Snorkeling has become a very popular vacation activity. Tropical waters lead way to beautiful fish and colorful coral. In order to get the most out of this experience, you will need the best snorkel gear to help you see all the beauty the underwater world has to offer. This includes flippers to keep you swimming easily, a snorkel that will allow you to breathe with ease, and a high-quality mask that will give you unobstructed views of the water.
We know you will be hooked after your first snorkeling experience, which is why have spent many hours researching & picking the best out there. We have compiled this list of the best snorkeling gear on the market.
A look at our pick
A look ahead at what we are reviewing
For a collection to be deemed a good snorkel gear set, each of the items need to be of equal quality.
This means that the mask, snorkel, and fins must offer the same level of durability, comfort, and consistent performance. This is something to be careful with companies that are well-known for one aspect, but not the others. Always look at the construction of each of the gear to determine that they are all up to standard.
Always Check The Quality Of The Mask and Fit
The most important factor regarding a snorkeling mask is the fit.
A well-fitting mask eliminates many of the problems typically experienced by snorkelers. This includes water entering the mask while swimming and fog forming on the lenses.
The part of the mask that is responsible for creating a seal against your skin is the skirt. A skirt that is wider is better equipped to seal the mask to your face, thus lessening the chance of the water entering in. The skirt can be made either from silicone or plastic. Silicone tends to be more durable and works well with sensitive skin.
Another aspect that comes into play is the fit of the mask. A snorkel mask that fits you well will not only prevent leaking, it will also make the mask more comfortable to wear as well. To ensure that the mask remains flush against your head, look for hardy straps that can be easily adjusted to your size.
Not sure how to check for proper fit? Our friends at Aquaworld Cancun gave us these awesome tips to choose the proper snorkeling gear.
The mask lens is usually constructed from plastic or tempered glass. For greater strength, and safety, it is best to stick with masks that are made from tempered glass. The other thing that you will notice is the variety in the number of lenses with snorkel masks.
There is the single lens, double lens, and even ones with three and four windows. What you choose should be based on what is most comfortable to you and offers the best viewing experience when you are underwater.
Quality Of The Snorkel
As you can imagine a well-functioning snorkel is an important part of any good gear. Fortunately, there are only a few steps to determine whether or not a snorkel is of high quality.
The first thing to look at is how comfortable the mouthpiece is inside of your mouth. It should stay in without too much effort and you shouldn’t have to bite down too hard on the bite piece either. Mouthpieces that are made from silicone are usually the most comfortable.
There are different types of snorkels.
There is the traditional design, the semi-dry option, and the dry snorkel. The semi-dry and dry snorkel are built to keep as much water out of your mouth as possible. They consist of features on top of the snorkel that prevent water from entering into the tube. These work well for people snorkeling in rough waters.
The Fins Quality
There is quite a bit of variety with snorkel fins. For instance, they can either be open foot or closed foot. Open foot fins have the advantage of being adjustable and they also allow you to wear a boot if you require the insulation. Closed foot fins have been found to be more effective and the fit is certainly more comfortable.
Inflatable snorkel vest
This lightweight vest is a great tool for people learning to snorkel or anyone who wants a little added help floating so they can focus on enjoying the experience. It inflates and deflates quickly and is easy to take on and off. The snorkel vest is available in a variety of colors.
Neoprene mask strap cover
Even the best snorkel mask that is designed to go on easily can be a little tough to put on–after all, they are meant to be a bit snug in order to keep the water out. We’ve found this neoprene strap to be an easy way to put our masks on without them pulling or tangling our hair (we both have them, so they’re not only useful for women).
The straps come in a variety of colors. You can go with a simple black or blue, but we find it helpful to have a distinctive, bright color because it helps us easily find each other when we’re snorkeling or diving in a group.
We always carry a dry bag to keep important things away from splashes and spills. It’s great to keep important things—like your phone, camera, or wallet—dry and safe. But it’s equally convenient to have a completely dry change of clothes or towel when you’re done enjoying your day on the water.
Okay so lets us take you through what we have reviewed for you all.
|Designed to eliminate leakage or seepage. When worn properly, the silicone injected skirt forms comfortably and snugly to your face to keep any water from entering the mask. Scratch resistant tempered glass lenses resist scratching from grains of sand, unlike plastic. Impact resistant and won’t shatter under pressure.|
Blocks water with dry snorkel features a baffle system that keeps water from entering the tube, even when underwater. The splash guard prevents water splashing at the surface and the tube seals completely when underwater.
|Made of a four window design for a panoramic view with tempered glass lens and hypoallergenic silicone skirt, Zeeporte snorkel mask can withstand underwater pressure while diving and snorkeling. The diving mask skirt is designed with soft and flexible silicone along with the food grade silicone mouthpiece is safe creating a watertight seal with any diver’s face attached to your mouth perfectly.|
A high quality snorkel with a dry top valve that seals the breathing tube when submerged, a dry top snorkel is designed to keep water from entering the breathing tube, ergonomic silicone mouthpiece is comfortable and durable. Lower purge valve allows water to be quickly expelled so you can enjoy easy and unobstructed breathing while diving underwater.
Longer, lightweight & responsive blade assure a kick that is fluid, effortless yet at the same time quite powerful. Trek fins with open heel style and adjustable strap.
|For the Lux platinum set, they have a four window design for panoramic view with tempered glass lens and hypoallergenic silicone skirt for ultimate comfort. Easy equalization nose pocket with patented soft purge for effortless purging and equalization.|
Submersible dry top snorkel designed to keep water out of the breathing tube. With an ergonomic mouthpiece and a camera mount compatible with GOPRO. They come with dual composite vented blades for excellent power and energy saving efficiency.
The gear bag is designed with heavy duty nylon durability.
|This package includes: Cressi reaction EBS adjustable open heel fine for easy fit. Cressi frameless silicone mask and dry snorkel. This also comes with a Cressi mesh bag. With revolutionary blade three material design|
|This kit has a dry top snorkel and one way purge valve allows for easy breathing. The kit comes with a single lens mask in tempered glass that makes for a stunning view. It has a snug seal because it has a liquid injected silicone that minimizes water seepage.|
Short trek fins are just big enough to give power without getting in the way of your movement. Rigid blades force water backward, giving you more speed in the water with minimal effort, while the adjustable straps and quick release buckles make donning and doffing easy.
The mask is lightweight and comfortable. The panoramic lens is completely constructed of shatter resistant and scratch resistant tempered glass. With adjustable straps on both sides of the frame.
The soft, comfortable mask skirt and nose pocket are made of hypoallergenic liquid injected silicone which seals easily to your skin to prevent leaking.
|Package includes Palau long blade fins- focus two window silicone mask, silicone dry snorkel & snorkeling mesh bag.|
Focus mask: light and compact, it has a soft silicon skirt, complete with seal ring, that provides an excellent fit. With high level comfort even with prolonged use.
Dry snorkel with anti splash end with automatically closing valve. Ergonomic shape for maximum comfort. Comes with a discharge cup for easy and quick emptying.
The Palau fins have a blade that is made from a light yet responsive material that assures a kick that is fluid, effortless yet at the same time quite powerful.
|Our green full face snorkel masks are designed with a special curved, full face snorkel mask panoramic design that allows for the ultimate in comfort and visibility! Enjoy your aquatic adventure without constantly having to adjust your diving mask. Built in comfort straps and mask design make this snorkel mask full face easy to wear for extended periods. View your underwater landscape with crystal clarity. Our snorkel mask will not fog from your breath or the water temperature.|
Breathe through your nose or mouth without having to strain to keep a separate breathing tube in place. Our one piece full face snorkel mask makes breathing easy. Leak proof design prevents water from entering.
|The new snorkeling mask with separate breathing chambers system. Includes adjustable swimming fins, travel size created. Featuring a folding tube, this ultra compact snorkeling set fits even your hand luggage. Designed with separate inhale and exhale chambers, the snorkel mask adult prevents fogging, so you can breathe smoothly & swim longer. Our snorkel masks full face feature a flat lens that offers you a clear 180° view. The Cozia Design engineering team brought up the perfect snorkeling mask full face. Shaped from strong polycarbonate plastic and soft medical grade silicone around the face, seals up instantly for a safe, no leak fit. Anyone can swim using our snorkel gear for adults. The swimming mask is available in 2 sizes perfectly fitting men, women & teenagers.|
Should I buy a snorkel set or purchase each of the items individually?
The main advantage of buying a snorkel set is cost. It’s substantially cheaper to buy snorkeling gear as a set than to buy each component individually. It’s also more convenient, especially for new or casual snorkelers to be able to buy everything in one go.
If you’re new to snorkeling, buying snorkel gear for a one-off trip, or don’t have any specific needs then a snorkel set is a better option. It’ll save you time and money.
Plus, brands put effort and care into creating snorkel sets that suit the same skill level, activity, style, and budget.
However, packages are built for the average person in a given category. This means that they might not fit you perfectly.
Masks, in particular, fit differently on each face, and a one-size-fits-all approach is sometimes a poor choice.
Buying individual components allows you to pick items that best fit and suit your specific needs.
Although it will be a little more expensive, you can choose the style of mask that best fits your face, for instance, and pair it with fins that suit your strength level and foot shape. Instead of approximating or compromising, you can get a perfect fit in each area.
Do You Want Durability?
If you plan on using your snorkel equipment more than once, I highly recommend purchasing durable gear.
As mentioned above, less expensive gear typically isn’t as lon- lasting as gear you pay a higher price for. If you’re an avid snorkeler or even plan to take a long trip on the water, it’s worth investing in gear that will last you through your trip and beyond.
The most durable snorkel gear is made of silicon. Stay away from pieces made from plastic or PVC as they’re less reliable and more prone to breakage. This applies not only to the snorkel, but to your mask as well.
You can also determine the durability (or at least dependability) of snorkel gear by checking the warranty. Many high quality, reputable brands will offer 1 to 2 years coverage, while the more fault-prone gear may not have any coverage at all.
A last tip on durability is to check where the gear is coming from. If it’s coming from China, you can bet that isn’t going to last you as long as gear from Europe or America.
Find the Right Fit
Another consideration when choosing your snorkel gear is to find pieces that fit you and your needs.
Masks, snorkels and fins all come in a variety of shapes, materials and fits so it’s important to pick the one that’s best for you.
When choosing a snorkel, find one that fits your jaw shape. A smaller jaw requires a smaller snorkel, and vice versa with a larger jaw.
If you choose a snorkel that’s too small for you, you’ll have some difficulty keeping it in your mouth and experience jaw fatigue. A snorkel that’s too large for you will also be difficult and uncomfortable to keep in your mouth. Look for one that’s just right and you should have a pleasant experience.
If you aren’t sure what snorkel to choose, have no fear. You’ll be able to swap out the mouthpiece for one that fits right without having to replace the whole snorkel.
You should also have a good idea of your face shape when purchasing a mask. If you have a narrower face, you may want a smaller mask, while wider faces require something a bit larger.
The most important thing is that your mask fits snugly on your face, otherwise you’ll have leakage and an unpleasant experience.
Finally, you’ll want to choose a pair of fins in your correct size so that you don’t spend your snorkeling adventure constantly readjusting them.
Snorkeling fins are generally sized like shoes, making them fairly straightforward to choose. If you aren’t sure what size to get or are only offered a S/M/L selection, opt for a pair with an adjustable heel so that you can create a fit that’s right for your foot.
Why You Should Buy Instead of Rent Snorkel Gear
Upon deciding to go on a snorkeling adventure, many people do not consider the importance of using quality personal gear. Some snorkeling trips offer “included gear”, which is always a mistake to rely on.
The included gear is typically low quality and can be the difference between observing the beautiful aqua-world or spending your trip fumbling with your leaky mask and snorkel or having limited visibility due to scratches.
Salt water in your eyes can turn your snorkeling trip into a painful experience, especially if you wear contacts, or plan to bring children on your expedition. The same problem can occur with leaky snorkels.
Keep in mind that “complimentary included” equipment rarely undergoes proper sanitation procedures.
This is a large concern for objects that come in direct contact with your mouth, noes, and eyes. Finally, if it is your first snorkeling adventure, it is best to give yourself (especially children) a chance to practice using the equipment prior to jumping into the middle of the ocean.
Not only is this important in order to familiarize yourself with the equipment, but also to account for the fact that salt water adds a new dimension to the experience. You do not want to attempt to get comfortable with new equipment while adjusting to snorkeling in salt water for the first time.
Snorkel equipment is worth researching and finding the best product for your family. If you simply grab a set from a local discount store, you will certainly be disappointed when encountering leaks and limited visibility. Consider the advice below determining what the best equipment is for you and your family.
Snorkel Gear FAQs
What snorkel gear do I need to go snorkeling?
Snorkeling requires a simple setup of a mask, a snorkel, and a set of fins. Your mask is the most important piece of gear since it helps you see clearly underwater. The snorkel helps you breathe while swimming along the surface, gazing into the underwater world. Your fins make your kicking more efficient and give you greater speed on the surface and in the water if you dive down. Depending on the water temperature and UV index, you may also need a rashguard or wetsuit for your snorkeling adventure as well. Additionally, a snorkel vest may be a necessary addition to your snorkel gear kit to assist with buoyancy for those who are new to the sport or just prefer a more leisurely time on the water.
Do I need special training to go snorkeling?
Not at all! Snorkeling can be physically demanding, but most anyone can do it. You’ll want to be a fairly proficient swimmer, so if you don’t know how to swim, it’s best to learn how before you go snorkeling. Other than that, snorkeling can be rather easy and relaxing. It’s always a good idea to check water conditions before going out for a snorkel since choppy waters and heavy currents can make snorkeling more difficult, even with the proper snorkel gear.
How do I know what kind of snorkel to get?
Many snorkelers prefer a dry top snorkel for their adventures since a dry top snorkel is most effective in keeping water from entering your snorkel tube, but each snorkeler has his or her own preference. A semi-dry top can keep a fair amount of water from entering the snorkel tube, doesn’t cost quite as much, and is a great choice for snorkelers who also go diving or hope to go scuba diving in the future. You may prefer a J-type snorkel if you aspire to freedive soon since J-type snorkels reduce drag in the water. Therefore, your snorkel preference will depend mainly on what other activities you participate in and also your budget.
Do I need a specific type of snorkeling fin?
Snorkel fins tend to be shorter than scuba or freedive fins. This is because they’re shorter fins are easier to move with when finning along the surface. Both full foot and open heel fins are fine to wear, but full foot fins are more commonly used for snorkeling since you’ll most likely be in warmer waters and won’t need the neoprene boots that you’d need with an open heel fins.
There are so many snorkel masks out there. How do I choose the right one?
The number one thing you’ll need to look for in a snorkeling mask is fit and comfort. If your snorkel gear doesn’t fit right (especially your mask) you’ll find your adventure to be potentially uncomfortable and frequently interrupted by mask clearing, strap adjustments, and other quick-fix attempts. After you find a snorkel mask that fits properly, it’ll be time to explore field-of-view preferences and lens and skirt coloring. When you find the right one for you, you’ll know it.
In conclusion, these are some of the top things to consider when choosing the Scuba gear. You will need to consider the type of snorkel you want, the length of your fins and your fit for your mask. While comfort is important. A good fit is everything. Follow the above tips, and you won’t get disappointed or feel that your money hasn’t been spent in the wrong way. For our pick on the best scuba gear, was the Cressi dry snorkel scuba gear. The mask works and does not leak, the snorkel is effective and the fins protect your feet while feeling comfortable.
We would love to hear your thoughts & feedback on masks you have purchased.