Top 10 Best Snorkel Masks – Reviews & Buying Guide
Snorkeling is a very popular recreational activity that showcases the beauty of a world hidden under water.
Despite sounding like an adventurous activity which will get your heart-pumping and adrenaline-gushing, snorkeling is in fact for the ones who just want to take a dip in some calm waters, relax and enjoy mother nature’s beauty.
All one needs to do is find some calm waters and dive right in and discover the splendor of nature at its purest and its best, hidden from the world outside under the surface of the water.
Want to go snorkeling, already?
Well, you need a snorkel mask before you can do that.
Thinking about where you will get one?
What kind of snorkel mask should you get?
Don’t know a lot about snorkel masks, apart from the fact that they have a tube attached to them which helps in breathing while underwater?
Fret not, we got your back. As you read on, we will give you all the information you will need before you decide on the snorkel mask that you want to purchase.
And at the end of it all, we will make it a bit easier for you and we will give you our top ten recommendations for buying a snorkel mask.
Before we can do that, let’s get to know a little bit more about the various snorkel masks that are available and find out what should one be looking for while purchasing one. So, let’s get on with it.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Types of Snorkel Masks
- 2 Snorkel Mask Buyer’s Guide
- 3 Top 10 Snorkel Masks
- 4 Conclusion
Types of Snorkel Masks
There are a variety of snorkel masks that are available in the market, there’s the one lens mask, the two lens mask, the frameless mask, the high volume mask and much more.
But broadly categorizing, there are only two types of masks that are available- the conventional snorkel mask and the full face snorkel mask.
Conventional Snorkel Masks
These, as the name suggests, are the more conventional type of masks with a mask which covers the top half of your face and a snorkel which helps you to breathe while staying underwater.
Though the mask essentially has two parts, the mask itself and the snorkel, the mask itself is made up of a few more parts, which are quite vital to having a good experience while snorkeling.
The mask consists of a silicone skirt on which the frame lies which holds the lens in place.
Attached to the frame are the straps which help in keeping the mask in place.
And at the bottom lies the nose pocket to accommodate the nose.
The conventional masks come in different types like the single lens mask, the two lenses mask, the three lenses mask and the four lenses mask.
These affect the peripheral vision, the volume of air inside the mask and the fit of the mask.
The single lens mask gives you a clear view of the things in front of you while the three lenses or four lenses will give you increased peripheral vision.
While the mask comes in several types, the snorkel itself comes in several types as well.
The most common one is the classic one, which is just a solid tube with a mouthpiece which helps you in breathing.
The other types of snorkels have some additions to this classic one. One of them is the flexible purge, which is a flexible silicone tube which feels more comfortable and has a purge valve in it. The purge valve helps in clearing out the snorkel with lesser effort.
The snorkel basically has a sump area which is at a level lower than your mouth.
With the help of a valve present in this area, you can blow away the water from your tube directly through the valve without having to blow it out all the way from the top.
Another type of snorkel is the semi-dry one, which is basically a flexible purge type snorkel with a splash guard. The splash guard is just a cover that helps to keep any splashed water from entering the tube. But, beware, it can’t prevent water from a good sized wave entering your snorkel.
The final type of snorkel is the dry snorkel. These snorkels have a valve on the top of the barrel or tube which prevents water from entering the snorkel, even when you dive underwater. This saves you the effort of clearing out the snorkel, which is a good feature to have.
Full Face Snorkel Masks
These are more of the present day masks and cover the entire face, unlike the conventional masks.
Made of silicon or plastic, these masks are made to enable breathing through the mouth as well as the nose, which makes breathing a lot easier while snorkeling.
These masks provide good peripheral vision while most of these also come with a dry snorkel, making it easy for the snorkeler.
But there is no provision to enable equalizing, so these masks are not suitable for free-diving and come with a fixed depth till which they can be used.
Snorkel Mask Buyer’s Guide
Now that we know about the types of snorkel masks that are available. Here are some of the things that you should look for while purchasing a snorkel mask.
The fit is probably the most important thing to consider while purchasing a snorkel mask.
The fit of the mask determines how air-tight your mask is going to be.
The silicone skirt helps in providing a seal between itself and your skin and prevents water from entering into your mask.
A mask that does not fit you properly will result in constant leakage of water into the mask and discomfort. You might need to remove your mask time and again to drain off the water in your mask, which is the last thing you want to while snorkeling.
Measuring your face will help you while buying a snorkel mask. Knowing whether you have a wide or narrow face could help you decide better which mask would fit you better.
It would definitely help if you are able to try it on before buying one. Try it on without the straps and inhale, this should make the mask stick to your face due to the suction created, even without the help of the straps.
To ensure you enjoy your time snorkeling, you have to have to be able to see clearly. This means having a good lens on your snorkel mask.
Many manufacturers claim to have ‘no fog’ lenses, but don’t fall for it as it is next to impossible to make such lenses.
Masks, as we have seen, can be of the single lens type, the two lenses type, the three lenses type or the four lenses type.
The different type of masks offer either more or less peripheral vision which will make it easier to spot any fish moving around you, and it could be the fish that you wished not to miss.
Some masks come with special coatings to reduce the glare due to the water. For those who use spectacles, especially prescribed masks are available made according to your need.
The material from which the skirt is made is quite important.
The primary function of the skirt to act as a seal and keep the water from entering the mask.
Silicone skirts are the best option available and provide the best sealing as well as comfort.
Inexpensive masks come with rubber or plastic skirts which crack and brittle over time with use.
You might have to spend a few more bucks to get a good silicone skirted mask but it will be worth the extra money.
Some high-end snorkel masks come with a second layer of skirting under the primary skirt. This ensures a proper sealing and reduces the possibility of leakages drastically.
Despite having a good quality snorkel mask, it is quite common to have a few minor leakages of water in your mask. Hence, while purchasing a mask it is essential to consider the ease with which a mask can be cleared.
The half face masks provide with an easy way of clearing the mask. This can be done by just holding the mask against the forehead and exhaling through the nose which will force the water out through the bottom of the mask.
A full face mask can be cleared only by taking it off completely. But the possibility of water entering into a full face mask is very rare, given that it comes with a dry snorkel.
Equalizing is very important when free diving to prevent barotrauma or mask squeeze.
As you go deeper under water, the pressure also rises which squeezes the low-pressure air within the mask. This external pressure is equalized by blowing enough air into the mask through the nose.
The half face snorkel mask and the full face snorkel mask are both capable of doing this. But the full face snorkel mask is not capable of equalizing the ears which could cause damage to the middle and inner ear.
So, if you are someone who is looking to explore the depths of the ocean, you’d be better off buying the conventional snorkel mask.
It is not recommended to free dive with a full face snorkel mask as it may result in damage to the ears due to barotraumatic stress.
Top 10 Snorkel Masks
10. H20 Ninja
The H20 Ninja is a full face snorkel mask and is one of the best full face snorkel masks in the market currently.
It is a quality mask which lets you breathe normally through your nose and has no water leakage problems at all.
It comes with the dry top technology which helps keep the water from entering the snorkel.
It has an air transport system which keeps the mask from fogging. Unlike other conventional masks, it works well even you are sporting a stubble look.
- Dry-top technology works amazingly and keeps water from entering the snorkel.
- Doesn’t require a mouthpiece which can get strenuous on the lower jaw.
- 180 degrees view angle.
- Allows for normal breathing through the nose as well as the mouth.
- Has built in safety valves, in case the water seeps into the mask.
- Has a GoPro fitting which helps fix a GoPro to the mask.
Buy now from the official store: https://www.h2oninjamask.com/collections/original-edition
9. Octomask Freediver
The Octomask Freediver is the only conventional mask that is GoPro compatible on this list. So, if you are looking to shoot and make videos of the great deep, this is the mask you are looking for.
The GoPro mounting definitely helps marketing this mask, but that doesn’t mean it has compromised on quality and performance.
It has a thick, tough frame with a soft silicone skirt which provides a good seal without leaking much.
- Strong camera mount and a high-quality GoPro dive mask.
- Allows for hands-free diving even while recording.
- Soft silicone skirt ensures comfort even at depths and greater pressures.
- Two lens mask which provides great visibility.
Buy now from the official store:https://octomask.com/products/freediver
8. Tusa Freedom HD
Tusa is a Japanese company known for manufacturing all sorts of high-quality diving gear for all kinds of divers. They were one of the first scuba equipment manufacturers in the world. So, they are no “fly by the night” company, and they take their job seriously.
The Tusa Freedom HD shows just the type of high-quality gear the company has to offer.
The Freedom HD is a half face snorkel mask which provides a great range of visibility and comes with a sturdy frame. The skirt is made of high-grade silicone and feels comfortable on the face. In fact, it is one of the most comfortable masks available in the market.
- Skirt has dimples on it which help it fit snugly against the skin, providing a good sealing.
- The lens has drop design which extends down till almost the nose which gives a better range of vision.
- Has a double skirt which helps to avoid any leakages.
- Comes with a buckle system for the straps which makes adjusting it very easy.
- Has stability ridges which help withstand higher pressures without causing the mask to squeeze till pressure is equalized.
Buy now from the official store:http://www.tusa.com/gu-en/Tusa/Masks/M1001_FREEDOM_HD
Buy now on Scubastore:https://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving/tusa-freedom-hd/596797/p
7. ScubaPro Spectra
ScubaPro is one of the top names in scuba gear and the Spectra is a high-quality snorkel mask that performs amazingly well. This is the kind of product that is worth what you pay for it.
The two lenses mask provides a wide angle view and even gives peripheral vision. It is a product whose durability is unquestionable just like many other products from ScubaPro.
- Dual lens mask providing a wider range of view.
- Tempered lenses for safety and durability.
- Double skirt ensures proper sealing and avoids leakages.
- Comes in a variety of fashionable colors.
- Tinted lenses help reduce glare while diving.
- Large straps which make it less strenuous while wearing with an easy to adjust buckle system.
Buy now from the official store:http://www.scubapro.com/en-US/USA/essentials/masks/products/spectra.aspx
6. Mares I3 Sunrise
The Mares I3 is a three lens snorkel mask which offers a great range of vision. The smaller side panels allow for peripheral vision which helps avoid the claustrophobic feeling that many people feel while snorkeling.
Despite offering a wide range of vision, this is one of the smallest masks on this list and has a very compact design. But the compactness hasn’t affected the quality on offer in any way.
It also comes with horizontal ridges which absorb some of the pressure while free diving, making it more comfortable even at greater depths.
- Tri-comfort skirt provides superior quality and comfort.
- X-shaped straps which help distribute the pressure, avoiding concentrated pressure on one part of the head.
- Horizontal ridges provide more structural strength, even at greater depths.
- Three lenses provide a panoramic view.
- Quick adjusting buckles which help in a quick adjustment of straps even while diving.
Buy now from the official store:http://shop.mares.com/en/i3-sunrise-3.html?attribute_id=92&option_id=2048
Buy now on Scubastore:https://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving/mares-i3-sunrise/72701/p
5. Ocean Reef Aria
The Ocean Reef Aria is another full face snorkel mask that has become widely popular among the snorkelers and divers clubs.
Being a full face mask, it allows the diver to breathe normally through his nose. It also provides the widest range of vision possible. It has the dry top technology, which prevents water from entering the mask even when completely underwater.
The Aria from Ocean Reef comes with another handy feature that no other mask has. It comes with a slot on the snorkel which can be used to fix glowsticks to the mask. This enables snorkeling even in the night, something that may not be possible with other masks.
- Purge valve helps in an easy clearing of the mask.
- Dry-top technology keeps water from entering the mask.
- Comes with GoPro and glowsticks fitting which enables recording and night time snorkeling.
- Provides a good seal even with facial hair.
Buy now from the official store:http://oceanreefeurope.mybigcommerce.com/aria-snorkeling-mask-black/
4. Cressi Panoramic
The Cressi Panoramic is a four lens snorkel mask which provides a wide range of peripheral vision while the tempered glass provides crystal clear vision and great durability.
It has a rugged polycarbonate frame which gives it its structural strength while a double-edged silicone skirt ensures comfort as well as a good waterproof sealing.
It is an excellent choice for diving and snorkeling, as it offers a wide view angle and does not compromise with comfort in any way.
- Four lenses panoramic design for greater view angle with crystal clear clarity.
- Easy to reach one hand nose pocket enables easy equalizing of ears while free diving.
- The lower internal volume of the mask helps in an easy clearing of water.
- Available in trendy colors.
- Less volume of the mask also helps in keeping the lens clear, without much fogging.
Buy now on Divers Supply:http://www.divers-supply.com/cressi-panoramic-mask.html
3. Tribord Easybreath
Tribord Easybreath was specifically designed to enable easy breathing even while snorkeling or diving.
The Easybreath allows you to see and breathe underwater just as naturally as on land. It is this Easybreath technology, that made the Tribord Easybreath a huge hit among snorkelers, especially the ones who struggled with breathing underwater and hated having a mouthpiece in their mouth all the while.
The Tribord Easybreath is a pioneer in full face snorkel masks and easily one of the best ones available in the market.
- Double air flow system prevents fogging of the mask.
- It has the dry top technology which means the hassle of the clearing the snorkel is gone.
- Has a shatterproof polycarbonate window which makes it durable, ensuring that you will not need to buy another one for a long time.
- Comes in a range of sizes to fit all types of faces, and a variety of colors for everyone’s liking.
- Has a three-way strap which helps distribute the pressure over the head evenly.
Buy now from the official store:https://www.tribord.in/easybreath-surface-snorkelling-mask-blue-id_8304664
2. Seaview 180 Degree
The Seaview 180 degree is arguably the best full face snorkel mask on offer. It has everything that the Tribord Easybreath has to offer.
It enables normal breathing which makes life a lot easier for the first time snorkeler, or even the amateur snorkeler.
The mask has a flat lens design which enables 180 viewing while keeping the volume low which helps in avoiding fogging of the lens.
- Flat mask design provides 180 degrees vision.
- Like most full face snorkel masks has the dry top technology.
- Has a GoPro mounting to enable hands-free diving.
- Has safety valves, in case the water finds a way around the dry top technology, which is not quite a possibility.
- Airflow system that eliminates fogging.
Buy now from the official store:https://www.wildhornoutfitters.com/products/seaview-180-full-face-easybreath-snorkel-masks
1. Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Dive Mask (Editor’s Choice)
The Panoramic dive mask from Phantom Aquatics is arguably one of the best snorkel masks available in the market. It has everything that a snorkel mask should have.
It offers a crystal clear panoramic view with a three-lens design. It has a double sealed silicone skirt which means there’s not much room for water to enter into the mask.
The snorkel itself is a dry type snorkel which means you won’t have water coming into your mouth occasionally.
The snorkel even has a splash guard, to be double up the defense line against splashing water. Is there anything else you could ask for? It is perfect for snorkeling and freediving and can be used by professionals as well.
- Patented lens design with seamless side window for the panoramic view.
- Low volume design which helps to get a snug fit.
- Double sealed skirt for more comfort and better waterproofing.
- Dry snorkel helps you breathe easy, without having to worry about clearing out the snorkel.
- Purge valve for easy water clearing.
- Flexible tube of the snorkel helps in a hassle free and resistance free swimming and diving.
- Well designed nose pocket which makes equalizing effortless.
Buy now on Primescuba:http://www.primescuba.com/phantom-aquatics-panoramic-mask-snorkel-set.html
If you are looking to become a professional free diver and are prepared to splurge any amount of money for a good snorkel mask, then don’t look any further than the Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Diver Mask.
But if you are looking to record your dives and are looking for something handier and something that doesn’t require a lot of expertise in snorkeling then the Seaview 180 Degrees is for you.
Or if you want to try snorkeling just because you have heard a lot of good things about it and don’t really have any experience or expertise in snorkeling, then you should probably try the Tribord Easybreath.
Now that you have been enlightened about snorkel masks, go out there and choose wisely.