Best Snorkeling Gear
Before diving below the surface an ocean, lake, river, or heck even your backyard swimming pool, you are going to want to know that you are safe and prepared for what lies underneath the surface. Compared to most hobbies nowadays snorkeling is rather inexpensive, especially when you consider the thrill you can receive from jumping in and seeing everything from the great coral reef filled with beautiful fish and marine life or simply getting that underwater view at your kids as they splash around your backyard pool. In this guide, we will go over what you need to look for when purchasing a snorkel set along with a list of some of the top gear out on the market today. We will also help you with some of the terminology of the gear as well as what certain features are used for and how to use them. So let us dive on in!
10 Best Snorkeling Gear
OCEAN VIEW SNORKEL SET
The design for this set is more in the nonconventional section of the snorkeling world and it blows the competitors out of the water. Having only a single lens allows for an uninterrupted 180 degree view in front of you with no fear of fogging with their anti-fogging lens. This lens is also made of polycarbonate which means it is resistant to cracks and shattering. The frame does also very well under pressure with its durable polypropylene frame to keep the whole design strong inside and out.
The constructed airways of this mask that lead to the snorkel tube are amazingly designed. By bringing your air you breathe away from the actual lens of the goggle it keeps the air from fogging up anything in the lens. The snorkel tube itself is again amongst the unconventional side of the snorkeling world. Because of the breathing system within the mask the snorkel tube is actually centered at the top of the mask and is actually detachable not to mention easy to reinstall.
Fit and Comfortability
Now disclaimer and first negative aspect of this design is that the way it suctions to your face it makes its nearly impossible if not downright impossible for those with beards. Sorry guys but for proper fit and no water leakage you are going to have to shave your beard. Now, with that out of the way, the water tight seal on this product is amazing. It keeps water out fairly well and the only complaint you will see from other users, besides those who didn’t follow directions on how to wear it properly, is maybe the possible reduction of airflow allowed by the breathing system. Other than that the comfort level is pretty high here.
While the basic sets come with just a set of goggles and a breathing apparatus, again Ocean View commits to more. With this set you will receive a pair of short split tip fins. The split tip fins are supposed to make a sort of vortex behind the kink making acceleration that much easier, which is a good quality for a short fin to have. This kit throws it all together by tossing in a mesh carrying bag to keep all your gear in one place nice and neat.
Being at the top of the list, it does come with a bit of a price tag as far as snorkeling gear goes. But all and all that you are getting in this pack including fins and a kind of cheap like bag it does actually seem worth the price.
When it comes down to it, this set is at the top of our list for a reason. It delivers where it says it delivers and really is good for all ages to experience the wonderful world of snorkeling. Plus not to mention this product is super safe with its shatterproof lens and suction type fitting you can feel safe giving it to your children to experience the underwater worlds as long as you make sure they know how to properly wear the device. But just a kindly reminder, you will need either a wetsuit or diving boots to accompany these fins for they are open heeled fins and not full footed fins.
- Wide Angle, Anti-Fog Lens
- Silicon Face Padding
- Dry Top Seal with Drain Valve
- Durable Design
- Fully Adjustable and Safe
- Fully adjustable short split fins
- Does Not Work With Beards
WAYCOOL SNORKELING SET
Holding a tempered glass lens that is one full piece allows for a panoramic view of the underwater world that you are exploring without the worry of cracks or fully braking of your mask’s lens. With this clear of a view the last thing you would want is for it to fog up on you disabling you scenic views and causing it a hazard, so these also sport a anti-fog coating to prevent that from ever happening.
The snorkel that is sold with this set is a full dry snorkel with a few extras thrown in for your convenience. The first thing that is really nice is that along with the dry top, they have added a splash guard to help with keeping water out of your snorkel just that much more. So let’s say the dry top and splash guard somehow fail or something else happens and you get some water in your tube. This snorkel is equipped with a purge valve that permits you to drain and clear water out of your snorkel. It sounds like this set has your back if something does happen.
Fit and Comfortability
As for the fit, this is where this set falls short just a bit. There is only a one size fits all option to these which means those with smaller or larger faces might have trouble with the mask fitting properly and keeping a seal. The other thing along with the one size mask is that the mouth piece is a bit larger than most, but it is made of a fairly soft silicone material so it will not be that hard plastic like cheaper set may have. That soft material is also on the mask for that comfort factor. So if the one size fits all tactic fits and suits you then consider this product for sure.
Now this set does not really have many wowing extras such as fins and whatnot, it keeps things pretty up front and simple. That being said this set does have a mesh bag that accompanies it which comes in handy for sure! Since the bag is mesh there is no need to make sure your equipment is fully dry before throwing them in its bag. As a quick tip as far as bags go, bags that are not mesh water can cause your set to grow mold since the water sits and can’t evaporate. One last cool thing about this set is it does have color options which is a nice leisurely thing yes, but comes in handy if you and someone you snorkel with have the same set or similar sets as for you can tell them apart.
Now this set is pretty sweet, but let us talk price for a minute. Yes this set is an amazing and simple set although the price that it is set at you might expect a pair of fins too, or simply that the price just be a little lower. If you are thinking that this is the set you really want then the cool thing about the internet is that somewhere out there someone is always having a sale so take a look around places for instance Amazon.
This set, out of today’s sets out there, is simply and beautifully well put together. It has almost everything you you would want and does it all well. That is as long as the one size fits all snag doesn’t bother you too much. But as a quality set and great features, with a lifetime no hassle warranty backing you, how could you not at least give this set a look.
- Tempered Glass
- Full Dry Snorkel With Splash Guard and Purge Valve
- Lifetime Hassle-Free Guarantee
- Soft Silicone Throughout
- One Size Fits All
- Fairly Large Mouth Piece
- No Fins
PHANTOM AQUATICS SPEED
Sporting a low volume mask this set makes it easy to pack your snorkel gear along with you other things since they pack flat. To supplement the slim design they are made of silicone making this mask soft and comfortable to wear. As far as the lens goes, it is actually two separate lenses so you might get a bit of mask frame in your peripherals at times. Although one of the spots that missed a major detail is that they are not equipped with anything for protection against fogging of the lenses.
These days most of the sets show off their dry tops that do not allow water into your breathing area. These on the other hand, do have some protection from water splashing in although they only considered to have a semi-dry top valve. Which means for those that like to dive in a little deeper than just the surface, chances are you are going to experience some issues while down there exploring.
Fit and Comfortability
As long as the chance of seeing a tiny bit of frame of the goggles is not a comfort issue for you, then these are good to go as far as comfort goes. Their comfortable fit comes from their liquid silicone skirt that also makes sure to keep a water tight seal while diving. Another important feature is that these come in multiple sizes so you are able to get the right fit for you and don’t have to deal with leaking or moving goggles.
Being hooked up with extras is always fun, and Phantom Aquatics made sure they did. Along with the goggles and snorkel you will receive a pair of adjustable open heel short fins that will give you two times the speed while only using half of the effort it would normally take. But it does not stop there! This set also comes with eight different colors so each member of the family will be able to tell which is theirs. To round things off this set comes with a mesh bag that allows your gear to dry properly after a day of diving.
There are not many setbacks to this set, especially when you get all of these cool extras and color options, and price for what you are getting is not too bad at all either. You will find that this set falls in about the midrange of majority of sets out there. With that said, most prices of sets are pretty consumer friendly and midrange, where this pair lands, is still a great deal when you consider the fun to be had with it.
Considering that the top is not is not a full dry top limiting much diving and being prone to fogging does not make this a horrible set. These are major drawbacks sure, but there is other ways to make these anti-fog and for a diver that is a little more experienced should be able to make this set work to their liking.
- Adjustable open heel short fins
- Low Volume Silicone Material
- Only A Semi-Dry Top
- Not Anti-Fog
CRESSI SCUBA DIVING SNORKELING
The nice feature on these goggles is that they are considered frameless. Now yes they have an outside frame that holds the lens in place but there is no center piece since this is a single lens goggle. Now this single lens does help out a bunch in activities like I mentioned before, sports and photography, because it gives you a nice field of view to see what is going on around you. So you are thinking I am not going to be doing either spots or photography, well no worries you don’t need to, to enjoy these. The wide lens will allow you as well see everything in front of you crystal clear so you don’t miss a detail. Not to mention this clear view will never crack and break due to it being all made of tempered glass. But be aware, this lens is not an anti-fog lens.
Cressi kept the snorkel tube looking quite basic although the functionality of it is far from basic. The mouth piece on this thing is made of soft silicone letting your mouth feel at home. Now the coolest part of this snorkel is that the dry top on this allows you to fully submerge it without water coming into your snorkel tube. This allows the diver to dive down to depths and get up close and personal with objects and animals without having to clear your tube when you come back up for air.
Fit and Comfortability
Along with a comfortably soft silicone mouth piece these goggles are made with all liquid silicone in the skirt allowing for a super comfortable dive not to mention it lets them fold flat for packing. These are a great choice for most teenagers and up since there is only one size, but the silicone skirt is pretty stretchy allowing for a good seal on most faces. It’s the kids that may have a bit more of a problem with these fitting correctly.
The one thing a lot of people look for in sets are fins and sorry to disappoint but no fins here but they didn’t come up empty handed in the extras department. These are available in eight different colors and come with a carrying bag. The bag is decent although it is not mesh so you are going to need to let your gear air out and dry off before shoving them into this bag for storage to prevent mold.
The price for these are getting very close to the pricey rang but do not think they are quite there yet. They have some great features such as the fully submergible snorkel that is worth its weight in gold and will definitely come in handy, but there are a few major places where they missed the really missed the mark such as not having an anti-fog defense. You can get more with others out on the market although some of these features still keep this set relevant.
When it comes down to gearing up and jumping in, this set is best utilized for the people looking to use their snorkel set for sports and or underwater photography. This set excels in those areas vastly although don’t be turned off if you are not into those activities for they do have some great features for those who want to be up close and maybe even hands on while completely under the water.
- Wide Field Of View
- Full Submersible Dry Top Snorkel
- Made With Soft Silicone
- Small and Packs Flat
- One Size
- No Fins
SEALBUDDY FIJI PANORAMIC
This set’s mask actually is a four window mask with the front lens being wide open for a panoramic view. This mask is designed pretty well even if you can see a bit of the frame in peripherals. Again, if this type of issue doesn’t bother you then pay to attention to this. If you are someone that is looking for that seamless view you may want to look elsewhere. But, do not doubt the clarity of this strong tempered glass it wields.
The unique design of this tube is actually one that comes in handy while diving and could be among the best in the biz when it comes to what features it flaunts. Now the tube is actually bendable so that it moves and stays above the water while you move your head. This snorkel is also outfitted with a purge valve just in case the completely submersible dry top design has a problem or water enters in some other way. This is all done over a soft silicone mouth piece.
Fit and Comfortability
The comfortability level of this mask is superb. While being made of hypoallergenic silicone they have formed a face skirt to make a water tight seal. As far as the snorkel goes it is right on par with the masks comfortability with a soft silicone mouth piece.
This set is great with the extras! First off it comes with open heel fins that encompass an adjustable strap. These are pretty decent fins with streamlined blades that happen to be dual composite for minimum fatigue and max thrust, although this set only has fins for people with sizes eight to twelve size feet. Secondly with this set you will get a carrying bag that fits all of the set and it is very nice. The bag also has the very nifty mesh vents to allow for proper drying and an extra pocket for any other items you may need to throw in. to round things all off this particular set comes with a diving vest as well.
It all sounds pretty great doesn’t it. Well the price reflect all the extras and features that come with this set very well. This set is definitely on the expensive side of the spectrum, but you will look top of the line and have some pretty great features to go along with you on your adventures. Probably not the pack for you if you are just getting into this sport.
Now yes this set has it all the fancy touches and some pretty awesome features you can’t deny that. Taking into account that you get all those things, the negatives seem to push this down the list. Not having protection against fogging is a major deal when you are around water, the fins sizes narrow down who is able to use them, and the price is really a killer especially for someone starting out. Do not recommend this as your first set however, if you are on your second or third set and curious then try it out see how it works for you.
- Bendable Dry Top Snorkel
- High Thrust Fins
- Tempered Glass
- Wide View
- Snorkeling Vest Included
- Very pricey
- No Anti-Fog Protection
- Slim Variety Of Fin Sizes
WildHorn Outfitters 180 Degree
The 180 degree view that you get from this set is practically unbeatable. With the anti-fog channels, that they designed to take the air you breathe away from the lens all together, you will have no problem seeing clearly through the shatterproof glass installed in this set. We can’t forget that built into the frame in actually a GoPro mount so you can film your dives and review everything you saw or did under the water!
Snorkel tubes usually come from your mouth and go to one side and up you head right? Well this design has it placed right over the top in the middle of your forehead. We are telling you, this set is crazily designed but it works. The snorkel itself is a dry top snorkel that is fully submergible so dive away! Last but not least, this snorkel is longer that the usual snorkel tube allowing for a little more room to move around while breathing at the surface.
Fit and Comfortability
With all these features there is no way it can be this low on the list, you may be thinking. Well this is one of two huge drawbacks to this mask and that is that having that large full face design requires more surface area to cover therefore longer seal needs to be made. With a longer seal it grants more room for failure, and it tends to happen if you don’t get the mask on just right. The second thing may be directed at a small group of people using this although it is important to know. This product will not work with a bear and they tell you that right up front. The seral around the face is just not able to be made if you happen to be modeling your manly beard, sorry man.
This set is a tad behind in the extras department. Besides the GoPro mount that it already built into the frame of the mask, that is all you really get, if you don’t count the user manual. Though it is nice to have an 18 month warranty and a 30 days money back guarantee to stick in your back pocket just in case. The only other thing that is close to an extra is that it comes in six different colors and the sizes range from kids to adults of all kinds.
This particular set is a bit different when it comes to prices. The prices are done in a range, ranging from an semi okay price to very expensive all depending on selction of color and size.
The full face mask we have here is really nice if you can figure out the different style of application and get it to seal. Other than that this mask is known to leak and is that what you really want? Masks are supposed to keep the water out not trickle in. At the end of the day it is a gamble although you could try it out and utilize that 30 day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work out for you.
- 180 degree view
- Relatively comfortable
- Built In GoPro Mount
- Dry Top Submergible Snorkel
- No fins
- No Beards
- Water leaks possible (especially under pressure)
CRESSI PALAU MASK
The look of the frame is a bit dated but the shape is designed for maximum comfort. As far as the lenses go they are very run of the mill for this sport. They are just your simple tempered glass not permitting cracks or breaking of the lenses. Unfortunately this pair of goggles are not fog proof making it a nightmare if they do end up fogging up.
This is where this set steps up their game a bit. It does come with a dry top snorkel that you are able to dive under the water with. And to help out the dry top snorkel it is equipped with a splash guard for extra protection. A purge valve is also fixed on the snorkel for any water that happens to get in.
Fit and Comfortability
For starters the design of the frame is done so, so that it sits on the face in a comfortable fashion. To go along with that great frame design they threw in some extra soft hypoallergenic silicone to make it not only suction but to be as comfortable as can be. The suction on this mask has been known to leak time to time possibly because of the extra soft silicone allowing water to seep in.
One of the bigger selling points of this set is the fins that come with it. These short fins have an open heel with an adjustable strap that boasts about it is very hard to find feature. This feature is that the strap is designed for bare feet making it so that the user does not have to buy a wetsuit or diving boot to go underneath the strap allowing for more people in the family to use it. The one downside to these fins is that for a short fin they are a bit heavy for their class, but nonetheless not too bad. This set also includes a mesh bag perfect for allowing the proper drying process and easy to store. Another nice offering is that there are multiple sizes and colors for every member of the family not to mention this set is super easy to use even for the younger divers.
The price is the real zinger about this set. Sadly the price for a set like this is going to run you a bit more than the other pairs out there and especially on this list. For cheaper than this you can get the same features and possibly even more if you look around our list.
While the comfortability and features are almost all there, the features that are lacking along with the price it did land lower on our list. If you can get these to make a good suction on your face and not allow them to fog up this is not a bad set at all. If the price is not an issue and you can avoid the downfalls like maybe a seasoned diver could, then the other features start to sound decent and you may want to give these a whirl.
- Dry Top Snorkel
- Strong Adjustable Fin Straps
- Straps Allowing Bare Feet usage
- Prone To Leaking
- Heavier Than Normal Fins
- Not Anti-Fog
PRODIVE DRY TOP SNORKEL SET
The frame for these goggles are exactly what you would expect when you think basic. If you close your eyes and picture a pair of basic goggles you are more than likely thinking of these. With two lenses and a huge silicone nose fashioned between you get these goggles with a simplistic look. Now sometimes simple is better and that’s where the lenses shine bright. These have pressure and impact resistant tempered glass for their lenses that will withstand just about anything you throw their way. If you are worried about things getting a tad foggy, worry no more for these have an anti-fog type design built in.
Simple, again, is a good way to put this snorkeling tube just with a few upgrades. It is actually a dry top snorkel allowing you to dive under the water. One feature you do not see pop up on this list that this set has is a customizable mouth piece for the ultimate fit.
Fit and Comfortability
These claim to be water tight although with the one size fits all idea in play here it all depends on the shape of your face and if it sits just right on your face or not. For those of you that these fit then yes you will have a silicone seal although it tends to not be as comfortable as others out there.
Sadly this kit is pretty simple, if we haven’t stressed that enough already. Although one plus is that it does come complete with a carrying case that is waterproof. That’s great and all yet keeping water off your snorkeling gear is a bit pointless and the weatherproofing on this bag prevents your wet snorkeling gear to dry out properly while inside.
Finally a spot where you will not see much negativity at all. This set, as simple as it is, is very cost effective. Even at this price you are still able to get a set that allows you to dive deeper and explore without ferar of water entering the tube.
Looking for a cheap set for the kids or maybe wanting a set to just get out there and dive? This is your set! Granted the one size it comes in fits. Other than that spend a few extra dollars, and we mean few, to get a set that may fit a bit better and will most likely come with some extras you will enjoy.
- Impact Resistant Tempered Glass
- Resistant To Deep Water Pressures
- Dry Top Snorkel
- Very Affordable
- No Fins
- One Size Fits All
- Prone To Leakage
- Not as Comfortable
SEGMART SEAVIEW 180 DEGREE
As you see in the name this lens allows for amazing range of view. While wearing this set it is nearly impossible to see the frame and you will always have a clear view thanks to this mask having an anti-fog feature.
The tube on this mask is fixed to the mask right above the forehead. This tube is fed your exhale by channels that take your breath away from the lens helping keep fogging from happing and right out the top of your mask. This tube is also a tad longer than pervious designs allowing for a little more room to move around at the water’s surface.
Fit and Comfortability
comfort is quite nice since the suction is placed on the outer edge of your face instead of around your eyes. Having this mush to suction down does have the drawbacks of trying to keep all that area down by suction and is prone to leaking if it is not on just right with the proper suction. And guys with beards, again so sorry but this mask will not suction to your beard allowing water to pour in. Other than that everything on or in this mask has a pretty comfortable feel with the silicone facial lining.
Extra features that come with this mask are not much. Unless you have a GoPro this one extra does not apply to you unless you plan on buying one. This mask has nicely placed a GoPro mount at the top of the mask so you are able to record your entire adventure.
This money you are going to shell out for this product is not too bad at all. It is about midrange of other snorkels especially those on this list. Definitely affordable for most.
The biggest plus about this mask is that it is easy to use and it comes in different sizes and a few different colors so that the whole family small and large can enjoy the world beneath the surface. This product will be great for you if it fit is right and if not you should expect some leaking. So if you have kids and want to keep things a bit more simple for them this might be a good idea.
- For Kids and Adults
- Very Wide Viewing Area
- Dry Top Snorkel
- No Fins or Extras
- Prone to Leakage
- Does Not Work With Beards
CRESSI MEREA & SUPERNOVA
There is not an easier way to put this, but the overall look of the fame is certainly not the most fashionable things available. That would be okay if there was a purpose for this design however the two lens with a clear frame design they have made just looks like it needs to be updated. Now for the actual lenses themselves, are not bad but nothing special. They are your typical tempered glass lenses that will be hardy against any type of impacts the might encounter. Glass is intact is good unless it is fogged. These goggles do not have anything to combat fog sadly. Which is actually a safety issue not to mention a fun killer.
The snorkel tube has actually seems to have caught up with the rest of the world in design and features. With a complete dry top snorkel to keep water out accompanied by a purge valve just in case this tube is right on track. Now top it all off with a comfortable mouth piece made of silicone and you have a pretty respectable snorkel tube.
Fit and Comfortability
Sadly the fit on these are a one size fits all deal although they do have a buckling system that allows for head size adjustments. No complaints on the comfort factor here but surely nothing to get worked up over neither.
Coming in at one of the most rudimentary sets, there is not much in the way of extras, and the one extra it does have has a design flaw. A carrying case comes with this set and simply put, it has no open area allowing your gear to dry out while inside.
Now sure this set is a decent set with a nice tube and okay goggles, until you see the price. The price for what you are getting is ridiculous. You can no doubt find a better set on this list for much cheaper. Plain and simple.
This set is on this list because it does work and gets the job done for some people, although it is at the bottom of this list for good reasons. All of those reasons plus the price the recommendation for these are hard to give. That being said the other consumers that get the right fit and get these to work out for them are absolutely thrilled. It is another gamble on goggles, are you willing to take the risk at this price?
- Tempered Glass
- Dry Snorkel
- No Fins
- No Anti-Fog
- One Size Fits All
Criteria used for the evaluation
Dry snorkels claim to do just that, keep you dry and the water out. These snorkels do this by having a splash proof type guard at the top keeping water from splashing in. Now notice we said keeps splashes out, not full on water submersion. All snorkeling gear is made for surface type uses. If you want some gear that you can fully submerge and view things from completely under water then you might want to take a look at scuba gear instead of these here snorkels.
Does The Mask Fit and Is It Comfortable
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, color and looks cannot hold a candle to how important fit and comfortability are. If you have to spend most of your dive time messing with and adjusting your mask you are not going to have a good time. Now yes this makes online shopping a little more difficult although most reputable online store, such as Amazon, have great return policies in case you need to send things back. This should be the number one thing to look at when purchasing a snorkel set making sure the fit will keep water out yet is a comfortable fit so, like earlier stated, you don’t have to fidget with your mask and potentially allowing water to find its way in. Also, consider your beard. If you will notice we nicely labeled the gear in our list beard friendly or not under the Cons section. Some of these masks, the way they were designed, they just cannot get a good suction around your manliness. We suggest you always test your gear in shallow and/or a controlled environment before setting out on any size adventure.
Fin Sizing Options and Fit
As you might know or will soon find out, fins come in all sorts or shapes and sizes these days. The first thing to look for and decide on is either a full foot fin or an adjustable open heel fin. For most people, the adjustable option may seem the best viable answer for obvious size changing reasons although be aware that all adjustable fins are designed to accompany a wetsuit or a dry type diving boot. These fins are supposed to go on the outside of the gear giving it something other than your bare skin to grip on to. That being said the adjustable options are more versatile and best long term value choice. Now, on the other hand, you have the full foot fin. This option doesn’t require an extra wetsuit or any gear because they fit right directly onto your foot. The downside to these is they might, just depending on what you demand from them, lack the overall power you are able to gain off kicking.
Snorkel Length and Diameter
The simple design of the snorkel may lead you to overlook the importance of this oh so simple design. The most important thing to look for is the snorkel’s diameter. The diameter determines, in simple terms, how big of a straw you have to breathe through. This number comes in handy because the bigger the diameter the more airflow is going to be allowed down the snorkel into your lungs. Smaller diameters may be more sleek and easier to lug around but when you are under the water you are going to want the biggest diameter possible. Secondly, for more as a personal preference, the length of your snorkel will determine how close and careful you have to be at the surface of the water. Again, the bigger the snorkel the harder it is to store and carry although the long snorkel allows a little more free range of up and down without popping below the water’s surface. If you go too short you will be given a small area close to the top with most likely your back still out of the water space to breathe.
More to think about when purchasing a new snorkeling gear
Will You Be Using Fins?
Fins might be one of the fun commodities of snorkeling. They allow you to move faster, see more, and all around have a great time. But before you go throwing a pair on and jumping into the deep blue, make sure you have the right fins and are using them properly. To keep it simple we will just touch on the short and long fins here. The long fin allows you to move faster through the water and does it while exerting less energy it would take if you were using short or no fins, but they are called long fins for a reason. Unlike the long fins, the short fins are easy to stow and go and tend to be easier to maneuver. With that being said, the short fins are not as efficient but they sure do beat your bare feet! Now that you have got an idea of fin sizes there is one more very important thing to look out for and we just talked about it. Types of fit. Full foot fins you can slip right on and go but may slip around a little more whereas adjustable open heel fins allow for a snug fit but you will have to buy either a wetsuit or diving boots before you go slipping your foot in there.
Price, Price, Price!
Now for most of us, money is not just something we can throw here and throw there at no expense so being reasonable and frugal with your money might be a factor when making any purchase. For most hobbies, things can get expensive and quickly, but snorkeling is not only very family friendly but it is also economical as well! Don’t be fooled by some of the prices out there and always consider other options like the majority of the snorkel sets on our list. Of the sets out there today you should be able to find the quality and features that you desire for a very reasonable price. So do your shopping, weigh your options, and utilize our list to help you make an educated and thrifty decision when you decide to pull the trigger on your new adventures.
Q: What is snorkeling?
A: Snorkeling is a fun outdoor activity for all ages that know how to swim. It is simply swimming but while swimming you use specific gear such as goggles and a breathing apparatus called a snorkel to allow you to breathe all while face down in the water. while face down and wearing goggles it will allow you to have a clear view, water permitting, of what is going on below that water’s surface.
Q: What is the difference between scuba diving and snorkeling?
A: In some fashions snorkeling and scuba diving can be similar. They both wear similar gear although the scuba gear is made to withstand much higher pressures than those used for snorkeling. Mostly because of the immense pressures that build up the deeper you go into the water. Fins can also be similar although most of the time scuba fins are longer and designed to let the diver swim to deeper depths whereas snorkeling isn’t deep diving but more of a leisurely swim at and just below the water’s surface. Instruments used for breathing are completely different in the two different types of diving. For the scuba diver not only does he carry more gear, heavier gear, but his lifeline is the tank or tanks strapped usually to his or her back. In these tanks are oxygen hooked up to a respirator which allows for the scuba diver to breathe underwater. While snorkeling you do not have tanks and your lifeline is basically surfacing if you even dive at all and pulling air from above the surface of the water. learn more about breathing underwater below in that specific question.
Q: What is a dry top?
A: For beginners, dry tops are very helpful. To put it most simply a dry top snorkel means that there is a valve at the very top of you snorkeling tube, what you breathe out of, and it is closed to keep water from pouring in at any time especially when diving down deeper in the water. The valve only opens when you are breathing in or out. Also to help water from entering while breathing some snorkels have a splash guard keeping splashing water out of the tube. See questions below to find out more about being able to dive below the surface while snorkeling.
Q: What is a purge valve and how does it work?
A: A purge valve, for the simple answer, is a valve that lets water that may have gotten in the snorkeling tube to be expelled out of the tube. Now a little more information about it. This purge valve is located at the bottom of the snorkel where the water will collect because of gravity. To use this valve is very simple. Step one is noticing the water, and step two is exhaling and it should get rid of the water. Simple as that.
Q: Can you go deeper than the surface with a snorkel?
A: Sure! With the dry tops explained above is the ideal way to do it without getting water in your snorkel. There are other things to learn before you start diving but basically, diving requires you to take a breath, hold it because you can not breathe underwater unless you are a fish, and finally swim downward. How deep you can go depends on how long you can hold your breath and if your gear can handle pressure or not.
Q: What is the difference between short fins and long fins?
A: Shopping for fins can be an intimidating venture if you aren’t knowledgeable about the different types. The main difference and most noticeable attribute is the length of the fin. Long fins take a little more effort to use but your thrust is very high along with your fatigue levels but can cover more area. As for the short fins, they don’t provide as much thrust but they also use a lot less effort. The short fins are nice for staying in one general area and usually are perfect for snorkeling. A little bit of bonus info about fin types here, about split fins. Split fins were designed to create a type of vortex in the water behind them as you kick. This extra little vortex is supposed to propel you faster in the water while also using up less energy.
Q: Can you breathe underwater with a snorkel?
A: No, you cannot breathe under the water with a snorkel and here is why. A snorkel is simply a tube that allows to float face down on the top of the water with the tube sticking out of the water feeding you oxygen. This does not mean you can’t go deeper than the top of the water either. Refer to the section above that asks the question “can you go deeper than the surface with a snorkel?’. We go into a little more detail about what we call diving.
Q: At what age can kids start to snorkel?
A: Before any kids get in any water whether it be as small as a pool or as big as the ocean make sure that you have taught them water safety in and around bodies of water. After they know how to stay safe the next question should be pretty obvious to ask, and that is if they know how to swim. Snorkeling is essentially swimming with a few little things to help you see below the water’s surface for an extended period of time. But just because they can swim does not necessarily mean they are ready. If they know how to swim then determine how strong of a swimmer they are possibly by testing out some gear in a controlled environment such as the shallow end of a pool making sure to not leave them alone. Once they get the hang of how things work it is time to slowly move to more and more difficult areas making sure to not move up to fast. Remember safety first not just for children but for adults as well.
After reviewing many, many sets this list is comprised of a good range of sets for all types of people at different skill levels and even different ages. If you have read this whole review chances are that you have your eyes on one of these sets still thinking about purchasing it. The best advice might be to just go for it solely because a majority of these sets, with the exception of only a couple, are very decently priced and can be affordable for almost everyone’s budget. If you still are trying to decide and maybe on the fence about which you should buy, then for sure check out the top few on this list. The farther up this list you go the better chance of finding something that will fit what you are looking for. The Ocean View set at the top of the list grabbed that spot by having some great features, durability, accessories, and overall performance. There was not much to say that would turn someone off of this set and nearly every consumer that purchased and used this set said not only did they love this set, but they had a blast doing it. When it comes down to what snorkeling is about, it is about having fun and enjoying the experience with good company. Happy snorkeling!