Which snorkel set is best?
Whether you live near the ocean or are planning a vacation to the beach, a snorkel set lets you see an underwater world you might otherwise miss. While you can often rent snorkels, your gear will fit better if you buy your own. Consider what you need from your snorkel set and how often you plan on using it before you make your purchase.
The WildHorn Outfitters Seaview 180-Degree V2 Full-Face Snorkel Mask uses Flowtech technology to make breathing underwater easier than competitors. This makes it an excellent choice for novices and experienced snorkelers alike.
What to know before you buy a snorkel set
The mask is an important part of a snorkel set. You’ll find there are three types of snorkel masks available: two-lens, single-lens and full-face mask.
- Two-lens snorkel masks have individual lenses, similar to a pair of glasses. This gives them a low internal volume, so they’re easier to clear if water gets inside them.
- Single-lens snorkel masks have one lens to give you a clear, uninterrupted view of your surroundings.
- Full-face snorkel masks seal around the whole face, including the mouth. The snorkel is integrated into the mask, so you don’t need to hold any parts with your hands. Just breathe normally into the mask.
The snorkel is the tube you breathe through while snorkeling. Open snorkels are the most basic option, while dry and semi-dry snorkels offer a better experience.
- Open snorkels are fully open at the top (the end that sticks out of the water.) This means water can splash inside, especially if you dive below the surface. You can empty them out, but it’s annoying and can cause problems if you accidentally breathe in before clearing out the water.
- Semi-dry snorkels have a valve at the top to keep water from splashing inside. However, it won’t keep water out if you dive below the water’s surface. They’re good for people who plan to float on top of the water.
- Dry snorkels have a valve system that closes off and keeps water out when you dive below the surface. This is the best choice for experienced and adventurous snorkelers.
Some snorkel sets come with fins. Although fins aren’t essential for diving, they make it easier to propel yourself through the water. You’ll spend less energy swimming with fins, so they’re ideal for those who want to snorkel for long periods without tired.
What to look for in a quality snorkel set
Some snorkel models only come in adult or child size. Others have small, medium and large versions, which can help you get a better fit.
The skirt of a snorkel mask is the seal around the edge. A silicone skirt makes your snorkeling more comfortable while creating a decent, watertight seal around your face.
Some masks have non-fogging lenses. While they’re not 100% effective, they can significantly reduce fogging in your mask.
How much you can expect to spend on a snorkel set
Basic snorkeling sets cost around $20-$30, which work well for occasional snorkeling. Serious snorkelers should expect to pay $100-$200 for a high-quality kit.
Snorkel set FAQ
Can you go fully underwater with a snorkel?
A. Yes, you can dive down underwater while wearing a snorkel. However, you won’t be able to breathe while you’re under the water. You can only breathe through your snorkel when the top end of the tube is above the water’s surface. Quick dives allow you to get a closer look at sea life, but you can only stay down there as long as you hold your breath. And unless you have a dry snorkel, you’ll need to empty the snorkel of any water once you reach the surface.
Can beginners snorkel?
A. Yes! First-timer snorkelers should go with a buddy and stick relatively close to shore or to the vessel they’re snorkeling from. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, buy an inflatable snorkel vest. These keep users buoyant, so all they need to do is kick their legs to move around. Make sure to take time and learn a little about the tides and water conditions where you’ll be snorkeling before you jump in the water.
What’s the best snorkel set to buy?
Top snorkel set
What you need to know: This high-end mask and snorkel is a great choice for serious snorkelers.
What you’ll love: The full-face mask gives you a better view of your surroundings. The one-way valve makes breathing easier while keeping water out of your snorkel. It has an action camera mount to help you record your adventures, too.
What you should consider: The seal around the nose is unreliable and can cause fogging.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top snorkel set for the money
What you need to know: Perfect for all ages, this basic dry snorkel set comes in child and adult sizes.
What you’ll love: The adult sizes have a choice of three colors: black, blue and pink. The kids sizes offer these colors plus yellow, aqua and rose. The mask has anti-fog lenses and a silicone face seal.
What you should consider: It’s fine for occasional use, but anyone who snorkels regularly will need something more durable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This decent, midrange set contains a mask and a dry snorkel. It’s a good upgrade from a basic model.
What you’ll love: The single lens mask gives better visibility than those with two separate lenses. Thanks to the comfortable skirt and mouthpiece, you snorkel for longer. The mask strap is easy to adjust.
What you should consider: Some users found the mask prone to fogging, but this may depend on fit and conditions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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