I love my Blueseventy Element goggles – not ideal for ultra-competitive longer swims, but perfect for conditions like you describe, comfy and no leaks. I use the orange lenses which are good for all but the brightest days..
i tend to prefer smoked or polarized lenses for open water - you can get a fair bit of glare off the water at low levels. orange lenses are supposed to be ok for that as well, though. goggles choice is incredibly personal - face shapes make one person's perfect fit another's leaking nightmare.
i used to love the b70 hydravision - for a couple of years it was the only goggle i could get to fit. then one week they just stopped working and now i'm onto tyr nest pros - so far, so brilliant.
yep - getting a goggle that works for you can be a pain in the arse, but compared to a lot of tri stuff they are pretty inexpensive!
Googles wise I currently have the Speedo Rift Pro (approx £15) and the Zoggs Predator Flex (£20). The Speedo ones fit great, but fog up like crazy, the Zoggs are clear, don't fog, but have a stupid little bit of plastic in the adjustment mechanism that failed on its first use. Its a clear bit as well, so just what you need when you hear it ping when in a swimming pool! I spent 10 mins looking on the bottom for it. If I could get the fit of the Speedo, with the clarity and looks of the Zoggs, I'd be a happy man! My search for the perfect goggles continues..
As for a wetsuit, I bought the Orca TRN for £99. Fits great, not the flashiest piece of kit, but does the job. I couldn't think of anything worse than hiring one...
Honestly. I'm a bit OCD so the idea that someone may have p***ed in the suit puts me off! I'm sure they are cleaned thoroughly etc before they hand them out, but it doesn't sit comfortably with me!
Renting may be the way to go - especially if you're not sure about continuing on with the sport afterwards. I chose to buy an entry level suit to get me started, thinking that if I didn't enjoy triathlon, it was no harm done. Horses for courses.
I rented a wetsuit last year (2XU T:2) — it was brand new — and then just bought it at the end of the season. Ended up with a quality suit for a good price. Well worth hunting around for deals. Also, if you rent first you can always swap for a different model or size — you're not stuck with something that's not quite right.
Also give Zoggs Predator the thumbs up for both pool and open water — and yes, they are a little fragile. I broke one pair by tugging at a strap too hard, but have replaced them because for both clarity of vision and fit they're really excellent.