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Best Snorkel Gear for An Underwater Adventure


There are few better ways to enjoy the natural world than snorkeling. Watching schools of colorful fish, catching a glimpse of a fluttering stingray, or seeing a sea turtle up close are unforgettable experiences. And all you need to see these remarkable things is a few basic pieces of equipment. The best snorkel gear is comfortable, won’t leak, and lets you breathe easily while exploring all there is to see underwater.

For over 15 years, we have been avid snorkelers and PADI-certified scuba divers. We have had plenty of opportunities to test out snorkel kits all over the world–from seeing sea life in the Galapagos to reefs in St. Kitts to manatees in Florida. After some trial and error, we bought our own and don’t know how we ever lived without it.

Two people snorkeling in clear freshwater
Snorkeling with our Cressi gear near manatees in Florida

Owning your own snorkel, mask, and fins ensures that your gear will always work and fit properly. Having it at your disposal at all times means you can just walk off the beach and see cool things without a lot of planning. Plus, you don’t have to put your mouth on equipment that’s been used by lots of other people.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about our thoughts on the best equipment, so we’ve put together our recommendations for the top masks, fins, and snorkels as well as one-piece snorkel masks.

This article contains affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Our Picks

Don’t have time to read the whole guide? These are the all-around best bets.

Best snorkel set
Cressi Palau Set

This set features a dry-top snorkel, provides an excellent field of view, and includes open-heel short blade fins for easy movement.
Best full-face snorkel
Seaview 180° V3 mask

This full-face snorkel is our pick thanks to its fog-resistant design, improved air intake system, and chin camera mount.

Best Snorkel Set Comparison

ProductRating Price

Cressi Palau Snorkel Set
4.6Check Price

Phantom Aquatics Rapido Set
4.5Check Price

Cressi Big Eyes & Supernova Dry Snorkeling Set
4.3Check Price

U.S. Divers Cozumel Snorkel Set
4.1Check Price

Best Full Face Snorkel Comparison


Seaview 180° V3 Mask

4.8Check Price

Tribord Easybreath Snorkel Mask
4.7Check Price

Ocean Reef Aria QR Mask
4.6Check Price

Greatever G2 Full Face Snorkel Mask
4.4Check Price

Snorkel Set Reviews

When buying snorkel gear, it’s important to decide what pieces you’re in the market for because sets can include a snorkel and mask only or mask, fins, and snorkel all together (often with a gear bag). Neither is better than the other–it’s just a matter of personal preference on what equipment you’re most likely to need and use.

Cressi Palau Snorkel Set

Cressi is known for their high-quality snorkeling equipment at affordable prices, and the Cressi Palau snorkel set continues that tradition.

The comfortable Cressi Palau mask features a durable silicone skirt to help prevent leaks while adapting to different face sizes and is great for any recreational snorkeler. The adjustable strap ensures you get the best fit for you. The accompanying Supernova Dry snorkel has a dry-top valve that helps ensure you won’t get a mouth full of salt water even when submerged. Its curved design fits easily in the mouth and won’t tire out your jaw to use.

This Cressi set comes with open-heel short blade fins that can be used with bare feet or booties, accommodating a wider size range and ensuring you get the perfect fit. The short fins not only help you move through the water well but they are compact and easy to travel with. They even fit in the mesh gear bag that comes with the set, so they’re easy to carry around and can dry while in the bag.

Bottom line: The durable, comfortable Cressi Palau equipment has everything you need for a great day of snorkeling and can adjust to fit most members of the family.

Phantom Aquatics Rapido

The Phantom Aquatics set offers a feature not seen with many types of snorkel gear—a panoramic mask. The Phantom mask has a design in which the tempered glass covers the sides of the mask in addition to the front, expanding your field of view and allowing you to see even more things underwater.

The Phantom Aquatics set offers high quality at an excellent value. In addition to the unique lens, it has an EZ Equalize nose pocket. This helpful feature lets you better adjust to the pressure simply by exhaling, which is key when you dive below the surface. The mask also has an easy-to-use buckle systems that flexes with facial movement. The accompanying dry snorkel is comfortable and keeps water out, and the fins are easy to adjust and get in and out of.

Bottom line: The Phantom Aquatics snorkel set is high quality equipment at a price that can’t be beat.

Cressi Big Eyes & Supernova Dry Snorkeling Set

The Cressi Big Eyes & Supernova Dry snorkeling set is an excellent all-around option. It will allow you to snorkel comfortably without having to worry about the hassles that come with some other equipment. We can recommend these wholeheartedly because we have used them ourselves for over a decade. In that time, we’ve only needed to replace the mask once.

The biggest selling point of the Cressi Big Eyes mask is its big eyes— the inverted tear-drop lenses provide a 30% greater field of view than typical two-lens configuration. Additionally, its high seal silicone skirt helps ensure the mask doesn’t leak, and it’s comfortable, too.

The Supernova Dry snorkel has a dry-top valve that seals to prevent water coming in. If any water ever does enter, there is also an easy-to-use purge valve that works like a charm. Once you’ve used a snorkel like this, you’ll never go back to a simple tube that can leave you with mouthfuls of water.

Bottom line: This reliable Cressi snorkel set is an excellent value, offering comfort, ease, and high performance.

U.S. Divers Cozumel Snorkel Set

The U.S. Divers Cozumel set is a solid budget option. The materials are sturdy, the mask is comfortable, and the set comes with a great mesh carrying bag, but this gear doesn’t have all the features of some other snorkel sets, like the Cressi options.

The two-pane mask design provides good visibility, and the straps include a 3-way adjustable buckle. Mask leaks are minimal. The Cozumel snorkel set also comes with fins that are a closed-foot design. This construction makes it easier to propel yourself through the water, but the design makes it very important that you choose the right size fins because the fit is not adjustable.

The only drawback to the U.S. Divers Cozumel product is the snorkel—it has a splash proof design, which is not the same as a dry top. Essentially, the snorkel will block some of the water if you’re hit by a wave, but it won’t be completely dry. Also, if you dive below the surface, you may find yourself with a mouthful of sea water.

Bottom line: The Cozumel snorkel set is a good budget buy and comes with all the necessary pieces, but you do compromise a bit on the snorkel itself.

Person snorkeling near an underwater statue
Testing gear at Chankanaab Park in Mexico

Full Face Snorkel Mask Reviews

Full-face snorkeling masks have increased in popularity in the last several years. While they were once used most often by beginners, they are now used by people with all levels of experience.

Full-face masks often have fewer issues with fogging and may have fewer leaks than traditional ones. We have also found that the volume of air within the mask makes you more buoyant at the surface. This bouyancy is generally a good thing but may be challenging if you want to dive down to get a closer look at something underwater.

Seaview 180° V3 Mask

WildHorn Outfitters—the makers of the Seaview 180° V3 mask—are some of the best manufacturers of full face snorkel masks around. At least one of their masks makes our list every year! This updated version, aptly called the V3, is their newest offering.

One of the most unique things about this mask is its Flowtech air intake system, which is designed to let you breathe normally with less fogging. The mask has two chambers and one-way intake valves to help the air circulate while still ensuring a leak-free fit. More fresh air and less fog means more comfort and more chances to see cool things underwater.

Two other important features are the angled snorkel tube and the viewing area. Some swimmers find that the angled tube stays above water more easily to make snorkeling more enjoyable. Plus, the viewing area is 20 percent larger, resulting in even more visibility. The Seaview 180° V3 also has a swiveling camera mount on the bottom rather than the top, making it easier to keep your camera underwater.

Bottom line: The Seaview 180° V3 offers a large field of view with features to decrease fogging and increase comfort.

Tribord Easybreath

An innovation in snorkeling, the Tribord Easybreath mask was designed to do just what the name implies—make breathing easy. For some snorkelers, breathing through the mouth rather than the nose takes a lot of getting used to. The Tribord mask removes that challenge and lets you breathe normally through the nose, making it ideal for beginners, kids, or adults.

In addition to making breathing more natural, the Tribord full face mask allows users to see 180⁰, just like on land, so you’ll never miss something underwater. Its polycarbonate material helps ensure that the mask won’t scratch. Thanks to its double air-flow system, it won’t fog. Its dry top snorkel–which makes it difficult for water to enter the snorkel–is an important feature if you get splashed, hit by a wave, or dive below the surface.

Bottom line: If you want an easy-to-use snorkel that helps you see and breathe like you do on dry land—whether you’ve snorkeled once or 100 times—the Tribord Easybreath snorkel may be the best fit for you.

Ocean Reef Aria QR Mask

The Ocean Reef Aria QR mask is cut from good cloth, so to speak. Its manufacturer, Ocean Reef, has made high quality snorkel and scuba gear for over 70 years. The Aria mask skirt is comfortable and produces a good seal, even for people with facial hair who can sometimes have problems with a full-face snorkel. The swiveling, quick-release buckle also helps with comfort.

The Ocean Reef snorkel mask has many of the same features as similar masks. Its wide lens and anti-fog technology allow for 180° underwater viewing. Its purge valve and dry snorkel help ensure maximum comfort because you don’t have to worry about lots of water coming through the snorkel or staying in the mask. That means you can basically snorkel as long as you want and still be comfortable.

One cool feature of the Ocean Reef Aria is that it has a GoPro mount which can be purchased separately and removed or added at will. If you’re looking for superior comfort and the ability to photograph or take videos underwater, this may be the best mask for you. It is available in 5 colors and 3 sizes, and it comes with a reusable carry bag.

Bottom line: The Ocean Reef Aria is a high quality choice for those looking for a great seal and versatility with a GoPro mount.

Greatever G2 Full Face Snorkel Mask

The Greatever Full Face Mask is all about the view. You’ll be able to view fish, coral, and other marine life with ease with this mask, which features a flat lens. This full face snorkel mask also has a GoPro mount, so you can easily capture footage and photos of everything you see. We’re big fans of underwater photography, so, for us, this feature is a must.

As with other full-face snorkels, the Greatever G2 mask has a fog-resistant design and dry snorkel functionality. Its full-face styling means you won’t have a sore mouth from biting a mouthpiece or a gag reflex from having something constantly in your mouth. In addition, it has a two-channel exhaust valve to make breathing easy. All these factors combine to make it a great snorkel for adults and kids alike, regardless of how much practice you’ve had.

The Greatever snorkel mask has a sturdy construction and is engineered to fit well and comfortably. It has adjustable, quick-release straps and a foldable design, so it’s easy to carry.

Bottom line: The Greatever G2 mask offers an undistorted panoramic view with an easy, comfortable fit and the versatility to provide a GoPro camera mount to capture your adventures.

Sponges and coral underwater
Sights from an excursion in St. Lucia

Useful Accessories

Inflatable Snorkel Vest

This lightweight vest is a great tool for people learning to snorkel or anyone who wants a little added help floating so they can focus on enjoying the experience. It inflates and deflates quickly and is easy to take on and off. The snorkel vest is available in a variety of colors.

Considering a wetsuit instead? Check out our suggestions for the best options.

Neoprene Mask Strap Cover

Even the best snorkel mask that is designed to go on easily can be a little tough to put on–after all, they are meant to be a bit snug in order to keep the water out. We’ve found this neoprene strap to be an easy way to put our masks on without them pulling or tangling our hair (we both have them, so they’re not only useful for women).

The straps come in a variety of colors. You can go with a simple black or blue, but we find it helpful to have a distinctive, bright color because it helps us easily find each other when we’re snorkeling or diving in a group. We’ve used them for years and wouldn’t snorkel without them.

Olympus Tough Waterproof Camera

The Olympus TG-6 is an excellent choice for a durable, multipurpose camera. Its lightweight, ultra-compact, and waterproof up to 50 feet (15 meters). It also works in low-light and has an anti-fog lens and wifi connectivity. All these features make it great for use during snorkeling and well beyond.

Dry Bag

We always carry a dry bag to keep important things away from splashes and spills. It’s great to keep items—like your phone, camera, or wallet—dry and safe. But it’s equally convenient to have a completely dry change of clothes or towel when you’re done enjoying your day on the water.

Antifog Mask Spray

Antifog mask spray helps keep your mask clear as temperatures change so you can see everything you want to underwater. We never go snorkeling or diving without it. This spray works on glass and plastic and each bottle has over 200 pumps.

Waterproof Phone Case

This universal case is a perfect accessory for a day on the water. Whether your trip is on a boat or at the beach, your phone will stay protected. With clear windows on both sides, the case is ideal for taking photos.

Biodegradable Sunscreen

We try our best to do eco-friendly things, particularly when it comes to being mindful of our natural surroundings. This biodegradable sunscreen is an easy way to do that. It is SPF 30, water resistant, and won’t harm reefs or wildlife.

Choosing the Best Snorkel Gear

The most important thing when you go on a snorkel trip is that you feel safe, and having the right equipment is a big part of that.

Cheap or mediocre gear can turn a fun trip into a very frustrating experience. No one wants to miss a cool animal sighting because their mask was leaking or fogging, and no one wants to be uncomfortable in the water because they’re fighting with fins that won’t stay on or a snorkel that’s not keeping the water out.

The goal is to buy gear that fits well, stays where it should be and won’t leak or fog.

Seal underwater
Sea lion we saw while snorkeling in the Galapagos

Snorkel gear typically consists of:

Mask – Also sometimes called goggles, a mask is what lets you see what’s below you as you snorkel or dive. The best snorkel mask will be snug—without being too tight—and won’t fog or leak.

Snorkel – The snorkel is the tube you breathe through. A quality snorkel has a valve that makes it difficult for water to enter, for instance if you’re splashed by a wave. We’ve found this feature so important over time that we always look for the best dry snorkel we can find when buying new gear.

Fins – Fins make swimming much easier because they help propel you through the water. Though they are not strictly necessary, having fins will likely make for a more enjoyable experience, and your legs won’t have to work as hard. For snorkeling, you can use either short fins or long fins (like diving fins), though short fins are best for shallow water.

Full-face snorkeling mask – As a substitute for separate masks and snorkels, full-face snorkeling masks have become popular. They may have fewer leaks than traditional masks and allow for a 180-degree view of the water.

Snorkeling vest – Like a life jacket, a snorkeling vest helps you float in the water by adding buoyancy. It’s most useful for beginners or if you plan to snorkel for a long time and could use a bit of assistance.

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