Eyeline Goggles – Your Choice is Clear
Goggles are an essential item for your triathlon training and are found in every triathletes training bag – often you find more than just one pair. Goggles certainly won’t break the budget when it comes to training gear but if you don’t find the right pair, it can lead to a lot of frustration and an endless search for the perfect one. If you have ever worn the wrong pair of goggles, you will know what I mean, having to stop and adjust them at every turn so they don’t leak or fog up.
Over the past month I’ve been testing out a pair of new goggles in the Eyeline range, the Mantra. Eyeline produced its first swimming goggle in 1963, and has since been a leader in producing high quality and innovative designs.
The Mantra is a new goggle in their range designed as a unisex goggle and claims to fit most facial shapes. Given fit is at the top of the list of when trying to find the right pair for you, I was keen to get in the water and test these out to find out for myself.
But before we get into the review, it’s important to first understand what a triathlete should be looking for in a swimming goggle:
- Fit – This is top priority. They must fit right so they don’t let in water.
- Comfort – No one likes goggles that give them a pounding headache or that make you look like you have been punched in the eyes when you take them off. Comfort is key for those long swim sets and races.
- Adjustability – Every face and head size is different, so ease of adjustability is important to get the fit just right.
- Vision – When you aren’t following a black line, peripheral vision is important. Being able to sight clearly in open water swimming and while racing is crucial.
- Size – This can be personal preference, whether you are looking for a sleek swim competition goggle, a larger more comfortable goggle or something in between.
- Anti-fog – Should be a given in any goggle nowadays, but some are better than others.
Due to the time of year (winter!) these goggles were tested in the pool only, but I did test in both an indoor pool with limited natural light and in an outdoor pool, in sunlight. They were tested over longer endurance swim sets, hard/fast intervals, in sprints and tumble turns. No dive-ins were tested with this goggle, but for triathletes this tends to be less important anyway.
Colours: Aqua Blue, Smoke
As soon as I put this goggle on, without even adjusting them, I knew they were going to fit well. A good first test to see if the fit is right for you is to put the goggles over your eyes without putting the strap on and see if they suction to your face. I did this, and they did immediately. So that was a tick straight away. Once I then adjusted the band size to suit my head, they fit nicely around the eye socket and stayed firmly in place.
The ‘Soft Aquastat TRP seal’ is touted as a new generation rubber that ‘provides a comfortable soft seal and leak resistant properties’. And I would have to agree with the claims. The seal was comfortable and didn’t dig into the eye sockets like some goggles do, and once I had the fit right; I had no issues during my swim sets.
This comfort factor, I believe, was also in part to the ‘cage silicone headband’, something I hadn’t seen in the strap of a goggle before. It essentially has one strap that goes around the back of the head, but it forms a ‘cage’ that spreads over the back of the head to hold the goggles in place. I found this super comfortable and didn’t move at all once I had them on. Ladies with long hair take note – you may need to adjust where you tie your hair so it fits nicely under the strap.
What I loved about these goggles was the adjustability of the strap. The new ‘clip and release headband buckle adjustment’ – means that instead of sliding the strap to find the right adjustment and have the risk of it moving if stretched or pulled, the ‘clip and release’ allows you to find the right adjustment for you and it will hold in that place until you release or change it. It took me a few laps to get the adjustment just – firm so the goggles didn’t leak, but not too firm that I had a goggle headache. But once I got it right, I was in business.
I find this important, as you don’t want to be throwing your head in the open water trying to sight where you are, or spot the buoy or your competitors. These goggles have what I call a 180-degree peripheral vision, which is what triathletes should be looking for. This model also comes in two colours – the Aqua Blue, which I swim-tested, and Smoke. The Aqua Blue were super clear above and below the water and are perfect for pool swimming and low light days in the open water. For sunnier days, you might want to grab yourself a pair of the Mantra-Smoke, with its tinted smoke lens. Both colours though have UV protection, important for open water swimming.
This goggle isn’t the smallest on the market, but by far isn’t the biggest either. I think they have got the size pretty spot on. Small enough so they don’t look like snorkel goggles (!) but big enough that you get the coverage over your eye sockets and allow great peripheral vision while still being lightweight.
I only trialled these goggles for a month, but during that time didn’t have any issues with fogging – which you should expect from any goggle. But as with any goggle, anti-fog will slowly wear off over time, so it’s important to look after your goggles by rinsing with fresh water after every use and not touching the lenses with your fingers.
One thing that I do think is missing with these Eyeline goggles is the inclusion of a protective case. Boxed in cardboard, it would be handy to include a soft protective carry case you could pop them in after use to help keep them newer and performing for longer. But overall, this is a well-designed all-round swim goggle, which would suit a wide range of face sizes and shapes, and perfect for both pool and open water swimming as well as training and racing. Just choose whether you want the Aqua Blue – for a clearer vision, or the Smoke to cater for those sunny days. Or grab yourself a pair of both and you are set!