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TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles review – A contender for the best swim goggles for pool and open water?

Popular triathlon apparel brand TRI-FIT have recently launched their new RAPID-X swimming goggles. 18 months in the making, these goggles have been designed as an all-rounder to take you from training in the pool and open water, to making your way through the pack on triathlon race day. We've taken them for a splash to give you the lowdown on how they perform for comfort, fit and visibility.

Writer & Long Course Triathlete
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Jenny Lucas-Hill

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Long course age-group triathlete Jenny Lucas-Hill has been putting the TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles through their paces. Tasking them with everything from speedwork and endurance swims in the pool, to the decidedly steamy waters of Marina Bay at Singapore T100. To find out if they can offer the comfort, visibility and durability required to deal with a full summer of triathlon training. And rid her of her everlasting goggle marks. Read on to get the verdict.

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I was busy admiring the – miraculously still present – goggle marks left on my face several hours after my swim earlier in the day when the TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles landed on my doorstep a couple of months ago. Despite swimming regularly for years now, I’d been yet to find a pair of swimming goggles that I didn’t have to fasten so tightly to avoid leaking that I’d spend the rest of the day looking like a chlorine-soaked raccoon.

So I had high hopes for the TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles, 18 months in the making from this triathlon apparel brand. Promising to be the ultimate all-rounder for both pool and open water swimming, with an ultra-comfortable gasket and 180 degree vision. Could these goggles perform well – and save me from single-handedly funding the eye cream industry? I’ve been putting them through their paces in the pool and in open water to find out!

Summary

Comfortable, no fog goggles that perform just as well in open water as they do in the pool

The TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles tick both boxes when it comes to comfort and visibility. The custom 3D gasket technology means they fit well around the eyes and you don’t have to tighten them up to eye-ball popping levels of snug to avoid any leakage. In open water, the wide field of vision makes sighting easy, the mirrored lenses cope well with any glare and so far there’s been no fogging.

The single split headband is easy to adjust, though if you have particularly thick or long hair you might find the gap isn’t quite big enough. And no interchangeable nose piece means these goggles might not be quite right for everyone, though the design and materials means they should mould fairly well to most face shapes.

PROS
+ Comfortable fit
+ Good field of vision in open water
+ No leaking or fogging in the pool and open water
CONS
+ Single split strap lacks adjustability for long/thick hair
+ Fixed nose piece may mean these goggles don't work for all face shapes
Best For
Performs well across pool sessions and open water swimming
Focus on your swim performance with the TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles
RRP
£30 / ~$38 / ~€35
Sizes
One size
Colours
White / Black

Initial impressions

Premium feel at an accessible price point

Out of the box, these goggles feel more premium than their price tag. They come in a hard case – which is great if, like me, you have a bad habit of stuffing your goggles into the depths of your swim bag with reckless abandon.

Compared to the Roka goggles I’ve been swimming in recently, the nose piece and the gasket felt less harsh and a bit more yielding to touch. That was promising for fixing that lingering goggle mark issue I mentioned, though I was interested to see if this would mean leaky goggles the second I pushed off the wall.

The TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles also look cool. The lenses are big enough to use in open water, but a slightly slanted design gives them a streamlined profile that has a touch of the shark about it. This means you don’t rock up to the swimming pool looking like you’re wearing a scuba mask – something other open water goggles can fall foul of.

As far as first impressions go, these goggles seemed like they’d be a good all-rounder that could take me from pool to open water.

TRI-FIT Rapid X goggles Jenny Lucas-Hill
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FIT

Fuss-free fit

As much as I enjoy a healthy dose of procrastination before a pool session, one of the perils of a new pair of goggles can be wasting a load of time on pool side trying to adjust the straps and choose a nose piece to get them to fit properly without either leaking or cutting off circulation to your brain.

TRI-FIT promise a ‘quick adjust’ strap, along with 3D gasket technology and TPE material in the nose piece to offer a secure fit that conforms to the wearers face profile. I can only speak to my experience – I’ve only got the one face after all – but in practice this meant minimal adjustment was required to get these goggles fitting nicely straight out of the box.

Around the eyes, these goggles have been really comfortable. In fact, they’ve felt more comfortable as I’ve swum in them more often – as if the material is slightly moulding to my face shape. I’m not going to go as far as saying these turn into ‘custom’ goggles, but they do seem to yield a little more than other pairs I’ve tried. The nose piece isn’t interchangeable, which means these goggles might not work for everyone – face and nose shape dependent. For me though, the space between the lenses is spot on and I didn’t need to do them up too tightly to get them to seal.

The straps have an easy-slide adjustment, so you haven’t got to take the goggles off to unhook them to adjust the tightness. It might sound silly, but plenty of goggles I’ve used over the years make this needlessly complicated, so TRI-FIT’s no nonsense design was welcome.

The only drawback for me is the single split strap design – depending on how hastily I’ve thrown my hair up into a bun, sometimes I’ve found there’s not quite enough space in the split to accommodate it. Meaning the goggles get pulled tighter and I have to either take my swim cap off and relocate my hair bun, or adjust the straps. It’s not a deal breaker, and for those of you with shorter hair it’s not relevant at all. But it’s worth knowing if you’ve got particularly long or thick hair.

Comfort & PERFORMANCE

Performed well in training and on race day

During pool training sessions, these goggles have performed well. There’s been no leaking – even when I’ve had to push off the wall at a strange angle to avoid rogue breast-strokers materialising in the middle of the lane. And during the harder speedwork sessions where I’d usually find my goggles steaming up, they’ve stayed nice and clear. They’ve also been comfortable around my eyes for the longer endurance swims, and my goggle marks have been far less violent looking post-swim. The only times I’ve felt like these goggles were a bit too tight have been when I’ve not got the straps sitting quite right either side of my hair bun.

So far, so good. But away from the lane ropes and black lines of the pool – how would these goggles with their streamlined profile do in open water?

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. My first race of the season ended up being a very last minute entry to Singapore T100, with a 2km open water swim in the ~30 degree Celsius water of Marina Bay. I’d gone over to report on the PRO racing, so I was quite literally diving into the unknown when I had the opportunity to take on the age group race, with only a vague idea of what direction I needed to swim in once I hopped off the pontoon.

Thankfully the visibility with the TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles served me well and I could easily see the turn buoys. The sun was in and out from behind the clouds, and the mirrored lenses seemed to cope well in both the overcast and sunnier conditions – though my wave didn’t set off until after 8.30am so I can’t yet vouch for how good these goggles would be when the sun is lower in the sky. And despite that very warm water temperature, there was no sign of the goggles steaming up.

DURability

Still going strong after being used and abused

I’ve been using these goggles for about 2 months now, and so far they still look good as new. That’s despite spending a day stuffed unceremoniously in my transition bag with my swim skin while I was racing in Singapore.

For the most part, I’ve been keeping them in the hard case they came with which definitely helps. I’m yet to kick the habit of rubbing the inside of my goggles with my fingers (one of the seven deadly sins of swimming, I know!) but as yet, this hasn’t resulted in any scratches on the lenses or caused any fogging.

The main thing I’ll want to keep an eye on with these goggles is that fixed nose piece. The material is nice and pliable, but anyone who’s been through the trauma of their goggles splitting at the nose piece mid-swim will understand why I might have trust issues. So far though, there’s no sign of wear to cause any concern.

VERDICT

A very good all-rounder for pool and open water, as long as the fit works for your face shape.

2 months since that first unboxing, and my old goggles are feeling pretty lonely somewhere in the depths of my swim bag. These goggles have become my go-to choice for every swim session, which is telling. For the most part, they’re comfortable (hair bun-induced issues aside), I rarely have to do anything to adjust them and I’ve not experienced any fogging or leaking. Post-swim, my goggle marks are way less alarming and I’m not still sporting them several hours later, which is definitely an improvement.

In the pool, these goggles are pretty much ticking every box. And from that one open water swim so far this year, they’re versatile enough to use out in the ‘real’ world too, though I’ll be interested to see how I get on in the cold, choppy sea here in Suffolk, UK when I brave it.

The single strap design and the lack of an interchangeable nose piece might mean these goggles aren’t quite right for everyone. Though TRI-FIT do say the materials and technology used in the gaskets and nose piece mean they should conform to fit most faces. And with that RRP of £30, they’re well worth a try.

Overall, if you’re looking for one pair of goggles that can serve you well in training and on race day, and perform well in the pool and during open water swims.  The TRI-FIT RAPID-X will be a great addition to your kit bag.

Comfort
90%
Fit
75%
Performance
90%
Value
90%
Overall
85%
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