Day 83 of the Great Big 10k Marathon Swimming Adventure: A review of my new Zoggs Predator Flex Titanium Reactor

(Update March 2015: After a few swims, the Flex Titaniums are absolutely water-tight, snug and comfy. They need “wearing in”, just like their predecessors did. These beauties are now my daily go-to pair of goggles).

Phew, what a week this has been again. Topped off by a Friday when I left the house at 5am and returned at 11pm. Despite missing one swim, I got 18600 metres in, of which I swam just over 9 kilometres with the new Predator Flex Titanium Reactor goggles in the last few days.

Yep. That is quite a mouthful. Predator Flex Titanium Reactor. No less coming from a company called Zoggs. Sounds like a dexterous metal rogue nuclear power plant in a trippy Dr. Seuss satire. Or something.

Then again, this is not just a normal set of swimming goggles. The photochromatic lenses it sports really work. This key feature makes them great for swimming in any light condition, inside or in open water. Here is a snapshot of them in lower light and bright sunshine, taken on our wintery porch:

The lenses are completely clear indoors, showing a slight tint in the shade.
The lenses are completely clear indoors, showing a slight tint in the shade.
Within seconds, the photochromatic lenses darken in bright sunlight.
Within seconds, the photochromatic lenses are dark.

The package includes a hard, well-made case to keep those expensive lenses nice and safe:

IMG_2286
Grippy and tough: The Flex Titanium comes in a nice shell, which is a big improvement over the older version

As regular readers know, I have been using the previous model, the trusty Predator Flex Reactor (no Titanium!). Sadly, its bridge snapped a few days ago, after many, many swims in pools and oceans.

In my gear bag, you will also find the red Polarized version and the copper tint (“gold and black”) ones. Oh, and one of the kids has borrowed the one everyone else seems to like, but I actually hardly ever use: the silvery Predator Mirror. It is not in the picture but gets a lot of use in the family.

Predator trifecta: Predator Flex Polarized in red, the Predator Polarized with a copper tin, and the Flex Titanium Reactor.
Predator trifecta: Predator Flex Polarized in red, the Predator Polarized with a copper tint, and the Flex Titanium Reactor.

And that is the major point: Those Zoggs Predator goggles may have daft names. But they have

  • a fantastic comfy fit, even for noggins like yours truly’s. And apparently just about everyone else. My wife, the kids and friends – they all love them.
  • excellent visibility, thanks to curved lenses
  • a snug and very water-proof fit around the eyes
  • easily adjustable straps, that quickly adapt (blimey I remember the pesky straps on those pool goggles of my youth.)
  • four-way flexible nose bridges that help ensure a snug fit over your eyes

Now if they just could make those bridges snap proof 🙂

The new Titaniums are very much like the other ones, though the new pair seems a bit less comfortable and caused a tiny bit of leakage, despite several attempts to better adjust them. They just did not perfectly encase my eye sockets (I have fairly large head, but nothing out of the ordinary, really). My theory is that this is due to the pair being brand new; they need wearing in, like a pair of jeans. However, I also think the rubber that goes around the eyes is slightly different in this model. Not sure. Will obviously keep an eye on this issue, if you pardon the pun. It is a very minor nuisance really, since the pool water I train in is very clean and has no chlorine (not sure what the filtration system is, but it is brilliant).

But come a day in the ocean, or in a chlorinated old-skool-pool, and this needs to work. Especially for a pair of goggles that cost me a whopping 50 euro.

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