Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Swim Goggles Review

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Swim Goggles Review – The Fastest Open Water Swim Goggles Ever?

Made for speed and with industry-leading anti-fog tech, the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri has changed the game when it comes to open water swim goggles. Here’s a hands-on, in-the-water review of the Cobra Swipe Tri Goggles.

The Arena Cobra Tri Swim Goggle is a premium swim goggle explicitly designed for open water and triathlons.

It’s got Arena’s proprietary “swipe” anti-fog technology (which will blow your mind), an extremely slim lens profile, and all the peripheral vision you could ask for.

They look great, too.

But will the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggle be the right swim goggle for you? Does it live up to its promise of having the longest-lasting anti-fog in the pool and for those long open water swims??

Having tested and reviewed more swim goggles than I can count over 30+ years in the pool and open water, I know a thing or two about what makes a goggle awesome.

In this review of the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri, I’ll discuss the highlights of these goggles, some of the cons, and line it up against comparable swim goggles.

By the end, you will have a crystal-clear idea if the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggle is the one to help you kick butt in the water.

Let’s dive right in.

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggle - The Pros

The Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggles – The Pros

Okay, let’s lead things off with what I really liked about the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Swim Goggles:

The anti-fog technology rocks!

We gotta kick off this review with how utterly awesome the anti-fog is on these swim goggles.

When Arena came out with the pool version of the Ultra Swipes a couple of years ago, they were such a hit that they quickly released an Ultra Swipe designed for open water and tri swimming.

The way the technology works goes against everything you’ve ever been told about how to keep swim goggles from fogging up over the years.

Instead of doing everything you can to avoid rubbing the inside of the goggle lenses with your fingers (thereby ruining the delicate factory anti-fog coating), when the goggles start to fog, gently “swipe” the inside of the lens with your fingers five times and presto—anti-fog coating has been reactivated.

I know—what kind of space magic is this?

Finally, an anti-fog swimming goggle that is truly anti-fog.

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggles - Antifog

Exceptional peripheral and “regular” vision.

Open-water swim goggles are designed to give you TONS of vision in the water.

This is why open water and tri swim goggles tend to be a lot larger than pool swim goggles—they have to be in order to get the huge field of vision that makes it easier for swimmers to get their bearings (literally) when out in open water.

The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Tri Goggle spectacularly meets this requirement, with an extra-wide peripheral field of vision that makes it easy to see all around you.

Putting on the goggles I felt a bit like a fly, with 180-degree vision, and excellent vision “up”—looking upwards when swimming on my front—and the lens, despite being polarized and slightly mirrored, were extremely bright.

The goggles give you a full range of sight, whether you are sighting, looking off towards the horizon, or simply want to try and see through the bubbling chaos of swimmers in the pack.

They are the slimmest open water swim goggles I’ve ever seen

Open water swim goggles—because they are designed for maximum field of vision—can sometimes come close to swim mask status by how thick and large they are.

Not the case with the Arena Cobra Tri goggle.

It’s an almost impossibly thin goggle for how wide the peripheral vision is.

Arena Cobra Tri Goggle - Slim Lens

Arena is known for having extra thin lenses on their racing swim goggles—the original Cobras, a pool goggle, were so thin that my eyelashes would brush against the inside of the goggle—and they take this same hydrodynamic approach to the Swipe Tri.

As a result, these goggles are made for blistering speed.

Additionally, because the goggle lenses are so thin, they are far less likely to wobble and leak when diving in with them on as they create almost no resistance to the onrushing water.

Most open water swimming goggles are bulky, almost prohibitively so, to give swimmers an extended field of vision. Arena combined excellent peripheral vision with a sleek, hydrodynamic gasket design.

They are comfortable.

When swimming for extended periods, you want a set of goggles that are going to be comfy on your face, and not feel like your head is getting squeezed like a pimple.

The Arena Swipe Tri goggles have a large rubber skirt that sits softly on the skin of your face to create a watertight seal.

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggles - Nose Pieces

There are three nose pieces to achieve the perfect distance between the two ocular lenses. And, of course, head straps that are fully (and, as we will see in a moment, easily) adjustable for a comfortable fit.

Over a week, I did multiple 90-minute+ swims with these goggles, and at no point did they leak or become uncomfortable.

Perfect for swimmers who go long, in distance and time, in the water.

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggle - Easy to Adjust

Super easy to adjust.

The head strap on the Arena Cobra Tri goggles is extremely easy to adjust.

Simply squeeze the two knobs on the buckle located on the sides of the housing unit, tug the strap to tighten or loosen the head strap, and you are in business.

This is one of the easiest head strap adjustments I’ve ever made with a swim goggle and can be done easily when you are wearing the goggles, which is next to impossible for back-of-the-head buckles that are common on most swimming goggles.

The Arena Cobra Tri Swipe Swim Goggles – the Cons

Okay, not everything is perfect in paradise. As with everything in life, there are trade-offs, and the main one with the Cobra Tri Swipe Goggle is this…

They are expensive.

While not as expensive as smart swim goggles, which start at $200 thanks to their high-tech features, including a heads-up display inside the goggle lenses, or premium racing swim goggles (which can cost as much as $85), the Cobra Tri Goggle ain’t cheap, retailing for around $60 to $70.

Other open water swim goggles like Aqua Sphere Kayenne ($42), Speedo Futura Biofuse Goggle ($32), and TYR Special Ops 3.0 Goggles ($49), are more budget-friendly.

All that said, I’m grasping for something crappy to say about these goggles to balance out this review.

The Arena Cobra Tri Swipe Swim Goggles – The Competition

There are two main swim goggles designed for open water swimming that I consider the closest competitors to the Cobra Tri’s.

They include:

The Magic5 Swim Goggles

Like the Cobra Tri, the TheMagic5 Swim Goggles are another trailblazer for swimmers and goggle performance.

The Magic5 goggle is the first truly custom-built swimming goggle designed for the specific shape of your face.

Arena Cobra Tri Goggle vs Magic5 Swim Goggle

Because of the custom design—an app scans your face, and a week or two later, a custom set of swim goggles shows up on your doorstep—they don’t have to be worn extra tight.

This makes them an excellent choice for long-distance swimmers. In terms of price and lens thinness, they are relatively comparable to the Cobra Tri.

Arena Cobra Swipe Swim Goggle

Wondering what the key differences are between the open water/triathlon version of the Cobra Swipe and the original pool version?

The two goggles look very similar and have the anti-fog technology that 10x the anti-fog protection of the goggles.

From there, however, there are some significant differences in the way each goggle is built.

The pool version of the Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe is much thinner and designed for elite pool swimming.

They feature a narrower lens and gasket, and because the plastic buckle for adjusting the strap length is on the back, doesn’t have the same thick housing unit as the Tri version.

Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Goggle vs Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe
The pool version of the Swipe (left) is smaller and thinner compared to the Swipe Tri (right)

The pool version of the goggles also has two head straps, a feature common with swim goggles for lap swimming, and side arms for added stability when cruising along at high speeds.

The Tri, because the lenses are bigger, has much better peripheral vision compared to the pool version of the Cobra Swipe.

Ultimately, the key difference is the two siblings’ overall size and peripheral vision.

The Final Verdict

Are these the best swim goggles for triathletes and open-water swimmers?

For many, I would argue absolutely.

They are priced (fairly) reasonably, look deadly, and perform like gangbusters in the water. Comfortable. The anti-fog lives up to the hype. And you can see great in choppier waters.

To recap, the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Swim Goggles are great for:

  • Open water swimming—with all that peripheral vision, you will be able to swim safely and with full vision
  • Swimmers who want the best in anti-fog technology
  • Those who want an open water swim goggle that isn’t overly clunky and boxy
  • Swimmers that want a goggle that kicks butt in the pool and in open water

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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