TYR Special Ops 2.0 Review

TYR Special Ops 2.0 GogglesThe Special Ops goggles are a touch on the bigger side and have no nose-bridge adjustment. If your face is any smaller than “average”, I’d find another goggle.

These goggles have a ton of color/pattern options and TYR claims that they’re the brand’s #1 selling adult goggle. I liked the fact that I could get a crazy design and the lens option of my choice (I’m sporting the USA flag pair with polarized lenses).

They come with pretty much any type of lens. Polarized, color-changing (photochromic), smoke, clear. The strap’s buckle and the strap itself (though ridiculously stretchy) was pretty standardand. The split head strap is great because its less prone to repositioning on its own while I swim.

The best part – the part I want to shout about – is the gaskets. They’re made from the same soft stretchy stuff as the strap. Despite being a suction-style goggle, I didn’t see any goggle marks by the time I got back in my car. Awesome.

Read More

Cressi Flash Goggles Review

Cressi Flash Goggles

Cressi is a little-known brand to swimmers because they’re primarily a snorkel and dive company. I’ve recently discovered their swim products and I have to say that I’m impressed that they’re still made in Italy by the Cressi family.

The Flash goggles were another too-big goggle for me. Although I was able to get a seal with a lot of strap-tightening, they just weren’t the best fit for an average face like mine. The nose bridge is quit wide, making me think this would be a good pair for Asian folks or anyone with eyes set farther apart.

Despite the ill fit, the quality was clearly great. The frame is super flexible and the design is pretty striking.

Read More

Speedo Bullet Goggles Review

Speedo Bullet Goggles

The Speedo Bullets have been the talk of the pool for a while now. They’re different from most goggles in that they have an “accordian-like” gasket (they call it Elastomeric) that has folds in it. When you wear the goggle, the folds bend and stretch to fit your face.

I found the Bullets to be a little on the narrow side. If your face is pretty wide, you probably won’t be able to wear these, but might be able to wear the MDR 2.4s which also have the Elastomeric gaskets, but are a little bigger. I was able to get a great seal. I even heard the air squeaking out as I pressed them on.

Even though they were made for comfort, I’ve worn more comfortable models. However, I thought they were a great goggle for the price and had no leak issues.

Read More

Tusa Geminus Mask Review

Tusa Geminus Snorkel Mask

I recently had the opportunity to take a trip to the Florida Keys for some snorkeling and various other water sports. I took out my new Tusa Geminus Snorkel Mask (and Tusa’s Platina Hyperdry II Snorkel) for a test-run. Here are my thoughts on the mask:

The Tusa brand is a trusted leader in snorkeling and diving equipment with everything from masks and wetsuits to regulators and diving knives. As such, I already had faith in their ability to design and create an effective snorkel mask, but giving it a try in the open ocean was a must. To begin, the mask and accompanying snorkel – although sold separately – were integrative and quite easy to set up without the instruction manual. Once I was in the water, I found the mask to provide excellent underwater vision (ideal if you want to see any fish!).

I did not have any major issues with fogging, but you should anticipate this type of potential problem with any mask or goggle. If you are planning to snorkel in deep water or over delicate coral, you should definitely apply some anti-fog solution beforehand so that you won’t have to remove or adjust the mask at all. I was able to tread water while adjusting or clearing my mask, but this may not be ideal for everyone.

Although this site is dedicated to goggles, I think I should mention that the snorkel was one of the best that I have tried. It truly performed as I expected – blocking water from entering the snorkel from any angle. After diving to the bottom, I also found the Platina Hyperdry II to be ridiculously easy to clear. (It features two purge valves to make clearing simple.) Usually, I have issues with snorkel mouthpieces as well because my jaw tends to get tired after a while. This snorkel, however, made for a truly amazing experience. With nothing to preoccupy me, I was able to enjoy the beauty of Florida’s reef systems.

My only complaint is that the mask was a tad large for my face. If you consider yourself to have a smaller-than-average face, you may want to check out the junior version of the Tusa mask (these come in a set with both mask and snorkel). Although only a bit of water entered my mask, it was enough to make me consider a smaller mask.

Read More

Speedo Rift Pro Goggle

The Speedo Rift Pro goggle seems to be one of many in a new “oversized” goggle category. This type of swim goggle often features a larger frame with soft gaskets and enhanced peripheral vision. Ideally, this type of goggle is meant for swim practice. The main focus of the goggle seems to be comfort. As such, it would be best suited for athletes in need of a comfortable, long-wearing practice goggle.

The Speedo Rift Pro is definitely an attractive-looking goggle. Although it is larger than a traditional competition goggle, the Rift Pro goggle still offers a low-profile fit. Its shape contours the face nicely and allows for a wide field of vision – making this goggle an excellent option for recreational and open-water swimmers as well. The frame is a one-piece design with easy pliability. The gaskets are large enough for a bigger-than-average face but contoured enough to accommodate a smaller-than-average face, meaning that the Speedo Rift Pro is a highly versatile design.

The available mirrored lens provides terrific bright-light visibility and crisp, clear vision underwater.

Although less suited for competition, it seems that the Speedo Rift Pro goggle offers both comfort and style for long practice sessions and open-water swims.

Read More

Aqua Sphere Vista Mask Review

Aqua Sphere Vista Mask

Recently, I came upon the Vista Swim Goggle (made by Aqua Sphere). The Vista goggle is unlike any other goggle I have tried. It has a wider lens and skirt than most goggles, so it stays firmly in place. In fact, the goggle’s gasket creates a tremendous amount of suction – I actually found it slightly difficult to remove (the skirt of the goggle must be peeled away from the face in order to break the suction).

I was impressed by the performance of the Vista goggle as well as the quality of craftsmanship. The straps are super easy to use. I have had no problem making adjustments (this can even be done while you’re wearing the goggle – it’s so easy!)

Aqua Sphere has also taken several steps to ensure that their goggles are the best on the market. They use specialized materials (Softeril and Plexisol) in the manufacture of their goggles, which are far better than conventional glass and plastic goggle materials.

Although the goggle is available in a women’s style and a small-fit frame, I went with the original Vista goggle which is offered in tons of colors. Vista comes in clear, smoke, and blue lenses. The tinted lens version is fantastic for swimming outside in the intense Florida sunshine.

Read More

Barracuda HydroBat Swim Goggle

Barracuda Hydrobat Goggle

I have always liked the Barracuda brand, because of their products, but also because of their commitment to quality and service. This particular HydroBat Swim Goggle ‘completes’ the eye socket which reduces drag around the face.

I find the HydroBat stays in place exceptionally well. Jumping in, diving or turning, they stay put. Barracuda talks about their “positive pressure seal” but I think that simply means they don’t leak in layman’s terms. The field of vision is fairly narrow, but very clear when looking straight ahead.

Like all Barracuda products the quality is great and they hold up well over time. Barracuda sells replacement parts for their products.

The lenses come with Anti-Fog treatment and they come in several colors including mirrored.

The HydroBat has a “wishbone” nose bridge system that can be adjusted to allow for various face shapes and sizes. I found the double strap to be easy to adjust and it holds the goggle firmly in place.

Read More

Speedo HydroShade Kid’s Swim Goggles

Now I can’t say I have tried these personally but kids who have tell us they have a blast with these Speedo HydroShade Goggles. Sort of like shoes with flashing lights, or t-shirts that change color in the sun, kids love things that surprise. When these goggles go out in the sun, the white parts of the frame change to a purple color almost instantly on the blue goggle and to a pink color on the pink Hydroshade goggle. Everything about the HydroShade is kid friendly; soft comfortable frame, really easy to adjust strap that lets mom and dad do something at the pool other than adjust their child’s strap tension all day, and good durability. Kids 3-8 years old don’t always take good care of their swim equipment so you want something that is going to last a while.

Read More

Speedo HydroSpex2 Goggle Review

Speedo Hydrospex2 Goggles

The Speedo HydroSpex2 Swim Goggle is not fancy, but I like it as a goggle that you can throw in your swim bag or as an extra pair to keep in the suitcase for the hotel pool. For the price it is a pretty good value. The frame is all one piece without the adjustable nose pieces found on higher priced goggles. But it will fit the average face in most cases. It has the typical split strap found in lower priced goggles but the adjusters work nicely. The strap is silicone and the lenses are Lexan so they hold up well without a lot of extra care. UV protection and anti-fog coating as usual. This is a good choice for recreational swimmers.

Read More

Barracuda H2Rx Prescription Swim Goggles Review

Barracuda H2Rx Prescription Swim Goggles

Compared to its peers, the Barracuda prescription goggle is wildly comfortable and doesn’t mark the undereyes like so many models do.

As a nearsighted swimmer, I like being able to see clearly, but also being able to get a reasonably-priced prescription without a lot of hassle. For most people, the left and right eye are similar in terms of the diopter needed, so buying a “fixed strength” swim goggle, rather than goggles where you buy the left and right lens independently, is a good deal. The Barracuda H2Rx Prescription Swim Goggle fits this approach.

This goggle is available in diopters of -1.5 to -10.0 which should cover the vast majority of swimmers. The goggle comes in a blue lens with blue frame or a smoke lens with black frame. It comes with 3 different nose bridges which allows for a lot of adjustment for face shape and size.

The quality is typical of Barracuda, with a great seal. The strap is a double type strap which stays in place better during turns and push-offs.

Read More