Snorkeling is a fantastic way to uncover the underwater world and add a different angle dimension to you holiday you will want the best snorkel gear you can get to make your holiday even better.

Scuba diving is great activity but with snorkeling you can do this with kids! My child loves it. If you’re going snorkeling you will need a mask and snorkel. Snorkeling equipment is available in many price classes.

Free eBook OfferIf you’re only going to use it for an example a short two week holiday you may not go for the best snorkel gear on the market but do keep in the back of your mind that very cheap snorkeling gear could ruin your experience.

I have had experiences where the masks leaks or fogs up and it really does ruin the trip as you have to buy a new one or look for a place to rent some new gear.If you’re looking to purchase snorkel gear, understandably you’ll need to do some investigation.

Reading this snorkeling gear guide will save you a lot of time, we’ve already done the hard work for you!

In this guide we’ll discuss the different items in a snorkel kit and what you need to look out for when choosing a snorkel set.

We’ll talk about the best snorkel, the best snorkel mask, the best snorkeling fins and lastly the best snorkel set. And put it all together in a simple table for you to quickly compare.

We will compare the best snorkel gear in  a table to give you a quick comparison and explain in detail everything else you need to know about snorkel gear

 Cressi Palau Snorkel SetSupertrip Snorkel SetTribord Subsea EasyBreatheTUSA Sport Youth Snorkel Set U.S. Divers Diva Women Snorkel Set
Snorkel TypeFlexible DryDry Dry Flexible DryDry, Fleixble
Mask TypeRegualrRegular Full faceRegular small fitRegular
Editor Comments -Palau Short Fins
- Two Window Silicone Mask
-Carry Mesh Bag
- Original anti-splash end with
a special valve that seals the tube as you dive

-Anti Fog design
- 1 year warranty
- Free waterproof pouch to put your phone in
- 2 Year Tribord Warranty
- Exclusive Anti-Fogging Design
- 180° Panoramic Field of Vision
- Shatterproof
- no fins
- Best for kids!
- 3 year warranty
- Drain chamber for easy clearing
- Hypo-allergenic silicone
- no fins
- includes Admiral LX mask, Island Dry LX Snorkel, Trek fin
- Adjustable mask t fit any size face
- 2 year warranty

Renting vs buying snorkel masks which is BETTER?

In most tropic destinations where snorkeling is a potential, rental snorkel gear is always going to be there to rent. A terrific option if you happen to forgot to take your own, for a leisurely swim or in if by chance your own gear breaks.

So if you can rent it, why would you want to buy your own? Even if you bring a travel snorkel set, it’s will still end up taking up space.

No matter how simple it is to rent, I always bring my own mask, snorkel and fins. For the mask and fins. I have a oddly shaped face and it’s not simple for me to find a good rental mask that fits. The same goes for my large feet. Not to mention that I find it a lot more sanitary to use my own mask and snorkel.

The bottom line is Do you really want to use a snorkel that tons of other people have had in their mouth? I most certainly don’t you don’t know how well some products have been cleaned. So for sanitary reasons is just one of the reasons your own gear is better then renting.

What Snorkeling Gear do you need?

Mask, snorkels and fins, those famous trio of a snorkeling gear set. Though you see lots of different goggles and snorkel set packages snorkel fins or, snorkeling flippers as some call them, are really part of your snorkel gear.

Snorkeling Goggles or Snorkel Mask

Without an underwater snorkel mask or a scuba mask you will be missing the whole experience, as you won’t be able to see much in the water. Therefore a snorkel mask is the main piece of snorkel equipment. Goggles for snorkeling compromise of one or two lenses, a frame, a silicone skirt, strap keepers and a snorkel mask strap.

A fairly new snorkel mask design is the frameless mask, where the skirt is connected directly to the lens.

The quality of the apparatus depends solely on the price. A decent snorkel mask has a silicone skirt and tempered glass lenses, which makes it very robust. When you clean it well after each use and treat it carefully, a good quality snorkel mask can be used(my Tribord Easybreath lasted about 3 years) for years.

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Full Face Snorkel Mask

 

Benefits

Full face snorkel masks, also known as full mask snorkel or snorkel face mask, are becoming more and more current. Essentially, this new style snorkel mask is a mask with snorkel built in. They were introduced by Decathlon in 2014, the original full face mask being the Tribord Easybreath.

From experience full face masks are quite good, they are comfortable than a regular snorkel mask, with less chance of leaking and a great panoramic view. The ability to breathe through both mouth and nose is a big advantage.

Drawbacks

There is concern about worrying levels of CO2 building up inside full face snorkel masks, Particularly in low coast full face masks produced by unknown brands. Since full face snorkels have only been released in 2014, there is no standard for safety tests as of yet.

HEAD/Mares were the first to extensively test CO2 buildup in their Sea Vu full face mask in 2018, with satisfying results.

How to prevent fogging of your snorkel mask

If you’ve ever been snorkelling before, you know that mask fogging happens quite often. To avoid this you have to clean your mask before first use to remove the protective layer over the lense on the inside of the mask.

You do this by carefully rubbing a small amount of toothpaste over it with your finger, ensuring you clean the whole surface. Then, before each use you have two options. Some people tend to spit in their mask, spread it over the lens with their fingers, rinse and then put the mask on. It really does works! If this grosses you out, you can buy mask defogging drops.

 

Snorkeling with Glassess

It may not be a surprise, but just to let you know you can’t snorkel with your glasses on. The temples break the seal of the mask and water will rush in. Even if you have a full face mask it’s not possible to wear glasses underwater. However, that does not mean if you wear glasses you can’t snorkel. There is an answers to this.

If you snorkel often and possibly scuba dive also A prescription snorkel mask might be a good choice It’s also possible to wear lenses underwater we have reviewed the top 5 here if you want to read a bit more about it .

Types of Snorkels

The next piece of snorkel gear is the actual snorkel itself. Not like scuba divers, who use a tank of compressed air and a stabilizer to breathe through, snorkelers gave to be close to the surface to breathe. Ultimately, the snorkel is just a tube that sticks out of the water and allows the snorkeler to take in air. There are a some different types of snorkels.

Traditional Snorkel

The ‘traditional’ snorkel, also known as a classic snorkel or a J-snorkel, is nothing more than a J-shaped tube with a mouthpiece. This is the economical snorkel on the market, but the only drawback is that it can be uncomfortable as the snorkel tube isn’t flexible. If a J-snorkel gets completely submersed, there’s nothing to stop the water from flowing in and as it doesn’t have a purge valve, you need to breathe out with a lot of force to get the water out again.

 

 

 

 

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Flexible Snorkel with Purge Valve

In reality, a snorkel can never be fully flexible. It needs a rigid part that sticks out of the water. However with a flexible snorkel, the bottom part is malleable to give you a better fit. This is way more comfortable if you’re wearing a snorkel mask. Flexible snorkels usually have a purge valve at the bottom of it.

This purge valve makes it simpler to clear the water out of the snorkel, as the water doesn’t actually have to go out all the way at the top. Another positive point benefit of a flexible snorkel is that it just simply comes out sideways when you remove the mouthpiece. This makes this type of snorkel very comfortable to scuba dive with.

 

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What is a DRY Snorkel or SEMI Dry Snorkel?

 

A flexible snorkel can also be a semi dry or a dry top snorkel. Semi dry basically means that the snorkel has a splash guard at the top of the tube which stops water from going into the snorkel tube. The splash guard on a semi dry snorkel cannot block the water if the tube is completely submerged.

A valve at the top of dry snorkels, stops water from inflowing when fully submerged. A small amount of water might seep in, but it’s such a tiny amount that it’s easy to clear. A negative on this is that due to dust and sand the dry mechanism may malfunction, making it difficult to breathe.

 

Snorkeling Fins

When I started snorkelling I thought that it was an optional gear, but I soon found out they’re really not. Not only does it make it easier and less tiring to swim with fins. It is easier to balance and hover, Plus it’s also a matter of security. When snorkeling you can easily find yourself caught in a surface current, even in clear weather. With fins you have a much better chance of making it back to shore. There are 3 main factors when it comes to selecting fins:
• Power,
• Efficiency
• Fit.
The first two are closely related to the sites you plan to snorkel. If there is a powerful current or if you have to swim a long distance before reaching the reef, obviously you need strong and effective fins than if the snorkel site is very calm and close to shore. Snorkeling fins, or snorkeling flippers, come in quite a few designs any designs. Two main differences are open vs closed heel fins and classic vs split fins.

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CLOSED HEEL VS OPEN HEEL FINS

 

 

Snorkeling and scuba fins have a closed or an open heel. Both have positives about them. Open healed fins are usually more heavy and longer and provide more

thrust. Closed heel fins are typically more light and shorter, so makes it more easy for travel.
If you want to scuba dive open heeled fins are the preferred choice. Because It’s easier to walk with your hefty dive equipment wearing thick soled boots, as opposed to using your bare feet. Snorkelers also choose open heeled fins because of their design they usually provide more thrust and speed.

Closed heel fins, also called full foot fins, pocket fins or, are worn on bare feet (sometimes with a neoprene sock) and need to fit your feet well. Otherwise you will easily get blisters.

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CLASSIC VS SPLIT FINS

Divers and snorkelers have long since never agreed about the best fins for snorkeling and diving. Everyone has their own opinion on them. Classic fins, also called paddle fins or full bladed fins,
come in different design and budget suitability. Ranging from very cheap snorkel fins which are literally just a triangular piece of plastic with a foot pocket connected to it, to very advanced fins with flexible thrust channels and stabilizers.

Split fins are becoming more common. It’s said to eradicate muscle strain and cramping, a big help you will find has these cramps happen a lot since your using your fee so much.
Kicking the fins use less strength and are suited for people whose leg muscles aren’t as strong or people with knee problems. With split fins you have to use a “flutter kick” instead of the large forceful strokes you make with classic fins.

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SWIM FINS

Swim fins are short fins that are meant for swimming training. They reduce the load on the upper part of the body, allowing the user to work on their technique. In current times you see them marketed as “travel fins”, however they aren’t suitable for scuba diving and should be used with caution.

Even though they can provide you with some extra speed while swimming, they don’t provide the thrust which is needed to get you to safety if you end up in a surface current while snorkeling. Therefore it is advised to only use these type of fins in very calm waters where there is no chance of a current. Just to note the Major brands that produce quality swim fins are Finis, Speedo and Body Glove.

 

Summary of snorkeling gear

 Cressi Palau Snorkel SetSupertrip Snorkel SetTribord Subsea EasyBreatheTUSA Sport Youth Snorkel Set U.S. Divers Diva Women Snorkel Set
Snorkel TypeFlexible DryDry Dry Flexible DryDry, Fleixble
Mask TypeRegualrRegular Full faceRegular small fitRegular
Editor Comments -Palau Short Fins
- Two Window Silicone Mask
-Carry Mesh Bag
- Original anti-splash end with
a special valve that seals the tube as you dive

-Anti Fog design
- 1 year warranty
- Free waterproof pouch to put your phone in
- 2 Year Tribord Warranty
- Exclusive Anti-Fogging Design
- 180° Panoramic Field of Vision
- Shatterproof
- no fins
- Best for kids!
- 3 year warranty
- Drain chamber for easy clearing
- Hypo-allergenic silicone
- no fins
- includes Admiral LX mask, Island Dry LX Snorkel, Trek fin
- Adjustable mask t fit any size face
- 2 year warranty