By Peter Tranter and Chris Stubbs
Before we start I have to point out that these are no ordinary sunglasses and goggles but a real bonus for the eyes as they feature a very neat snap on system for your prescription lenses, so as once again you can see everything in detail around you.
You start with what Sportviz call a Core, of which there are ten to choose from. These comprise differing versions of diving goggles, ski masks and sunglasses. We were specifically send the Sportviz XTS sunnies and the Aquaviz OTS Pro.
Once you have chosen your core it is then onto choosing what Sportviz call the Inzert. The Inzert are the prescription lenses that clip onto the inside of the Core and there are eight to pick from including polarized and bi-focal versions. Mine were the standard single vision lens, I could have chosen the bi-focal but I don’t tend to do too much reading whilst on the move!
The Inzerts are very easy to clip into the Core and that’s it – you have clarity of vision and protection for the eyes. So firstly, onto the goggles.
Aquaviz OTS Core goggles
Kayaking with goggles is not to everyone’s taste but glasses can be ripped off, even with straps depending on water conditions. Goggles have the added advantage of making an airtight connection to the face and therefore they are much harder to dislodge and rarely leak, which was the case for the Aquaviz. Fogging does occasionally happen when you raise the body temperature, but it’s easy to remove them, swill them out and carry on.
Biggest advantage with goggles I feel is they protect not only the eyes but the eye sockets too and these goggles with a shock absorber system that soaks up the punishment that could happen in white water paddling. I liked them and enjoyed wearing the goggles and would wholeheartedly recommend them to any paddler looking for eye protection on the water.
I also took the kids swimming and they are excellent as underwater diving goggles, so if you like a lot of swimming in your kayaking exploits – then you have the best of all worlds.
I personally didn’t use the Inzerts as I have very good vision and they’re Peter’s prescription anyway but if I had to I cannot see any situation where they could be anything but an advantage, particularly if you are short sighted.
- Scratch resistant PRO polycarbonate lightweight frame.
- Full UV protection.
- Anti-fog coating.
- Single hypoallergenic gasket design.
- Soft mesh carrying case.
- Available in two PRO black designs.
Sportviz XTS Core sunglasses
Anyone who knows me will realise that white water is not my bag and that I would look a little over protected paddling down the Great Ouse or the Cam rivers wearing goggles. So I tried the sunglasses instead and what I would like to say from the start is they could benefit from a strap as five minutes into the paddle, I knocked them off and into the water! Fortunately, it was pretty shallow clear water and I was able to retrieve with my paddle.
So go out and buy a strap, which are pretty cheap and I paid a couple of quid at our local market. It’s worth it as the sunglasses with the prescription inserts cost £75.00.
Enough of that though as the rest left a good impression. They have a good balance of weight without being uncomfortable with the Hydrogrip nose and ear pieces and the frame has a sturdy quality feel Clipping them with your paddle and knocking them off not withstanding, they are a comfortable fit on the nose and feel very secure in place. Of course the huge bonus is the clarity of vision.
Initially my fear was that the prescription Inzert would hamper my field of view but they don’t as the Inzerts are at just the right distance as normal glasses would be and therefore all round vision is all that it should be, without the feel that the lenses are too close to the eye.
The Core lenses are interchangeable as well with grey, blue reflective, yellow and transparent as the options, so they can be quickly swapped out according to the lighting conditions. All in all a very well thought out concept and one that I’m sure would impress most.
- Hard wearing TR90 featuring Hydrogrip™ technology
- Ultra-lightweight Chromalite® Polyamide polarized sun lenses
- Full UV400 protection blocking 100% of UVA and UVB.
- Accepts any Inzert (tinted Inzerts not recommended).
- Cleaning cloth, microfibre pouch, and solid case.