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You will need a snorkel mask to go snorkeling. A snorkel mask will allow you to see underwater with a clear and unobstructed view. However, you will only be able to see if you have an effective snorkel mask. A mask that leaks, slips, or fogs will cut your snorkeling adventure short, and that is the last thing you want to happen when exploring the shallow underwater world.
The best snorkeling masks should fit correctly, fog as little as possible, and be comfortable. There are other features that a snorkel mask can have, but the most important features are a correct and comfortable fit. That being said, let’s take a look at the best snorkel masks on the market today.
Best Overall Choice
1. COPOZZ Dry Snorkel Mask Set
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The COPOZZ dry snorkel mask set has a tempered glass double lens with a 180° panoramic view. The lenses are scratch-resistant that will withstand impacts while snorkeling.
The dry snorkel has a purge valve that will seal the snorkel automatically as soon as it enters the water. This is called a dry snorkel. A dry snorkel can be submerged underwater without water entering the snorkel tube and into the mouthpiece. There is a purge valve on the bottom of the snorkel that will seal to keep water from entering the mouthpiece from the bottom of the snorkel.
The snorkel has a quick release snorkel button that attaches the snorkel to the mask. This ensures that you will not accidentally lose your snorkel if you take the mouthpiece out of your mouth; it will always stay with you through the quick release snorkel button.
The mouthpiece of the snorkel is ergonomic and made of silicone, which makes it comfortable as you hold it in your mouth. This minimized jaw fatigue as it sits naturally inside your mouth. The tube of the snorkel has a flexible silicone section that allows the snorkel to be placed in a position that is most comfortable for you.
The strap of the snorkel mask is an easy-adjust silicone strap that keeps the mask firmly in place as you snorkel. The skirt is also made of double-silicone that keeps the mask pressed firmly against your face to prevent water from entering as you snorkel.
The max depth of this snorkel mask is 98 feet, which is perfect for snorkeling and freediving.
● Dry snorkel valve and purge valve at the mouthpiece to keep water out
● Silicone skirt and strap
● Quick-release snorkel button keeps the snorkel attached to the mask at all times
● The small nose piece can be uncomfortable
Best Premium Choice
2. Cressi Big Eyes Evolution
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Cressi has created this snorkel mask with integrated dual-frame technology that combines two rigid frames to create a low-volume snorkel mask. This allows you to easily clear your mask while snorkeling.
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution snorkel mask is made of high seal silicone that will create a firm seal between the mask and the face. The seal is leak-proof and provides and comfortable snorkeling experience while being worn.
The patented Cressi lens shape provides a natural downward tilt in this model snorkel mask. This allows you to increase your downward visibility while wearing the mask, something that many other masks don’t have to offer. This means you can see downward while keeping your face aimed forward, which means less head movement while snorkeling.
The buckles are mounted on the side of the mask on an indestructible mechanism that will keep the silicone skirt of the mask protected while allowing the buckles to tilt and turn without breaking. This enables you to position the straps of the mask in the most comfortable and effective positioning without causing damage to the silicone skirt of the mask.
● Low volume snorkel mask for easy clearing
● High seal silicone for a leak-free and comfortable experience
● The lens creates a downward viewpoint, which means less head movement
● Easy and adjustable buckle system for perfect strap positioning
● Very limited peripheral vision
3. SwimStar Snorkel Set
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This snorkel set by SwimStar is one of the best snorkel masks for women on the market today. There are many adjustable and customizable features of this snorkel mask to allow it to fit many different face sizes and shapes.
The head straps are fully adjustable so that you can tighten the mask as much or as little as you need to. The high-grade silicone face skirt seals perfectly around the face and stays in place with the adjustable head straps.
The lens of the mask is tempered glass and anti-fog. The tempered glass will provide a strong and durable lens surface. The lens has an anti-fog coating that will reduce the amount of fog that covers the lens. This will give you the clearest view possible through the large lens window.
The skirt of the mask is liquid silicone, which makes it comfortable and leak-free. The skirt of the mask and the mouthpiece of the snorkel are both hypoallergenic, which will eliminate the risk of irritation when using the snorkel set.
A dry snorkel is included in the snorkel set, which will reduce the chance of water unintentionally entering the snorkel tube. The dry snorkel has a valve that will seal to keep water from entering the snorkel tube and into the mouthpiece.
● Great for women and faces of all shapes and sizes
● Fully adjustable head straps
● High-grade silicone face skirt for leak-free snorkeling
● Anti-fog lens
● Dry snorkel included
● Design is best intended for smaller faces and heads
4. Kraken Aquatics Snorkel Mask
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The Kraken Aquatics snorkel mask is a framed snorkel mask with a lens made of tempered glass and a skirt made of flexible silicone. The tempered glass lens is durable to withstand the impacts of snorkeling and abrasive sand and saltwater.
The flexible silicone skirt will provide a comfortable, leak-free seal that will keep water from entering the mask as you snorkel. There is a buckle on each side of the mask frame that allows the head straps to be easily adjusted.
The one-piece lens gives you a clear and unobstructed view while snorkeling, which can improve your overall snorkeling experience.
There are three colors to choose from: black, red, and light blue.
● Tempered glass lens
● One-piece lens for an improved and unobstructed view
● Flexible silicone skirt
● Easy adjustment buckle attached to the sides of the mask
● No anti-fogging mechanism or design
5. Phantom Aquatics Three Window Tempered Glass Dry Snorkel Set
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The Phantom Aquatics dry snorkel set has a three-window tempered glass design, crystal clear double-feathered edge silicone skirt, and swivel push-button buckles for quick and easy adjustments.
The three-window tempered glass lens means there are three layers of tempered glass to provide the most durable and long-lasting lens possible. This design will withstand impacts as it is made to last the harshest conditions.
The single tempered glass lens has a seamless side window, which exponentially increases your peripheral vision when wearing this snorkel mask. This means you have a broader range of vision while wearing the mask without having to move your head.
The skirt is crystal clear double-feathered edge silicone, which gives you a comfortable, fully sealed barrier between your face and the mask, making sure that no water enters the mask as it is worn.
The swivel push-button buckle allows the mask to be easily removed or adjusted. The dry top snorkel will keep water from entering the snorkel tube when it is submerged or when water comes in contact with the snorkel. There is a swivel adapter located on the snorkel that attaches the snorkel to the mask. This ensures that you will not accidentally lose the snorkel if the mouthpiece comes out of your mouth.
● Three-window tempered glass for extra durability
● Double-feathered edge silicone skirt
● Swivel push-button buckle for easy removal or adjustment of the mask
● Dry top snorkel with swivel adapter
● Bridge of the nose can become uncomfortable after prolonged use
6. LUXPARD Snorkel Set
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The LUXPARD snorkel mask is anti-fog, scratch-resistant, and comfortable. When reviewing snorkel masks, this is one of the best.
First, there is a maximum air intake mechanism built into this snorkel mask that is similar to the mechanism you would have in a full face snorkel mask. This design ensures that you do not inadvertently rebreathe CO2 while snorkeling. Rebreathing CO2 can cause dizziness, nausea, and, ultimately, unconsciousness, which can turn a fun snorkel adventure quickly into a dangerous situation. The maximum air intake that is built into this snorkel mask ensures that you will not rebreathe CO2 while snorkeling.
The lens of the snorkel mask is stylish and reflects blue glare when under sunlight. This will allow you to see more clearly while snorkeling underwater. The lens is also anti-fogging because of the anti-fog coating that is applied to the lens.
The lens has layers of protection and clarity that makes this mask one of the clearest and safest options on the market today. The first layer begins with a protective plastic film that covers the tempered glass. This protective plastic film will need to be removed before use.
Following the protective plastic film is the anti-fog coating, an optical blue coating, another layer of scratch-resistant tempered glass, and a final layer of anti-fog coating.
● Maximum air intake to prevent rebreathing CO2
● Anti-fog lens
● Scratch-resistant lens
● Reflects blue glare when under sunlight
● Does not fit large or wide faces comfortably
Best Budget Choice
7. SKL Snorkel Mask
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The SKL snorkel mask has two individual tempered glass lenses that are anti-fog and extremely clear. There is an anti-fog layer of coating on the tempered glass to keep the mask from fogging up when snorkeling. The lenses are also scratch-resistant that ensure the mask will not scratch while in use.
There is an adjustable silicone strap and silicone skirt that will keep the mask sealed tightly against your face when snorkeling. This will prevent water from entering the mask while also creating a comfortable experience while wearing the mask. The silicone is hypoallergenic, which will keep your face from becoming irritated as it is worn.
The two lenses give you a wide 180° viewpoint, which is ideal for snorkeling. There is an anti-fog mechanism that is built into the frame of the mask. This anti-fog valve lets air out while preventing water from coming in. This will significantly reduce the amount of fog that is produced on the lens.
Fog occurs when humidity enters a small space and creates condensation. The condensation causes a clear or mirrored surface to fog. Removing the humidity from the area will reduce the fog that is produced on the surface, which is exactly what the anti-fog valve will do.
Between the anti-fog coating on the lens and the anti-fog valve built into the mask, you can rest assured that fog will be the least of your worries with this snorkel mask.
● Tempered glass
● Silicone skirt and straps
● Fits best on smaller or more narrow heads/faces
Things to Know When Choosing the Best Snorkel Mask
As we mentioned at the start of this article, many features make up the many different types of snorkel masks, but the most important is the fit. Once you find a snorkel mask that will fit correctly, you can look into other desirable features that you may want your snorkel mask to have.
The fit of the snorkel mask is the most important feature. A snorkel mask that does not fit correctly can quickly turn your snorkel trip from fun to failure. A snorkel mask that does not fit correctly will leak and be uncomfortable.
If the snorkel mask is too big, it will leak, especially from the top and sides of the mask, where the mask cannot create an airtight seal where it should.
If the snorkel mask is too small, it will be uncomfortable and painful as it is worn. It will likely cause indentations in the skin in the areas where it is too tight, like right above the lip.
Sometimes facial hair can obstruct the fit of the mask. This can cause the mask to seemingly not fit when, in reality, it is facial hair that is keeping the mask from creating an airtight seal.
To guarantee that you are choosing a snorkel mask that will fit correctly, you should try the mask on, if possible. To do this, you will just need to place the mask against your face to see where the skirt of the mask falls.
If the skirt overlaps your hair, the mask is too big and will leak. If the lens window touches your nose, the mask is too small and will be uncomfortable and painful. The skirt should line up underneath your hairline and right above your upper lip to ensure it is the right side. Furthermore, the lens window should not touch your nose.
If you are unable to try on a snorkel mask, you can take a simple measurement to know what size snorkel mask you should buy.
You will need to measure the top of the nose to the bottom of the chin to determine the best size snorkel mask that will fit you.
- Less than 3.9 inches = extra small snorkel mask
- Between 3.9 inches and 4.7 inches = small/medium snorkel mask
- Greater than 4.7 inches = large/extra large snorkel mask
A silicone skirt will be the most leak-free and comfortable skirt option for your snorkel mask. Rubber skirts can quickly and easily deteriorate, as well as provide an uncomfortable and leaky seal. Rubber is genuinely cheaper than silicone, but cheaper isn’t always better. Silicone will always be the best choice for the mask skirt because of its comfort, flexibility, and airtight seal it creates as it is worn.
Low Volume vs. High Volume
Snorkel masks are classified by the amount of air that the mask will hold. This is called the volume.
Low volume masks will hold a low amount of air. This makes them less buoyant. Low volume masks will typically sit a little tighter on the face. This allows low volume masks to be easily cleared if water were to enter the mask.
High volume masks will hold a large amount of air. This makes them more buoyant but also the most ideal for high-pressure saturation diving. High volume masks are typically recommended for diving rather than snorkeling.
Try to find a scuba diving mask that is low volume, as this will be the most ideal for snorkeling.
A snorkel mask that does not fog will allow you to stay in the water longer and enjoy the time while you are there.
A mask that fogs easily can quickly decrease the overall enjoyment of your time in the water. Spending time in the water trying to defog a snorkel mask can take time away from discovering the underwater world beneath you.
A snorkel mask with anti-fog technology or an anti-fog lens coating can significantly reduce the amount of coating that otherwise may show up when wearing a mask without these features.
A snorkel mask that has an anti-fog valve will let the air out of the mask while keeping water from coming in. This will significantly reduce the amount of fog that occurs on the lens.
If there is no anti-fog valve that is built into the snorkel mask, try to find a snorkel mask that has been treated with an anti-fog coating. This will help reduce the amount of fogging that occurs when you wear the snorkel mask.
There are two types of snorkels: a dry snorkel and a semi-dry snorkel.
A dry snorkel is the most recommended type of snorkel because of the mechanism that keeps water from entering the snorkel tube. While the dry snorkel is out of the water, you can breathe easily through the snorkel tube. The snorkel tube will provide fresh air circulation when it stays above the surface of the water.
When a dry snorkel is submerged, or water comes in contact with it, a mechanism will seal the snorkel and keep water from entering the snorkel tube. This will subsequently prevent water from entering the mouthpiece as you hold the snorkel in your mouth.
A semi-dry snorkel does not have a mechanism that will keep water from entering the snorkel tube. This can cause water to enter the snorkel tube and the mouthpiece, causing you to choke or cough. This can quickly cause you to come to the surface and regain your composure before you continue to snorkel.
A dry snorkel is recommended for snorkeling as it will be the best option for keeping water from entering the snorkel tube and your mouthpiece.
Not all lenses are created equal. Different lens designs will ultimately determine the viewpoint you will receive while wearing the mask.
Some lenses have a wide, panoramic view that will allow you to see a full 180° in front of you. This likely means you will be able to see out of your peripheral vision, which can enhance the experience as you snorkel.
Another lens visibility feature you may want to consider is the inclined lens angle that some snorkel masks have. Many Cressi snorkel masks have an inclined or tilted lens angle that is tilted downward for you to see down toward the sea bed as you keep your head facing forward. This cuts down on the amount of head movement you would have to do while wearing other snorkel masks.
Prescription Lens Compatibility
Wearing glasses with a snorkel mask is seemingly impossible, but that doesn’t mean you will have to snorkel blindly. Many snorkel masks are prescription-lens compatible; you just have to know what to look for.
For a snorkel mask to have prescription lenses, it will need to have two individual lenses that are connected to a plastic frame. This will allow the lenses to be replaced with your prescription so that you can see as clearly underwater just as you do on land.
Head Strap Material
There will be a head strap that is connected to the frame that will keep the mask securely in place by wrapping the strap around the head. The head strap material will likely be rubber or silicone.
A rubber head strap will be cheaper than silicone, but it will also be less comfortable. A rubber head strap will grab the hair more than silicone. This is what makes rubber more uncomfortable than silicone.
Silicone is more flexible and won’t grab the hair as much as the rubber will. This is what makes silicone a desirable material for the head strap. Silicone is flexible, comfortable, and will create an overall better result when it comes to the head strap material.
How to Care for Your Snorkel Mask
Caring for your snorkel mask means you will have to clean it after each use, as well as store it in a safe place.
As you know, snorkeling includes sand, saltwater, and shells, all of which are hard and abrasive. These elements can cause the snorkel mask to deteriorate and corrode if not cleaned correctly.
After each snorkeling adventure, you will need to clean the snorkel mask thoroughly. To do this, you will need to rinse off all of the sand, saltwater, dirt, and grime from the snorkel mask using warm, fresh water. You should also take gentle soap and a soft cloth to make sure that the entire snorkel mask is thoroughly cleaned.
Once the mask has been cleaned, rinse it completely and allow the mask to dry before storing it in a cool, dry place.
Your snorkel mask should be stored in a protective case or bag. This will ensure the snorkel mask stays protected when it is not in use.
Make sure you store the mask with the lens side up so that it doesn’t get scratched while in storage.
The best snorkel mask will fit correctly, be comfortable, and have features that will make it perfect for you. You should try on a snorkel mask to ensure the mask skirt will fit your face correctly, as this is the most important feature of the snorkel mask. If you are unable to try on a snorkel mask, take measurements to determine which size snorkel mask is the right size for you.
Other features you should consider your snorkel mask to have can be for either safety, convenience, or both. For example, anti-fogging features are both safe and convenient. Anti-fogging lenses or an anti-fogging mechanism can give you a safe snorkeling experience by preventing the amount of fog that builds up inside the mask. This means you will spend less time defogging your mask and more time underwater, enjoying the scenery and wildlife below you.
No matter what snorkeling mask you choose, you should make sure it fits correctly, is comfortable, and has features that will enhance your overall snorkeling experience.