Snorkeling is a rapidly growing pass time. More and more people are interested in experiencing sea life and who can blame them. Getting to explore the oceans surface & find out what is living there is a genuine treat for anyone. So what is key to an amazing snorkeling trip. Good snorkeling gear of course there is nothing more important than your snorkel. For your snorkeling adventure, as it ensures a comfortable & safe experience.
How to choose the best Snorkel.
What makes the best snorkels? Selecting the right snorkel will ensure you have comfort & fun. There are a number of different types, with various features & materials. Your mouth size and your lung capacity also play a role in choosing the best snorkels. We can help you choose with our buying guide a snorkel that will not break the bank. However from our experience in researching this. It is important that you don’t go down the cheap line. As it is worth your money to spend out a little on this essential piece of equipment. which is why we are carrying out the snorkel reviews.
Different types of Snorkel
There are three basic types of snorkels. A classic or J snorkels, semi dry snorkels & dry snorkels. Although these describe specific features. You can find snorkels with just about any mix of features you may want.
A classic is normally just an open tube with a mouthpiece along with a mask strap attachment. Normally the tube does not bend. Although you can get many snorkels with a flexible section down by the mouthpiece. This can make the snorkel more comfortable because it conforms to your mouth position better than a hard tube.
There are many different types of semi dry snorkels. But essentially a semi dry snorkel blocks water from easily coming down the tube. A splash guard in a semi dry snorkel is a great feature that can make a huge difference, particularly on wavy windy days. From our experience a decent splash guard on a semi dry snorkel is nearly as effective at keeping out water as dry valves.
The best dry snorkel all boils down to having some sort of float at the top of the snorkel. When the snorkel is immersed the float raises up closing a little silicone door or a ball float to seal the breathing hole in the snorkel.
Water will sometimes find its way into your dry snorkel, despite the snorkel’s best efforts. This could be a few drops that sneak in before the dry mechanism closes or ocean spray that dribbles in. However, snorkel manufacturers include a one-way purge valve that allows you to discharge this water before it can interfere with your snorkeling experience.
This is a one-way valve located near the mouthpiece of your snorkel. Gravity will naturally pull any unwanted water down to this valve, and all you have to do is give a little puff of air to push the water out through the valve.
Why is the Snorkel so important
It does not matter if you are a snorkeler or a diver. Choosing & buying a snorkel is a vital part of your equipment and understanding what is the best snorkel to buy for you is equally important.
Some people feel that choosing the correct fins is the most important. As they will propel you through the water with greater ease.
A great number of people feel that the mask is the most important piece of equipment. When snorkeling as without them, you would not be able to see.
However most forget that without a snorkel, you are simply not going to be able to breathe underwater. which is quite frankly the most important part. Yet being more specific breathing comfortably is also very important when choosing a scuba diving snorkels. It can be the difference from truly enjoying the experience or not wishing to do it again. Hopefully we can help you avoid that and get the most out of your snorkel.
Why buy a Snorkel?
When it comes to a snorkel, it is better to own one than rent it on your holiday/ocean trip.
You never know who was using the snorkel before it was your turn. You also cannot be sure of the sanitation process of the tour company you are using. So it is so much better to have your own equipment than take unnecessary chances.
The gear that these companies provide also tends to be a low quality. The last thing you want is for your snorkel to let water in. If you have your own snorkel you know what to expect.
Owning your own snorkel will allow you to practice. This will particularly help if this is your first time. This will give you the ability to adjust it so it is comfortable. So you can maximize your snorkeling experience and get either the best scuba diving snorkels or the best dry snorkels.
So what now
Well that is the easy part, well we have made it easy for you by looking at the best snorkels! We have identified 6 snorkels out there for you. Looking at what makes them a good piece of kit, what is the best snorkel along with what features that may suit your needs. Buying the right snorkel will enhance your snorkeling experience so much more.
The supernova dry has a unique top valve at the top of the snorkel that is designed to block water entry. It also has a purge valve at the bottom. Which will easily expel water out by just breathing normally if any happens to get through.
User’s have found that the purge valve works particularly well. When compared to other similar designs. Along with the silicone mouthpiece. Which a high number of users found very comfortable. This is a good snorkel if you are a beginner, other features include.
A wider elliptical bore shape increases air flow capacity for more comfortable breathing. A purge valve enables instant clearing when needed.
The snorkel has a highly flexible silicone corrugated tube that reduces jaw fatigue.
This snorkel is the best choice if you want a quality product. Well designed that has all the features that make you happy. Don’t worry about the entry of water: choose an easy-to-use dry snorkel and enjoy your diving.
The quick-release keeper allows you to join easily the snorkel to the mask strap by a simple clicking. Push the button for unjoin the snorkel from the mask without removing the keeper from the mask strap.
What worked well
Lightweight but sturdy
Less expensive than others
Mouthpiece is comfortable
Quick release clip works well
Performs well at keeping water out
Airflow feels slightly restricted
Tube is a little unstable
Our second item is the Cressi snorkel is more of your standard snorkel. Designed in a traditional snorkel style. This snorkel is designed primarily for scuba diving and freediving. The tradition design holds the hole higher above the head. With the minimal bend makes it clearing it very easy. It’s a simple snorkel without some of its competitors features. But that works to its advantage & is good value for money. Some of its features are.
The multi-positional silicone soft mouthpiece provides extreme comfort during prolonged use. With a large diameter the snorkel tube provides unobstructed ease of breathing along with the minimal tube and mouthpiece bends provides easier clearing capability
The Gringo is designed and manufactured in Italy by Cressi. An Italian brand pioneer in scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming equipment since 1946.
What worked well
Great for freediving
A solid straight pipe
Great for all ages
Mouthpiece is flimsy
The alpha ultra dry snorkel is one of the latest dry-top snorkel technologies. That uses a compact valve at the top of the snorkel that automatically closes. This keeps water out regardless of the angle of the snorkel once you ascend back to the surface. You can resume breathing without having to make the effort to expel water.
This is a very durable & well made product with a sleek design which adds to the appeal. Users found the flexible connection between the pipe & the mouthpiece very comfortable. Some of the other features are:
The Alpha Ultra Dry makes any snorkeling activity easy. Thanks to the different features that help prevent water from entering the tube. It features a float mechanism which closes instantly. This prevents water from entering the snorkel whether accidentally or purposely submerged. The snorkel has a highly flexible tube. This reduces jaw fatigue and folds compactly for storing in a BC pocket or travel pack.
A wider elliptical bore shape increases airflow capacity for more comfortable breathing. A purge valve enables instant clearing when needed. It is made in Italy in 100% high-quality silicone. A better, longer-lasting material than plastic PVC.
What worked well
The seal is air tight when submerged
Built in purge works very well
Does not strain your jaw
A total dry snorkel
Mouthpiece was uncomfortable
The wacool dry snorkel is very well made with smooth rubber & plastic throughout. Most user’s all agree that this is a very comfortable snorkel in how it feels & its use. The mouthpiece in particular is very comfortable & provides a good seal. Which is also removable & replaceable as well.
This snorkel uses a lever paddle flip dry top. Which automatically flips & closes the air entrance when submerged. Users of this snorkel have indicated that this design does not get stuck. Unlike the float ball valve which can get stuck with sand.
The tube clip could easily attach to any brands standard dive snorkel masks. Quick release adjustable clip easy to clip it on/off a diving mask. Allowing movement up and down the snorkel tube, for a comfortable position. Long-lasting clip for easy install & remove.
A large diameter tube will give you full breaths. Without making you struggle to catch your breath. The upper tube is curved and comes close to your head, which will prevent drag. Water can be cleared out of the dry snorkel tube effortlessly while under water, all you have to do is give it a good blow.
What worked well
Very easy to clear water from it.
Allows easy breathing when resurfacing
Clip can come loose quite easily
The Kraken is a full silicone breathing tube. That was designed to be flexible & durable with a simple design to have as few failure points as possible. This snorkel is quite unique as it rolls up into a compact storage case that is provided. Taking up little space, so becomes a good travel companion. Users have found that the simple snorkel keeper comes in very handy. It allows you to easily attach your dive mask securely to the flexible snorkel.
The flexible silicone snorkel has a J-tube style design. Made from black silicone that is comfortable, easy to use, reliable and built to last.
What worked well
Soft against your head
Easy to store & travel with
Simple snorkel with no gimmicks
Flexible & sturdy
Hurts jaw after using for a while
The Ultra Dry 2 has a sleek new ergonomic design. Which incorporates Oceanic’s patented Dry Snorkel Technology. Drop away flex mouthpiece, oversized purge valve for easy clearing. A replaceable 100% liquid silicone mouthpiece into a comfortable and functional snorkel.
Users have found that this particular Dry Snorkel with a dry top, Technology virtually eliminates water entry. They have found that their breathing is more regular as they do not have to keep blowing water out.
Oversized purge valve for easy clearing. No big exhale required users say this does what it says on the tin and is ultra dry. The mouthpiece is a smooth bore flex. It also has a Quick-release swiveling snorkel keeper.
What worked well
No need to clear tube
Easy to use
Mask strap has a large gap
Conclusion on the best snorkel
When it comes to snorkels there are such a wide range of different models available out on the market. You can choose not to spend too much and get a simple snorkel without the bells & whistles. You could spend more and get snorkels with lots of features & added technologies, it is a case of what you prefer for snorkeling or scuba diving.
Of the six products we reviewed, the general consensus was that the best snorkel in terms of good quality, reliable functions & well priced was the Alpha Ultra dry snorkel. Overall people found this well designed & well made keeping water out of the mouth.
We found that there were not that many negative comments against this model & most would also highly recommend it, along with it being excellent value for money. Click Here to check it out.