When it comes to goggles for open water swimming, a comfortable fit and the ability to see clearly in all given light conditions outside are the two most important factors. Huub released their top-of-the-line Altair goggles with this criteria in mind, and created a first-of-its kind google that offers three interchangeable lenses to help you get that perfect vision no matter how light or dark it is while you’re swimming outdoors. Here’s why the Altair is the ultimate choice for the triathlete who hasn’t found what they’re looking for yet in the perfect open water goggle:
I have my favourite goggles for pool swimming and open water that I’ve been using for years, but with both pairs I feel that despite all their great features, long-lasting comfort around the eye socket isn’t perfectly dialled in. That’s simply not the case with the Altair, which is a very comfortable goggle. A soft, flexible Silicone gasket sits comfortably around your eyes and remarkably, doesn’t leave a mark even after hours of swimming and forms a strong seal. I haven’t had any leakage issues with the goggles. The frame is mid-sized when compared to the average goggle out there — somewhere between smaller options like pool specialist Speedo’s Vanquisher and larger frames like open water specialist Aquasphere’s Kayenne. No matter what you’re used to, the Altair won’t be a huge departure and the shape and size have been designed to work for any face shape. Huub’s flexible X-O Skeleton TM frame helps you easily adjust it to fit your face. The soft and thin silicone straps are comfortable around the head and easily tightened with central adjustment at the back.
Interchangeable, mirrored lens system
The Altairs have three mirrored lenses (all made from a high-grade poly carbonate) that come in the hard shell case with the goggles. Huub describes them:
- Yellow Mirror: Perfect for lowlight, dusk swims and to help spot swim buoys
- Silver Mirror: The ideal pool, artificial light or early morning swim lens
- Black Mirror: For strong sunlight and bright days
The silver (top) and black (bottom) lenses
I tested all three lenses at different times of the day. The silver is definitely the most adaptable lens and if you do choose to swim with these goggles indoors, this is the one you’ll want to choose. The yellow mirror is your best choice for race day as your swim will likely start before the sun is fully up, and the black lens is definitely great for the sun beating down mid-day. I found the silver lens performed fine in all these conditions, too. These ones also have the best UV-protection.
Another much-appreciated feature of the lenses is that their anti-fog coating is exceptional.
Changing the lenses isn’t a difficult task, and Huub has a video tutorial to help you out:
The round shape of the mirrored lens means you get a good peripheral field of vision in the goggles. While this is perfect for open water swimming when you want to have your eye on your competitors around you, buoys, and even water traffic, this isn’t ideal for pool swimming. To avoid headaches, we prefer to stick to the classic flat-front goggles for ideal vision clarity when staring at the black line during pool sets.
Are the Huub Altair googles worth the steep $80 price tag? While it’s likely more than you’ve ever paid for goggles before, consider how the cost adds up as you go through multiple pairs of goggles to find exactly what you’re looking for in all conditions. The Altairs are high-quality, come in a protective hard shell and really do out-shine the competition when it comes to achieving razor sharp vision in outdoor conditions. For this reason, we recommend them as the ultimate in open water swimming googles.
Huub Altair goggles can be purchased online.