The Athlete Approved Guide on the Best Snorkel Masks

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Snorkeling is a hugely popular activity that swimmers of all ages can enjoy. Whether you want to take it seriously, or simply enjoy something fun while on vacation, snorkeling has something for everyone.

Snorkeling gives you the opportunity to explore the water. You can explore coral reefs and observe local marine life.

However, to get the most out of your snorkeling adventure, it requires a snorkel mask. A reliable snorkeling mask is key, as it lets you clearly see and protects your eyes from saltwater.

To help you find the best one for you, we compiled a list of the best masks on the market. We also include a buyer’s guide and answer frequently asked questions.

Our Athlete Approved guide to the best snorkel masks includes:

Guide on Snorkel Masks

If you’re looking for the very best options for your next snorkel adventure, be sure to read on!

BEST OVERALL SNORKEL MASK: Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask

When it comes to high-quality performance, the Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask is hard to beat. 

Thanks to its incredibly well-constructed glass design, this mask offers unparalleled optics that help reduce green tints and distortion. This lets the user observe marine life in all its glory. 

The mask also optimizes the transmission of sunlight, ensuring every color pops, even when the weather isn’t too great. As if that wasn’t enough, the mask has a frameless design and a single pane, so it can offer users a larger field of view. 

In terms of comfortability, the Hollis M1 is great. It has an ultra-soft design with a soft silicone skirt. This guarantees that the mask stays soft on your skin no matter how long you’re in the water. This skirt also prevents any leakage or fogging.

Thanks to its simplistic, yet sleek matte finish, we also believe that this is the most stylish mask on the market.

Pair it with the Cressi Snorkel for the best snorkel set on the market.

Pros:

  • High-quality – This mask is made to a very high standard.
  • Great portability – Easily store this mask in your bag. 
  • Large field of view – Thanks to the frameless design and single pane, you won’t miss a thing.

Cons:

  • Pricey – This mask is expensive (but is well worth it).

If you are looking to make it a set, be sure to check out our picks for all the top snorkels for snorkeling!

BEST BEGINNER SNORKEL MASK: COPOZZ Tempered Glass Snorkel Mask

Our top snorkel mask for beginners is the COPOZZ Tempered Glass Snorkel Mask. The design makes it perfect for snorkeling, free-diving and scuba diving.

The tempered glass on this snorkel mask is extremely durable. It is up to 4-5x stronger than standard glass. It features a two-lens design and shatter-resistant glass.

The visibility on this mask delivers a clear 180° view underwater.

For those who also want to free-dive or scuba dive, the mask can handle deep water pressure up to 30 meters. Thanks to this design feature, the mask is great for beginners and can also be used by advanced divers.

If you would like to pair it with a snorkel, we also recommend doing so with the Cressi Snorkel.

Pros:

  • Versatile – The COPOZZ mask can also be used for snorkeling, free-diving, and scuba diving.
  • 180° view – Users are treated to a clear 180° view.
  • Silicone seal To prevent leakage, this mask is lined with a high-grade silicone face gasket.

Cons:

  • Not as comfortable – After prolonged use, this mask may feel a little uncomfortable, unlike others on this list.

BEST FULL-FACE SNORKEL MASK: WSTOO Snorkel Mask

The WSTOO snorkel mask is a full-face mask featuring the latest underwater technology. For those that want a snorkel and mask in one product, this is the mask for you.

Fitted with a three-way underwater breathing air channel system, this mask ensures you have everything you need. Simply pop the mask on, adjust it to fit your head, and off you go.

While the breathing system is super reliable and effective, the mask’s main feature is its full-face design. The face shield on the WSTOO mask covers the entirety of the user’s face, helping to make snorkeling a much more enjoyable, comfortable experience. 

In terms of visibility, the mask gives you a great 180° panoramic view. 

The mask also has a durable silicone lining that will prevent any leakage. The double exhaust system prevents any fogging. It does this by venting exhaled air out quicker than other masks.

Pros:

  • Leakproof – The silicone lining built-in to the mask prevents any leakage.
  • 2-in-1 product – In just one product, it is a full-face mask and snorkel.
  • Variety of colors available – This mask is available in 20 different colors.

Cons:

  • Sand build-up – The mask occasionally collects sand around the drain hole.

BEST KID’S SNORKEL MASK: Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set

The Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set is our top pick for kids. This popular item is perfect for children who want to enjoy snorkeling.

The one-way inhalation valve and mobile floating ball create a safe and leak-proof experience, while the broad view provides a great visual experience while swimming.

One of our favorite features is the easy-to-use adjustable strap that is 10 – 19.6 inches. It is the perfect size for children aged 4 to 16.

Durable and easy to clean, this snorkel set is a great choice for your next family adventure. It also comes in a variety of different colors.

Pros:

  • Designed for children – This mask comes in kid size and vibrant colors.
  • Easy-to-use and adjust – Simply put the mask on, adjust it with the button buckle, and off you go.
  • Great value for money – This mask is available at a very fair price.

Cons:

  • Occasional sand issues – Like other snorkel sets, you might encounter some issues with sand around the drain hole that requires cleaning.

BEST BUDGET SNORKEL MASK: Aqua A Dive Sports Diving Mask

If you’re looking for a quality mask on a tight budget, the Aqua A Dive Sports Diving Mask is your best option. It is one of the most budget-friendly masks on the market.

This mask features a strengthened lens with polycarbonate construction and an anti-fog treatment, so you can see clearly even during prolonged use.

Additionally, it features a UV resistant lens with a 180 degree extra large field of vision. The lens is made of plastic, which provides additional durability vs other snorkel masks with tempered glass.

The skirt side of the mask is made from soft liquid silicone for a comfortable fit. The double-layer waterproof design prevents leakage.

Despite being a budget choice, no corners have been cut when it comes to offering a product that is reliable and durable. Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler, or a newbie wanting to give it a go, this affordable mask is excellent.

Pros:

  • Visibility – Designed with anti-fog treatment, UV resistant, and a 180 degree field of vision.
  • Budget-friendly – This snorkel won’t blow your budget out of the water.
  • Guaranteed comfort – This mask can be adjusted to fit you perfectly.

Cons:

  • Plastic lens – The lens works well, but buyers should know it is not made of tempered glass. The good news is that plastic will be more drop resistant, compared to tempered glass masks.

Buyer’s Guide

Before making a decision regarding which mask is best for you, there are a number of key things you need to think about. To help your decision, we created this snorkel mask buyer’s guide.

In this buyer’s guide, you will find the most important factors including: Type of Mask, Visibility, Fit, Seal, and price.

Type Of Mask

The first thing you need to think about is the type of mask you need. In our list, we covered a few different styles: a traditional snorkel mask, a snorkel mask with snorkel set, and a full-face snorkel mask.

A traditional mask does not come with a snorkel. In our list, that includes the Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask, COPOZZ Tempered Glass Snorkel Mask, and Aqua A Dive Sports Diving Mask. They will last longer, give clearer vision, and provide the most comfort. Rest assure, you can pair them with a snorkel and we recommend doing so with the Cressi Snorkel if you do.

The next type of mask is a snorkel mask with snorkel set. In our list, that includes the Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set. These are best for casual snorkelers looking for a good deal. They work well, but are not considered high end gear.

Finally, there are full-face snorkel masks. In our list, that includes the WSTOO Snorkel Mask. This type of mask covers your entire face. They are great for swimmers who worry about getting enough air. They also provide protection to your face.

Visibility

It is also important to take the quality of the mask’s visibility into account.

If you are going to be using your mask underwater to observe marine life, you need to be able to clearly see what you’re looking at and where you are going.

Different masks can offer different levels of visibility, so to make this easy for our readers, we picked masks with the highest possible visual clarity.

Fit

Not all masks fit the same, therefore you need to make sure the mask you plan on buying will fit your face. There’s nothing worse than buying any product before then finding out it doesn’t fit.

The snorkel masks on our list all have adjustable straps. Be sure to take time out of the water to ensure a proper fit.

Seal

The mask you buy has to have a good seal. If it is not up to standard, water will seep into the mask and you will not be able to see.

In fact, this problem could put you in danger, as you might not be able to see where you are going.

To have a safe, unobstructed experience when snorkeling, we recommend using a mask with reliable and extremely durable seals like the masks in our list.

Price 

You will also have to seriously think about how much a snorkel mask is going to cost. Luckily, all except for our top overall mask on our list are between $20 – $30.

While the Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask is considerably more expensive, it will enhance your experience.

If you are not taking snorkeling too seriously, you could save money by buying an inexpensive one. On the other hand, if you need a professional mask, your money will be well spent. 

Generally speaking, more expensive masks offer a lot more in terms of quality and durability. That doesn’t mean less expensive masks are not still very good, though.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use A Snorkel Mask When Scuba Diving?

Usually, you can’t use most snorkel masks to go scuba diving. This is particularly true with full-face snorkel masks.

However, there are some types of snorkel masks that are specially designed for doing both.

In this article, we looked at the Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask and the COPOZZ Tempered Glass Snorkel Mask. Both of these masks have also been designed for scuba diving.

The reason other masks are not suitable is because they are not durable enough and can break under higher water pressure.

How Is A Snorkel Mask Different Than Regular Goggles?

Compared to a regular pair of goggles, a snorkel mask has additional coverage over your nose to prevent water from getting in.

Getting water up your nose is a terrible feeling, so snorkel masks are a popular option to prevent this.

Goggles for Swimming

Can You Use A Snorkel Mask In The Pool?

Yes, you can use a snorkel mask in the pool. However, we instead recommend learning how to swim without getting water in your nose.

You can do this by exhaling through your nose. You are the most susceptible to getting water in your nose when you jump in the water feet first, flip turn, or go underwater on your back.

You should not use a snorkel mask for lap swimming. Use regular goggles instead. If you need help plugging your nose when swimming laps, then use a nose clip.

Best Nose Clips for Swimmers

Are Full-Face Masks The Best Type Of Snorkel Mask?

It cannot be conclusively said that one type of snorkel mask is better than another. Everyone has their own personal preference about how they feel about using different masks. One individual might hate full-face masks, while another will not snorkel without one.

Having said this, many beginners who use full-face masks feel a lot more relaxed and freer as they snorkel. A lot of people also enjoy how much more they can see with a full-face shield.

How Do You Clean A Snorkel Mask?

Cleaning your snorkel mask is easy. If you have been snorkeling in the sea, you will need to wash the saltwater off the mask first. This can be done by simply rinsing the mask in freshwater. You need to wash the salt off because it can cause deterioration.

Apart from that, you just need to ensure any debris like sand is removed from the mask. Again, you can do this by rinsing the mask in freshwater. Just be careful to not scratch the glass as you do it.

Will Facial Hair Effect The Seal On A Snorkel Mask?

No. It is very rare that facial hair comes up high enough on a person’s face to effect the seal.

However, if someone has a very bushy mustache it may cause the mask to leak.

Can I Wear Glasses With A Snorkel Mask?

No. While it may seem there is enough room, especially in a full-face mask, you cannot wear glasses with a snorkel mask.

Glasses will not sit right when you are swimming and your glasses’ temple tips will break the seal.

The Difference Between Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, and Free Diving

While all three involve exploring underwater, there is a difference between snorkeling, scuba diving, and free diving.

Snorkeling uses a tube for breathing. Snorkelers can be beginners with little training. They stay at the surface of the water.

Scuba Diving requires an oxygen tank. Training and certifications are required. Scuba divers dive deep below the surface.

Free Diving is a mix of both, but require no oxygen tank. Free divers hold their breath, then dive underwater. Please use extreme caution when free diving. We do not encourage excessive breath holding.

Conclusion

Snorkeling is an incredibly fun water activity that provides the opportunity to explore marine life and enjoy your time swimming. However, you need a high-quality, reliable snorkel mask if you are going to enjoy your time in the water and stay safe.

In this article, we have covered five of the very best snorkeling masks on the market. As you can see from the list, there is a wide range of different styles and designs to choose from.

Use our Athlete Approved guide to find yourself the best snorkel mask for your next aquatics adventure!

Let us know your feedback on our picks and your favorite mask for snorkeling in our comments.

3 Comments

  1. I have developed an allergy swimming in a lake and even with nose clips will frequently get plugged up in my nose after swimming. Would you recommend a full face snorkel mask or a combination?

    • Hi Kit- It is definitely worth a try, but our in experience a full face snorkel would not eliminate allergies completely. Let us know what type of allergy and we will help you come up with a solution.

  2. I should have mentioned that I do sport a full face beard.


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