In our trial, features such as anti-fog, what materials the eyecups are made of, and design, figure significantly in how watertight, fog-free, comfortable and easy to adjust a pair of goggles may be.
Anti-fog / no anti-fog lenses
The inner surface of anti-fog goggle lenses are coated with plastic additives during manufacturing to prevent condensation. If your goggles are not anti-fog or if their anti-fog coating has worn out, you can spray and smear the inside of the lenses with anti-fog solution, available at most sporting goods retailers.
Moulded or fixed frame / adjustable frame
Swimming goggles have either adjustable frames that consist of separate eyecups connected by adjustable and/or removable nosepieces, or moulded/fixed frames with non-adjustable nosepieces. In our trial, all seven goggles that had moulded or fixed frames made our top 10. Two of the goggles on trial, the Eyeline Conquest and Speedo Cyclone, come with individual nosepieces of three different sizes.
Silicone / non-silicone eyecups or gaskets
The eyecups or gaskets have the most contact with your face and determine how comfortable and watertight the goggles are. Most of the higher-priced models have silicone eyecups. Some eyecups – typically those made with silicone – can be shallower than conventional ones, as we discovered when a few of our trialists reported that their eyelashes batted uncomfortably against the inner lenses.
TPR and TPE
When you see TPR (thermoplastic rubber) or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) on the goggles packaging, they simply refer to the synthetic material, which is a combination of plastic and rubber. Eyecups may also be made from polyvinylchloride (PVC), which is commonly found in the lower-priced goggles.