some of the top elite swimmers around the world. TYR’s manufacture lines consist of swimwear, aquatic fitness, and triathlon gear. Some of their more prominent triathlon gear consist of tri suits, goggles, and training equipment.
The TYR Sport Special Ops is one of my favorite goggles to use in open water. They are designed for open water and triathlons. The goggles have a durable DURAFIT silicone gasket that provides comfort around your eyes. Therefore fitting around the eye. They offer a tinted polycarbonate lens that has embedded anti-fog lenses. I will say if I put mine on dry they will last about 40 minutes before they begin to fog. So not fog proof, which is a misconception to “anti-fog.” I’ve used multiple pairs of these goggles they usually can last me anywhere from 9-12 months of training before I notice the gasket seals start breaking down a little. However, I’ve never had a strap break on any of the pairs I’ve worn. So when it comes to the price you can’t go wrong finding a set for under $20.
TOTAL SCORE: 36/40
Length of Life: 9/10
Notes: Originated in 1998 in Italy, Aqua Sphere set out to bring comfortable eyewear to swimmers. The created a face mask style goggle that provides comfort and a watertight seal. Fast forward to today and they specialize in created products designed for triathlon swimmers. Therefore working with some of the top Olympians and triathletes around the world.
The Kayenne goggles offer a unique oversized design. Providing a superior range of visibility. The design also offers a low profile frame giving them a more competitive style. They are fitted with silicone straps and gaskets. Hence I never have issues with these leaking or loosening. They remind me of the TYR style goggles, in the way they sit on your face. The nice thing with these goggles is that they have a one-touch clip to adjust the strap length. I usually wear my goggles a little tighter on race day. The Kayenne is offered in multiple frame and lens colors. Also embedded is UV lens treatment and anti-fog. As for cost, they are a little higher in price, but worth it.
TOTAL SCORE: 36/40