Buying Guide for Swimming Goggles
Why buy swimming goggles?
Whether you’re going for a splash in the pool or spending time in the ocean, swim goggles are essential for expanding your underwater view and protecting your eyes from aquatic irritants like sand, salt, and chlorine. A good pair of goggles will fit snugly to prevent water seepage but will still be comfortable enough that you can wear them throughout the entirety of your underwater adventure. Goggles also come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and fits, so you’ll never have trouble finding one that fits your style and needs.
What should you look for in swimming goggles?
- Materials: To ensure your goggles are comfortable and pain-free, look for goggles crafted with high-quality materials such as silicone and polycarbonate plastic. The lenses should have an anti-fog coating to give you a clear view of your aquatic experience. Goggles with some sort of UV protection coating are also useful if you’re going to swim outside since they’ll essentially double as sunglasses and shield your eyes from sunlight and UV rays, not just water.
- Fit: Your goggles need to fit properly to ensure you don’t experience any discomfort, chafing, or water in the eyes. Look for goggles that feature an adjustable strap, as this will allow you to adjust the size of the goggles to your preferred comfort level. Your goggles should be snug enough to create a waterproof seal around your eyes and nose but not tight enough that they’ll cause a headache. The eyepieces should also not be too narrow or too wide. Too narrow, and they’ll dig into your eye sockets and cause discomfort; too wide, and they’re more likely to let in water.
- Lens Color: Beyond the aesthetic appearance of the lens color, it actually impacts the effectiveness of the goggles to some degree. Most lenses will be clear, mirror, lilac, smoke, blue, or amber-colored. Clear lenses are best for lower light conditions and overall visibility. If you’re going to be swimming under bright fluorescent lights or sunlight, opt for smokey or mirrored lenses. Lilac, amber, and blue are suitable for most scenarios, whether you’re swimming in or out of doors, in bright or moderate lighting.
Are there different types of swimming goggles?
Yes, there are a couple of different styles and shapes of swimming goggles designed for different types of swimming and environments. There are racing goggles, casual leisure-style goggles, mask-style goggles, and prescription goggles. Racing goggles are more streamlined with smaller lenses to minimize drag while swimming laps or racing against other swimmers. In general, they won’t be particularly comfortable, though.
More casual swimming goggles, on the other hand, will be a bit softer, more flexible, larger in size, and more likely to have adjustable straps. They’ll also be suitable for most water sports aside from racing, like water polo or water aerobics. Mask-style swimming goggles are very similar to scuba diving masks, with a larger profile. They tend to provide good suction and seal and are less likely to leak. They’re also great for water sports, as well as snorkeling and open water swimming. Some may even have a strap to hold the mouthpiece or entirely cover the nose to reduce the risk of accidentally inhaling water. Prescription goggles, as the name implies, have prescription lenses. They’re meant for people who are near or far-sighted, so they can see clearly without having to wear their glasses underwater.
In addition to these types of swimming goggles, there are also goggles designed specifically for kids to better fit their smaller faces. There are infant goggles meant for 2- to 6-year-olds and junior goggles for children aged 6 to 14. Infant goggles, in particular, will be soft, comfortable, and colorful.
Our Picks for the Best Swimming Goggles
ZIONOR Polarized Swimming Goggles
These goggles will protect your eyes well while ensuring you have a clear view of your underwater surroundings.
Pros: Having a clear view underwater, regardless of whether you’re in a pool, lake, or the ocean, is crucial, and these swimming goggles will provide you with just that. Every set has mirrored polarized lenses that filter light, show as true color as possible, shield your eyes against UV rays, and even help to prevent fatigue. The silicone edging and nose bridge are nice and flexible, so they won’t dig into your nose and eyes as you’re swimming. The adjustable head straps ensure the goggles fit your head perfectly. These goggles are also available in 26 different colors (lens and gaskets alike) to better suit different environments.
Cons: Though these swimming goggles are labeled as anti-fog, they may grow slightly foggy over time if you wear them long enough. And as great as they are in sunny and overcast conditions of all sorts, they’re not the best choice for night swims.
Bottom Line: There’s a lot to love about these swimming goggles. Whether you’re swimming laps, wave jumping in the ocean, or participating in water sports like kayaking, jet skiing, or surfing, they’ll protect your eyes from water and sun alike and keep your vision as clear and unencumbered as possible.
Aegend Full Protection Swim Goggles
These goggles are crafted with a flexible silicone frame and feature a high-sitting nosepiece that is ultra-comfortable.
Pros: Water and debris aren’t the only things that swimming goggles can protect your eyes from. These goggles feature a UV-protection coating that defends against powerful ultraviolet rays in order to protect your eyes while swimming or otherwise out on the water. They are crafted with a flexible silicone frame and feature a high-sitting nosepiece that is designed to be ultra-comfortable. The inner surfaces of the lenses are finished with an anti-fog coating that provides a consistently clear view throughout your entire swim session. The adjustable strap allows you to better fit them to your head shape and size to prevent leaking, with a detachable plastic clasp to further aid in this task. They also come with a protective case for storage when not in use. And they come in 14 different colors to boot.
Cons: You’ll need to be very careful about not touching the inside of these goggles’ lenses, even when cleaning them. Doing so risks rubbing off the anti-UV coating and may cause them to blur underwater as well.
Bottom Line: We all know that we should use sunscreen to protect our skin from painful sunburns, but did you know that your eyes are just as susceptible to sun damage? Thanks to the UV-protective coating, these goggles are a great choice if you’re looking to go the extra mile to protect your eyes.
EverSport Kids Swim Goggles
Two pairs of anti-fog swimming goggles designed to fit the smaller faces of children, preteens, and teenagers.
Pros: Looking to give your kids the best view of their aquatic adventures? These goggles feature anti-fog, UV-protective lenses designed to give you a clear, long-distant view of the underwater world around them, in both indoor and outdoor environments. The goggle gaskets are made of super-soft and flexible silicone. The adjustable straps provide a snug, secure fit while the quick release, one-press button clasp in the back allows your child to take the goggles on and off without the straps getting caught in or pulling their hair. The price is nice for even more sets of swimming goggles, and since you receive not only two pairs of goggles but a mesh drawstring bag for each pair, four sets of earplugs, and two extra nose pieces for a more customized fit, you get excellent value for your money.
Cons: Be careful when cleaning the lenses of these goggles, as they are prone to scratches. Encourage your child(ren) to be gentle with the nose pieces as well, since they are a bit on the flimsy side.
Bottom Line: Children and most preteens and teenagers can’t wear adult-sized swim goggles, as they’ll be too large for their heads. If you’re looking to encourage your kids to be more confident underwater, you should check out these child-sized goggles made specifically to fit children as young as 3 years old.
AQUA A DIVE SPORTS Anti-Fog Swimming Goggles
In addition to their handy nose cover, these goggles feature an anti-fog lens strengthened with polycarbonate to protect your eyes.
Pros: These goggles come with a nose cover designed to prevent the uncomfortable experience of getting water up your nose. They feature one large single lens rather than the usual two separate smaller ones, providing a wider field of vision. Available in 10 colors and crafted from soft, liquid silicone, the double-layered design creates a tight seal around the nose and eyes without uncomfortably digging into your skin. The goggles feature an anti-fog lens that is strengthened with polycarbonate in order to increase impact resistance and better protect your eyes. They come with an easily accessible, adjustable side buckle you can tweak with one hand and an elastic silicone belt designed to hold the goggles in place without giving you a headache. And the included storage case also gives you a convenient, protective place to stash them when you’re not swimming.
Cons: The nose cover may be a bit tight and uncomfortable for some, depending on the size and shape of your nose. The plastic rim on the inside of the goggles may be hard and uncomfortable against your forehead too.
Bottom Line: If you want the wider vision and bonus nose protection of snorkel-style swim goggles but don’t actually plan to go snorkeling, these will be the perfect goggles for you. You won’t ever have to worry about accidentally inhaling water up your nose while wearing these.
Greatever Snorkel Mask Set
These snorkeling goggles feature a dry-top tube system that prevents water from entering the mask.
Pros: With a full-face design that provides a 180-degree field of vision, this snorkel mask is designed to give you an expanded view of the underwater world around you and comes with a breathing tube included. The mask is made of durable, soft, thick silicone to provide a comfortable yet snug fit that won’t cause headaches. The mask comes with an anti-fog lens designed to ensure clear views throughout the entirety of your aquatic adventure. Regular snorkels require you to breathe through a separate tube that has the tendency to get filled with water; this snorkel features a dry-top clip-on tube system that prevents water from entering the mask and gives you a more comfortable experience. The nose cover also protects your nostrils as you snorkel, so you don’t accidentally inhale water up your nose when you take a breath. Best of all, it’s available in both child and adult sizes, so the entire family can snorkel together.
Cons: Since the breathing snorkeling tube comes with this mask, it is a bit pricier than the average pair of swimming goggles. As is sometimes the case with goggles with nose covers, it won’t fit every nose size and shape properly, which may lead to some leaking.
Bottom Line: Whether you’re a first-time snorkeler or an aquatic aficionado, you should check out this mask snorkel set. All the pieces needed for snorkeling come with the goggles, and the breathing tube can be detached so the mask can function as a regular pair of swimming goggles outside snorkeling.
Though not strictly necessary swimming gear, many people find buying proper swimming goggles for themselves and their families to be a worthwhile investment. Whether you’re swimming in the ocean or lake, river or pool, water park or backyard pond, the right pair of swimming goggles will allow you to see where you’re going while underwater and keep your eyes out for any obstacles, so you don’t crash into them.