The Best Snorkel Mask Buying Guide

The Best Snorkel Mask Buying Guide

Choosing the best snorkel mask is going to make or break your snorkeling experience! These masks are a very important part of your snorkeling equipment because not only do they allow you to see under the water but they help you breathe!

In this guide, we are going to give you a few pointers you’ll want to consider when you’re looking for the best snorkel gear that’ll bring you one step closer to swimming with the fishes, without the Mafia’s help, of course!

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Features Of The Mask

The mask you choose is going to act as your window to the world under the surface of the water. The mask is going to give your eyes the air space they need so they can focus and see clearly. The mask should also give your nose enough room so you can adjust for the pressure changes as you go under (for this reason, you can’t use swimming goggles to snorkel with). You are going to want to look for a mask that features:

  • Tempered glass lens
  • Double silicon skirt
  • Wide head straps that are easy to adjust

You’ll know you have a good quality mask if they have tempered lens (instead of plastic) and a silicone skirt (instead of rubber or PVC).

Man Wearing a Snorkel Mask

How To Fit Your Mask

A mask that fits your face correctly is going to have a smooth seal that is going to be crucial for keeping the water out. You’ll want to make sure the mask is able to create a tight seal and you can do this by holding the mask against your face without the straps being around your head.

Breathe in through your nose and if the mask “sticks” to your face when you let it go, then you know the seal is good. Be mindful that there is nothing obstructing the silicone skirting to your face, because if there’s even a bit of hair, the seal won’t stick.

Once you got a good seal, put the straps on your head. You should be able to get an airtight fight without there being too much pressure caused by the straps. The straps should be high on the back of your head—not resting on your ears! If you feel too much pressure from the straps, they are going to start hurting and it’ll increase the chance of having a leaky mask.

The Snorkel

The snorkel is the thing that allows you to breathe while your head is submerged under water. The snorkel you choose should fit comfortably inside your mouth and the top of the snorkel will come to the crown of your head, or slightly above it.

Woman Snorkeling in Clear Water

When you’re looking at snorkel options, there are several categories in which they fall within:

  • J-Shape – The most basic and common snorkel. These have a soft silicone mouth piece.
  • Purge and Open Top – These snorkels feature a purge at the bottom of the J so you can clear the water that may have gotten inside the snorkel easily. These snorkels usually feature a flexible curve that allows for the mouthpiece to hang down when you aren’t using it. This is a nice snorkel to use when you’re scuba diving.
  • Purge with Splash Guard Top – Much like the previous snorkel, this one has a guard at the top to prevent water from small splashes getting into the tube.
  • Purge with Dry Top – Like the previous two, but this one features a top that will close when the top is submerged under the water. This top stops all water from coming into the snorkel.

Full Face Snorkel Masks

For those who don’t want something in their mouth while they snorkel, you may be interested in a full face snorkel mask. These masks are a bit more advanced, as you don’t have anything in your mouth enabling you to breathe. However, with these masks, you’re getting more of a natural experience when you’re snorkeling because you can breathe through your mouth and your nose.

woman snorkeling with a full face snorkeling mask

Some great advantages of using a full face mask include:

  • Perfect for new and experienced snorkelers.
  • Offers a wider and clearer range of view while submerged.
  • Keeps water away from your whole face, not just your eyes and nose.
  • The snorkel mask has a built in dry snorkel.
  • ​The mask is equipped with a drain valve that’ll drain any water from the mask once you resurface.
  • The mask will never fog up because they feature a dual air flow ventilation system.

The Best Snorkel Mask Reviews

Now that you know what to look for when looking for a snorkel mask and what are the benefits of using a full face snorkel mask, let’s take a look at a few options that you may want to consider.

Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set

When you think of snorkeling, you probably think of the goggle and tube set up you may have used as a kid in the swimming pool. The reason why this set up is the first thing you think of is because it works. With this snorkel set up, it’s an affordable option, it’s lightweight, and it works.

Notable features of the Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set include:

  • Quality Twin Lens Mask
  • Revolutionary Push-Button Buckle for Easy and Quick Strap Adjustments
  • ​Foldable and Flexible Buckle Attachment that Swivel with Facial Movement
  • ​Great Seal Regardless of Diving Conditions
  • ​Low Volume Mask Design
  • ​Double Feathered Edge Silicone Skirt
  • Wide Split Strap Design
  • ​Feathered Edge & Wide Split Strap Combined for Comfortable and Perfect Seal on Face
  • ​Highest Quality Tempered Safety Glass Lenses
  • ​One-Hand Easy-to-Reach Nose Pocket for Ear Equalization
  • Superior Field of View
Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set

When looking at the reviews for the product, 92% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that this was a perfect set for amateur snorkeling, even if you’ve never tried it before. The adjustable straps on the mask allows you to tighten the mask to your face to ensure no water leaks inside. If you feel the mask is uncomfortable and needs to be loosened, you can use the quick release hinges for relief.

Of the remaining 8% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it didn’t have a “dry” snorkel. What they mean by that is that there is no ball in the top of the snorkel to keep water out should you dive a little too deep and the top of the snorkel goes under the water. Another common complaint some customers had of this set was that the mask had a tendency to fog up, which prevents you from being able to get the full effect of snorkeling!

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Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set

Forget looking at the aquatic world from the typical straight-ahead perspective because with the Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set, you can see life under the surface of the water like you’ve never seen it before. The Cressi mask is designed to give you better visibility, amazing fit and optimal comfort.

Notable features of the Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set include:

  • Lenses Precisely Fit to Main Lens for Nearly Uninterrupted Field of View
  • Tempered Glass Lenses, Tough and Durable Polycarbonate Frame
  • Soft 100% High-Quality Silicone Rubber Skirt
  • Double Feathered Edge Skirt for Perfect Seal on Face
  • Quick-Adjust Ratcheting Mask Strap Buckles
Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set

When looking at the reviews for the product, 90% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said how clear the panoramic lens is when they look through it. Customers have said that they were able to keep their head submerged for at least 30 minutes without any water getting into the snorkel. They were amazed by because they were able to go for that long without needing to come up for air.

Of the remaining 10% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the silicone holder broke and they couldn’t wear the mask without water pouring into the mask. Other customers also said that because the frame has a tendency to bump up against the bridge of their nose or their forehead, the mask was uncomfortable and they couldn’t get a tight seal.

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Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask

As far as snorkeling go, you have one of two options: either use a mask where you have a separate breathing tube that you suck air in through your mouth or you use an all-in-one breathing mask where you can breathe under the water’s surface just as easily as you can on land.

If you prefer the latter option, then you’re in good company. With the Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask, you can breathe in through your mouth and exhale through your nose, making the whole snorkeling experience a little more enjoyable.

Notable features of the Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask include:

  • XS is for children, S/M is for women and teenagers, ML is for men. L/XL is for men with long face
  • 180° field of vision and shatterproof polycarbonate window for added safety.
  • Full mask for natural breathing through the nose and/or mouth.
  • Exclusive breath ventilation concept prevents fogging.
  • Snorkel top can be seen from 4 times further away than a traditional Snorkel.
Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask

When looking at the reviews for the product, 89% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said they enjoy the panoramic view you get with this mask. Customers have said that although the curvature of the lens takes some getting used to, they love being able to look around and see so much of the underwater environment.

Other comments customers shared about the mask was that they were able to snorkel for long periods of time without having to come up for air or to readjust the mask or remove water from it. Of the remaining 11% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was when they followed the sizing instructions, they still couldn’t get a tight seal around their face.

This caused some water to leak into the mask, which is an annoyance to say the least. Customers have also said the outer seal around the face hurt their face only after 20 minutes of use. One customer even said that their jaw was hurting the next day after using the mask for a long time.

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Octobermoon Second Generation 180° Snorkel Mask

The Octobermoon 180°Full view Panoramic Snorkel Mask gives you the chance to take in the full beauty of life under the sea without struggling to breathe, as you’re able to breathe comfortably through your nose or your mouth. To get the perfect fit for your face, the mask can easily be adjusted so that the seal is snug and the water doesn’t seep in.

Notable features of the Octobermoon 180°Full view Panoramic Snorkel Mask include:

  • L/XL : Inner Size:7.48x 5.12 inch, Outer Size: 9.06 x 7.48 inch
  • Mask provides a 180° viewing area- the biggest of any snorkel mask on the market today guaranteeing that you will see more fish and sea creatures than ever before.
  • 180° full face design makes it easier than ever to breathe comfortably through your mouth or nose while you are snorkeling.
  • Easy to adjust size and comfortable with your face, great unrestricted view and allowed you to concentrate on what was around you.
Octobermoon Second Generation 180°Full view Panoramic Snorkel from Side

When looking at the reviews for the product, 80% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said how surprised they were by the overall quality and effectiveness of the masks. Customers were concerned that the masks may not be as effective as other, more expensive masks, however when they tried the masks, they were pleased by how easy they could breathe with the mask on.

Of the remaining 20% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was the complete opposite: the mask did leak quite a bit. These customers said they weren’t able to get a proper seal around their face, which caused water to leak in through the top and the sides where the mask met their skin. Another concern customers had was that they received a used product which had obvious signs of wear on the mask.

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SeaFin Mask Full Face Snorkel Mask

The SeaFin Mask is a product of the Shark Gear company, which is an outdoor retail brand in America. The SeaFin mask is a revolutionary designed snorkeling mask that features an all-in-one full face mask breathing system. Because of this revolutionary design, it takes the place of your traditional two-piece snorkeling set. With this mask, the you can experience enhanced comfort, vision, and breathability as you explore the water’s surface.

Notable features of this snorkeling mask include:

Notable features of this snorkeling mask include:

  • 1 SeaFin Mask with Detachable Breathing Tube Head
  • GoPro Compatible Attachment Mount (On Selected Models)
  • 1 Lightweight Mesh Carrying Bag
  • 1 Extra Rubber O-Ring/ Tube Gasket
  • ​Product Instruction Booklet
  • ​Lifetime Warranty on Parts
SeaFin Mask New 2017 Full Face Snorkel Mask Technology Package

When looking at the reviews for the product, 83% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers commented on how comfortable the nylon straps were to wear and use—a much better material because when you want to take the mask off, the typical rubber straps pull your hair, which is quite painful. Customers love the fact that there is very little fogging with this mask, so you can get a clear view of the water below you at all times.

Of the remaining 17% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that this mask isn’t that great for swimming against a strong current, as their breathing had a tendency to feel restricted and labored. Another common complaint customers had was that they felt the mask was made for cheap materials: a lightweight plastic and rubber that doesn’t mold to your face very well.

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Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask

If you’ve ever tried snorkeling before with traditional two-piece snorkels, then you are already aware of how uncomfortable those devices can be. When you use the typical two-piece snorkel set, you’ve probably experienced a sore mouth or gag reflex because you’re breathing with a tube in your mouth.

With the Seaview 180° Snorkel Mask, you don’t have to worry about that anymore because the mask features a breathing chamber inside the mask allows you to breathe naturally with the mask.

Notable features of the Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask include:

Notable features of the Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask include:

  • 180° full face design that allows you to see more than other masks on the market
  • GoPro Mount integrated into the design of the mask so you can record your adventures
  • Dry snorkel technology that prevents water from getting into your mouth while under water
  • Anti-fog design features a separate breathing chamber that moves airflow away from your eyes
  • Children will enjoy being able to swim and underwater
Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask

When looking at the reviews for the product, 80% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said how easy it was to breathe through their mouth and their nose with this mask. Customers also enjoy how easy it is to adjust the fit of the mask, thus giving them ability to get the best fit for them. Several customers shared how much they loved the viewing area this mask was able to provide them.

Of the remaining 20% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that they did not like the panoramic view of the mask. They said the curvature of the lens caused them to feel disoriented and it was actually painful after prolonged use.

Another customer said their children used the mask and after using it for 10 minutes, the could see their children were experiencing “extreme fatigue, disorientation, slowing down of reflexes,” which are all indicators of insufficient oxygen intake. Customers feel that there is too much CO2 building up in the mask.

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Our Recommendation

Snorkeling is a great activity for people of all ages, so it’s no wonder that whenever you go on vacation to tropical locations, you find countless opportunities to get into the crystal clear water and observe the aquatic life first hand.

If you want to make a habit of snorkeling, you’re going to want to find the best snorkel mask! Of the masks we discussed in this guide, you might be wondering what is the best beginner snorkeling gear and what is the best full face snorkel mask.

For the best beginner snorkeling gear, we feel that the Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set is a great option. Unlike the Phantom Aquatics set, you don’t have to worry about water getting into your snorkel because with the Cressi snorkel, you have a dry top, which prevents the water from getting in.

Snorkel Mask 101: A Comprehensive Guide

For the best full face snorkel mask, we feel that they are all good options, but the Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask is the better option, as it is more affordable and it has a higher customer satisfaction rating than the others.

Whether you choose a full face snorkel mask or the snorkel mask set, we’re certain that both with help you observe life under the water and appreciate it all the more.

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