The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe is the latest premium swim goggle from Arena. Here’s a full review of the goggles, including pros and cons, and how they perform in the water.
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggles are the latest goggles made by Arena and completely change the game when it comes to swim goggles.
As a longtime fan of Arena swim gear, and of the original Arena Cobra Ultra Swim Goggles, I was stoked to see how the updated version, the Swipes, compared in the pool.
The big feature of these swim goggles is the anti-fog technology that literally “resets” the anti-fog coating each time you (gently) wipe it, ensuring clear vision for longer in the water.
On top of that, the Swipes are excellent goggles in terms of fit, performance, and color options.
In this Arena Ultra Swipe review, we’ll take these bad boys to the pool for a rip, see where the goggle excels, where they could be improved, and by the end, you will be able to decide if these swim goggles are right for you and your swimming.
Let’s dive right in!
Who is the Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggle For?
The Arena Cobra Swim Swim Goggle is a premium swimming goggle for competitive swimmers.
Priced at the higher end of swim goggles, it is an updated version of the popular Arena Cobra Ultras.
If you are a fan of Arena swim goggles, you will really like the updated version of the Cobras.
Pros of the Arena Cobra Swipes
The anti-fog technology.
This is the big selling feature, right? The Swipes are currently the only truly anti-fog swim goggles on the market.
Every other swim goggles have anti-fog coating, but given enough time, enough laps, and enough finger wipes on the goggle lens, the anti-fog coating will degrade.
The Cobra Ultra Swipes work as advertised.
Even though they recommend wiping the goggles five times (gently) to “reset” the anti-fog, I got clear lenses after just one swipe in the middle of a swim workout.
Tip: When your goggles get foggy, condensation forms in droplets inside the gaskets. If water is pooling into larger droplets, simply crack open the bottom of the goggle and let the water run out of the gasket. Larger droplets mean your swim goggle’s anti-fog coating is working as it is supposed to.
Excellent “upwards” peripheral vision
Swimmers need to be able to see “up” when they are swimming.
Both so that they can see approaching walls (for properly timed flip turns and touches) and the occasional errant swimmers who drifts into their lane.
One of the complaints that I have with the Speedo Speed Sockets is that locking up is like looking through a kaleidoscope of color.
With the Arena Cobra Swipes, it is crystal-clear vision, on par with Swedes swim goggles.
This means you can swim with a better head position when cruising along in the pool.
The most hydrodynamic swim goggles on the market
The Cobra Swipe is an exceptionally thin swim goggle.
Well, compared to some of the other most popular swim goggles on the market, it’s not even close.
The thickness of the lens and gasket on the Swipes are 0.5” thick.
Compare that to some of the other popular swim goggles on the market:
- Speedo Speed Sockets 2.0 — 0.7”
- Speedo LZR Pure Focus Goggles — 0.7″
- Sporti S2 Swim Goggles — 0.8”
- Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 — 0.8”
While this difference is going to be insignificant for most swimmers, for the swimmer who wants to save every…last…hundredth of a second on race day, it matters.
Perhaps more importantly, because of the extremely low profile, the goggles remain completely locked on your face when you dive into the water. Every swimmer’s race day nightmare involves goggles leaking or completely falling off, so the skinny goggle lens and low profile can help mitigate some of the leak risks inherent with diving off the blocks.
Finally, because of the low profile, and how deeply the goggles are set into the face, you get some added stability benefits as the goggles won’t wobble in the face from rushing water.
Tons of color options
As the old saying goes, “Look good, swim good.” (Or something.)
The Arena Cobra Swipe is a sleek and good-looking goggle that also comes in a TON of different color combinations and tints.
Last time I checked, there were 14 different color options!
More than enough to find a color combo that matches your team gear and/or your aesthetic tastes.
Note: Like the Cobra Swipe but wish they had a version designed for open water swimmers and triathlons? You are in luck–you can read my review of the Arena Cobra Swipe Tri Swim Goggle here.
Cons of the Arena Cobra Swipe Swim Goggle
Too pricey for a training goggle.
The Arena Cobra Swipes retail for around $55-70, which is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to swim goggle prices.
If the anti-fog tech is the main driver or motivation for purchasing these goggles, there are less expensive goggles you can buy that you can pair with a super cheap anti-fog spray (or even baby shampoo or the original anti-fog “hack”—spit!).
While I love the bells and whistles that come with these goggles, from the anti-fog to the side blades that are specially designed to reduce as much drag as possible, they should be used specifically as competition and racing goggles.
Not ideal for swimmers with a wider head.
This “con” isn’t specifically for this specific goggle and is more for this type of swim goggle.
The side arms are great for reducing drag and increasing stability, but they aren’t as malleable to the circumference of the head compared to swim goggles that have straps that extend all the way to the gasket.
For swimmers like me who have a larger head (I’m also an XXL human in general, so this issue won’t affect most swimmers), this can make the Swipes pinch the head a little bit during extended wear as the arms don’t wrap naturally around the side of the head as straps do.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the Difference Between the Cobra Ultra and Cobra Core Goggles?
The Cobra Ultra Swipe features side arms that increase stability and can reduce a little bit of drag from goggle straps. The Ultras also come in significantly more color options.
The Cobra Core Swipe has goggle straps that go all the way to the lenses. Additionally, the Core has the same anti-fog swipe technology with a price tag this is around $20 less.
When you consider the differing price points, and the increased hydrodynamic perks of the Ultras, I get the sense that the Cobra Core is positioned as a training goggle and the Cobra Ultra as a competition goggle.
How do you defog the Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe goggles?
In the instructions that come with the goggles, Arena recommends that you gently wipe the goggle lens five times to fully reactivate the anti-fog.
During my swim practices with these goggles, the anti-fog magic did its thing with just one wipe.
If there is any dirt or anything abrasive in the goggle, make sure to rinse it out before wiping as it will tear and degrade the anti-fog coating.
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggles are an excellent and worthy successor to the Cobra Ultras.
They provide a comfortable and leak-free fit, the narrow profile really “sticks” to the face, and of course, give you a solution to the problem that vexes every swimmer in the pool—foggy goggle lenses!
While most goggle manufacturers talk a big game about anti-fog, the Swipes are the first goggles that actually walk the walk.
The price tag on the Ultra Swipe goggles makes it an excellent goggle for competitions and swim meets, and a bit too pricey to be a daily driver swim goggle.
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