Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wedgie Labs: Aqua Sphere Kaiman

I do not pretend to be an expert swimmer. Not even a good swimmer. But I DO have a LOT of experience with goggles. I am very neurotic about my goggle-fit and have gone through many, many shapes and styles to find a good pair.

I got a new pair from Bicycle John's to try out (See? I told you they were a lot more than just a bike shop!). The Aqua Sphere Kaiman.

The first thing I noticed about the goggles is that they were difficult to resize. Their advertising claims they have an "Easy-adjust buckle system" but I thought it was clumsy to use. However, this is not entirely a bad thing. Because once I got the right fit, the goggles stayed that way. And yes, I have had other pairs of goggles where the strap slips a little bit after repeated use but with the Kaiman I have the exact same fit every time.

And it's a very comfortable fit. I do not know the exact weight, but they definitely feel very light and soft on the face. However, right on the package it says the Kaiman is "Leak-Free"; I have yet to find a completely leak-proof goggle, and the Kaiman is no better or worse than others I've tried. Maybe I just have an odd-shaped face, but some water gets inside the goggles.

So the Kaiman has an Easy Adjust Buckle that isn't, and is leak-Free but it does. What else do they promise? "180 degree Panoramic Vision". OK, I have to give them this one. The clarity is by far the best I have ever seen. The goggles have a low-profile shape, bringing the lenses close to the eyes so there is virtually no tunnel vision. In fact you have to go out of your way to see the edges of the goggles. The lenses haven't scratched or fogged up yet. I can't stress this enough: my vision in the Kaimans is so good that I might start wearing them to work and while driving.

I do have one very odd complaint about the goggles however. I do not think that I have particularly long or luxurious eyelashes. But because the Kaiman lenses are so close to my face, my eyelashes brush against the plastic every time I blink. Weird, right? It sounds like a minor problem, but after 45 minutes or so my eyes are noticeably irritated by that little bit of rubbing. I am willing to shave my legs for a triathlon, but I will NOT pluck my eyelashes. Is it a deal-breaker? No. But I have yet to do a 90-minute swim and that's what I need to do for Ironman in September. 90 minutes of eyelash rubbing could be a problem. I suppose it will just encourage me swim that much faster.

So what's the final verdict? The Kaimans are my favorite swim goggle.


Blogger Paulie said...

I like Barracuda's Ultimate goggle. It's the only one for me that require it to be extremely tight before it doesn't leak.

11:47 AM  
Blogger said...

I have these too, so far my only complaint is that when I pull them forward to put on the grips move and then I have to readjust...but other then that...good goggles!

9:29 AM  

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