The true joy and beauty of snorkeling is partly due to its effortlessness, with just a mask and a snorkel you’re good to go. Snorkeling is the simplest way to get a glimpse of the wonders of the deep sea.
It’s fun and relaxing to observe the different seawater plants and animals, they are colorful and fascinating to watch. It’s no wonder many people find great joy in snorkeling.
In snorkeling what you basically need is a clear mask and a short tube for you to breathe with while you swim on the surface of the water with your face down. Snorkeling lets you observe marine life while immersed in the water without actually disturbing them or scaring any away.
A major advantage of snorkeling is that it actually lets you breathe while swimming without having to constantly come up for air. With the right snorkeling equipment, you will be able to enjoy your time in the water.
How to choose your snorkel gear?
Your snorkel gear can either make or break your snorkeling experience. If you don’t know how to choose properly, you might end up with a leaky mask, blisters on your feet or worse. Below are some guidelines to help you choose the perfect gear that suits you.
Comfort, Quality and Fit
- The mask should fit your face perfectly. To know if it fits properly, try it on first, it should stick to your face and stay in place without any help. It should fit over your nose and form a tight seal under the nose, on your forehead as well as the sides of your face.
- The lens should be made of high quality impact resistant glass, tempered if possible.
- The strap should sit high at the back of your head without resting behind your ears to prevent pain or discomfort.
- The mouthpiece should feel comfortable inside your mouth and should not pull at your mouth excessively.
- The snorkel should be the proper size; it should extend above your head, and well-rounded to avoid breathing resistance.
- Try on your flippers, they should be snug and fit you properly to avoid having foot cramps underwater. Each foot should feel comfortable inside the foot pocket.
- Choose a snorkel with as little bulk as possible without compromising on function and necessity. A bulky snorkel can slow you down and might even get caught on something.
- As always, choose equipment which fits your budget.There are lots of high quality snorkels that you can get at an affordable price. High priced equipment doesn’t always mean it’s best for you, if it doesn’t fit for example, it won’t be.
What to look for in snorkel?
- A wide skirt will mean more of its edge will stay in contact with the skin creating a wider seal.
- A silicone skirt is recommended – it will last longer compared to rubber.
- Look for a mask that will give you a wider view of your surroundings, in all directions.
- A ‘no fog lenses’ feature is preferable as the lenses will remain clear the entire time they’re underwater and won’t hassle the diver.
- If you are quite particular with how everything will look like underwater, you may want to consider a mask with some vision enhancing coating. These masks are specially tinted to make images clearer by reducing glare and certain wavelengths of incoming light during conditions with not-so-ideal lighting.
- If you intend to snorkel and dive, a low volume mask can help you keep more air inside your lungs. Low volume masks have lens that are closer to your face to decrease the air volume inside. This means less air volume is needed to be exhaled into your mask.
- Look for a dry snorkel, one with a simple splash proof opening at the top and a one way water purge valve at the bottom.The splash proof opening will minimize the chances of water getting into your mouth through the opening. If some water does get in, the purge valve will cause the water to be flushed out whenever you exhale.
- A large diameter tube will allow more air to flow easily every time you breathe.
- A silicone mouthpiece is more comfortable, flexible and will last much longer than plastic.
Fins or Flippers
- Since fins are made of durable polymer, they won’t have much give across your lateral arch. That’s why it’s important to look for flippers that fit comfortably. It should fit you snugly enough to stay put and avoid slipping when you kick.
- For the casual snorkeler, flippers that have full pockets for your feet are more advisable than a strap-on, since a strap-on is usually paired with diving shoes.
Seavenger Diving Snorkel Set- Black
The Seavenger diving and snorkel set is compact and lightweight but will give you enough propulsion power for an awesome surface swim experience.
The set includes a dry-top snorkel, trek fins and a 2-window mask made of high quality tempered glass. It also has a drawstring mesh included in the package for easy storage.
The Seavenger Diving Snorkel Set has 7 different colors for you to choose from: Black, Black Silicone, Blue, Clear Teal, Powder Blue, Yellow and Pink Ribbon.
Purchases of the Pink Ribbon set are partly donated to and help raise awareness of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The dual mask is made of quality tempered glass that provides a clear view of the different marine life under the surface.
It has a soft and wide skirt that effectively forms a watertight seal to prevent water from leaking inside the mask. Additionally, the dual-window mask is easier to clean since it has a lower volume than a single window mask.
The Seavenger trek fins are open-heeled for added comfort. It has adjustable straps for easy donning and removing of fins. The fins are not only good for diving and swimming but agile enough to be used for bodyboarding activities.
Dry-top Snorkel with splash guard
Snorkeling and diving can be easily done without having to worry about water entering. With the dry-top feature, the opening at the top is closed off automatically the moment it enters the water, this is a plus especially for individuals who like to snorkel and free dive at the same time.
A holder built in the mask strap designed to secure the snorkel in place is designed with a quick release tab to allow for easy removal of the snorkel from the mask.
Along with the set is a drawstring mesh carrying bag to store the snorkel gear for safekeeping. It’s made with fast-drying material that’s easy to use and fits all appropriate snorkel gear inside.
- Affordable but still made of good quality materials.
- The mask effectively creates a tight seal around the face preventing water from flooding the mask.
- Children can also use the mask and snorkel without any problem.
- Reviewers commended how well the dry-top feature prevented water from entering even while fully submerged in water.
- Some who reviewed this product said that the mask can get fogged down, although putting some anti-fog solution beforehand can prevent this.
- Others observed that only a little air can get through the snorkel compared with other brands.
The Seavenger Diving Snorkel Set is recommended for amateur snorkelers as well as more advanced snorkelers.
They work well and do not cost much which is great for those on a budget. This set can also work well as a spare and can be easily stored in a trunk ready when needed.
Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
The Cressi F1 single-lens mask is uniquely designed because of how the mask is assembled with its lens and skirt joined together without a frame.
It’s lightweight but still made with high quality durable components that make for a good performance.
This frameless mask from the Cressi line of underwater gear has a more compact profile and is lighter than traditional masks.
Single Window Lens
The distinct flared lens is made of quality tempered glass. It provides the user a wide, panoramic-like clear field of view even along the area over the bridge of the nose. This design is also an advantage because it’s a low-volume lens.
100% Silicone Skirt
The hypoallergenic silicone skirt comfortably and efficiently forms a second skin-like tight seal conforming to the contours of the face. This double seal system effectively prevents water from entering and flooding the mask. Additionally, the wide skirt also blocks reflective light when diving.
Dry snorkel with one-way purge valve.
This set comes with the Cressi Desert Dry snorkel. A streamlined tube with an ergonomically designed curve fitted with a splash guard on top of the tube and a one-way purge valve that seals the snorkel barrel the instant it’s submerged.
The snorkel’s flex tube can be adjusted easily without having the mouthpiece feel like it is being jammed into the mouth.
- The frameless design allows for a wide panoramic view of the ocean deep without the feeling of tunnel vision.
- The splash guard effectively keeps the barrel dry inside while surface swimming activities as well as diving underwater.
- The one-way purge valve is simple for removing small amounts of water.
- Some people who reviewed this product, complained of having pain around the nostrils area.
- According to other reviewers, the mask can easily get fogged up if you don’t wash it with baby shampoo or toothpaste before using it in the water.
The Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set is a good set to consider because it’s very portable and can be folded flat which is great since the bulk is lessened. It is also affordable and has great reviews overall.
Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask
Breathing while snorkeling can get some getting used to especially for the novice swimmer, but with the Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask, breathing can be as natural as it’s always been even for inexperienced snorkelers who will be able to breathe through their nose or mouth.
Whether you are an amateur snorkeler or a more experienced one, the Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling mask will surely make your snorkeling experience as natural and comfortable as possible.
Double airflow system
For people unprepared to explore the waters because mouth breathing is difficult for them, the Tribord Easybreath can be a big help with its double airflow system.
The double airflow system works by allowing the user to breathe in air, through an opening on top, by passing through the inner portion of the mask.
180° field of vision
Aside from the ease in breathing, the Easybreath also boasts a wide 180 degree field of vision that allows the wearer a panoramic and unobstructed view of what’s happening all around. This also allows for clear peripheral vision which is usually blocked in most mask designs.
Zero moisture and zero fogging
The double airflow system not only ensures that you can breathe normally, it also removes moisture coming from the exhaled air and doesn’t allow it to accumulate, thus aiding in preventing the mask from being obstructed due to fog. With the double airflow system, condensation buildup is virtually eliminated.
Built in snorkel
The Easybreath has another convenient feature for the wearer, instead of having a mouthpiece that can be obtrusive and uncomfortable to use over extended periods of time, the snorkel is built on top of the mask.
Additionally, a dry-top mechanism is plugged in to prevent small amounts of water from entering the tube which can cause choking.
- The mask offers a wide field of vision including peripheral vision allowing for greater appreciation of the world of the ocean deep.
- It keeps the entire face dry, great for novice snorkelers who don’t want or are not used to sea water touching their face.
- Also great for children since they can still breathe normally through the nose and won’t cause panic.
- The pressure is evenly dispersed throughout the face creating a tight seal to prevent water from leaking inside.
- According to some people who reviewed this product, the mask will not teach a person how to snorkel properly.
- Because of the amount of air volume inside the mask, free diving is not really an option because the mask can be very buoyant under water.
- Some people who reviewed this product found the mask to be very fragile and break easily when dropped.
The Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask is great for those who are not 100% comfortable breathing through their mouth with the traditional mask and snorkel set. Although it is a bit pricy since the set does not include flippers.
U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Mask/Seabreeze II Snorkel/Proflex Fins/Gearbag
The U.S. Divers Adult Snorkel Set is the complete package for anyone who wants to own a snorkel set instead of renting one. The set consists of an adult mask with a dual lens, a snorkel and Proflex fins to get anyone ready for their snorkeling adventure.
The U.S. Divers brand is well-known for its history in making quality dive and snorkel equipment for personal, commercial and even military use. This ensures that every product they offer is of the highest quality.
Adult Cozumel Mask
The Cozumel mask offers the wearer a wide field of view of his surroundings underwater. It has a dual lens and a standard skirt made of PVC material.
Once worn, the mask forms a tight seal around the areas that the skirt covers. However, for the user to have a watertight seal, the mask should fit perfectly on the size of the face, the contours and facial hair if there is any.
The mask is uniformly sized for both men and women, but the fit can be easily adjusted with the 3-way adjustable buckles to suit any size.
Seabreeze II Snorkel
The snorkel boasts a Hydro-Adhesion Splash Top feature that prevents water from entering the tube by making the splash water cling to the inner surface of the splash guard and direct the water outside of the tube. U.S.
Divers Snorkel models with this technology are usually designed to have an open barrel to promote airflow. The Seabreeze II Snorkel is also designed with a built-in purge valve at the bottom.
Proflex fins and gear bag
Unlike most snorkel and diving fins, the Proflex fins are twice as long and offer more surface area. The vented blades on both sides of the fins will give every kick added power and efficiency.
The gear bag itself provides proper storage for the whole set. It allows you to bring it anywhere you go. Made of a combination of plastic and mesh, this shoulder bag is easy to carry around and dries fast.
- The bag is quite decent with its sturdy mesh design. Easy to clean and dry and has a shoulder strap for added convenience.
- Finding the right fit for your feet will ensure that the Proflex fins will be snug and won’t get loose when you go swimming.
- According to some people who reviewed the product, since the sizes are all the same for both men and women, the masks might be too large for the average female face.
- Some people who reviewed this product said that since the fins are quite long and have twice the surface area than other fins, they can get tiring after a while.
For newbies and expert snorkelers purchasing the U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Mask/Seabreeze II Snorkel/Proflex Fins/Gearbag set can be a good investment depending on your purpose and need.
The price range is reasonable but all are made of good quality materials. This set can work for newbies as their initial set and a spare set for the more experienced snorkelers.
U.S. Divers Diva 1 Lx / Island Dry Lx/ Trek / Travel Bag
This compact set of snorkeling equipment is designed with a low profile, and more feminine features to provide a more custom fit to the female’s smaller features.
But don’t be fooled by its feminine name: despite being made for the females, this line of snorkel equipment from U.S. Divers offers a wide range of options and colors to choose from, for both male and female.
The snorkel set is handy and easy to pack so you don’t have to worry about it while travelling – the perfect solution for a hassle-free snorkeling adventure for women.
Admiral LX mask
The mask is specially made with a hypoallergenic silicone face skirt for a secure yet comfortable fit that can be used even by individuals with delicate skin. This prevents irritation and redness.
The single-lens mask is made of tempered glass with a two-window frame for a clear and wide view of the wonders offered by the sea.
Since a watertight seal mostly depends on how the mask fits on one’s face, the Admiral LX mask is equipped with a pinch and pull Pro-Glide buckle for a more customized and comfortable fit according to preference.
Island Dry LX Snorkel
The US Divers Diva Set also includes the Island Dry LX Snorkel. It ensures that the snorkel will function at an optimum level while also ensuring that it can be used comfortably on the surface and underwater. A purge valve is also built at the bottom to exhale out water that finds its way in to the barrel.
These travel fins are wide and built shorter than your average snorkeling and diving fins. The fins have dual-composite blades that provide speed and power in every kick. Travel fins are compact and easy to carry around mainly because of their shorter length. The fins have comfortable foot pockets with adjustable straps for a more custom fit.
A travel bag is also included in the package so you can store your snorkel set in one place easily.
- The smaller fit suits most female face profiles comfortably compared to the average unisex mask.
- The dry top-like snorkel design is effective in preventing water from getting inside.
- The fins also worked great during snorkeling and other surface water activities, although some people who reviewed this product recommended wearing neoprene socks to allow comfortable snorkeling for an extended period of time.
- The trek fins, because they are shorter than regular fins, are not as powerful when kicking.
- Some people who reviewed this product had some difficulties in breathing through the snorkel since most dry-top models have smaller openings and thinner tubes on top.
The US Divers Diva LX Island Dry Trek Travel Bag is among the most popular snorkel sets specifically made for women.
If your face has smaller features and you’re having a hard time finding the right gear for you, you may want to consider this set. It’s priced reasonably, it’s durable and it’s made by a well-known brand name in snorkeling equipment.