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Buyer’s guide: Goggles

When it comes to goggles, fit is everything.

When it comes to goggles, fit is everything. Leak-proof goggles are a must when it comes to open water tri swims, so it’s important that your goggles form a good seal around your eyes. (All the more reason to purchase goggles from a reputable store with staff who know what they’re doing when fitting you.)

Anti-fog protection is pretty much standard on goggles these days, as is UV protection, which is especially important for open water swims.

Vision – $25 mirrored lens, $20 non-mirrored

As one triathlete put it during a recent test, the Vision “just works.” Whether you’re training in a pool or racing in open water, you’ll enjoy the 180-degree vision (pardon the pun) of the wide angled lens. There’s a soft, oversized silicon gasket that and two different moulds (small and large) to fit fits almost all head shapes. Lens colours include smoke, orange, blue and pink.

101 – $50 Sable 101, $110 1010RX

These premium, lightweight goggles use optical precision lenses with Aspherical and Flat Lens Technology to eliminate distortion and provide clear vision whether your in a pool, lake or the ocean. Prescription lenses are available, too, and you can even customize the prescriptive lens for each eye. Easily adjusted, non-slip strap results in a snug, comfortable fit and each frame comes with narrow, medium and wide nose bridges for an individualized fit.

Osprey – $40

Designed specifically for ocean and open water swimming, these goggles from Australia use polarized lenses to reduce the problem of reflective glare off the water. In addition to the polarization, the flat, UV protected and anti-fog coated lenses provide zero distortion and excellent viewing clarity and are available in a variety of tints. (There’s a clear lens for use in indoor pools.) The oversized, one-piece lens and frame design allows a wide viewing angle, but is small enough so that you won’t feel like you’re wearing a dive mask – it’s quite comfortable for use in pools.

Kayenne – $35

Vista – $50

Thanks to Aquasphere’s long experience making diving gear (the company was founded by Jacques Cousteau), these goggles really seal to your face. With an oversized, ultra-durable Plexisol lens, the Kayenne provides expanded 180-degree visability, but remains a goggle versus a mask. The Vista utilizes all that diving experience in a wraparound mask concept. Both models have an extremely comfortable silicone strap and a one-touch, Quick-Fit buckle for easy adjustment. (You can easily adjust the strap while you’re wearing the them.)

Air Seal Tri – $24

Designed specifically for triathletes and open-water swimmers, Speedo has managed to combine the best of streamlined pool goggles with a wide-angle view and all-day comfort in the Air Seal Tri. There’s an air-filled gasket for comfort, a double head strap for adjustability and a soft frame that make these a great choice for tri swims of any distance.

Air Nest Pro – $24

Inspired by the unique bird nest architectural design of Beijing’s main stadium for 2008, the Nest Pro frame uses a unique grid-like effect, similar to the way a bird’s nest is intertwined, for support. The silicone strap conforms to the side of your head and uses Tyr’s Glide Clip system for easy adjustment, while wide Cellulose Propionate (CP) lenses provide lots of peripheral vision.