My favorite goggles saw their last race at the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines. I loved how they fit, but because I loved them so much I had pretty much used that one pair exclusively, which meant they were battered and worn out. The gasket around the eye socket area had warped, letting in water and causing me some problems during the swim leg.
I’ve got Tri United 3 coming up this weekend, so I was about to buy a new pair of goggles when a package from Zoggs arrived for me. What great timing!
For test today: Zoggs Predator Flex Reactor goggles w/ photochromatic lenses. Let’s see if they go from day to night. http://t.co/xBoQYOMqr1
— Noelle De Guzman (@KikayRunner) October 24, 2013
This is the Zoggs Predator Flex Reactor. The Predator Flex model has been around for a while, so what makes the Reactor line different? Photochromatic lenses, that’s what.
Normally, swimmers have two pairs of goggles with different lenses: clear for swimming under overcast skies or indoors, and mirrored or polarized for bright and sunny days. The Reactor’s photochromatic lenses turn a darker tint when exposed to sunlight, but return to clear within minutes when light conditions change. Notice how the lenses above are clear. I got in the pool this morning and put them on, and this is what happened:
Predator Flex Reactor goggles are optimized for triathlon open water swims, with large curved lenses that offer UV 400 protection, unimpeded 180-degree visibility for sighting, and Soft-Seal gasket that molds wide over the eye area to prevent leaks (I’ll discuss this more later). Because the lenses are larger, the goggles shouldn’t easily come off if you get kicked in the face. It’s also got anti-fog treatment on the lenses, so no fogging even as your race heats up.
It’s lightweight and comes with a split-yoke headstrap with a quick-adjust mechanism. It’s also got a nifty protective zipped case so you can store them properly (i.e. not getting knocked about inside your swim bag).
They’re kind of like the high-performance sunglasses I like to wear during rides and runs. The price point is the same as well: the Zoggs Predator Flex Reactor retails for P3,500 at Chris Sports and Toby’s Sports branches, Planet Sports Rockwell, The Brick Multisport Store, and Sprint Multisport Shop.
I do think you’re getting good value for money with the photochromatic lenses, because even having those on normal prescription eyeglasses is pricey. I can’t count how many times I’ve been swimming in the early morning using my clear goggles, and midway through my set I’d start squinting because the sun’s risen and shining in my eyes. So it’s almost like having two pairs of goggles in one. As for durability, I’ve only had them for a day or two so I will definitely update this post about that once I’ve used them regularly.
This morning during my swim, the Reactors cut glare without turning too dark. That is important for me because I like see as much as possible in open water (my mind imagines all sorts of underwater creatures when visibility is poor).
Now, I mentioned earlier that the goggles shouldn’t easily come off due to their large gasket. I found that for my face shape, when I squint or smile while turning my head to breathe, my cheek lifts the goggle ever so slightly and allows water to seep in. I tightened the headstrap, which had slipped to a lower and looser position, and fitted the goggles deeper into my eye socket. That eliminated the sealing problem. This is why I always test equipment I plan to use at a race prior to the race, so I can make any necessary adjustments.
I’m happy to say that I will be using the Zoggs Predator Flex Reactor goggles on Sunday at the race. I think it’ll give me the worry-free state I need during the swim.
Check out the Zoggs Predator Flex Reactor features in this video: