There are few better ways to enjoy the natural world than snorkeling. Watching schools of colorful fish, catching a glimpse of a fluttering stingray, or seeing a sea turtle up close are unforgettable experiences. And all you need to see these remarkable things is a few basic pieces of equipment. The best snorkel gear is comfortable, won’t leak, and lets you breathe easily while exploring all there is to see underwater.
For over a decade, we have been avid snorkelers and scuba divers, so we have had plenty of opportunities to test out snorkel kits all over the world–from the Galapagos to St. Kitts and beyond. After some trial and error, we bought our own and don’t know how we ever lived without it. Owning your own snorkel, mask, and fins ensures that your gear will always work and fit properly. Having it at your disposal at all times means you can just walk off the beach and see cool things without a lot of planning. Plus, you don’t have to put your mouth on a snorkel that’s been used by lots of other people.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about our thoughts on the best snorkeling equipment, so we’ve put together our recommendations for the top masks, fins, and snorkels as well as one-piece snorkel masks.
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Quick Answer: The Best Snorkeling Gear
Don’t have time to read the whole guide? These are the all-around best bets for the best snorkel set and the best full face snorkel mask.
|Best snorkel set|
Cressi Palau Snorkel Set
This snorkel set features a dry-top snorkel, provides an excellent field of view, and includes open-heel short blade fins for easy movement.
|Best full-face snorkel|
Seaview 180° V2 Mask
This full-face snorkel is our pick thanks to its fog-resistant design, improved air intake system, and chin camera mount.
Choosing the Best Snorkel Gear
The most important thing when you go on a snorkel trip is that you feel safe, and having the right gear is a big part of that.
Cheap or mediocre snorkel gear can turn a fun snorkel trip into a very frustrating experience. No one wants to miss a cool animal sighting because their mask was leaking or fogging, and no one wants to be uncomfortable in the water because they’re fighting with fins that won’t stay on or a snorkel that’s not keeping the water out.
The goal is to buy snorkel gear that fits well, stays where it should be and won’t leak or fog.
Snorkel gear typically consists of:
Mask – Also sometimes called goggles, a mask is what lets you see what’s below you as you snorkel or dive. The best snorkel mask will be snug—without being too tight—and won’t fog or leak.
Snorkel – The snorkel is the tube you breathe through. It attaches to the mask with one end in your mouth and the other sticking up above the surface of the water. A quality snorkel will have a valve that makes it difficult for water to enter, for instance if you’re splashed by a wave. We’ve found this feature so important over time that we always look for the best dry snorkel we can find when buying new gear.
Fins – Fins make swimming much easier because they help propel you through the water. Though they are not strictly necessary, having fins will likely make for a more enjoyable experience, and your legs won’t have to work as hard. For snorkeling, you can use either short fins or long fins (like diving fins), though short fins are best for shallow water.
Full-face snorkeling mask – As a substitute for separate masks and snorkels, full-face snorkeling masks have become popular. They may have fewer leaks than traditional snorkel masks and allow for a 180-degree view of the water.
Snorkeling vest – Like a life jacket, a snorkeling vest helps you float in the water by adding buoyancy. It’s most useful for beginning snorkelers or if you plan to snorkel for a long time and could use a bit of assistance.
Best Snorkel Set Comparison
|Cressi Palau Snorkel Set||4.5||Check Price|
|Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba Set||4.4||Check Price|
|Cressi Big Eyes & Supernova Dry Snorkeling Set||4.3||Check Price|
|U.S. Divers Cozumel Snorkel Set||4.1||Check Price|
Best Full Face Snorkeling Gear Comparison
|Seaview 180° V2 Snorkel Mask||4.7||Check Price|
|Tribord Easybreath Snorkel Mask||4.6||Check Price|
|Ocean Reef Aria QR Snorkel Mask||4.5||Check Price|
|Greatever G2 Full Face Snorkel Mask||4.3||Check Price|
Snorkel Set Reviews
When buying snorkel gear, it’s important to decide what pieces you’re in the market for because snorkel sets can include a snorkel and mask set only or mask, fins, and snorkel all together (often with a gear bag). Neither is better than the other–it’s just a matter of personal preference on what equipment you’re most likely to need and use.
Cressi is known for their high-quality snorkeling equipment at affordable prices, and the Cressi Palau snorkel set continues that tradition.
The comfortable Cressi Palau mask features a durable silicone skirt to help prevent leaks while adapting to different face sizes and is great for any recreational snorkeler. The adjustable strap ensures you get the best fit for you. The accompanying Supernova Dry snorkel has a dry-top valve that is essential for effortless snorkeling and ensures you won’t get a mouth full of salt water. Its curved design fits easily in the mouth and won’t tire out your jaw to use.
This Cressi snorkel set comes with open-heel short blade fins that can be used with bare feet or booties, accommodating a wider size range and ensuring you get the perfect fit. The short fins not only help you move through the water well but they are compact and easy to travel with. They even fit in the mesh gear bag that comes with the set, so they’re easy to carry around and can dry while in the bag.
Bottom line: The durable, comfortable Cressi Palau snorkel set has everything you need for a great day of snorkeling and can adjust to fit most members of the family.
The Phantom Aquatics snorkel set offers a unique feature not seen with many types of snorkel gear—a panoramic mask. The Phantom snorkel mask has a design in which the tempered glass covers the sides of the mask in addition to the front, expanding your field of view and allowing you to see even more things underwater. The lens is encased in a polycarbonate frame with a soft, double-sealed silicone rubber skirt. All of the features of the Phantom Aquatics mask add up to maximum durability suitable for both snorkeling and scuba diving at greater depths.
The Phantom Aquatics panoramic mask and snorkel set offers high quality at an excellent value. In addition to the unique lens, the mask has an EZ Equalize nose pocket. This helpful feature lets you better adjust to the pressure simply by exhaling, which is key when you dive below the surface. The mask also has an easy-to-use buckle systems that flexes with facial movement. The accompanying dry snorkel is comfortable and keeps water out, letting you enjoy your time snorkeling.
Bottom line: The Phantom Aquatics panoramic snorkel set is high quality equipment at a price that can’t be beat.
The Cressi Big Eyes & Supernova Dry snorkeling set is an excellent all-around option. This mask and snorkel will allow you to snorkel comfortably without having to worry about the hassles that come with some snorkel sets. We can recommend these wholeheartedly because we have used them ourselves for years.
The biggest selling point of the Cressi Big Eyes mask is its big eyes— the inverted tear-drop lenses provide a 30% greater field of view than typical two-lens masks. Additionally, its high seal soft silicone skirt helps ensure the mask doesn’t leak, and it’s comfortable, too.
The Supernova Dry snorkel has a dry-top valve that seals to prevent water coming in. If any water ever does enter, there is also an easy-to-use purge valve that works like a charm. Once you’ve used a snorkel like this, you’ll never go back to a simple tube that can leave you with mouthfuls of water.
Bottom line: This reliable Cressi snorkel set is an excellent value, offering comfort, ease, and high performance.
The U.S. Divers Cozumel snorkel set is a solid budget option. The materials are sturdy, the mask is comfortable, and the set comes with a great mesh carrying bag, but this snorkeling gear doesn’t have all the features of some other snorkel sets like the Cressi options.
The two-pane mask design provides good visibility and the straps include a 3-way adjustable buckle. Users report good feedback regarding the lack of mask leaks. The Cozumel snorkel set also comes with fins that are a closed-foot design. This construction will make it easier to propel yourself through the water, but the design makes it very important that you choose the right size fins because the fit is not adjustable.
The only drawback to the U.S. Divers Cozumel snorkel set is the snorkel—it has a splash proof design, which is not the same as a dry top. Essentially, the snorkel will block some of the water if you’re hit by a wave, but it won’t be completely dry. Also, if you dive below the surface, you may find yourself with a mouthful of sea water.
Bottom line: The Cozumel snorkel set is a good budget buy and comes with all the necessary pieces, but you do compromise a bit on the snorkel itself.
Full Face Snorkel Mask Reviews
Full-face snorkeling masks have increased in popularity in the last several years. While they were once used most often by beginning snorkelers, they are now used by people with all levels of experience. Full-face masks often have fewer issues with fogging and may have fewer leaks than traditional masks.
WildHorn Outfitters—the makers of the Seaview 180° V2 mask—are some of the best manufacturers of full face snorkel masks around. That’s why we have two of their products on this list. This updated version, aptly called the V2, is their newest offering.
There are quite a few differences between the Seaview 180° V2 snorkel mask and its predecessor. Most notably, the V2 includes the Flowtech air intake system, which is designed to let you breathe normally while decreasing the chance of fogging.
The mask has two chambers and 4 intake valves to help the air circulate, so you know the makers have thought carefully about the changes to make your snorkel experience the best it can be. More fresh air and less fog means more comfort and more changes to see cool things underwater.
Two other important differences are the angled snorkel tube and the viewing area. Some swimmers find that the angled tube stays above water more easily. Plus, the viewing area is 20 percent larger, resulting in even more visibility. The Seaview 180° V2 also has the camera mount on the bottom of the mask rather than the top, making it easier to keep your camera underwater.
Bottom line: The Seaview 180° V2 combines the best aspects of the original with an even larger field of view and reengineered air intake system.
An innovation in snorkeling, the Tribord Easybreath mask was designed to do just what the name implies—make breathing easy. For some snorkelers, breathing through the mouth rather than the nose takes a lot of getting used to. The Tribord snorkel mask removes that challenge and lets you breathe normally through the nose, making it an ideal snorkel mask for beginners, kids, or adults.
In addition to making breathing more natural, the Tribord full face snorkel mask allows users to see 180⁰, just like on land, so you’ll never miss something underwater. Its polycarbonate material helps ensure that the mask won’t scratch. Thanks to its double air-flow system, it won’t fog, and its dry top snorkel–which makes it difficult for water to enter the snorkel–is an important feature if you get splashed, hit by a wave, or dive below the surface.
Bottom line: If you want an easy-to-use snorkel that helps you see and breathe like you do on dry land—whether you’ve snorkeled once or 100 times—the Tribord Easybreath snorkel may be the best fit for you.
The Ocean Reef Aria QR mask is cut from good cloth, so to speak. Its manufacturer Ocean Reef has been making high quality snorkel and scuba gear for 70 years. The expertise and craftsmanship that goes into this product is one reason users sing the praises of the full face snorkel mask. On the whole, they feel the Aria snorkel mask skirt is more comfortable and produces a better seal, even for people with facial hair who can sometimes have problems with a full-face snorkel. The mask’s swiveling, quick-release buckle also helps with comfort.
The Ocean Reef snorkel mask has many of the same features as similar masks. Its wide lens and anti-fog technology allow for 180° underwater viewing. Its purge valve and dry snorkel help ensure maximum comfort because you don’t have to worry about lots of water coming through the snorkel or staying in the mask. That means you can basically snorkel as long as you want and still be comfortable.
One cool feature of the Ocean Reef Aria is that it has a GoPro mount which can be purchased separately and removed or added at will. If you’re looking for superior comfort and the ability to photograph or take videos underwater, this may be the best full face snorkel mask for you. It is available in 5 colors and 3 sizes, and it comes with a reusable carry bag.
Bottom line: The Ocean Reef Aria is a high quality snorkel mask choice for those looking for a great seal and versatility with a GoPro mount.
The Greatever Full Face Snorkel Mask is all about the view. You’ll be able to view fish, coral, and other marine life with ease with this mask, which features a flat lense. Not only does the Greatever let you see everything there is to see, this full face snorkel mask with GoPro mount allows you to capture it all to see again later. We’re big fans of underwater photography, so, for us, this feature is a must.
As with other full-face snorkels, the Greatever G2 snorkel mask has a fog-resistant design and dry snorkel functionality. Its full-face styling means you won’t have a sore mouth from biting a snorkel mouthpiece or a gag reflex from having something constantly in your mouth. In addition, it has a two-channel exhaust valve to make breathing easy. All these factors combine to make it a great snorkel for adults and kids alike, regardless of how much you’ve snorkeled.
The Greatever snorkel mask has a sturdy construction and is engineered to fit well and comfortably. It has adjustable, quick-release straps and a foldable design, so it’s easy to carry.
Bottom line: The Greatever G2 Full Face Snorkel mask offers an undistorted panoramic view with an easy, comfortable fit and the versatility to provide a GoPro camera mount to capture your adventures.
Useful Snorkeling Accessories
This lightweight snorkel vest is a great tool for people learning to snorkel or anyone who wants a little added help floating so they can focus on enjoying the snorkeling experience. It inflates and deflates quickly and is easy to take on and off. The snorkel vest is available in a variety of colors.
Considering a wetsuit instead? Check out our suggestions for the best options.
Even the best snorkel mask that is designed to go on easily can be a little tough to put on–after all, they are meant to be a bit snug in order to keep the water out. We’ve found this neoprene strap to be an easy way to put our masks on without them pulling or tangling our hair (we both have them, so they’re not only useful for women).
The snorkel mask straps come in a variety of colors. You can go with a simple black or blue, but we find it helpful to have a distinctive, bright color because it helps us easily find each other when we’re snorkeling or diving in a group.
The Olympus TG-5 is an excellent choice for a durable, multipurpose camera. It’s lightweight, ultra-compact, and waterproof up to 50 feet. It also works in low-light and has an anti-fog lens and wifi connectivity. All these features make it great for use during snorkeling and well beyond.
We always carry a dry bag to keep important things away from splashes and spills. It’s great to keep important things—like your phone, camera, or wallet—dry and safe. But it’s equally convenient to have a completely dry change of clothes or towel when you’re done enjoying your day on the water.
Antifog mask spray helps keep your snorkel mask clear as temperatures change so you can see everything you want to underwater. We never go snorkeling or diving without it. This spray works on glass and plastic and each bottle has over 200 pumps.
This universal case is a perfect accessory for a day on the water. Whether your snorkeling trip is on a boat or at the beach, your phone will stay protected. With clear windows on both sides, the case is ideal for taking photos.
We try our best to do eco-friendly things, particularly when it comes to being mindful of our natural surroundings. This biodegradable sunscreen is an easy way to do that. It is SPF 30, water resistant, and won’t harm reefs or wildlife.
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