Snorkels are no doubt the single most popular piece of scuba diving gear, and it makes sense why. If you intend to go for a shore dive, using a snorkel not only preserves your oxygen tank for your actual dive but it also prevents you from gulping mouthfuls of seawater with each breath once your supply runs out.
Snorkels have also become an integral part of every competitive swimmer’s gear. Even if you’re not doing it competitively, and want to perfect your technique to swim faster, training with a snorkel will help you do that.
We’ve reviewed the best snorkel for 2020 and 9 other options that are hot on the market right now. Here’s what we found.
Lap swimming with a snorkel has several benefits. For starters, most swimmers naturally pick up their head when swimming freestyle. Using a snorkel forces your face to remain fixated at the bottom of the pool, therefore, going against your instinct to raise your head to see where you’re going.
Second, it keeps your head from wandering side to side, hence reinforcing a straight line from the top of your head down to your ankles. This improves your overall technique when swimming.
Now, if you’re looking for a snorkel that’s designed specifically for lap swimming, you’ll love what the ZIONOR Lap Swimming Snorkel has to offer. It has a spout that allows air to flow smoothly in and out of the tube while providing a generous amount of oxygen, which is required during intense physical activity.
This helps the individual maintain proper form during lap or triathlon swimming, increasing speed by up to 30 percent.
It also has a custom-engineered thick head pad to allow the snorkel to sit firmly and comfortably on the head for extended periods, even during flip turns and while swimming all the four different strokes. The mouthpiece is designed from food-grade material that remains odorless, even with frequent use. It is designed to fit perfectly in the mouth while minimizing the risk of jaw fatigue.
It comes with a one-way purge valve that prevents water from getting into the mouth when inhaling and expels any water that may be in the tube with a single exhale. Its center-mount design ensures that the swimmer maintains proper form and alignment and does not get in the way of arm rotation. All in all, the ZIONOR snorkel is quite effective in improving stroke efficiency on all fronts.
● Perfect for lap swimming and triathlon training
● It improves stroke efficiency and increases speed by 30%
● The comfortable head-pad and mouthpiece minimizes fatigue
● A snorkeling mask is not included in the purchase
Best Premium Choice
2. Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkels - Best Premium Snorkel
As the age-old adage goes – cheap is expensive. If you’re one of those people who believe that snorkels shouldn’t cost any more than 10 bucks, well, all we can say is – you get what you pay for.
Cressi is famous for its top-of-the-shelf premium range of dive and snorkel gear. This is perhaps why their Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkels are one of the best-selling top-of-the-range snorkels around.
Unlike many other brands you might come across, this particular one is made using the latest dry-top snorkel technology. It relies on a small valve that effectively keeps water out of the tube regardless of the angle you’re swimming at. Whether you’re purposely or accidentally submerged, its unique float mechanism will not let any water into the hose.
This snorkel is also extremely flexible, a feature that comes in handy if you’re looking to minimize jaw fatigue when swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving for long periods. Its flexibility also allows you to store it conveniently in a travel pack or BC pocket without ruining it in the process.
Its wide, elliptical-shaped bore increases airflow within the tube, making for more natural and comfortable breathing. If any water does get into the hose, all you have to do is blow out to expel the water through the purge valve.
All in all, the intuitive and streamlined design of the Alpha makes it by far one of the comfortable and hydrodynamic snorkels we’ve come across. Is it worth the price? We certainly think so.
● It is easy to store and carry
● Its ergonomic design reduces jaw fatigue
● Its streamlined shape reduces drag
● Mouthpiece might be a little big for some people
Best Budget Choice
3. Breathe-Easy Sport Diving Snorkel - Best Budget Snorkel
If you’re on the hunt for a budget snorkel that delivers an outstanding amount of value for the price, you’ll love the Breathe-Easy Sport Diving Snorkel from HHAO. Retailing at just under 10 bucks, the features of this particular snorkel are reminiscent of some of the premium models on the market.
For starters, it comes with a dry snorkel that uses a floating ball mechanism to keep water from getting into the tube when you dive beneath the water surface. This system causes the opening at the top to close automatically the moment it detects water-entry, and reopen when it reaches the water surface.
The other great thing we like is the built-in carbon dioxide separation system it comes with. Now, that’s something you don’t often see with many dry snorkels, much less with those in the budget range.
This system is designed to provide the maximum amount of oxygen intake when you breathe in and completely expel all the carbon dioxide when you exhale. The amount of residual air left in the tube is virtually negligible.
The breathing tube design also adopts one-way drainage and a three-way non-return valve system that minimizes choking chances when water accidentally enters the tube. Therefore, you can rest easy when diving underwater, knowing that there’s no chance of taking in any surprise gulps.
The HHAO Sports Snorkel has an ergonomic mouthpiece made of food-grade silicone that feels comfortable in your mouth even when you have it on for long periods. It reduces jaw fatigue while providing a nice tight seal around your mouth, so there’s no chance of any water getting in. For a budget snorkel, this particular one is truly giving the premium brands a run for their money.
● It delivers outstanding value for the money
● It uses a unique dry-top breathing system
● It comes with an anti-choking water system
● Need to be used with a mask for it to stay upright
4. WSTOO Full Face Snorkel - Best Full Face Snorkel
A snorkel is much more than a hollow piece of tubing to breathe through. There’s so much more you need to look out for when choosing the best one. The WSTOO Full Face Snorkel is number one on our list for a reason. It is highly functional and chock-full of features guaranteed to give you the most memorable underwater experience yet.
This particular snorkel comes with a full face mask to give you a full 180-degree panoramic view of everything under the water surface. It is designed with a cutting-edge breathing system that integrates three completely different air channels to ensure that every breath you take is fresh. You inhale through the intermediate air intake channel and exhale through the two air outlets located on either side of the main intake tube.
What we particularly like about it is the proprietary anti-leak and anti-fog technology used in its design. It makes use of a dual-exhaust passage that ensures adequate ventilation throughout. This prevents any exhaled gas from getting into the observation screen visor and subsequently causing it to fog up. Now, that’s something you don’t often come across.
The WSTOO snorkel is made from food-grade silicone. It feels comfortable on your face without putting too much pressure on your nose, therefore, allowing you to wear it for long periods.All in all, the unique cutting-edge features of the WSTOO snorkel, alongside how comfortable it is to wear for extended durations, make it the best snorkel we’ve come across so far.
● High-quality, durable construction
● Comfortable to use for extended periods
● Comes with anti-fogging and anti-leak technology
● May need to be secured tightly around the head to ensure no leaks occur
5. Kraken Aquatics Dry Snorkel - Best Snorkel for Scuba Diving
Quality is one of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a snorkel for scuba diving. If you intend to descend deep into the ocean during a scuba diving expedition, one of the major things you need to look out for is what the tubing material is made of.
It needs to be solid enough not to buckle under deep water pressure and should also have a comfortable mouthpiece to form a watertight seal around your mouth. This prevents any water from getting in.
The Kraken Aquatics Dry Snorkel fits the bill perfectly. The mouthpiece is made from 100% hypoallergenic silicone, making it very comfortable to use for extended periods, and remains odorless even when used frequently.
The other great thing about this particular product is the fact that it is a dry top snorkel. It provides you with the reassurance you need to know that you never have to worry about taking in any surprise gulps of water when inhaling a breath of fresh air.
The Kraken snorkel uses a floating-ball mechanism at the snorkel opening that closes to keep the water out when you go in for a dive and reopens when you remerge for air. It also comes with a one-way purge valve that allows you to clear any water that may have somehow entered the corrugated silicone hose. All you would have to do is exhale air sharply through the mouthpiece to flush out the water and clear the air passage.
If you need to use the snorkel with a mask, the quick-release clip mounted on the tube makes the process super convenient. One-half of the clip hooks on to the mask, while the other half stays in the hose.
All in all, if you want a solid, high-quality snorkel that’s specifically designed for scuba diving, the Kraken is precisely what you need.
● The hose is made from corrugated silicone, which can adequately withstand deep-water pressure
● The mouthpiece is made from food-grade silicone making it safe and comfortable to use
● Can conveniently be used with a mask
● Its unique shape might take some getting used to
6. Cressi Standard Bore Tube - Best Snorkel for Freediving
Freediving is a lot like scuba diving but without the oxygen tank. You have to hold your breath underwater instead. There’s just something so exhilarating about being able to push your body to the limit both mentally and physically as you go for several minutes without coming up for air.
With that in mind, the next logical question would be – Why do freedivers need snorkels? After all, doesn’t the sport revolve around divers holding their breath for as long as they can?
If you’re a freediver, then you already know the answer to this. But, for all the newbies in the house, snorkels help for a smoother breathe-up when they eventually come up to the surface, especially in rough and wavy water conditions. Besides, freedivers also enjoy viewing marine life from the water’s surface when they aren’t freediving.
The Cressi Standard Bore Tube is the perfect accessory for any avid freediver. It comes with a comfortable multi-positional mouthpiece that provides an unprecedented amount of comfort even when used for prolonged periods. The breathing tube has a large diameter for unobstructed breathing, which comes in handy when you come up for air.
Although it doesn’t come with a mask, it does have a rubber loop that you can latch onto a mask strap. Unlike other snorkels with a slight bend that curves around the head, this particular one goes straight up, making it several times easier to clear when water gets into the breathing tube.
● Ideal for freediving
● Straight-shape makes it easy to expel water in the tube
● Affordable price
● Face mask not included in the purchase
7. Cressi Corsica Rubber Snorkel - Best Snorkel for Spearfishing
Spearfishing is one of the most intense and exhilarating underwater activities. This particular fishing method is one of the most ancient techniques in existence and is beloved by many, mainly due to its simplicity. Despite its simple beginnings, it takes a lot of practice to hone your skills and a ton of patience to be able to catch your prey.
A major aspect of spearfishing involves getting close enough to the fish to “spear” them without scaring them off in the process. One way to do this would be to get camouflage gear to mimic the marine environment beneath the water surface.
The Cressi Corsica Rubber Snorkel is by far one of the best snorkels for spearfishing. It is available in a wide range of camo colors and designs. The snorkel comprises a large diameter tube that’s soft, bendable, and extremely comfortable to water. It can be appropriately positioned behind the head, so it doesn’t obstruct your view when aiming for fish.
Another great feature is the fact that you can tuck the mouthpiece neatly under your chin when diving below the water surface. It is made of hypoallergenic silicone that’s so comfortable to use; you’ll forget you have it in your mouth.
It also has a specially molded J-tube design for a better fit around your head. The tube is ultra-flexible, so you can fold it and store it in the BCD pocket. The camo snorkel’s overall design is well-thought-out and perfect for prolonged use when you’re out on a spearfishing expedition.
● Available in several different camo colors and designs
● Silicone mouthpiece is comfortable to use even for prolonged periods
● J-design provides a better fit around the head
● Doesn’t come with a face mask
8. Scuba Choice Comocean Snorkel - Best Snorkel for Kids
The Scuba Choice Comocean Snorkel is the perfect entry-level junior snorkeling kit for kids aged 5-10 years. It comes with an advanced splash guard and upper valve to prevent water from getting into the hose. If water does somehow enter the tubing, a quick-and-easy exhale effortlessly expels all the water through the purge valve.
The curved flexible tube is ergonomically designed to fit properly around your child’s face. It has a soft silicone mouthpiece at the base to provide a comfortable fit and minimize jaw fatigue when worn for long periods. It is easy to clean and has no lingering odor even after repeated use.
If you plan to go snorkeling with your kids, the Comocean is precisely what they need for the adventure. It is available in blue and pink.
● Made of food-grade material
● Flexible ergonomic design
● Easy to clean
● Head-strap is not included in the purchase
9. WACOOL Dry Top Snorkel - Best Snorkel for Beginners
If you’re new to the snorkeling world, let’s just say it’s one of the most exciting ways to get a glimpse of the vibrant marine life that exists beneath the water surface. The best thing about it is – you don’t even need any formal training to do it, although you should know how to swim, at the very least.
That being said, many first-timers often have an unpleasant snorkeling experience due to accidentally inhaling big gulps of water through the snorkel. The WACOOL Dry Top Snorkel is specially designed with beginners in mind.
It is 100% top-dry to keep the water out when snorkeling, scuba diving, or even lap swimming. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about choking on mouthfuls of water when breathing in through the tube. The one-way purge valve allows you to expel it with minimal resistance by blowing through the mouthpiece in the rare event that water gets into the hose.
It comes with a head-pad that sits firmly on your head to keep in place when you dive into the ocean. Its comfortable ergonomic design eliminates any possibility of headaches, especially when worn for a long time.
The hose is made from high-quality material and is attached to a durable food-grade silicone mouthpiece. It is optimized to fit perfectly in your mouth and hold the snorkel in place. You can wear it for extended periods without any risk of jaw fatigue. It is easy to clean and has no lingering odor even with frequent use.
Another great feature is the flexible tube it comes with. You can fold it around the head to provide a compact fit for both adults and teenagers alike. It is extremely versatile, making it ideal for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. All in all, if you’re a beginner, this is the snorkel you want.
● It comes with a comfortable head-pad
● Can be used for a wide range of water-based activities
● Ideal for adults and teenagers
● Has a slight chemical-like odor when you first buy it
10. COPOZZ 4300 Swim Snorkel - Best Snorkel for Training
If you’re currently in swimming or triathlon training or are planning to start, a snorkel is an absolute must-have. The COPOZZ 4300 Swim Snorkel is specially designed for that purpose. Its sleek, hydrodynamic design minimizes resistance, allowing you to glide through the water effortlessly.
The spout has a large diameter to allow for smooth air intake, which is necessary to supply a healthy amount of oxygen to the lungs and increase your swimming speed by up to 30 percent. It also has a center mount design, which doesn’t get in the way of arm rotation, and works like a charm to maintain proper body alignment.
This improves the overall efficiency of your strokes. The thick head-pad sits firmly and comfortably on the head, which is one of the reasons why swimmers in training prefer the COPOZZ 4300.
● Improves stroke efficiency
● Feels comfortable on the head
● Increases swimming speed by up to 30 percent
● May need to be used with a swim cap if you have long hair
How to Choose the Best Snorkel – Buyer’s Guide
Contrary to what you might believe, not all snorkel masks are created equal. So, before you go off and buy the first one you come across, here are some important tips to keep in mind when deciding which one to go with.
The first thing you need to consider is the type of snorkel. There are generally three different options available.
The Classic Snorkel
These are the traditional, simple, minimalist snorkels that look a lot like the ones we had growing up. They have a silicone mouthpiece that’s attached to a solid tube. Although you may encounter some models with a flexible spout and a purge valve, these features are more common in the dry and semi-dry variety.
The Dry Snorkel
These have a special float valve mechanism in the snorkel spout that seals completely the moment the tube becomes submerged. So, no water ever gets in. These are a great choice for beginner snorkelers who may have a hard time mastering the exhaling technique required to expel any water that enters the tube.
They also have a splash guard located at the top of the spout that’s designed to deal with water sprays and wave splashes that may get in even when you’re not completely submerged in the water.
The Semi Dry Snorkel
These are a cross between the classic and the dry models. They have a splash guard at the tube opening that keeps water sprays and splashes from getting in. They are, however, not designed to keep sand and debris out. So, these have become less common in the marketplace.
Aside from the type, your purchase decision should also rely on the specific features the snorkel has. Here’s what you need to consider.
Flex tube – Snorkels that come with flex tubes allow you to adjust the positioning of the mouthpiece to ensure you get the most comfortable fit.
Purge valve – These are one-way valves that allow you to forcefully expel any water that may be trapped in the tube with a single exhale motion.
Tube diameter – To breathe properly, the tube needs to be wide enough to allow enough air in and out of the snorkel. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too big, or else you’ll be inhaling most of the air you just exhaled.
Overall fit – Ideally, you want a snorkel that doesn’t interfere with the mask placement on your face. It should also be light enough not to break the watertight seal around your face.
Material – You want a snorkel whose mouthpiece is made from food-grade silicone. It should also be soft enough to fit comfortably in your mouth to minimize the risk of jaw fatigue.
Great Features Make for a Pleasant Experience
When choosing the best snorkel for your underwater activities, pick one with all the features required to give you a pleasant diving experience. We recommend any of the 10 options we’ve reviewed in this guide.
In the meantime, if you’re in the market for the Best Braided Fishing Line, check out our guide for some of the top options to consider.