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2016 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Goggles

The eight goggles featured in the 2016 Triathlete Buyer's Guide.

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The draw: Flashy comfort

These shiny lenses don’t just look cool—they’re actually incredibly comfortable and functional, with super soft silicone gaskets and great visibility through the polarized lenses. The small knobs on each side make adjustment a cinch.

The draw: Light-enhancing polarization

The polarized lenses of the Predator tested well to both prevent the glare during a sunny swim and keep vision clear in low light. Compared to others, vision was minorly distorted and the adjustment pieces felt inexpensive, but overall they’re a comfy, flexible goggle for pool or open-water swims.

The draw: Perfect fit

Orca’s new goggles nailed the most important qualities—an immediately comfy fit, super easy adjustment (a simple tug at the strap) and fog-free clear vision. The Killa Vision comes in two other color options.

The draw: Stealthy pool comfort
*Best Value*

We were surprised to learn these high-performing goggles were only $20—the vision was clear, the anti-fog held up after multiple uses and they are a lot more comfortable than other low-profile models. The design is best for pool swimming, but the Blackhawk would translate fine to open water for athletes who prefer this style. The goggles come with five nose bridge options to customize your fit.

From $30,
The draw: Incredibly crisp vision
*Best In Class*

Our first reaction to putting the new ROKA R1 goggles on was, “Wow, these lenses are crystal clear.” In the water, vision is acute and the R1 stays in place. ROKA offers more lens color options than any brand—this pair has nine varieties—for various light conditions.

The draw: Most comfortable fit

We immediately felt at home in the MDR 2.4, with its perfect out-of-the-package fit that didn’t suction eyeballs out (or leave marks!). Ideal for outdoor swimming, the lenses block UVA and UVB rays, and the split shape prevents the distortion caused by some curved lenses. The only downside is that the adjustment strap doesn’t feel as secure as others in the test.

The draw: Durable, versatile comfort

Blueseventy didn’t update the Vision for 2016, but that’s OK with us—the versatile goggle has long been a mainstay in our swim bag because it easily goes from pool to open water. The gaskets are soft and the lenses are clear with a wide view. Plus, at $20, it’s not out of the question to own a couple different pairs so you have race-day options—the Vision comes in four different lens/frame combinations.

The draw: Secure fit and clarity | Beginner or apprehensive open-water swimmers are up against a list of factors that make swimming more scary and uncomfortable, such as bad visibility and leaking goggles. The Seal 2.0 addresses those fears: The field of vision is the widest you’ll find (it feels large if you’re used to “normal” goggles), the suction is incredibly strong and the lenses create a clear view and are protected by both anti-fog (inside) and anti-scratch (outside) treatments.