By Contributor Pamela Chan

The other day, while I was visiting a dollar store, my almost 5 year old son presented me with some swim goggles. He made a good case for why he should have some and then I had to tell him that “no, I don’t think I want to buy these ones. We need to look around more.” The fact is I do like to shop in dollar stores and I often find great deals on products; however, swim goggles are a product that I prefer to buy from a recognizable brand.

In a few weeks we will be visiting family members who have access to a lovely outdoor pool. A little over a year ago, one of my then almost 4 year old twins was nervous about swimming and I have to admit we let the swimming classes and swimming, in general, slide. Now he’s enthusiastic and ready to go but is convinced he needs some gear.

I decided to order two pairs of goggles, two kick boards and two back floaters for my now five year old twins from Some of the swim products on the website – such as personal flotation devices – don’t ship to Canada, so I had to choose with this constraint in mind. I also spent time reading up on reviews of the products on the website and was happy with the selections I made. The process of ordering on the website went smoothly. I found the products, read the reviews and put in the order without any hiccups. Since I decided to include faster shipping, my package arrived in mere days by FedEx. The items (shown above) were in good condition and the packaging was blemish free.

So far my children haven’t had a chance to put their new goggles and Sporti Junior Kickboard to full use – although they will in a few days when we go to the swimming pool at the local community center. They also had the chance to use the goggles at the local water park.  This isn’t a usage that I had anticipated but it turns out a lot of children wear them there and mine enjoyed not having to worry about blasts of water in their eyes. The coloured rubber cords and rims of the Sporti Anti Fog S2 goggles are very attractive. They seem to be staying on my children’s heads quite well as they rush around their wading pool with their goggles, kick board and back floater looking completely over accessorized. The goggles come with a different size of nose bridge if your child has a smaller face.

The foam kick boards are a good size for young children and they are heavy and solid. My children had a chance to use them in the wading pool and need to practice how to hold them so that they won’t slip away. However I think that larger kick boards would be too much to handle.

The most important item in the package are the Sport Progressive Back Floaters. They are designed to allow children to maintain good swimming posture while they learn to swim. You can remove the boards gradually as your child becomes more comfortable with swimming. At about 47 pounds, my son is close to the 50 pound maximum weight allowance for the boards; however, he will still get good use of the boards for some months to come. These boards help a child to practice proper swimming posture, with the assistance of an adult. My children had an opportunity to try them in a wading pool.  As they moved along in the water like sea otters, with their hands on the floor of the pool, my son commented that the floater helped to raise up his back and stay afloat.

I don’t have the opportunity to go around town to shop too often. When I go out on a shopping excursion, my children come with me everywhere I go. I have to take their willingness to go shopping into consideration. If something isn’t available at our large, big box grocery store (think clothing, books, cards etc.), I will make infrequent trips to our local shopping centre. For this reason, I do like to shop online. Swim gear is a specialized topic and I would have to visit sporting goods stores or sections of stores that carry swim gear. In the off season months, it might be harder to find a good selection. This would be a particular concern if we decided to go on a beach holiday in the winter time. For the convenience factor and because of the selection available, I would recommend ordering swim products online.

BACK TO SCHOOL SALE! is offering a great “Back to School” sale from Aug 4th to the 8th, so it is the perfect time to purchase any swim products you need for your child for back to school or swim classes. Visit their page here to check out all of the products on sale now.

Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all reviews and opinions started on this post are 100% my own.

Pamela Chan lives in the Tri Cities area near Vancouver with her husband and four year old twins. They enjoy exploring cultural events and scenic local parks. On she writes about ideas that strengthen our communities and celebrate multiculturalism in British Columbia.