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Swim Goggles

Sunday, 27 April 2008

If youíre a serious swimmer, have sensitive eyes, or wear contact lenses, swim goggles are an essential piece of equipment in the water. We find out how to get a good, no-leak fit.

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • A key part of goggles is the seal around your eye socket, called the gasket:

    • Foam gaskets are comfortable and work well for the occasional swimmer, but they break down quickly and tend to come loose from the lens.

    • Silicone is more expensive but lasts longer and provides better suction. It is also hypoallergenic, and comes in a lot of fun colours.

    • Swedish goggles are used by many competitive swimmers and have no gaskets. Instead, they embed right into the eye socket, which minimizes water resistance, but they can be pretty uncomfortable.

  • To test for fit, press the goggles onto your eye sockets and lean over. If they seal properly, they should stick for a few seconds without the strap on. If they fall off, they’re not the right fit for your face.

Other Considerations

  • If you require glasses, you might consider looking at prescription swim goggles. They will be costly, but if you're a serious swimmer, it will be worth it.

     

  • If speed isn’t an issue, see the underwater world for fun with scuba-like masks and novelty kids’ goggles.

  • Always rinse your goggles after swimming in chlorine so that they last longer.

   TEST CRITERIA

We invited some competitive swimmers to help us test these goggles:

  • TYR (foam gasket): $9
  • Nike Remorra II (silicone gasket): $18
  • Speedo Hydrospex (one-piece frame with patented seal): $20
  • Aqua Sphere Seal Mask (Silicone skirt seal): $36.95

Swim Test

  • Nike’s sleek fit and tight seal made the Remorra II the most popular choice.

  • Functionally speaking the Aqua Sphere’s were good in keeping the water out, but their bulkier size and appearance didn’t win them a gold medal.

  • The TYR just didn’t fit very well and leaked constantly.

   OUR TOP PICK

The Nike Remorra II goggles were the winner in our swim goggle competition.

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