Recommended Products

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited April 2013 in General Discussion
What are your favorite swim-related products? Post them here.

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Comments

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2013
    I'll start.

    My favorite swim product of all-time is.... Swedish Goggles.

    I've used Swedes for more than 20 years, and don't anticipate ever using any other goggle. They fit perfectly, they never leak, the lenses are indestructible, and their minimalist design is low-profile and hydrodynamic. But most important of all, Swedes are sexy. These goggles will never go out of style.

    The Speedo-branded Swedish goggle two-pack is convenient for marathon swimmers - one pair of clear (for night swimming), one pair of polarized (for bright sunlight).

    Buy on: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | SwimOutlet

    image
  • timsroottimsroot Member
    edited April 2013
    image
    evmo said:

    My favorite swim product of all-time is.... Swedish Goggles.

    I know that Evan disagrees with me on this, but I've had good luck with Sporti's knockoff Swedish goggles, in addition to the normal Swedes. The nose bridge accepts a standard goggle strap, instead of having trouble threading a strap through the smaller hole, and they come with a little eyelet to hold the straps back together instead of having to tie them. The sides of the goggles also have a larger opening than regular swedes. I haven't noticed any difference in fit from the normal swedes, but YMMV.

    Buy on SwimOutlet
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    What a coincidence! I found out a few days ago that my favorite goggles aren't being made any more. I ordered a Speedo two-pack of Swedes to see what they're like...the sexy goes without saying...
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    edited April 2013
    I'm a big fan of the Garmin Swim watch. I'm horrible at counting laps (have been known to lose count when leading a 200 SCY set), so prefer to swim long sets in a SCY pool to a time (e.g. ~30 minutes) and then look at the Swim watch for the distance.
    image
    In a LCM pool I'll often do 1000m or 1600m sets, and I find the Garmin very handy for the inevitable occasions that I do lose count - a quick glance at the watch at the end of length has me back on track, though admittedly I could also figure this out using a simple stop watch and paying attention to the pace clock, it is nice not to have to do math while swimming...

    I've also owned the Finis SwimSense in the past, it is better if you are doing lots of short sets since it auto pauses the swim timer between intervals vs the Garmin requirement to push a button. Though in that scenario you might be working off a program and the need for the swim watch is lessened.

    Both watches seem similarly accurate.

    The Garmin is a winner over the SwimSense for me because:

    1. Easier to read without my reading glasses
    2. Has a backlight (I did a lot of training in an outdoor hotel pool at night last year and that meant I could actually read the watch)
    3. A replaceable battery that lasts around a year vs a rechargeable battery that lasts a week or two.
    4. Better over all build quality.

    Buy on: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | SwimOutlet
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @dc_in_sf, thanks for the Garmin review. I use a Swimsense, find it a valuable tool, and recommend it with the caveat that I'm now on my fourth (yes, fourth!) watch due to the well-documented build quality issues (all replaced without charge, thanks to FINIS' excellent customer service).

    Out of curiosity, how have you determined that the watches are "similarly accurate"?
  • nvr2latenvr2late Member
    edited April 2013
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Member
    edited April 2013
    image
    I agree with @nvr2late. Zoggs Predator Flex Polarised Goggles are my must have product and I have already bought three new pairs for this year's open water season. They stopped me getting migraines when swimming outside and are so comfortable.

    My second favourite swim product is Vaseline. It reminds me of Dover harbour. It is also a very practical and inexpensive item for marathon swimmers!

    (Can admin add UK Amazon links as well as US please?) [admin note: done]
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    edited April 2013
    evmo said:

    Out of curiosity, how have you determined that the watches are "similarly accurate"?

    While swimming if I finish any set and see an odd multiple of lengths (e.g. 650m in a LCM pool) then I know the watch has dropped a length. An even number of lengths does not preclude a miscount but given the relatively low encountered error rate is not common.

    When I upload the data I'll scan the times on the lengths to look for lengths that are much longer or shorter in time than the average. e.g. a 50s length in a SCY pool. Since most of my pool swims are simple long sets on repeats (e.g. 4 x 30 minutes, or 5 x 1km etcetera) my speed is fairly consistent (i.e. no fast set then slow set), so large spikes or drops are almost always the result of the watch missing a turn or mistaking whacking the lane line for a turn.

    I've used the above process for both watches but admittedly not collected specific data on error rates, so my claim that they are similarly accurate is based my recollection of how often each watch presented false data.

    I did take a quick look back at some of my Swimsense sets and it seems that it might be more error prone, but it is not exactly an apples to apples comparison; most of my swimsense sets are in SCY versus LCM for the Garmin, and there have presumably been firmware updates since I switched to the Garmin.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • edited April 2013
    image
    I like the Sporti Bubble Cap from Swim Outlet, Easy to slip does not pull my hair covers my ears and with the strap will not slip or come off no matter what! In surf I have been sent tumbling by waves and its stays on and dry because I wear a silicon cap under the bubble cap and its a very watertight fit, and yes double capping it is warm cap probably because my hair is dry and hair is a great insulator. The double cap would not be allowed for record channel swims as you all know. but great for training or fitness open water swims which I like to do. Also they are available in many bright colors and in head sizes from some other web sites.

    Buy on SwimOutlet


    image

    I also favor the Barracuda Standard swim goggles in clear blue or smoke, Very comfortable and I have never had any problems with fit although many people do, These were very popular 15 years back but have fallen out as the wide Seal masks have a liking today.

    I have used some "Swedes" they were fun and cool and many others but I am concerned if something hard like a foot hits my eye if there many swimmers around.

    The Barracudas have a repair kit available and you can put new foam on them easy , They will last a good while until you scratch them up putting them down at poolsides. Not cheap 26-35 dollars but swim gear all in all is cheap compared to what lots of sports require, the pool fees are much higher then any gear and my suits cost much more then caps and goggles plus I have had many swim toys. No red marks or raccoon eyes ever with these "Cudas"

    Buy on: Amazon.com | SwimOutlet

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    edited April 2013
    Speedo Endurance Plus, thin straps... They last FOREVER.

    http://www.swimoutlet.com/ProductDetails.asp?Click=1265121&ProductCode=7877
  • Mike_GemelliMike_Gemelli Member
    edited April 2013
    I endorse the knock off goggles that timsroot mentions:

    Sporti's knockoff Swedish goggles

    You can't beat the price and they come with an optional bungee strap, which I like. I'm a big fan of SwimOutlet.com in general.

    Another product from them I like is the Sporti Nylon Briefs. Great price and hold up over time.
  • Polyester swims suits, they last forever. I get mine from agonswim.com.
  • rxleakemrxleakem Member
    edited April 2013
    image
    For nearsighted swimmers like myself, finding an optical goggle that is comfortable but able to maintain it's antifog character is tough. Last year I tried the Sporti Optical Pro II Goggles from swimoutlet, and was amazed that through pool and OW training and competition, I could see fog-free for almost 100 miles. Other optical goggles (brand and generic) seem to hold their antifog for a few hours. Also, these goggles have a wider gasket and are very comfortable for long swims. I am still looking for polarized optical goggles, but the smoke version of the Sporti Pro II are sufficient for even the sunniest day.

    Buy on SwimOutlet
    <))><
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2013
    image
    It's been mentioned before, but my experience with the men's Speedo Endurance+ poly suits has generally been that the stitching comes loose before the fabric wears out. It's amazing how indifferent these suits are to chlorine.

    Purchase links (to support your local friendly marathon swimmers forum!): For a drag suit, I favor the TYR Poly Mesh Trainer.
  • firebahfirebah Member
    edited April 2013
    My Garmin. Best training tool in the world. I can swim any which way in the ocean and know exactly how far and for how long I swam. I wear my Garmin on my TYR Racetech goggles which I have worn for 20+ years.
    image
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    edited April 2013
    Water Bottles:

    I took an interest in water bottles last summer, but only from the perspective of what could be tethered and thrown from a boat. This year I've put these same bottles to the test in cold water as tow-behinds (D-ring clip to the waist of my suit, neon-yellow nylon cord, some knots).

    Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle with Meter, Smoke
    Last year's favorite, with a nice place to clip on to and a push-button open. But in cold water, the metal latch is impossible! to use once my hands claw up. Then, the lid sprang a leak - it's bound for the trash (aka the backseat of my car).
    - Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

    NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle, Lollipop Red
    Looks less durable due to its all-plastic construction, but it's held up. The top can be easily squeezed between thumb and some other finger to pry open during a cold swim. And the red is a cheerful change of color after staring into brownish water through mirrored Swedes.
    - Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

    Thermos Stainless King 24-Ounce Leak Proof Drink Bottle, Cranberry
    Just arrived, remains untried. From the looks of it, it will be life changing. Towing a warm drink? The spout is easier to drink from than most thermoses I've seen. Downside: it has no spot to clip to, but with a bit of string and perhaps some added foam for buoyancy...I can't wait!
    - Buy: Amazon.com
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • heartheart Member
    I've become a big fan of this shampoo and this conditioner.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    firebah said:

    My Garmin. Best training tool in the world. I can swim any which way in the ocean and know exactly how far and for how long I swam. I wear my Garmin on my TYR Racetech goggles which I have worn for 20+ years.

    @firebah, do you ever wear it under your cap? If so, does it still work fine?
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    IronMike said:

    firebah said:

    My Garmin. Best training tool in the world. I can swim any which way in the ocean and know exactly how far and for how long I swam. I wear my Garmin on my TYR Racetech goggles which I have worn for 20+ years.

    @firebah, do you ever wear it under your cap? If so, does it still work fine?
    @IronMike , I wear mine under my cap all the time, works fine. Only downside is forgetting it's there and having it fall out when I take my cap off.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    IronMike said:

    @firebah, do you ever wear it under your cap? If so, does it still work fine?

    You can see it on the outside of her cap in the pic. But in my experience they work fine on the inside too.
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited April 2013
    I wear mine under a latex cap all the time, works fine. In particular, the buttons are palpable and reliably operable through the latex cap. N=100+ with no waterproof issues.

    Kit order:
    - silicone cap
    - goggles
    - Garmin 305
    -- wrist bands still attached
    -- powered up
    -- on back of head
    -- under the goggle straps
    -- upside down with 'antenna' surface pointing up/forward
    - then a latex cap over everything.
  • Dawn_TreaderDawn_Treader Member
    edited April 2013
    I just bought the Garmin swim watch. besides counting the laps, I like it that every time I check the time of day I see on the display how many km I have swum that week,and this proves to be very motivating to get me to go the extra distance and meet my goals. The down side is that they do not include the manual - just the quick start, and you have to go online to read about your watch. I think that is kind of cheap but hey, good for the the forests.
    Sisu: a Finnish term meaning strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    edited April 2013
    dc_in_sf said:

    IronMike said:

    firebah said:

    My Garmin. Best training tool in the world. I can swim any which way in the ocean and know exactly how far and for how long I swam. I wear my Garmin on my TYR Racetech goggles which I have worn for 20+ years.

    @firebah, do you ever wear it under your cap? If so, does it still work fine?
    @IronMike , I wear mine under my cap all the time, works fine. Only downside is forgetting it's there and having it fall out when I take my cap off.
    I keep a 310xt under my cap and have it set to chirp both at 1k and 7.5min intervals to help me keep track of pace and feeding. Never had a problem with it.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2013
    image@ZoeSadler mentioned Vaseline above, and of course grease is an essential product for marathon swimmers.

    My girlfriend recently converted me to Waxelene as a natural lip balm (ingredients: soybean oil, beeswax, rosemary oil, Vitamin E oil).

    The pun (vaseline / waxelene) actually didn't occur to me until I looked up their website and saw they're marketing the product as a "petroleum jelly alternative."

    It then occurred to me to try Waxelene as sea-swimming grease. And... it works great! I used it on a ~2 hour swim in SF Bay this weekend and my sense is it has similar staying power as regular Vaseline, though not as much as my typical marathon formula of 50% Vaseline / 50% lanolin. (Though, there's no reason one couldn't mix Waxelene and lanolin in the same proportion, with the same results.)

    Waxelene isn't cheap, but if you dislike consuming fossil fuels or rubbing petroleum on yourself, this may be for you.

    Buy on Amazon.com

    More info at: Waxelene.com

    (I have no relationship with the company that produces Waxelene and purchased it with my own money.)
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    evmo said:

    It then occurred to me to try Waxelene as sea-swimming grease. And... it works great! I used it on a ~2 hour swim in SF Bay this weekend and my sense is it has similar staying power as regular Vaseline, though not as much as my typical marathon formula of 50% Vaseline / 50% lanolin. (Though, there's no reason one couldn't mix Waxelene and lanolin in the same proportion, with the same results.)

    It's my feeling that SF Bay does not have high salinity - I've done 90 minute swims in Aquatic Park with no grease and not had any chafing issues. I'd be curious to know how well Waxelene holds up in a different environment - send some to @Gords to use in the Great Salt Lake :-)

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • dc_in_sf said:

    It's my feeling that SF Bay does not have high salinity - I've done 90 minute swims in Aquatic Park with no grease and not had any chafing issues.

    I think different people have different tolerances for chafing. If I don't put body glide on, and am in a pool long enough, I'll start to chafe after 3 hours or so. Some people, I hear, are more fortunate than that.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2013
    dc_in_sf said:

    It's my feeling that SF Bay does not have high salinity - I've done 90 minute swims in Aquatic Park with no grease and not had any chafing issues.

    The salinity of the Bay probably also depends on the tide cycle. Flood tides are saltier, I'd guess. Without grease, I chafe after ~45 mins in the Bay.

    My typical decision tree is:
    • < 60 minutes: Bodyglide
    • 1-5 hours: Vaseline (or Waxelene)
    • 5+ hours: channel grease (Vaseline + lanolin)
  • SuirThingSuirThing Member
    edited May 2013
    tried out this coat for the first time on Monday night and it's the business.
    image
    it was like getting dressed in a tent !!!!

    Buy on SwimOutlet
    I tried to convince myself, but, orange flavour electrolyte, mixed with hot chocolate,
    tastes nothing like Terry's Chocolate Orange ....
  • nvr2latenvr2late Member
    edited May 2013
    These bottles are the ideal feed bottle. I buy them at my local grocery store. They have a large spout and loop for tethering. I have sent them overseas to friends.

    image

    Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited May 2013
    A reversed topic:

    Arena, therefore, advised FINA of its decision to withdraw the approval codes of concerned POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro models:

    AR220993 – woman full body open back
    AR220994 – woman full body closed back
    AR141364 – man jammer

    read the whole press release by Arena here
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • nvr2late said:

    These bottles are the ideal feed bottle. I buy them at my local grocery store. They have a large spout and loop for tethering.

    I love those bottles, I think I have about 8 of them. They work wonderfully of a kayak.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    edited May 2013
    This has been great for doing deck changes by the lake with lots of pervy old men around.

    image

    Buy on SwimOutlet
  • I love my Robie. Likewise great for discreet changes in mixed company in small spaces, like on a boat in Swim Trek! So important to get that cold wet swimsuit off right away.

    http://www.robierobes.com/
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    The Robies are just so damn expensive. I'm going to buy two cheap beach towels and sew them together.
  • heartheart Member
    My grandma made something like that for me years ago by cutting a big hole in the middle of a giant towel and sewing it up, poncho-style. What a functional piece of clothing that was!

    The problem with swim parkas is the elastic at the wrists. Really difficult to put frozen, clawing hands through it...
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2013
    If you have a GoPro (Hero or Hero2) and you use it for underwater filming, you'll definitely want the Dive Housing accessory. It creates empty air space between the curved lens and the water outside, producing much clearer images (similar to goggles).

    Note: not necessary for the Hero3.

    http://gopro.com/hd-hero-accessories/dive-housing
  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    edited May 2013
    @evmo hooked me on this product many moons ago and the people are super friendly, SolRx. It is reef and environmentally friendly and stays on for at least 8 hours although I have done 10+ hour swims where it has not caused me to get sunburnt...truly an essential for long distance outdoor swimming!

    - Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
  • JonMLJonML Member
    edited May 2013
    Adding to the Garmin love above, I've been happy with my 910XT. In the pool, it seems to undercount more often than it overcounts (I can tell because I'm either John Belushi or Johnny Weismuller, respectively) but it doesn't do either very often. Love the mapping feature for open water swims. :)

    - Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
  • timsroottimsroot Member
    edited May 2013
    jcmalick said:

    @evmo hooked me on this product many moons ago and the people are super friendly, SolRx.

    Second this recommendation. I've had very good luck with this. Closest thing to a problem is that it won't come off after I'm done swimming
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2013
    Not a product recommendation, just a comment on "triathletes are from Mars, marathon swimmers are from Venus" (or vice versa, no gender stereotypes intended).

    http://www.rokasports.com/collections/sim-shorts

    A sign of end times?

    (h/t @Sully)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Discussion of waterproof MP3 players split to a separate thread:

    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/480/waterproof-mp3-players-for-swimming
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    evmo said:

    Not a product recommendation, just a comment on "triathletes are from Mars, marathon swimmers are from Venus" (or vice versa, no gender stereotypes intended).

    http://www.rokasports.com/collections/sim-shorts

    A sign of end times?

    (h/t @Sully)

    Facebook just recommended I "like" that page, which pretty much confirms what I think about Facebook. And that product.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited May 2013
    What do you do with your car key?

    Because my usual changing location is away from anything and I have nowhere safe to leave my carkeys, I lock them in a Keypod combination safe, which attaches to the towing ring (or elsewhere) on the car. Mine is the second generation 4 number lock, I've been using the same one now for about 7 years and it's taken a lot of beating, (including once hanging of the bottom of the car while being driven and battered off the ground for almost three hours without opening).

    image

    Buy on AmazonUK.

    Buy on AmazonUS.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    I have a Mini with a little round electronic key. theres a regular key inside the electronic key that you can separate, so i put the electronic thingy in the glove box, lock my car, take the essentials, and use a carabiner to clip my key to the strap of my suit. it's worked so far, but I check for the key constantly when I'm swimming :) easier with a women's suit than a men's.....
    That combination thing looks really useful!!!!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    OK, @loneswimmer, that is genius. Looking it up now.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    This may not be the appropriate thread since I have no personal experience with the product, but I have to say this instabeat thing looks interesting - basically a heads up display heart rate monitor for swim goggles...
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    You have got to be kidding!!! My swim goggle GPS can't be too far behind!
  • Steven Munatones
    www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    edited May 2013

    What do you do with your car key?

    I have always just slipped the draw string in my suit and double knot it and tuck it inside. Just make sure that is a solid key and not one with electronics in it. (My car has both types of key)

    As for goggles, the only one on the market that fits me properly is TYR Racetech. I've threatened to quit swimming if they stop making them.
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