If you don’t have a lot of time to waste the best dry snorkel is the Scubapro Spectra Dry Snorkel.
While snorkeling can be a wondrous adventure, it can be short-lived when you start to get a mouthful of seawater. That is where the dry snorkel comes in, as it has a built-in valve that prevents water from entering the tube. While shopping for a dry snorkel may seem a bit more demanding than you would like, we have come up with a list that reviews what we consider to be the best dry snorkels available to compliment your snorkel gear. Okay, let’s get going!
The Best Dry Snorkels go as Follows:
- Scubapro Spectra Dry Snorkel
- Tusa Hyperdry Elite II Snorkel
- Oceanic Ultra-Dry Snorkel
- Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel
- Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel
How to Choose the Best Dry Snorkel
What Features Should I Look For in a Dry Snorkel?
Some key features to take notice of when searching for your perfect dry snorkel includes the material that the mouthpiece is made of, the size and design of the breathing tube, the design and location of the purge valve, and how flexible the tube is overall. These specifications will have an impact on comfort levels while you are submerged in the water.
The mouthpiece of your dry snorkel should satisfy three main criteria; is it removable and comfortable to wear, is flexible enough to contour to your mouth and face, and how long will it last. A mouthpiece should be made of a flexible material that has a long life span. This will add comfort while breathing. It should be removable in order to clean it properly. Also, being able to remove the mouthpiece allows you to replace just that portion of the snorkel, rather than the entire snorkel itself. All of these factors will contribute to the overall comfort of the mouthpiece as it lays in your mouth during your snorkeling adventure.
Size and Design of the Tube
The diameter of the breathing tube can strengthen or lessen your breath strokes. Thinner tubes are often used by those individuals that are more experienced in snorkeling. These designs tend to create less air for each breath, which is something that snorkelers with high skill levels are used to and can adapt to more easily. Those who are new to the sport, or are naturally heavier breathers, should opt for a wider tube design. In these tubes, there is more airflow and therefore will be easier to breath through.
As anyone who has tried snorkeling at least one time is well aware of, getting water in your mouth is an awful feeling. That experience tends to become much worse if saltwater is involved. Even the best designed dry snorkels will have some small water entry on occasion. This is where the purge valve comes into play. Usually placed at the bottom of the tube, this valve will enable you to blow out the water that has entered into the water around you. The valve should be easy to get to and even simpler to operate while under water.
A flexible tube is not a necessity for all snorkelers. Some tubes that are flexible are not of high quality and will be unstable. Flexible tubes that are more well designed will sit on your face at an angle to compliment your face shape. This is intentional to add comfort while you use it. In addition, many snorkelers like this feature as these types of tubes tend to fall away from their face when released from the mouth. This enables the snorkeler to change equipment without the hindrance of the snorkel getting in the way.
How Do Dry Snorkels Work?
A dry snorkel has a mechanism on the top of the tube that blocks water. As the snorkeler dives into the water, this flotation device “caps” the tube to prevent any water from entering. As the snorkeler approaches the surface of the water, the floatation bob falls down to the bottom of the tube and allows for air to enter the tube. This device allows an individual to safely snorkel underwater for short periods of time.
What is the Difference Between a Semi-Dry Snorkel vs. Dry Snorkel?
In contrast to the dry snorkel, a semi-dry snorkel has a mechanism that prevents splashing water from entering the breathing tube. However, this device will not prevent all of the water from entering the tube like the similar bob does in a dry snorkel. The top of a semi-dry snorkel contains several slits and angles that will direct water away from the top of the snorkel tube. Contrary to a dry snorkel that allows an individual to swim under water for a short period of time, water will enter the tube when the snorkeler completely submerges themselves. Dry snorkels tend to be on the bulkier side. Consequently, scuba divers may use a semi-dry snorkel for surface snorkeling.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Dry Snorkel
A dry snorkel is ideal for the person who is content to primarily float around the surface while taking short, shallow dives underwater now and again. This takes away the need to purge water of the snorkel between each dive.
The dry snorkel also becomes buoyant while submerged because of the air that is trapped inside the tube. While this may be sufficient for these quick, shallow dives, it is not a desirable feature for those individuals that are looking to dive deeper into the water.
There is a tendency with dry snorkels to not keep all of the water out of the tube completely. This can happen if the snorkel is being held in a less than ideal position and creates a risk of the snorkeler inhaling water while in the middle of their dive.
Choose Trusted Brands
Brands that are trusted in the snorkeling world earn that status by providing consistently high quality items. These products will become more innovative over time, solving problems that snorkelers encounter when the products have been used in the past.
Some trusted brands for dry snorkel equipment include Scubapro, Tusa, Cressi and Oceanic. Beginners of snorkeling that are still learning the skills and specifics of the sport may find benefit in sticking to the top rated brands. Once their skill level increases, they become comfortable trying alternate brands and equipment manufacturers.
However, even though there are brands that most people trust, it is important to find equipment that you are personally comfortable with and that provides you with the best experience possible while snorkeling. Above all, using safe equipment that will not compromise your position while you are in the water will keep your snorkeling adventure full of fun rather than turmoil and stress.
How Do I Take Care of My Dry Snorkel?
An important step to maintaining your dry snorkel is rinsing the purge-valve after you have used your snorkel. Rising should be done in fresh water only. This will remove any salt or sand particles that may have been collected during use. Failure to properly rinse your purge valve could result in clogging and eventually it will not be able to function to full capacity.
If the mouthpiece from your snorkel can be removed, then do so in order to clean it properly. Once removed, rinse it under fresh water. It may be best to add a bit of dish detergent and rinse again for thorough cleaning. There are several smaller nooks in a mouthpiece where bacteria can grow, and this extra step may help to kill these microorganisms. Cleaning a non-removable mouthpiece is generally done the same way but may be a bit more cumbersome.
If your snorkel is particularly dirty, or has been in storage for some time, you may need a deeper clean. To do this, combine a tablespoon of bleach in a large container of warm water. Soak your snorkel or the removed mouthpiece in this mixture for approximately 30 minutes. After the time is up, remove and rinse thoroughly with warm fresh water. Ensure you have completed this step with vigor to avoid coming in contact with the bleach during your next use. Once fully rinsed off, allow the snorkel or removed mouthpiece to air dry completely before you use it again.
You will need to clear out your snorkel every time you resurface. There are two methods that are effective at clearing. Blasting is a simple way to clear out your tube, and can be done with any type of snorkel. Blasting is done by sharply exhaling when you reach the surface after a dive (think about how a whale uses his blowhole). The purge valve should also empty through this process.
The second method is called a displacement clear. You can only clear snorkels that do not contain a purge valve using this method. While still submerged in the water, exhale a bit of air into your snorkel. This air expands as you resurface, forcing any water out of the tube from the pressure that has been built up.
You may also need to clean out your snorkel tube with soap and water from time to time to avoid bacterial build up. To do this, combine dish detergent with warm water and submerge the tube in it for about 5 minutes. After this time, rinse thoroughly with warm water. It is probably best to allow the tube to air dry completely before your next snorkeling journey.
Pricing of a Dry Snorkel
Pricing is always a factor when making any purchase, and the pursuit of a dry snorkel would be no different. Most people will start out their shopping endeavor with a budget in mind, and this is a good practice to follow. Be sure to compare features of the items available that are within your budget against those that cost much more and/or less than your budget. By doing this side-by-side comparison, you will be confident that you are getting a quality product with the features you need and desire for the price that you are willing to spend. Remember that you can always upgrade once your skill level, desired activity, or budget changes.
Just like any other product, dry snorkels can have a price that ranges quite high to quite low with several moderately priced items in the middle of the spectrum. The better quality dry snorkels will generally fall between $20 and $70. No matter how much you spend, make sure you do your research and that you getting true value for your money.
At the end of the day, you will need to find the equipment that works best for you as well provides you with the ultimate diving experiences. Dry snorkels that work well for some may not be suitable for your needs, so keep this in mind when choosing your equipment. As with anything, if you are unsure or have questions, it is always best to consult an expert or speak with someone that you feel comfortable with that has a vast knowledge of snorkeling. Acquiring more knowledge about any activity will provide a significant level of comfort and confidence in your own abilities.
And bear in mind that some things about snorkeling need to be learned by doing. I remember the first time I tried to dive with a dry snorkel. Not really grasping the concept of how the design worked fully, I remember panicking when I began to notice water while I was trying to breathe. I completely forgot about the purge valve, and quickly made my way to the surface, positive that there was something wrong with my snorkel. Until my girlfriend started laughing at me, trying to remind me about the valve’s purpose. I felt like an idiot, but it was my first time. The second dive was better. And the more dives I did, the more comfortable I became using the snorkel to its fullest potential, and the more fun I ended up having.
Trial by error is inevitable for certain circumstances. Always do your research, ask questions if you need to, and have some type of reliable source at your disposal to bounce thoughts and opinions off of. Any experience you have will be directly linked to how comfortable you feel and how well you adapt to any hiccups that may arise.
Best Dry Snorkel Reviews
1) Scubapro Spectra Dry Snorkel (Best Overall Snorkel)
- Purge Valve to expel water
- Mouthpiece is an ergonomic regulator style
- Mouthpiece and tube made of high quality silicone
- Tube features large-bore and contoured design
- Quick-connect clip
Diving into deeper waters will be a breeze with the Scubapro Spectra Dry Snorkel. This exceptional piece of equipment features a mechanism that closes off the tube once fully submerged in the water; which enables you breathe easily while enjoying your shallow dives into the sea.
A truly five-star piece of equipment, a highly efficient purge valve located at the lowest point of the tube; which comes in handy to quickly expel any water that may enter the tube by mistake. Consumers have reported that this valve may be prone to sticking from time to time. However, in my experience, it usually does not take long to get unstuck when this happens.
Both the tube and mouthpiece on this snorkel are constructed with high quality silicone, making them durable and comfortable. The tube also features are larger bore, allowing you to breathe without any restrictions while under water. It also has a contoured shape that stays close to your head while in use. I love this design as it reduces drag and allows me to cover more ground while I am swimming underwater.
The finishing touch on this Scubapro Spectra is a quick-connect clip; which allows for easy attaching and detaching to the strap on your snorkel mask.
- Purge Valve to expel water quickly and easily
- Two part mouthpiece that reduces any discomfort in the jaw
- Corrugated tube allows the mouthpiece to fall away when not in use
- Heavy breezes may close tube valve when surface snorkeling
- Valve may be prone to sticking, but is usually easily rectified
2) Tusa Hyperdry Elite II Snorkel (Most Versatile Snorkel)
- Purge Valve to expel water
- Mouthpiece and tube made of high quality silicone
- Tube features contoured design
- Removable mouthpiece for easy cleaning and replacing
The Hyperdry Elite II snorkel from Tusa has been designed with versatility in mind. It is more than capable of being exceptional functional even in waters that are more choppy. Acceptable to use in surface snorkeling and shallow dives as well as deeper scuba dives (which makes me want to try it out in both scenarios).
The silicone tube of this snorkel has a contour design with a corrugated bottom portion; which provides better flexibility and comfort while swimming. The mouthpiece, also made of silicone, is removable. This is a great feature for two reasons. First, you can easily detach it for simple and thorough cleaning. And second, you are able to replace just the mouthpiece instead of needing to buy a brand new snorkel.
An additional feature of this snorkel includes a standard purge valve to expel water when you need to. The amazing functionality and well-roundedness of this dry snorkel earns it a four and a half star rating.
- High level performance in calm and choppy waters
- Can be used for surface snorkeling, shallow diving or scuba diving
- Flexible design is very comfortable
- Thin tube may restrict breathing
- Valve may be more prone to sticking than similarly designed snorkels
3) Oceanic Ultra-Dry Snorkel 2 (Best Snorkel for Beginners)
- Replaceable silicone mouthpiece
- Oversized purge valve
- Silicone tube with contoured design
The Oceanic Ultra-Dry 2 Snorkel has a sleek innovative design. This snorkel features Dry Snorkel Technology, making water entry is almost non-existent and keeping you dry throughout your entire journey.
The silicone tube has a flexible design; which allows you to switch between this snorkel and your regulator easily and without interference. Personally, I would have loved this feature when I was learning how to snorkel in deeper waters.
Complimenting the tube is the removable mouthpiece on this item. Also made from silicone, the ability to take the mouthpiece off of the snorkel provides an easy way to clean it as well as the ability to replace just this part of the snorkel if/when needed.
This Oceanic Ultra-Dray snorkel is one of the easiest dry snorkels to learn shallow diving on. Consumers are quite pleased with how dry this tube stays, even with frequent dives deep in the water, which is we have rated at four stars.
- Highly durable and easy to clean
- Ability for use in various water conditions
- A great snorkel for beginners
- Mouthpiece is not always comfortable
- Comfort of the tube is sub par
4) Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel (Best Designed Snorkel)
- Quickly responds to water entering the tube
- Tube has larger diameter and flexible design
- Highly functional purge valve
This Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel from Cressi, one of the most innovative watersports equipment company around today. A dry snorkel that is safe, convenient and easy to use; the Alpha Ultra dry snorkel offers the best flexibility. A streamlined design adds comfort for this snorkel. It also helps to reduce drag and avoid breathlessness while submerged in the water.
Their dry-top snorkel has a highly flexible tube that also boasts a wide elliptical bore shape. I wish I would have had this feature when I was first learning how to snorkel, as it increases the capacity for air flow for more comfortable breathing throughout your dive. In addition, the flexible design reduces fatigue in the jaw. This design also allows the snorkel to be folded up; which enables more compact storage.
The floating mechanism works instantly upon entry into the water, regardless of whether it is intentional or by accident. It’s highly functional design will seal the breathing tube at any angle. And the purge valve enables instantaneous clearing of any water that may enter the breathing tube. Overall, we give this snorkel three and half stars.
- Contour design adds comfort and reduces drag
- Tube becomes sealed at any angle
- 12 month warranty from the manufacturer
- Wide tube design allows water to enter more often
- Mouthpiece is quite large and stiff
5) Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel (Best Budget Snorkel)
- Quick-release keeper mask connector
- Flexible, corrugated silicone tube
- Tube is wide and elliptical shaped for better air flow
- Silicone, removable mouthpiece
- Anti-splash technology
The last item on our list is the Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel. This snorkel has a well-functioning purge valve that is easy to use; simply exhale and it is gone. Another included feature is the anti-splash technology , which allows for a splash-free experience while diving.
Although the heaviest of all the models we have spoken about on this list, it still has a flexible silicone tube that is also corrugated. This design will cut fatigue in the jaw. The tube is also one of the widest we have seen, which will be great for increasing capacity of air to flow and allow easier breathing under water.
The mouthpiece is also of soft, hypoallergenic silicone. It is removable, which means it is easier to clean and can easily be replaced. Overall, we give this snorkel a three star rating and consider this item to be the best budget-friendly dry snorkel on our list.
- Easy to clean and comfortable to use
- Water is cleared from the tube with a quick, simple motion
- Anti-splash feature keeps water away from your mouth
- On the heavier side
- Tube’s oval shape may restrict breath
From our research, the Scubapro Spectra is clearly the top choice dry snorkel on this list and on the market. It is the best overall as the tube is quite large in diameter and is designed to stay dry while submerged. These features enable easier and better breathing while under water; which is the biggest selling point of the snorkel. Any small amounts of water that do happen to enter the tube is expelled quickly using the conveniently place purge valve. The flexible tube allows for better comfort around your face, and will fall out-of-the-way when you switch to your regulator; making the rest of your dive nothing but pleasurable. With all the features that this dry snorkel from Scubapro provides, we consider it to be the best overall. Purchasing this dry snorkel will give you the best bang for your buck.
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