If you are in a hurry The Best Snorkel Gear Package is The Seal Buddy Panoramic Snorkel Set
Snorkeling is without a doubt one of the best ways to see a new destination, however sometimes the quality of your gear (especially with snorkeling cameras) can get in the way of full enjoyment for all. To avoid this look for the best snorkeling gear that suits your needs and wants. So how do you go about doing that? Well there are several criteria that I have laid down in this easy to follow guide.
Believe it or not, not all snorkeling gear is created equal or used for the same things. While you don’t HAVE to buy snorkeling gear I highly recommend it for a few reasons.
Reasons to Own Your Own Snorkelling Gear
- You will be able to choose a size that fits you best for comfort
- Rental Snorkeling Gear 80% of the time is not sanitized properly so, unless you want to share saliva with over hundreds of people around the world you should own at least a mask and snorkel before you head out on your snorkeling expedition
- Think about Bullet point # 2 again
- More Clarity of Vision
- Better quality equipment meaning you can spend a longer period of time out in the water
- You can use it multiple times saving you time and money
- Rental Fins do not get cleaned properly lots of the time making you susceptible to getting planters warts or other foot fungus’s
I should also mention that before you try your brand spanking new snorkeling gear in a new destination that you should trial it out in a local pool. It is important that you adjust the mask, fins and get it so that it sits comfortably on your head and feet respectively.
The Best Snorkel Gear Sets
Best Full Face Snorkel Mask sets
The Best Traditional Snorkel Mask Sets
The Best Snorkel Fins
What to Look for when Purchasing Snorkel Gear
When purchasing good Snorkel Gear Sets there are a few things you should be looking for:
- A good respected brand name (such as Cressi, US Divers)
- A variety of different sizes
- A set that fits closest to your preferences
- Look at Verified User snorkel gear reviews
It’s hard to come out to say this is the best snorkeling equipment because lots of different people will want to use different combinations and have different preferences. Before committing to anything it’s best to go and try out different masks, snorkels to see which is right for you. What I do recommend is going for best snorkel gear brands because it will last you longer and they are better designed to be comfortable while you are in the water.
Buying Individually vs buying a package
This is mostly preference based but the best snorkel set for beginners tends to be in a bundle. When you are a beginner snorkeling you are not really sure what to look for and what types of gear you should use, a snorkel package often gets rid of a lot of this headache. A lot of the times new snorkelers get accustomed to the snorkel gear package that they bought and won’t buy any other brand because of that. That’s find too, just find a package that fits well with your face and feet!
People who choose individual gear tend to have some snorkeling experience under their belts. This is because they know which brands they like for certain snorkel gear. Many professional divers like to mix and match snorkel brands because of certain preferences they have. Example: They use U.S. Divers Fins but use a Cressi Snorkel and Mask.
Traditional vs Full Face Snorkel Masks
Full Face Snorkel Masks are a relatively new invention in the world of snorkeling. It seems people either love them or hate them when comparing them to traditional snorkel masks. So which should you choose? Typically if you are not a serious snorkeler who has a lot of experience the full faced ones seem to work the best, ditto if you stay near the surface or have a mustache. Traditional Snorkel masks tend to be preferred by traditionalist snorkelers who have experience and like diving frequently. I go more in depth in this subject here
The mask is viewing stage to your snorkelling experience. It is also very important not to cheap snorkeling gear that you buy at the dollar store. Things to look for when choosing the best snorkeling mask is the following:
- Has Tempered Glass Lenses
- Double Silicon Skirts
- Head Straps that are Comfortable and easy to adjust
Does it Fit?
A good test is to place the mask on your face and breathe in through your nose. At this point you are NOT putting the strap on. The point of this exercise is to see if the mask will stay on your face with the suction your nose created.
Next you want to make sure that there is no pressure from under your nose or on your forehead. Remember you will be diving with this thing for a while so you don’t want to get uncomfortable wearing it. Put the straps on and adjust accordingly. If your face is red then it is too tight if it feels that the mask is falling off then the mask is too loose.
It is also important to note that beard that beard or facial hair will cause your mask to leak.
Defoging a Mask
The best way to defog your snorkel mask is to scrub the inside lenses with tooth paste and rinse thoroughly. Ideally you do this throughout the duration of your masks life.
There are three types of snorkels, the classic, the dry snorkel and the semi- dry snorkel. Typically snorkelers who have a lot of experience tend to like the classic as they have grown accustomed to them over the years. New Snorkelers tend to prefer dry and semi- dry snorkels because they, like me hate the idea of having water flood into your mouth, especially when you are in the ocean. I’ll explain a bit more below.
Classic Snorkels consist of a wide open top and a fairly basic shaft design. These are the cheapest snorkels you can buy. While these types of snorkels are the cheapest they are also the hardest to get used to and have a bigger learning curve to use. This is because when diving underwater you have to blow water out and try to keep it from being swallowed or breathed in. Lots of beginners hate the sensation of water going into their mouth while experienced divers don’t seem to mind one bit. These snorkels are a common occurrence in cheap dive rentals shops and all inclusive hotels.
Semi- Dry Snorkels:
Semi- Dry Snorkels are almost a hybrid between the classic and dry snorkels but they work a bit differently. Rather than having no protection or having a fully sealed off area they have various slits and vents that filters water out without completely sealing off your breathing tube. This type of snorkel usually filters most of the water away from the breathing space when it goes under the water.
Most of the Reviewed Snorkels in this list are dry top simply because they are the best type of snorkel for a beginner. Dry Top Snorkels are Snorkels that have a protection piece at the top of the snorkel. How a dry top snorkel works is there is a ball within the protection piece. As soon as you dive under the water that ball closes the valves sealing off any water from getting into the snorkel barrel and your mouth. These snorkels are best for beginners and divers who are in choppier conditions.
The type of snorkel and it’s fit ultimately depend on you. Some are made to fit more comfortably and are softer while some are harder. Try a few out before purchasing one so you get a feel for it.
Fins can be put into two different categories. Open Heal and Full Foot.
Full Foot Fins: Are used mostly for snorkeling and diving in warmer temperatures. You can easily go barefoot in them. They are also lighter and much easier to travel with.
Full Fit Fins usually jump two sizes at a time so there probably won’t be an exact fit. You should be able to insert your small finger comfortably between your heel and the back of your foot, if you can wiggle it or it is struggling to put it in then it is the wrong size.
Open Heel Fins: Open Heel Fin are better for colder water temperatures and more serious diving. They are also stronger and will give you more power per kick.
These are usually paired with speciality neoprene boots. Your foot should be able to go until you get to your ankle. If your ankle is partially inside then it will irritate it and cause blisters.
You can read more about criteria by Scuba Shop.
The Best Snorkel Gear Sets
Getting a travel Snorkel Set is the most cost effective way to get good quality snorkel gear at a great price. If you go this route you are looking for an all in one package that you can start off with. While you will be getting solid quality gear buying snorkeling kits as a set, chances are you will not get the absolute best performance per item as buying top rated snorkel gear individually like the Mask, Snorkel and fins. I say this because certain divers will prefer the qualities of Mask A and Fins B as Opposed to Mask A and Fins A. Having said that all of these best snorkeling sets are still relatively high quality that you should not be disappointed in.
If you are starting out it is better to get a good quality gear set that is a bit more expensive rather than buying from your standard department store because they will… A) Last Longer B) Be more comfortable and C) Give you better quality viewing time. Really that’s what it is all about, enjoying the water and spending as much time in it exploring your underwater world rather than having to come up every 5 minutes to fidget with your mask and fins.
Snorkeling Gear Sets Reviews
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- Comes with Mask, Snorkel, Snorkeling Fins and Carrying Bag
- Mask has a Four window panoramic view
- Mask has 100% hypoallergenic silicone face skirt
- Mask has ability to insert myopic and presbyopia glasses
- Mask is made of Anti Impact Safety Tempered Glass Lenses
- Snorkel is Fully Submersible
- Snorkel features Dry Top Ball keeps water out
- Snorkel has Sealed Purge Valve
- Fins feature an Open Heel Design
- Fins fit a wide range of different sized feet.
- Fins have dual composite streamlined blades with minimum thrust fatigue
- 1 Year warranty and Full Customer Support
Best for: A Traveling Set
The SealBuddy FIJI Panoramic Snorkel Set is a relatively new player in the Snorkeling game. Many people are cautious when swaying away from main well known brands such as Cressi and US Divers but in this case you shouldn’t be.The Seal Buddy Fiji Comes with a Mask, Snorkel, adjustable fins and a high quality carrying bag.
Seal Buddy FIJI Panoramic Mask:
For a relatively unknown player in the game the Seal Buddy Fiji Panoramic Mask is a great start. The Mask gives you a full Panoramic view of everything with it’s 4 window viewing. The whole point of snorkeling is to see your underwater surroundings so you want a mask that gives you clear vision all the way through.
The mask itself is made of 100% hypoallergenic silicone for the face skirt and anti- impact safety tempered glass. Diving underwater you are bound to have some dings here and there along rough objects under water or even the tumbling on the boat. Regardless these masks can definitely take their fair share of punishment which will mean it can last you a long time.
In terms of fitting and suction the mask also exceeds. It’s easy fit pinch buckles allow you to adjust the mask with relative ease so that you do less fiddling and more spend more time underwater.
Seal Buddy FIJI Bendable Dry Top Snorkel:
This snorkel is great for snorkelers who prefer to dive under water. It’s bendable dry top snorkel is designed so that water stays out when you dive under the water. This is certainly a huge difference to your traditional snorkel set where you get a mouth full of water each time you go diving.
It is also a much better way for divers to get acquainted to diving while snorkeling. How the Seal Buddy Fiji Snorkel does this is by placing a submersible dry top ball at the top that seals water out when you go underwater but releases with you breathing out of the snorkel. It’s cover also helps by keeping a good majority of the water out of the snorkel tube.
The mouthpiece is also very comfortable to use underwater as it’s design is soft on your jaw so that you do not need to do a death grip on it.
Seal Buddy Fiji Fins and Travel Bag:
The diving Fins for the Seal Buddy Fiji are pretty standard it must be said. If there was one weakness with this diving package it would be the fins. There have been some reports of the fins buckle breaking before even using it. Although it should be said that this does not happen all that often and the 1 year warranty should cover anything that happens. The Fins have an open heel design complete with an adjusting strap. The fins will fit most foot sizes and for the most part do a sufficient job in propelling the diver. The design of them is pretty standard of most good- decent quality diving fins.
The Travel bag is particularly a great add on and is one of the best in terms of quality to come in a Professional Snorkeling set. The bag fits the whole set with ease and is relatively compact as opposed to a mesh bag. This makes these fins particularly packing/ travel worthy because you will not have stubborn fins popping up every which way. The bag also features a mesh pouch at the top that allows the bag to breath and dry off your equipment efficiently.
Overall this is one of the highest rated Snorkeling Sets found online and is probably one of the best traveling sets you will be able to find. Backed with a One Year Warranty the Seal Buddy Fiji is definitely a good snorkeling/ diving companion.
- Set Includes Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Mesh Bag
- Fin Blades are optimized so longer swims and performance
- Durable and Light Weight
- Soft Flex Fin Blades
- Mask Features Temepred Glass
Best for: Beginner to Advanced Snorkelers who want to dive comfortably.
Cressi is one of the leaders in terms of snorkeling and diving equipment. This Cressi snorkel set caters more towards more experienced snorkelers who want to dive and swim for longer periods of time.
The mask provided in this package is the Free Diving mask that you can find here. It features a no frame design for reduced weight and a large field of view to see your surroundings. This kind of mask is ideal for spear fishermen, photographers as well as other kinds of underwater snorkelers who want a large longitudinal field of view.
The mask is also pretty comfortable on the face and does not “pressure” the face more when going for deeper dives which is a big bonus. In fact many experienced scuba divers cite this as one of the most comfortable masks they have ever worn, even after trying more expensive masks.
The Buckles are an easy adjust style that allows you to spend more time underwater than fiddling with your mask at the surface. This is much easier than your traditional snorkeling mask which often is difficult to adjust, especially while in the water.
One of the best things about this package is the snorkel. It is fully submersible in the water because it is able to eliminate water entry when the full snorkel is submerged. In terms of doing it’s job it’s a good quality snorkel. The only problem is that it drags a bit when you go for dives. This can be slightly uncomfortable especially when you have the snorkel constantly dragging and moving against your mouth as you are swimming underwater.
Cressi Rondinella Fins
Cress has always been pretty good with the quality of their fins. While this fin set is considered a bit more on the budget side it is still very good quality. Most of the customer compliments about the Rindinella set is the fact that the fins work well. The are especially useful for longer deeper dived because of their length.
Typically is you want to go a longer distance underwater you want longer fins for a variety of different reasons. Longer fins allow you to expel less effort than smaller ones meaning you don’t get tired and out of breath as quickly. As a result you can stay underwater for a longer period of time.
This is a great quality package for a very respectable brand that works well for it’s price point. If you are a more experienced snorkel diver who wants a comfortable mask and good quality fins.
- Comes with Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Gear Bag
- Improved Snorkel Clip
- Dry Snorkel Top that is claimed to be 100% submersible
- Snorkel has Pivot Dry Tube Technology
- Mask has dual tempered glass lenses
- Hypoallergenic silicone face skirt
- Fins feature comfortable foot pocket with dual composite heel strap
- Fins feature easy adjust buckles
- Fins Feature Dual Composite vented blades
- Includes heavy duty nylon Snorkel bag
Best For: Intermediate- Advanced travelling snorkelers who like to dive.
U.S. Divers is one of the most recognized brands for both Snorkeling as well as diving. In Fact they have been around since 1943! They also offer a wide range of different snorkeling and diving products at a wide range of prices. This one is more on the expensive side. With a greater price, better quality usually follows up. This set is for divers who take snorkeling a bit more seriously.
U.S. Divers Admiral Snorkeling Mask
The Admiral Snorkeling Mask features a dual tempered glass mask with a wide field of view. This allows you to see your underwater world in almost HD vision. This is one of the better masks being reviewed because of it’s soft hypoallergenic silicone face skirt that allows you to keep a proper suction at all times without the seal hurting your face. It also has a built in purge valve to keep water from entering the mask. The mask also seems to be more forgiving to people of different shaped faces and when sized correctly can hold a proper seal without worrying about water leakage.
U.S. Divers Admiral Snorkel
The snorkel is made to be 100% submersible which many intermediate to advanced snorkelers appreciate. While many of these newer style snorkels look the same the quality of design is different for each kind. The Admiral Snorkel is one of the better ones. It is 100% submersible due to its pivot dry technology which closes the tube and ultimately keeps water out while you are diving. Many snorkel manufacturers try to copy this technology but few actually make the tube 100% submersible.
U.S. Divers Admiral Fins and Bag
You may notice that the fin design of the Admiral strikes a bit of a similarity with the Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Fins. So are these the same fins? Not exactly. While from the afar they look similar the Admiral Fins have better technology associated into them. For one these fins are a lot more comfortable. This is because the material is easier on your foot. The fins come with a Comfo Strap that doesn’t blister the back of your foot for an extended period of time. The Short blade is best for smaller bursts of diving activity as well as making excellent bodyboarding fins.
The only real issue with the fins is that the straps seem to be a bit tricky and can snap with too much torque put on them. The trick to this is to put the fins on in the water as the water makes the strap easier to adjust.
The only big issue with the U.S. Divers Admiral Set is that the snorkel clip was said to be cheap. As a result many of them broke and customers had to find alternatives. However, it appears that U.S. Divers fixed this problem with an improved clip.
- Comes with Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Mesh Bag
- Semi Dry Snorkel
- Short Diving Fins for Speed
- Comes in Different Colors and Sizes
Best for: Budget or First Snorkelling Set
The Phanton Aquatics Speed Sport Signature Set is a a great first step for people who want to get into scuba diving but don’t want to break the bank while doing it. One of the first things that you will notice about this package is that the fins are a bit shorter compared to what you standardly see. I’ll explain this below.
Phantom Aquatics SPeed Sport Mask
With this being a bit of a budget item there are some discrepancies in terms of quality compared to more expensive brands. The biggest weakness in this package would probably be the mask. It seems to favor people with smaller heads. Larger folks have a few complaints about it leaking and there are even more complaints about fogging that does happen with this mask. A good majority of this however, is that fact that people estimate what size their face is and complain after they order it. If you look at a snorkeling face sizing guide this will reduce headaches in the future.
One this to note about this mask which can either be a hinderance or a blessing is that the mask has a wide view field of vision. This is a pro if you are with a group of scuba divers and want to be close to them but a con if you are not used to it. Overall It is a pretty standard mask and there are certainly better quality ones out there.
Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Snorkel
The Snorkel is probably the best selling feature of this bundle. It’s snorkel can compete with some of the more expensive brands out there as it uses the same innovation. The snorkel features a semi dry top valve that prevents water from entering. Thi gives you more freedom to dive underwater with confidence. Some customers who have ordered this bundle have even gone as far as to say this is the best snorkel they have ever used. It is also very comfortable on the mouth and jaw meaning you can be out snorkeling for a longer period of time.
Phantom Aquatics Fins and Mesh Bag
The fins seem to have some mixed feeling among customers. They are smaller than other standard fins in order to be more compact. This is great for traveling and allows you to kick more. In theory this is all good however the fins tend to favor people with wider feet. So if you have a thinner “Nike” style foot like mine than will be a bit cumbersome and uncomfortable. You can solve this however by changing your swimming style from “kicking” to “dolphin” where you place your two fins together and work them in unison.
Another advantage to the short style fins however, is that they are a lot easier to walk on. Which is great for snorkeling on a boat or beach.
The mesh bag is of pretty good quality and allows your gear to breathe easily.
Overall for the money this is a solid snorkelling set. It definitely has areas it can improve upon such as mask fogging and fin design however, there are a lot more happy than unhappy customers who purchased this set.
- Comes with Snorkel Mask and Fins
- Mask features Dry Top Seal
- Mask has a solid 180 wide angle view
- Mask has dual air flow ventilation
- Mask features drain valve
- You can breathe through your mouth or nose
- Shorter Adjustable Diving Fins Easy for walking
Best For: Surface Snorkeling
The Ocean View snorkeling set is one of the newer “Full Faced” Snorkeling masks that has been hitting the market lately. So what are they all about? How do they compare to traditional diving masks? We have a full section about Full Faced Diving Masks here** so to sum it all up many of these full faced masks are great for recreational snorkeling. They are less advantageous for harder swimming such as free dives or anything that involved any sort of impact against the mask.
Ocean View Mask
Since the Snorkel Comes attached to the mask let’s talk a bit about how this mask actually works. While the mask does look slightly silly compared to other snorkeling masks it provides a full 180 view of your under water surroundings and allows you to breathe through your mouth or nose. This is ideal for people who are not comfortable (like me when I was younger) with the conventional snorkel mask and snorkel. If you use the mask for what it is meant for which is hovering mostly on the surface with maybe a few shallow dives it works pretty well.
There have been a few concerns over fogging issues with the mask. This can be fixed by either spitting on it or the more effective way, scrubbing toothpaste on the glass and eventually rinsing it out.
Ocean View Fins
The fins that come with this are actually pretty good quality. There have been few complaints about the fins actually other than the obvious “too small” comments. As stated with previous fins they are shorter and match the use of the mask which is mostly sticking around the surface and only doing short dives.
I will go a little bit more in depth about the issues with some of these full faced masks but for this one it appears that it’s main issues are the fogging as well as the fact that a lot of the time you are breathing in your own oxygen, which is fine for short bursts but it becomes harder to breathe the longer you have the mask on.
Full Face Snorkel Masks
Full Faced Snorkel Masks have taken the snorkeling world by storm and opened up opportunities for those who could not snorkel the traditional way. Many folks who try snorkeling for the first time are turned off to the whole aspect of the mask and snorkel. It just feels so unnatural to have your nose completely covered while being forced to breath out of you mouth. Better yet many of the traditional snorkels tend to hurt your face after a certain period of time which also puts a damper on things.
In Enters the Full Faced Snorkeling Masks and everything has changed! For the Most part… I’ll explain this a bit below. Full Faced Snorkeling Masks give you the ability to see a lot more and have the choice to breathe out of your mouth or nose. It feels less restricted and more natural to the way we breathe regularly on land. Many consider these masks the best snorkel gear for beginners, in terms of if you have never worn a snorkel mask before.
I will say though that there are a few drawbacks to wearing these Full Faced Masks over the traditional style. For one the vast majority of them are not meant for diving purposes. Sure you can dive for a relatively short time but longer dives give these full faced masks trouble. One of the biggest problems is that when going underwater you have to equalise. Basically to equalise you have to blow pressure out of your nose before going under water. Some people have more difficulty than other for this as some people just can’t go underwater without a nose clip or holding their nostrils shut.
Full Face Snorkel Mask Reviews
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- The Original Innovator of the Full Faced Mask
- 180 degree full faced view
- Anti Fog
- Anti Leak
- WaterProof Dry Top Snorkel
The Tribord is the original innovator of the “Full Faced Mask” and have improved on their design for 2017/2018. It appears that they have worked on some of the previous qualms of the mask leaking and fogging up. This version also appears to have a camera mount.
However the problem that still arises is the fact that this is more geared towards the casual or beginner snorkeler. What I mean by this is that you cannot dive underwater for very long or perform any serious diving tasks. As a result you are kind of restricted to the surface for underwater viewing.
In Terms of on the surface safety the Triborg is more visible than traditional snorkels. This helps people spot you easier in case you are having a bit of trouble or if boaters are around (hello jet skis!). The Big Orange Bulb on the Breathing apparatus is very easy to see in most conditions.
What I can say about this mask is that it gives you a greater field of vision under water than most masks which is fantastic if you are tired of being restricted by lower quality snorkeling masks. When choosing a Full Face Snorkeling Mask it is best to go with quality brands like this one or the others I am reviewing. There are a ton of knockoffs that are cheaper in price. As a result the quality is worse which can ruin a snorkeling trip. Some common problems with knock offs include leakages, as well as the restricted breathing.
Best For: This updated Tibord mask is the Best Full Faced Mask you can get.
- 180 full faced design
- Dry Snorkel Technology
- Anti Fog Design
- Integrated Gopro Mount
Best For: Surface Snorkeling with a Go Pro
The SeaView Snorkeling Mask is one of the more heavily reviewed full faced masks. Most have positive things to say but I will say there are some critiques on this mask. Like most Full Faced Snorkeling Masks you have to hover close to the surface with this one and not dive more than 6- 8 feet below. So what are the main differences between this mask and the Triborg?
There are two main differences really, the price and the viewing area. The Seaview has the advantage on price but in my opinion it’s quality is just slightly less. Not to say that the Seaview is cheap because it’s not, after all, the sea view is one of the big players in the snorkeling game. The main difference however is the viewing area lenses in both.
The Triborg has a traditional viewing area similar to traditional masks but the Seaview offers Panoramic views under water. This factor is often what divides people. Some Snorkelers like the panoramic view while others get dizzy after a while using it. The Seaview once did hold the advantage in terms of it came with a gopro mount but now it appears the new updated Triborg mask has it as well.
- Foldable Tube
- 180 Degree Panoramic Field of vision
- Easy Breathe and Dual Anti Fog Design
- Mask is Flat Lensed
- Comes with Mesh Bag, Nylon Carry Backpack, Ear Plug Set and Go Pro Mount
Best For: Vacation Snorkelling
The X- Lounger is a bit of a revolutionary in terms of full face snorkelling masks. It’s breathing snorkel actually folds and comes off. This is great for if you are travelling and you plan to take a snorkelling trip. It also features a go pro mount on it This all sounds pretty good but how does it perform in the water?
Truth is it actually is one of the better performing full face snorkeling masks out there. Many full faced masks claim they are fog free but when it comes time to testing it, they fog! As a result many people have to get anti fog cream, spit or even toothpaste to prevent this. The X-Lounger however, does not have this problem and works in most water conditions. The only time it really fogs is when you come up for air and start breathing heavily, but at that point I would just take the mask off. To take it a level further many people actually cite this mask as being the best snorkel mask they have ever tried period!
Like many of the full snorkel masks it features dry snorkel technology which makes sure that water stays out when going snorkelling. It does this using a ball that sits inside the tube so that water does not come into the tube when breathing out. Keep in mind however, that this is still a snorkel mask meaning that when you do decide to dive down you have to hold your breath. The tube is well developed and thought out and the fact that it can fold or detach from the mask is just an added bonus!
Overall verified purchasers seem over the moon about this mask with proper sealing technology to make sure there are no leaks, anti fogging and a fold able/ removable snorkel. Insure that you have the proper fit for your mask so that you can have a great snorkelling experience.
Best Snorkel and Mask Sets
While Full Face Snorkel Masks are the new thing the truth is experienced snorkeling divers will always go for the traditional mask and snorkel set. This is because of a few reasons.
Traditional Snorkel Masks are
- Better for diving under water
- Better for equalising (holding your nose and blowing air into your ears)
- Better for Fresh Breaths (more oxygen)
- Easier to pack
- Have better lenses (glass)
You can start to see why experienced divers prefer traditional masks. Essentially if you have and inclination of eventually diving down just get a traditional snorkeling mask and figure out the learning curve.
Many people who buy the full face snorkeling masks are beginners and do not like having their nose blocked off. I can totally understand this notion because for a long while I did not even want to attempt going under water with a traditional mask because I may gag. With anything however you just have to practice technique and you will become a pro in no time!
As with any products certain masks stand up above the others, make sure when looking at snorkelling sets that you choose the right fit (see our fitting guide below). Another important factor you have to consider is what kind of snorkelling will you be doing? If you plan on diving under water I would recommend getting strong tempered glass. Tempered glass withstands diving pressures better as opposed to hard plastic.
Now onto snorkels. There are various different types of snorkels that you can choose from nowadays. The ones you may have grown up with are old fashioned tube snorkels where it is simply a tube attached to a mask. When choosing to dive the tube would become submerged and water would get it which would often challenge your gag reflex.
Next are semi dry snorkels which features a cover on it. The cover is meant as a splash guard which keeps water from splashing inside the tube. When submerged however, the splash guard has the same use as a traditional snorkel. Lastly is the dry snorkels. Dry Snorkels feature floating valves that close as soon as the snorkeler submerges the tube under water. The floating valve prevents water from going into the tub which is great if you do not want to deal with a mouth full of water.
Traditional Snorkel Mask Reviews
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- 4 Window Lore Profile Design
- Tempered Glass Lenses
- Panoramic Vision
- Easily Adjusting Ratcheting Swivel Buckles
- Submersible dry top snorkel
- Snorkel Features Flex Tube
- Snorkel Features Mouthpiece
Best For: Snorkelers who want a high quality, comfortable mask that as a good looking price tag attached
Cressi is one of the biggest most trusted brands in the snorkeling industry. As a result they are usually on the cusp of innovation and comfort when diving under the water. This mask and snorkel set is no different.
This Cressi Mask allows you to see more than many other kinds of snorkeling masks do with it’s panoramic wide view mask. This is great for having a wide field of view, particularly when you see something in your peripheral vision. It is always good to have a mask that allows you to see from the sides because there are a lot of things you have to be aware of when snorkeling. Whether it be dangers or just simply locating other divers, you do not want a tunnel view when roaming the water.
The mask provides ample suction to your face (when fitted properly) while allowing you to see through the water without fogging problems or having to apply anti fogging applicants to it. Lets face it what’s the point of using a mask if it is just going to fog all the time.
The Ratcheting Swivel Buckles are also a huge time saver as you can simply just put the mask on and start ratcheting do a good snug fit. Many other Snorkeling masks you ahve to take it off, adjust, take off adjust. While this may not take that long it does make you loose valuable time that you could of been doing diving!
The Snorkel is one of Cressi’s first dry top snorkels. The snorkel itself is designed well. It is pretty simple but does its job of not letting any air in while diving. The floating valve is great for both beginner and experienced divers alike as it allows you to focus on what you are viewing then have to deal with a mouth full of water. If I had known about this technology when I was younger I definitely would of done snorkeling more!
The mouthpiece is also quite comfortable and never feels forced. One of the best subtle features of this snorkel is that it allows for some play while you are diving. This is great because many times you can feel the pressure on your mouth as the snorkel drags underwater but with this design it is much easier on the mouth.
- EZ Equalize nose pocket
- Single Lens design with seamless side windows for Panoramic Vision
- Double sealed silicone skirt
- Durable Polycarbonate frame
- Snorkel features large exhaust and purge valve
Best For: A Scuba/ Snorkel Hybrid Mask
The Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Mask is a great hybrid for both Snorkelling and Scuba Diving. Many Snorkelling masks cannot be used for scuba diving for several reasons. 1. The nose pocket does not allow for equalisation and 2. Then lenses are made of plastic. I say this is a good hybrid mask because the lens is made of tempered glass which allow it to maintain shape and durability for deeper dives as well as the mask having a sufficient nose pocket to allow for equalisation.
The mask itself is comfortable to go on longer snorkelling adventures. It’s double sealed silicone skirt does not allow hardly any water in. I say hardly because if you have facial hair there will be some seeps in but not enough for it to ruin your experience with it. Both Beginner and Intermediate – Advanced Divers seem to really take a liking to this mask with some even going as far as it equalling Cressi’s quality. Which is a pretty big compliment in itself.
Similar to the Cressi we reviewed above it features panoramic vision to allow you to see more of the water. The only downside to the mask is that it sometimes fogs so you have to find a solution to fix that. Usually toothpaste, baby shampoo or both mixed together provide an ample mixing solution.
The Phantom Snorkel features a large exhaust area that has an anti spray top and a purge valve. It seems to be of ample quality and looks very similar to the Cressi. A few verified purchasers have complimented the snorkel and few have complained.
- No Frame Design Decreased Weight
- Swiveling Easy Adjusting buckles
- Can fold up
- Submersible dry snorkel
- Snorkel has Dry Top to Eliminate Water
- Soft Silicone mouth Piece as well as a Flex Tube
Best For: Scuba/ Snorkel Travelling Hybrid Mask
Similar to the Phantom Aquatics Snorkel set the Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Snorkel is also a Scuba Hybrid but for the more serious divers. The mask is great for convenience as it is frame less, meaning that you can fold it up and pack it flat. The skirt of the mask is made of a 100% liquid silicone skirt that is soft on your face. When looking for a good diving mask you want to make sure that the material is not too hard otherwise the mask will dig into your face as you dive deeper!
While you do not get the panoramic side view of the other cressi mask you do get a better quality mask that is easy to pack and withstand deeper depths.
Similar to the Phantom however this mask does tend to fog up so as a result you should wash it with baby shampoo to avoid it fogging up. It seems after people do this you can free dive for a good 3 hours after the fact.
The Snorkel is .. you guessed it a dry top! What is a bit different with this snorkel set however is the fact that it has a quick release. The quick release allows you to detach the snorkel from the mask relatively easily as opposed to fiddling with it. This is yet another reason why this is a great snorkel to take on vacation. It is portable (frame less) and can be taken apart (snorkel from mask) relatively quickly. The Snorkel itself seems to work best when it you do a quick dive as opposed to a slower dive. I’m not too sure why this is but when you do a slower dive you tend to get some water that seeps in although, this can be fixed with a quick breath out.
- Panoramic Lens
- Hypoallergenic silicone face skirt
- Submersible dry top snorkel
- Ergonomic Silicone mouthpiece
- One Way Purge Valve and Built in Whistle
- Go Pro Ready Mount
Best for: if you want additional accessories attached on your snorkel set
As you already may know Cressi is one of the big boys in the snorkeling industry so who’s the other? Well that would be U.S. Divers. As you may notice the design of this mask and especially the snorkel is much different.
The best comparison to be made to this mask would be the Cressi Panoramic Mask Set. If you are looking for a mask/ snorkel set that has all the bells and whistles (it actually has a whistle) this is a good one to get. The Snorkel has a go pro ready mount camera on the bottom and there is a built in whistle as well.
The mask visibility is pretty good, and the panoramic viewing seems to do the trick
To be frank this us divers snorkel set review has got a lot more mixed opinions than the above 4 Snorkel Sets. Some customers complained about water leaking into the mask while some others complained about the purge valve not working. Some other also did not like the placement of the gopro mount because it is hard to tell if it is recording when it is below your snorkel as opposed to a mask mount.
- 168 degree panoramic view
- Three dimensional strap
- Patented Hyperdry Elite Dry Top Technology
- Large Capacity Drain Chamber and Purge Valve
- 3 year warranty
Best For: Snorkelers Looking for Warranty Backing
The Tusa Visio Snorkel/ Mask features a 168 degree panoramic field of view that rivals full face masks. While you will have a bit more of a view from full face snorkeling masks you will not be able to dive very far if at all. The Front lens is made of tempered glass while the side view is made of hard plastic. Usually high quality masks have glass panels on the side when it comes to panoramic vision but this one does not. You can however for give that fact is it is cheaper than a lot of the mask/ snorkel combos that we reviewed above.
What is great about this mask is the fact that it comes with a 3 year warranty! Many of the bigger brands do not provide this and the fact that the ratings are almost on par with leaders such as U.S. Divers and Cressi is an added bonus. The mask also features a patented round edge skirt that can fit most face contours. This is a big problem with other snorkel masks because sometimes they are better designed for different shaped faces.
The Three dimensional strap also allows you to perfectly fit your face in the mask without feeling discomfort. The only downside to this mask is that you cannot equalize, but for the price you probably shouldn’t expect that.
The snorkel included is the Hyperdry Elite. It features dry top technology that stops water from entering into the snorkel as well as a high capacity drain chamber and purge valve for cleaning.
While the reviews of the mask have been pretty good some customers were not so sure about the Snorkel. One Customer complained that the purge valve started leaking and that is is constructed of cheaper materials. These were only a handful of complaints though, most purchasers were impressed.
Overall this is a great budget mask/ snorkel set that is almost on par with more expensive makes.
The Best Snorkel Fins
Fins are often overlooked and underappreciated when snorkelling but they can end up being a life saver. Many armature snorkelers just neglect the fins and dive in with their mask and snorkel but there could be consequences, especially in the ocean.
Fins help you propel yourself while you are swimming allowing you to move in the water at a quicker rate. Even smaller travel fins can make a big difference especially in the ocean. It is much better to combat currents and swim away from danger with fins than not having them at all.
There are two types of different fins. Short fins and longer fins.
Short Fins are best for:
- Surface swimming
- Swimming in shallower water
- Short Dives
Short Fins have a smaller surface area than longer ones so you will not be propelling as fast. However Short fins allow you to manoeuvre better in the water making you less clumsy in your turns.
Longer Fins Are Best For:
- More Experienced Snorkelers
- Deep Diving
- Scuba and Snorkelling purposes
- Propelling yourself at a faster rate
- Further off shore
Longer Fins allow you to propel yourself faster in the water and are therefore much better for diving purposes. Some of their cons however, is that they are bigger meaning they are more difficult to pack, especially when you plan to travel. Depending on your experience level this will weigh little or more importance to you. Typically more experienced divers prefer snorkelling with longer fins.
Snorkel Fin Reviews
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- Elastomer foot pocket for foot comfort
- Made for both Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
- Made of a three material Cressi Blend
- Blade is made of polypropylene
- Extra Foot Protection from foot pockets near bottom of the blade
Best For: Longer swims and Dives
Cressi’s Pluma Lightweight Fins ate one of the better fins to use for snorkelling. It uses the same high quality materials as other more expensive high quality Cressi models. These high quality materials are come from Cressi’s patented three different material moulded technology to give the foot a combination of lightweight paddling and comfort.
The blade is made of lightweight and reactive polypropylene, the same material as many body boards. This gives the fins a very snappy energetic rebound which results in controlled bending. This makes the most of your kick as your foot movements will be both fluid and powerful.
The Cressi Pluma also comes with a foot pocket that extends to cover your toes. This is ideal for if you are snorkelling around rocky shorelines and you accidentally stub your toe along the rocks or coral. The sole also has a anti slip rubber grip underneath the foot pocket so that you can properly grip slippery surfaces such as a boat deck paddle board or even some rocks.
Be warned that for these fins it is a good idea to get some underwater foot protection such as socks.
- Lightweight Responsive Blade
- Hydro Static Pressure resistance
- Foot Pocket for added protection
- Blade extends from top of foot pocket
Best For: Sharing with similar foot sizes or rental shops
The Cressi Palau Laf is another high quality fin made by the Italian company that is meant for longer swimming purposes such as snorkeling and scuba diving. It is designed for both comfort and quality in mind. Compared to the Cressi Pluma these fins are open heel.
This makes the Palai Laf extremely practical in terms of fitting many different sized feet and providing comfort for those who do not possess diving socks. This is an ideal fin for sharing with u p to 3 sizes per grouping. Hint: if you own a diving or charter company and are looking for fins this is a good pair to get!
The Blade is made of lightweight responsive material (they do not specify what kind of material) that allows you to paddle with ease. Since this is a few sizes fit all type of fin it’s design is not as advanced as the Pluma but, the find blade morphs directly into the fin giving you more surface area to paddle.
- Comes in sizes 5-13 and everything inbetween
- Dual Composite Fin
- Enclosed Heel with a soft foot pocket
- Long Blade with dual composite fin rails
- Two Year Limited Warranty
Best For: Snorkelers who want good quality fins at a budget.
The U.S. Divers Proflex II are one of the better fins out there. They are great for snorkelers and swimmers alike. When looking at these fins you may notice the dual channels on each side and wondering what they exactly do. Their purpose is to optimize water flow and enhance the snap and thrust of the kicking motion. The TPS Center flex zones cups the water to give you greater power and a more efficient kicking motion than the traditional fin blades. When putting these fins on it is best to wear dive boots to avoid blistering on your heal.
These fins fit a variety of different sized feet from a small 5 to XL at 13 as well as everything in between.
Many customers were impressed with them especially for the quality you get with the price. While these are not made of the absolute highest quality they are great for divers on a budget who want some flex from their fins.
- Fits like a shoe
- Pull Tab
- Neoprene stretch fit boot
- Hook and Loop Cinch STrap system
- Ultra Grip Sole Provides Traction
- High Grade Polymer Blend that floats
- Optimal Length for walking and swimming
Best For: Hybrid Walking/ Snorkelling Fins
If you are swimming near rocky or coral waters this is a great fin to have. It provides traction for land and is not awkward to walk on like most traditional larger fins. I know this would be a great fin for my region (British Columbia) as it is known for it’s rocky shores.
The theory behind the Wild horn Topside Fins is that you have a hybrid of a shoe/fin that you can walk and swim in comfortably. Whats sets this fin apart from others is the fact that it fits your foot like a shoe to insure that you do not get any nasty blisters or hypertension/ cramping in your foot. While there are better fins for more serious snorkelers (longer fins) these are great for training foot strength. This is because the design of this fin has a stronger down kick due to the design for the fin surface at the top of the boot. This provides the thrust that you need while exploring your underwater surroundings.
The great thing about these fins is that they can be used for a variety of different purposes besides snorkelling such as, body boarding, paddle boarding, swimming or even kayaking (dive fishing). They also are travel sized meaning that you can take them with you on vacation!
- Open Heel Design
- Dual Channel anatomic blade
- Soft, comfortable foot pocket
- No Vents = More Speed
Best For: Travel fins in slower moving waters
The Zioner F1 is not a well known brand but their design and philosophy is interesting to say the least. For one the fin is kind of morphed into the foot similar to some of the others we have reviewed. The foot and the fin actually separate from the bottom, this allows the fin to get more flexibility on your down kick.
The fit itself is made of TPE(Thermoplastic Elastomer) , PP(Polypropylene) and TPR (thermoplastic rubber) material. The combination of these three materials allows you to have fins that are dusable as well as flexable.
The F1 features a buckled heel that can adjust for a 2.5-6 US Foot size to a 7-10.5 Medium Large to Extra Large. On the bottom of the fins there is also a anti slip pattern to allow you to stay on a slippery platform like a boat paddle board or other.
Overall these are good quality travel fins that will last you awhile. Since they are smaller I would use them for calmer waters such as bays or slow moving rivers.
Choosing the Best Snorkel Gear depends specifically on you and your preferences. To find out what your preferences are simply try as many combinations of snorkels, masks and fins to find out which you prefer or look at other forums for recommendations.
The following recommendations are based on user reviews and feedback. What actually works for you may differ from them so keep that in mind before diving in.