I bought 6 pairs of goggles, one being my old safety – Tyr Nest Pro – so I’ll be giving feedback on the 5 new-to-me pairs, compared to the Nest Pros.
This is a pretty dry, boring post, so I’m posting my unscientific, totally subjective, “conclusions” in the next paragraph (if you even care to read that much). After that, I blab about my impressions if you want to delve further into my goggle obsession. Don’t be surprised by random sentence fragments.
The takeaway – it turns out that I bought basically 2 types/styles of goggles: ones like the Nest Pros that sit a little wider on the face and fit slightly more outside the eye socket, and ones that are lower profile -and better for racing, but maybe not for open water – that fit more inside the bony area (but not as much as eyeball-sucking socket rockets). From my experience with the Tyr Special Ops, polarization isn’t worth the extra cost. None of the goggles I sampled were as comfortable as what I’ve been wearing, so I guess I’ll stay in my Nest Pro rut!
How I’m reviewing. I wore each pair at least 2 times. Mostly in the pool, but I tried the polarized ones in full sun in open water. I tried them all with my Finis DUO MP3 player
- fit/feel on 3-point scale: OW!/OK/I’m wearing goggles? Right away feel, over time feel (at least 1000 yds), and taking them off/putting them back on) feel
- best suited for pool or open water or both? Competition vs fitness – stay on w/push off and dive? peripheral vision?
- can I use my Finis Duo with them?
Zoggs Phantom Elite – “OK” Similar to Nest Pros, as long as I get them placed perfectly. Even then, I noticed a slight headache after wearing them a while. I started to feel pressure (pain) on my cheekbones after ~1000 yds when I added my DUO. No pain w/taking them off. Good peripheral vision. Suitable for OW swimming and fitness. I’m less sure about using them for competition. The eye area profile isn’t super high, but I felt some downward pressure on the googles, and the strap folded over when I pushed off the wall. I’m not confident they’d stay on for a dive start. I’m not that great at keeping my goggles on anyway, but I’m sure that says more about my technique than the goggles! Still, the folding goggle strap caused by a strong push-off would be a problem (for me) unless I wore a cap over them.
Tyr Special Ops 2.0 polarized – “OK” and almost “I’M WEARING GOGGLES?” but not quite. Comfortable. No pain w/taking them off. Feel very much like Nest Pros, but a little more substantial, polarization didn’t seem to help. I actually felt like I couldn’t see as well when swimming right into the sun. Good peripheral vision so good for OW, but I wouldn’t pay extra for the polarized ones. I only wore these in open water, so I don’t know how they’d be w/push-off, or dive, but I doubt I’d be able to keep them on. OK w/DUO.
Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 – felt “OK” right away, but not so great after ~1000 yards, so maybe the rating should be “OK-“? Hurt taking them off. REALLY hurt w/DUO attached. Low profile, so they don’t catch with a strong push-off. I imagine I’d be able to dive with them. Peripheral vision is not that great, so I wouldn’t wear them for OW. Even though they’re not the most comfortable goggles, I’d wear them for pool competition. I might wear them for practice, but since my side vision was somewhat limited, maybe not. I like to see where my lane-mates are! Extra nose-pieces included in the package so you can adjust the width.
Blueseventy Element – “OW!” Not horrible for short periods. Hurt taking them off. I can see racing with them since they stay on well w/push-off, and probably would with diving. Not comfortable with DUO.
Tyr Black Hawk Racing – “OW!” at first. I had to fiddle with them after about 500 yards, but once I got them situated they were “OK”. Low profile, didn’t move w/strong push-off, and would probably be fine with diving. Hurt a little less taking them off than the Blueseventy and Vanquisher goggles. Not comfortable w/DUO. Extra nose-pieces included in the package so you can adjust the width.
So there you have it! As a reward for getting this far, here are a couple pictures of the Madeleines I made recently. Yum.