Editor’s Note: Tribord no longer has the market cornered with full-face snorkel masks. Since we originally wrote this article the market has exploded with some really, really good alternatives and we’re starting to ramp up a series of reviews (once we get our hands on them). IF you’d like to see all of the different options that are available now then you can follow this link to Amazon. Or, if you’d like, just wait until we get all of them reviewed for you.
When we first started reviewing snorkel masks here at THE Snorkel Store, we had a couple pieces of criteria that we stood by: comfort, affordability, and a great seal. Whether those masks had purge valves, 1 or 4 lenses, or were flashy and cool to look at made little difference to us. We were mainly about staying safe while snorkeling and making sure that you got the best snorkel equipment for the price. Our early review of the Tribord EasyBreathe continues to be one of the more popular pieces that we’ve published. It gets lots of readers and visitors each day.
However, not many people are buying the EasyBreathe and we can only chalk that up to price. (Actually, people are buying quite a few of them now.) Today, in this post, we’d like to give you a sample of some of the alternatives we’ve found for the Tribord. All the masks below are under $100 currently at Amazon but you’ll tell at the end of this article that the Tribord EasyBreathe may just be your best option. You decide.
Full Face Snorkel Masks like H2O Ninja, Ocean Reef Aria, and Seaview 180 are all the RAGE RIGHT NOW!
Check them out on Amazon NOW!
|Ocean Reef ARIA Full Face Snorkel Mask||Ocean Reef||$69.95|
|Seaview 180 Degree Panoramic Snorkel Mask- Full Face||WildHorn Outfitters||N/A|
|Thenice Surface Snorkel Scuba Set Sports Snorkeling Mask (Blue)||LC Prime||N/A|
|H2O Ninja Full Face Snorkel Mask- S/M Black||H2O Ninja||N/A|
Just like the Tribord, these other Full-Face Snorkel Masks have the following Benefits:
–>For those that have trouble breathing underwater with a traditional mask and snorkel system, this is the snorkel system that is right for you. These masks bill themselves as allowing the ability to breathe underwater just as you’d breath out of water.
–>Men with facial hair tend to favor this mask for it’s ease at sealing around their face (particularly, moustaches tend to get in the way).
–>One piece, snorkel and mask set allow easy transport.
–>Full face so the pressure is evenly distributed around the outside part and makes it more comfortable
–>These full face masks have a huge viewing area with the lens seemingly going up and down in all directions. (Most masks will bill themselves as having 180 degree viewing area and it’s true.)
–>The valve and catch system inside of the mask make it so that fogging isn’t an issue with this kind of set-up. You would think that normal breathing through the mouth would cause a large amount of fog on the inside but these masks are designed for just the opposite.
Also, these full face masks have the same disadvantages to snorkeling as the EasyBreathe:
–>Big and bulky.
–>The price is higher than a traditional SCUBA or snorkel mask because of the convenience and intricacies of make.
–>This is almost entirely a surface mask. Because of the size and volume of the mask, any diving would cause the pressure inside the mask and on your face to become uncomfortable.
–>This mask doesn’t teach you to snorkel and to eventually get accustomed to the snorkel and mask set-up. This mask simply allows you to snorkel if you have had trouble doing so in the past for whatever reason.
Note: All these masks are very similarly made. I would suggest getting on Amazon and checking them out for yourself and deciding which works into your needs and budget the best.
Our Picks for the Best Full Face Snorkel Masks
This is a new comer to our page this year and we’re happy that it’s here. 2016 was a break out year for a lot of quality full face snorkel masks and Aria was one of the ones to lead the charge. Ocean Reef has been around for a while, they’re an Italian company who has been making SCUBA and underwater gear for a long time. Ocean Reef was actually a pretty big signal that some of the more well-known snorkel companies were going to get in on the act (like the Mares, below)
The Ocean Reef Aria is a sleek looking mask and they turned the tables on Tribord and Seaview (and lots of other full face masks) by changing up the color scheme from the bright, azure and pinks to a more subdued, earthy look. In our opinion, the orange/rust is a nice looking compliment.
Sold by Wildhorn Outfitters, the SeaView 180 is probably the best of the lot here. It’s decently made and comes in the traditional colors that the Tribord did; blue, light blue and pink. The Seaview 180 was actually able to give Tribord a run for their money in the early days of full face snorkel masks. It’s easy to use for both adults and children.
The Seaview 180 full face has some great materials it’s made from and that’s probably one of the bigger reasons why it survived against Tribord in 2015 and 2016. Plus there is the Go Pro mount that Wildhorn Outfitters put on the Seaview. So, along with this great looking mask made from good materials with a design that was innovative it also made to make the traveling snorkeler even happier by being able to swim and observe the marine life without having to worry about taking photos and videos because your GoPro is running constantly above. AAah…the easy life!
So, here it is: The very first, full-out SCUBA and snorkeling manufacturer and designer to jump into the full face snorkel mask business. I would love to tell you that with their knowledge, experience and history that Mares was truly innovative and took a fresh look in to the full face design. But, that’s just not true. You still get the same pros and cons:
Breathing like your not underwater by being able to breath through your mouth and nose.
No fogging due to the design and vented air chambers.
Wide field of view up and down so that you don’t miss a thing.
Primarily a surface mask.
Here’s something that I haven’t seen with other full face snorkel mask, though. A great bag that actually looks like it was made to go with this full face snorkel mask design. The Sopras Sub Cylcing pack (pictured above with mask and clickable) is a sharp looking accessory to this awesome mask.
This is another full-face snorkel mask that mimics the Tribord. Just like the rest, the Thenice makes exploring and seeing the underwater world for those that wouldn’t normally be able to do so. Personally, we have an issue with the Thenice and it’s a pretty large one:
The Thenice is the first on this list that actually feels like a cheap knock-off of the Tribord. The big rubbery head strap gets stuck in hair and even on my bald head. Also, the dry snorkel just didn’t work with the same consistency as the others and the seal is also suspect. That being said, it is a cheaper and more affordable option for this list that you may be interested in.
If there’s a problem that I have with the H2O Ninja Mask it is that they just are high in price. And, look, hey I know the owner of the company and they’ve asked me to review the mask…and I wanted to make sure that they knew it would be a fair and truthful review…as usual.
Here it is: The H20 Ninja mask is a GREAT mask. Not better than the Mares Sea Vu, Tribord or the Ocean Reef Aria but very much on par with those powerhouses. It is, however, a better feeling and better made mask than the the SeaView 180. However, the price on the H20 Ninja Mask is HIGH. The difference between the H20 Ninja folks and the others is that they actually have a great customer service section. I have emailed Tribord several times…and HAVE NEVER gotten a response.
The Not So Honorable Mentions:
The masks below origionally made this list waaaay back in 2015 when originally wrote this post. Unfortunately, they didn’t do very well and currently “RIP” in full face snorkel mask graveyard.
The Sumomoto has zero reviews on Amazon so at first I was reluctant to place it on this list. That being said, it is another alternative to the Tribord and thus deserved to be mentioned. Similar design and colors.
The LC Prime has limited reviews with 60% of them being positive. There was one review in particular that stated the lens of the mask was inadequate and that its surface actually had bubbles on it PRIOR to being used in the water the first time. The reviewer did comment on how comfortable the mask was on the face, though.
A Full Face Snorkel Mask Review from A Buyer:
Important Note: Before opting for one of the above masks, I feel that I should let you read this review by a user that compared the Tribord to the Thenice above. This is in no means singling out the Thenice, but it is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for”. Here it is: (I’ve bolded the highlights)
“I purchased a Tribord first and loved it. My 2 kids wanted to wear it also. I ended up getting them a green and a pink Thenice due to the price being alot better. All 3 masks were the small/medium size. After spending several hours in the waterwith both brands, I decided to leave a review that might help others decide, because I never really saw a clear review comparing both on here. The first time I entered the water with the Thenice, water flooded in through the snorkel when I went just under the surface of the water. After coming up and checking out the mask, I noticed the ball was stuck on the snorkel. After smacking it for several minutes I got it to free up and tried again. This worked better but water did dribble in through the snorkel most of the time. I thought maybe it was the seal but I’m pretty sure it was coming in from the snorkel. The Tribord has a slightly different design on their snorkel to keep out water and it worked very well in the rough waves of the ocean. I was in calm water with the Thenice…constantly dribbled in water from the snorkel. The thing that was the deal breaker for me is this thing will fog. The Tribord does not. I tried both Thenice masks and they both had the same 2 flaws. If I would would have never purchased the Tribord I would have thought the Thenice masks were the greatest things ever invented even with those 2 nagging flaws. If you are torn between the 2 definitely go with the Tribord. The Tribord from what I have read is the original and the Thenice are knockoffs. Hope this helps someone decide.”
The Tribord EasyBreathe is the Best Choice of Full Face Masks on the Market:
You can read our full review of the Tribord EasyBreathe here or just go straight to Amazon to grab it or research it more. By all means, though, don’t let me talk you out of buying one of the brands above. As you can see, they are cheaper alternatives for those new snorkelers that may just being doing it one time. However, like the reviewer said: Tribord is the original.
Accessories for Your Full Face Snorkel Mask:
A Bag! I mean, we always preach to “get a good snorkel gear bag” here on the Snorkel Store because so many sellers and brands will take a great snorkel set and pair it up with a completely terrible mask. Of course, there are exceptions like the Cressi Gara Pro Snorkel Set and the Mares Sea Vu above. The problem I have with this is that lots of people won’t tell you when you buy snorkel gear that the bag it comes with is pretty flimsy, cheap, and won’t fit everything that you need…so your need another bag for the beach. Why?
We’ve talked a lot about snorkel vests, as well. We think they’re great for those that aren’t exactly confident about their swimming ability, either adults or kids. If you’re a parent then you’ll feel a lot better that your kid is able to float on the water without much help. Check out our great snorkel vest articles!
There are lots and lots of full face snorkel masks on the market these days. Everyone has an opinion of which one is the best. Being in Hawaii, we tend to have a special relationship with the H20 Ninja Mask people. We use our H20 Ninja Mask often and we think they’re a quality, quality mask. Since the last update on this page (our most popular on the site) there are even more on the market today and we’ve addressed many of them in additional reviews and posts:
We did an update on how we rank the new full face snorkel masks against some of the others above in our 2017 Edition of the Best Full Face Snorkel Masks Round up
This page has become the go-to authority for full face snorkel masks on the internet and we’d love to do whatever we can to improve it. If you have comments or suggestions for a snorkel mask that we haven’t reviewed then please leave it in the comments below.