What Makes the Best Snorkel Gear?

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If you’re reading this article then you’re already in the market to buy snorkel gear.  If you already some basic knowledge then you can head over to our “6 Best Snorkel Brands” page for options or you can go right to the store.  If not, then let’s get the teaching and learning started…

Determining What Makes the “Best Snorkel Gear”

We are all about getting our hand on or deeply researching snorkel gear here at Snorkel Store.  Whether those products be individual pieces of snorkel gear and accessories or snorkel gear sets, we just want to know how they perform and what ones are more comfortable and which ones work better for different people.

We’ve found that save for some obvious factors such as snorkel gear made by companies that have no business in the water sports world AND the budget people have to spend on snorkel gear, then the differences are mainly a fine line between comfort and preference.  Here are a few examples:

Snorkel Masks:

I prefer masks that have a single lens and purge valve in the nose.  I like an unobstructed view in front of me and I feel more comfortable being able to clear my mask through the purge valve.  However, many people opt for two lens and even 4 lens panoramic view masks and those without purge valves.  Some prefer a softer silicone skirt or a frameless mask for more comfort.

In short:  The best type of snorkel mask is that one that fits you correctly, seals well, and feels comfortable.  Below are some really good recommendations.

Product Brand List Price Color
Cressi Frameless Mask (Black/Black) Cressi $29.99 Black/Black
U.S. Divers Adult Lux LX Purge Snorkel Mask (Black) U.S. Divers N/A Black
Cressi Onda Italian Made High Quality Snorkel Dive Mask Cressi $23.95 Blue

Other things to consider when choosing snorkel masks:  tempered glass for depths (if diving as well), straps and buckles ease of use, and perhaps tint or UV protection for the eyes.  Lastly, full face masks like the Tribord EasyBreathe make it simple for people who have trouble breathing with a traditional set up or facial hair that may interrupt the seal of mask skirt to face.  Check that out here.

Snorkels:

Lots of the more serious snorkelers, spear fishers, and free divers prefer a plain snorkel with no purge and not dry  or semi-top.  They feel that the bulkier and more features that a snorkel has then the more drag and load it is on their time in the water. Others, like me, prefer all the bells and whistles like a completely dry top and purge valve.

The Best Snorkel (Amazon link) is all about what you’re able to breathe with.  It may take some time getting used to but as long as you can comfortably bite on the mouth piece, attach it to the mask via a snorkel keep, and breathe out of it without taking mouthfuls of water on a regular basis (minimally, hopefully) then you have found the right snorkel for you.  Snorkels you may be interested in:

Product Brand List Price Color
Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel (Clear/Black) Cressi $24.95 Clear / Black
Oceanic USA Ultra Dry Snorkel Oceanic N/A N/A

Snorkels really ARE a basic tube in a J-shape that you breathe out of while your face is in the water and the other snorkel is in the air above the surface.  It’s that simple and basic.  Your main task is getting used to breathing with one.

Snorkel Fins:

Of the other two pieces of snorkeling equipment that we have talked about, fins are a pretty confusing purchase to make.  There are long fins, standard fins, and travel (or “trek” fins).  There are open pocket and closed heel.  And there are even fins that are designed with a hinging mechanism that helps to add more power to each kick.

For the best snorkel fins you should mainly be concerned with size and comfort.  Long fins are great for an added thrust in the water, but tend not to pack and travel as easily as standard.  However, for the ultimate convenience you could always get a pair of travel fins which are shorter in size but give up just a bit in power…these are similar to the types of fins that body surfers use for maneuvering when riding waves.  Check out some of our best snorkels fin reviews on this page.

Keep in mind, these are only the snorkeling gear essentials.  If you need ideas on what other snorkeling gear you need then please visit  our guide.  Also, here is a link to our most popular snorkel set reviews for lots of the best snorkel sets that we’ve already reviewed for you.

Product Brand Color List Price
Atomic Aquatics Full Foot Split Fin (High Performance) 9-10 Black Atomic Black $89.95
TUSA Sport Reef Tourer Snorkel Fins, Medium, Pink TUSA Sport Pink N/A

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Snorkel fanatic and water deviant. My snorkel and life partner (Lizzy) and I take to the beaches and bays to use all of the snorkel gear that we can. We try, test and review that gear for you...and we have a lot of fun in the meantime. Other than that, I'm a Soldier, father, bird lover, WoW player and a Boston sports fan.

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