EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated summer 2019 with a two-year progress report.
As part of the Aldi summer lineup, the grocer rotates through a range of Special Buys designed to be used in and around the water, including pools, flotation devices, and even the occasional watercraft. Also in the mix are a small selection of goggles, courtesy of Crane.
Crane Swim Goggles retail for $4.99. They come in both child and adult sizes, and in a few assorted colors. The total package includes the goggles, a carrying case, and a manual. (The manual appears to have been written for a European audience, as it uses British spelling and expressions and references European Union product standards.) There is no warranty, and the manual states “the googles have to be replaced 2 years after production in normal use and 4 years after production if seldom used even when damage is not visible.”
The product specs boast three key features: an adjustable silicone head strap, UV protection, and anti-fog properties.
Let’s talk head strap first. Putting them on is much easier than many other goggles we’ve owned in the past, including brand name ones. They have locking clips on each side of the goggles that you press to release the straps. You can then pull them to the desired length, then release the clip to lock the silicone strap into place. Once on, they suction into place nicely and stay without trouble.
The UV protection also deserves some special mention. According to the packaging, the googles have UV protection of 280-380nm, which by our understanding includes UVA and UVB radiation. The goggles have a light transmission percentage of 17-43%, and a light absorption of 57-81%; in plain English, those numbers are typical for eyewear that tries to strike a balance for both sunny and dark conditions. We thought they worked well in both: we tested them in the late afternoon, and they did a good job of cutting down the glare and light in full sun but were also usable when the sun went behind the trees and things got a little darker.
As for the anti-fog? Unlike many goggles which irritatingly fog up, these don’t. The manual does warn against wiping or rubbing the lenses from the inside, as it can damage the anti-fog coating.
UPDATE (August 2019): I’ve owned these goggles for two years now and they continue to perform really well. They adjust easily, fit snugly, and seem to be holding up well. They’ve lasted longer and done better than the Speedo goggles they replaced.
These are a surprisingly good pair of goggles, especially for the $4.99 price tag. The silicone head strap is a breeze to adjust, the UV protection cuts down nicely on light and glare, and the lenses don’t fog up. Definitely worth a look.