A lot of discussion goes on about the pros and cons of wearing nose plugs. I don’t really want to entering into that becuase at the end of the day it is down to personal choice. So assuming you wish to wear nose clips – which ones are best?

Up until quite recently the nose plugs available have been developed specifically for swimming or diving – all types being adequate for the job but not ideal. However over the last 8 years paddle sport specific plugs have made an appearence.

Generally the paddle sport specific plugs follow the same design concept – a u-shaped piece of wire (which is relatively stiff) with paddling of some sort on the ends that will make contact with the nose and a leash to attach them to your helmet so you don’t loose them! The padding usually consists of foam, rubber, or plastic. However the best I have found to date are ones that are silicone based such as the Threewaves clips.

As far as I’m concerned my decision on which set of nose plugs to use is based around a number of key questions;

1. Do they seal the nose and therefore keep the water out? Try a set on before you buy and exhale through your nose. If you can breath as normal put them back, a little air being released shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Are they comfortable to wear for more than short periods of time? There is no point wearing them if they hurt!

3. Will they stay on my nose if I’m taking a beating in a hole? I guess it depends on the beating! But try the same test as in 1. if they fly off as you breath out through your nose they probably won’t stay on in the hole.

4. Are they small enough not to get in the way? I like nose plugs that are small enough not to effect your view. Sounds pretty daft but some older types of nose plugs, such as those used for diving are huge!

5. Will they probably stand the test of time? check the way in which the pads have been attached. Are there any gaps or weakness points? Probably my major concern is rust! I have found that a number of nose plugs will start to rust after only short periods of time/use. Crazy that manufacturers don’t always take the “water contact” factor into account. However manufacturing cost may well have the upper hand. Padding falling off during use should be the major concern.

6. Cost. Are you prepared to pay anywhere upto £5+?

After using various types of nose plugs over the years I have settled upon the Threewaves plugs from Germany. So far they seem to be meeting my criteria and despite the £15 price tag are definitely worth it.