When choosing snorkeling gear, the sheer amount of variety can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you choose the right one? Well, when it comes to masks, a proper fit is the first priority. When snorkeling, if your mask doesn’t fit properly, it can let in water or fog up, which causes your sightline to be poor and you to exhaust yourself treading water to empty it out. No one wants that hassle. So when choosing a mask, try it on and start by holding your breath. Now gently place the mask up against your face, pressing slightly, then let go. If the mask falls away, it doesn’t fit you properly. A well-fitting mask will stick to your face without your help.
Some other aspects of a mask to consider when choosing the right one for you is skirt size, materials it’s made from, peripheral visibility, no fog lenses, and volume. Considering skirts, it’s recommended that you go as wide as you can and you go with a silicone mask. Silicone lasts much, much longer, and the wider a mask is, the better of a seal it will have. As for volume, you want to go for a low volume mask in order to compensate for the air pressure increase the deeper you go. All of these features add up to your perfect mask, so be sure to pay attention to the finer details when choosing.
The Seaview 180-degree Snorkel Mask
The Seaview 180-degree Snorkel Mask for Adults and Youth is a great choice for any diver. This mask is a full face, free breathing design; meaning there’s no annoying tube in your mouth and no pinching or pressure points like traditional masks. This mask not only makes it possible to breath out of your nose or mouth, but it has a built in drainage valve in case there is any type of leak—all you have to do is lift your head out of the water! It also checks off a lot of the aspects we discussed in finding your perfect makes, including anti-fog technology, a silicone seal, and volume. This mask won’t disappoint.
Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask
Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask is another full face, free breathing design with mind-blowing technology. With this design you don’t need to worry about goggles, you can see right through the mask, without an intrusive tube in our mouth that sometimes blocks your peripheral vision. This mask not only offers 180-degree vision, but a double air flow system installed right in the mask to prevent any fogging! Speaking of smart technology, they have something even smarter. The mask has a built in mechanism that will plug the top of the snorkel when submerged in water to prevent any leakage. If there was such a thing as a smart mask, this would be it.
The Cressi Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
The Cressi Freediving Mask Snorkel Set is one of the few great traditionally designed snorkeling masks. Although the traditional design is more straightforward with not many add-ons, it is just as intelligently made. It has no frame surrounding the goggles, giving it one of the largest fields-f-view of any traditional mask. Not only that, though, it also checks off many of the major aspects we discussed to find the perfect mask! It’s extremely low volume, it’s silicone, and doesn’t fog up! It also has adjusting buckles, folds up quite easily, and has a dry top to eliminate any water entry when submerged in water. It’s one of the best quality masks you can find without breaking your bank.
The Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Set
The Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Set is another fantastic traditional mask. This mask offers a lot more than it would appear. It’s made with the highest grade crystal silicone for a soft, comfortable, and leak-proof seal around the face. It also has a double edge facial seal to make it even more airtight. It also has easy, adjustable straps, great vision, and a dry guard for the snorkel to eliminate water intake. Even better, it’s low volume, foldable and flexible. But unlike other traditional designs, it has features that allow easier ear equalization, quick release for the buckle, an angled mouthpiece for comfort, and an extra-large self-draining chamber. Phantom Aquatics definitely didn’t sacrifice quality for price with this mask, making it a smart choice for any diver.
So next time you go shopping for gear, consider the details, the comfort, the design. Look over our recommendations and consider what is right for you. And remember, dive safe, dive smart.