The Predator Flex Original returns to the Zoggs’ award-winning open-water goggle design, providing great visibility, comfort and a selection of lens options for different swimming conditions.
Zoggs Predator Flex goggles were launched back in 2010 and have since become a firm favourite with triathletes and open-water swimmers around the world. After a short-lived revision in 2018 with the Predator Flex 2.0, the previous version was reinstated under the Predator Flex Original range, giving more athletes the chance to try the much-lauded design.
Zoggs Predator Flex Polarized Ultra Goggles
Not as suited to the pool
Perhaps the most important factor of any open-water swimming goggles is a wide field of vision to aid sighting and the Predator Flex excels here. Zoggs’ Curved Lens Technology is designed to provide 180-degree peripheral vision and when paired with the sheer size of the lenses, popping your head up to sight the next buoy over the white-water thrashing of a thousand triathletes becomes as easy as it’s possible to be.
This clear, wide-angle vision means it’s easy to stay aware of your surroundings and keep track of other swimmers in your periphery – helping to make sure you’re drafting on the right feet at all times.
The Predator Flex Polarized Ultras also have another trick up their sleeves when it comes to vision and sighting – the polarised lenses themselves. When the sun is glinting off the water’s surface, normally causing a kaleidoscope of glare, the lenses really tone it down while also cutting out blue light to reduce brightness – making it easy to see.
We’ve now spent years with the goggles, taking on several races and countless open water swims and the polarised lenses hold up well in every light condition we’ve faced. With the tint being minimal, the lenses also perform admirably in overcast conditions, amplifying darker areas in a way that’ll be instantly familiar to anyone with yellow or red lenses on their cycling glasses.
If this style of lens doesn’t suit, there are a wide variety of other options in the Predator Flex range including clear, pearl tinted, mirrored lenses and even a photochromatic Titanium Reactor option that changes its tint depending on the lighting conditions.
Comfort and Fit
Of course, all the lens mastery in the world counts for nothing if the goggles don’t fit well and this is where Zoggs’ 4 Flexpoint Technology comes in. Simply put, the rubbery nose bridge allows the goggles’ frame to flex to the shape of the face and eyes, allowing you to comfortably position the soft gaskets around your eye sockets. We’ve never failed to quickly find a reliable seal when swimming with Predator Flex goggles.
Once in place, we found that the goggles stayed there with minimal tension of the easy-adjust silicone strap, which features a split-yoke design to spread the load below and above lens level. This helps to hold the goggles securely and also makes fitting easy under a swim cap. Some goggles create a pinching sensation after a while, but even when swimming iron-distance, there’s no excessive pressure or discomfort.
If you’re going to use your Predator Flex goggles in the pool – and we’d always recommend honing your open-water skills indoors – you may need to ratchet up the strap’s retention system to avoid them flipping up and filling with water after a powerful tumble turn. This makes them a little less comfy compared to swimming in open water.
While the Predator Flex lenses perform perfectly out the box, we did find some longer-term issues with fogging. While the Fogbuster-impregnated lenses stayed clear for the first year or so, they now steam up regularly without a pre-swim spit-clean – although this does keep them clear for the length of a swim.
To be fair, we’re yet to find a pair of goggles that maintains its anti-fog treatment indefinitely, so this isn’t unexpected. Nor does it detract from the goggles’ open-water performance where the Predator Flex is, frankly, unmatched.
With an exceptional field of vision and luxurious comfort ideal for longer swims, the Zoggs Predator Flex Original Polarized Ultra goggles are nothing less than the best set of triathlon goggles out there.
This product was purchased by Triathlon Vibe for testing and review.