The Athlete Approved Guide to Snorkels for Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a popular activity for swimmers to explore the open water. Seeing fish in their natural habitat and exploring the sea floor can be an exhilarating underwater expeditions unlike any other.

There is a variety of gear swimmers need to go snorkeling including swimwear, fins, and a snorkel mask. However, the snorkel itself is the most important tool you will need to have an enjoyable experience (that is unless you can breath underwater).

Snorkels allows you to breathe easily while you keep your face in the water and enjoy the views.

Without a snorkel, you will need to constantly pick your head out of the water for a breath. Eliminate underwater FOMO and give your neck muscles a rest with our best snorkels picks for snorkeling.

We cover a variety of different types of snorkels, so that you can find the perfect one for your next snorkeling adventure.

Whether you are looking as a beginner or advanced snorkeler, we have you covered!

Our Athlete Approved guide to the best snorkels for snorkeling includes:

BEST OVERALL SNORKEL FOR SNORKELING: Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel

The Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel is a high-quality dry snorkel, making it our top overall pick. It will keep you breathing easy, so you can focus on enjoying your underwater adventure.

Featuring a dry-top design from Italy, this snorkel seals out water from the breathing tube while you are submerged.

The float-activated valve instantly seals off the breathing tube if the tube goes underwater or takes on a wave. The lower purge valve allows water to be quickly and easily expelled.

This Supernova Dry Snorkel features a high-quality silicone mouthpiece that is comfortable to use. It will not fatigue your jaw. The angled mouthpiece drops away when not in use.

The adjustable clip secures the snorkel to any snorkel mask. The flexible lower bore reduces drag while swimming.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, the Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel is a great choice for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line snorkel.

Pros:

  • High-quality – Made from 100% silicon material from Italy.
  • Minimizes water in the tube – The dry top allows minimal water into the tube and purge valve makes it easy to clear.
  • Reduced jaw fatigue – Angled mouthpiece

Cons:

  • May require cleaning – Sand or small debris may get caught in the purge valve or dry-top, so be sure to clean with fresh water after using in the ocean.

In case you were wondering, our recommended snorkel mask is the Hollis M1 Snorkel Mask. You can see all our Athlete Approved snorkel masks here!

BEST BEGINNER SNORKEL FOR SNORKELING: TUSA Platina Hyperdry II Snorkel

The TUSA Platina Hyperdry II is a semi-dry snorkel and our top pick for beginners. It has a patented system that purges water from the snorkel that makes it easy to use.

The splash guard at the top of the snorkel works well to prevent smaller splashes of water to enter the snorkel.

The Platina Hyperdry II is easy to clear for beginners. The high flow purge valve’s large diameter is designed to quickly and easily clear water from the tube.

The silicon mouthpiece is comfortable. The internal bore of this snorkel is designed with a corrugated lower tube to fit you best. The clip allows for adjustments, giving you a perfect hydrodynamic tube angle.

Pros:

  • Splash guard – Keeps small splashes of water from entering the tube.
  • Large purge valve – The high flow purge valve makes it easy for beginners to clear the snorkel.
  • Flexible material – The flexible shape is comfortable and hydrodynamic.

Cons:

  • Not recommended for snorkelers with large lungs – We would recommend a tube with a larger diameter and mouthpiece such as the Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel.

BEST ADVANCED SNORKEL FOR SNOREKLING: Cressi Corsica Snorkel

Looking for a top-tier snorkel to take your freediving, spearfishing, or scuba diving to the next level? Check out the Cressi Corsica Snorkel. This snorkel is perfect for advanced snorkelers.

This snorkel is designed without a splash guard, dry top or purge valve, making it the ideal lightweight option.

It features a large diameter tube for easy breathing. The hydrodynamic u-bend provides easier clearing capability.

Additionally, the soft bendable tube helps you maintain a proper comfortable position.

You can dive into your next adventure with confidence knowing you have the best gear with the Cressi Corsica Snorkel!

Pros:

  • Light weight – The lightweight material is comfortable and non-cumbersome.
  • Flexible tube – Tube flexes for great function (see above photo to prove the flexibility!).
  • Hydrodynamic  – The hydrodynamic design cuts down on drag.

Cons:

  • Snorkel clip – The clip can be tricky to attach. Take extra time to make sure you have it secured to your mask/goggles before entering the water.

BEST SNORKEL FOR SHALLOW DIVING UNDERWATER: TUSA Hyperdry Elite II Snorkel

The TUSA Hyperdry Elite II Snorkel is a high-quality dry snorkel that is designed for snorkelers to dive shallow underwater. This top-of-the-line snorkel combines all of the best features from TUSA, a leader in the snorkeling industry.

The Hyperdry Elite II is that it keeps water out of the tube when diving underwater. It does this by automatically closing the gasket when taking on water.

Note that when you dive underwater, it will trap air in the tube. That means you will not need to purge it when you resurface, but it will also have the slight tendency to float. So if you are a spearfisher or freediver looking to dive deep, we recommend a more advanced snorkel.

The low-profile dry top and angled purge chamber make breathing easier than ever. Plus, the ortho-consciously designed mouthpiece ensures comfort and reduces jaw fatigue.

The comfort swivel adapter makes it possible to easily clip on a mask. The two-part design also allows the snorkel to rotate and be attached in a horizontal position when resting.

The high flow purge design used on all TUSA snorkels offers a covered large diameter purge valve for simple, fast clearing. This instantly reduces the amount of water remaining in the mouthpiece.

Pros:

  • Elite dry top – Superior dry performance when diving underwater.
  • Swivel adapter – Allows you to easily clip on a mask and rotate the snorkel horizontally when resting.
  • High flow purge valve – Instantly clears water through the purge valve with a large diameter.

Cons:

  • Clip to mask when not worn – The clip that attaches a mask can detach, especially when not being worn.

BEST CLASSIC SNORKEL FOR SNORKELING: Cressi Gringo Snorkel

The Cressi Gringo Snorkel is our top pick for classic snorkels. We categorize a simple snorkel as one that does not have all the fancy bells and whistles as other snorkels like a purge valve or dry top.

This snorkel has a basic U-shape, but still gets the job done. Its flexible, standard bore tube and sliding elastic clip make it easy to attach to your mask, while the multi-positional silicone soft mouthpiece provides extreme comfort during prolonged use.

The large diameter snorkel tube and flexible mouthpiece make breathing and clearing the snorkel a breeze.

If you are looking for a simple snorkel, the Cressi Gringo is sure to make your next underwater adventure a success!

Pros:

  • Classic style – The simple design is classic and has an old-school style.
  • Durable – The material and design are built to last.
  • Easy to clear – The flexible mouthpiece and large diameter make it easy to clear.

Cons:

  • No purge valve, dry top, or splash guard – This snorkel is intentionally simple.

BEST FULL FACE SNORKEL FOR SNORKELING: 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.

With a three-way underwater breathing air channel system, this mask ensures you have everything needed to enjoy your snorkeling adventure. Simply pop the mask on, adjust the fit, and you are ready to go.

The snorkel tube features a dry top, meaning it will block water from entering when you submerge.

The breathing system is reliable and effective, however, 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, making snorkeling an enjoyable, comfortable experience. 

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

The mask also has a durable silicone lining to prevent leakage. The double exhaust system prevents fogging by quickly venting out exhaled air.

Pros:

  • Leakproof – The silicone lining built-in to the mask prevents any leakage.
  • 2-in-1 product – It is a full-face mask and snorkel combined into one piece of gear.
  • Variety of colors available – Available in 20 different colors.

Cons:

  • Sand build-up – The mask can collect sand around the drain hole.

BEST KID’S SNORKEL: Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set

The Gintenco Kids Snorkel Set is our top pick for kids. This popular item is our top pick for children who want to enjoy snorkeling. Note that it comes in a set with a snorkel and mask.

The one-way inhalation valve and mobile floating ball create a safe and leak-proof experience, so your kiddo will take in little to no water. The broad mask view provides a great visual experience.

The best feature 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:

  • Made 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 may require cleaning.

BEST BUDGET SNORKEL FOR SNORKELING: Aqua A Dive Sports Dry Snorkel

If you are looking for a low cost option, then the best snorkel on the market for you is the Aqua A Dive Sports Dry Snorkel. Dispute being a low cost option, this is still a great option.

This snorkel features a convenient dry top that closes the opening at the top of the snorkel while you’re submerged, and reopens when the snorkel reaches the surface. It also features a splash guard to prevent water from entering from overhead waves.

The comfortable silicone mouthpiece and corrugated silicone hose make it easy to use and flexible. And if you need to easily clear any water out of the dry snorkel, just use the one way purge valve when you surface.

Pros:

  • Low cost – Great option on a tight budget.
  • Dry top design – Designed to not get stuck compared to other dry top “ball mechanisms”.
  • Mouth piece – Soft and flexible silicon is comfortable.

Cons:

  • Purge – This snorkel can be difficult to clear water from the tube.

Snorkel Vocabulary: Dry Snorkel (w/ Dry Top), Semi-Dry Snorkel (w/ Splash Guard), Tradition J Snorkel (w/ Open Top), and Purge Valve

The three main types of snorkels are the dry snorkel, semi dry snorkel and traditional J snorkel. The type you choose largely depends on your preferences and reasons for snorkeling.

Here we will explain the differences between each type so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Dry Snorkel with Dry Top Explained

Dry snorkels are designed to stay dry when you submerge underwater.

Dry tops are also known as dry valves. They are the mechanism at the top of a snorkel to prevent water from entering. They often have a ball or silicon door that will float to the top to plug the snorkel when it goes underwater.

There are many poorly designed dry tops that do not work or get jammed. When they do jam, it can prevent you from getting air. This cause panic, especially for newbie snorkels.

With that in mind, be sure to stick to the options on our list to avoid that!

The snorkels on our Athlete Approved list that have dry tops include:

Semi Dry Snorkel with Splash Guard Explained

Semi dry snorkels have splash guards to prevent water from splashing into the tube.

Splash guards are located at the top of the snorkel, in the same place as a dry top. However, they do not completely keep water out of the snorkel. Instead they guard against waves and other water from easily entering your snorkel.

If you dive underwater, the splash guard will not prevent water from entering. They are called splash guards for a reason, designed to keep out splashing.

The snorkels on our Athlete Approved list that have splash guards include:

Traditional J Snorkel with Open Top Explained

Traditional J snorkels are designed with open tops.

Open top in the world of snorkeling means just that: it has an open top. It is a simple construction without a dry top or splash guard.

The benefit of an open top is having a simpler snorkel.

Some beginners have unrealistically high expectations on snorkels with dry tops or splash guards – they are not always 100%. So sometimes open tops are good for beginners to temper expectations. Other beginners hate open top snorkels because they do not help them keep water out.

Advanced snorkelers prefer the open top to avoid the worry of the mechanism failing. They are also skilled enough to clear water without a purge valve.

The snorkels on our Athlete Approved list that have an open top include:

Purge Valve Meaning

The purge valve is located at the bottom of the snorkel tube, under the mouth piece. It assists in clearing water from the snorkel.

When you forcibly blow water out of your mouth and into the snorkel, the purge valve releases some of the water. That way, all of the water does not need to solely be cleared from the top of the snorkel.

The other benefit of a purge valve is water will drain from the tube when you bring it out of the water. Simply pick the snorkel out of the water and gravity will bring the water down and out of the purge valve.

Purge valves do not release water automatically when underwater. You need to exhale or take it out of the water for it to do its job.

The snorkels on our Athlete Approved list that have a purge valve include:

How to Clear Water from the Snorkel Tube

There is nothing more frustrating than inhaling a mouth full of water through your snorkel tube. That chocking feeling, followed by excessive coughing is uncomfortable and embarrassing.

There are a few steps to follow to clear the water snorkel tube and get back to enjoying your swim.

When you are snorkeling, water may enter the tube from splashes or if you take a dive. When this happens you need to clear the water from the snorkel.

  1. Ensure the top of the snorkel is out of the water.
  2. Exhale a short burst of air from your mouth, into the snorkel.
  3. After clearing, be careful: there may still be some water in the tube if you did not clear it 100%.
  4. If there is still water in the snorkel and you do not have any air left in your lungs to exhale, do not panic.
  5. Lift your snorkel out of the water and allow it to drain.

Snorkels with purge valves make it easier to clear the water and allow draining.

Beginners should practice clearing water from their snorkel in a controlled environment like shallow sea water or a pool. Once you get the technique down, you will be clearing your snorkel like a pro!

How to Care For Your Snorkel

If your snorkel is not taken care of properly, it can lead to corrosion and damage.

The most common cause of snorkel damage is sand getting stuck in the purge valve. If this happens, take a minute to rinse it with fresh water. If sand stays in your purge valve long-term, it can lead to a deformed mechanism.

Snorkelers should also be cognizant of long-term damage from the sun. While it is all good to have your snorkel in the sun when you are using it, be sure to store them in a place that will not get direct sunlight.

Lastly, if you get any debris in the tube, be sure to clean it out. While this is not common, a simple fresh water rinse does the trick.

Snorkel Safety

Before you go snorkeling, it is important to understand snorkel safety, so that you don’t put yourself in danger. Here are some tips for using your snorkel safely and enjoyably.

Tube Collapse: If you are using a dry top snorkel with a flexible tube, be cautious of tube collapse when diving down deep. The water pressure will cause the tube to collapse and may pinch your tongue.

This can cause beginner snorkelers panic, who are not expecting it. The solution is to either remove the dry top snorkel from your mouth when diving deep or use an open top snorkel.

Sizing: Be sure to get the correctly sized snorkel. They are made specifically for children and adults. The main factor is lung size.

If a child uses an adult snorkel, they may not have the lung capacity to fully clear the snorkel. They also may re-breath their exhaled breath, instead of getting a fresh breath of air.

If an adult uses a child snorkel, it will be uncomfortable. The tube will not fit properly causing discomfort in the neck and jaw.

Water Safety: The dangers of water are real and should not be taken lightly. Always be sure to snorkel with a partner or group. Ensure the waters you are entering are safe to swim. Be respectful to wild life and the seafloor.

Differences of Snorkeling Snorkel and a Lap Swimmer’s Snorkel

Snorkelers should not confuse a snorkeling snorkel with a lap swimmer’s snorkel.

A lap swimmer’s snorkel is center-mounted, starting from your mouth up to the center of your face. It is designed to reduce drag while swimming laps in a pool.

A snorkeling snorkel goes from your mouth to the side of your face. It is designed to not block your view.

While you can use a snorkeling snorkel to swim laps or a lap swimming snorkel for snorkeling, it is not #AthleteApproved.

We do recommend beginners practicing with a snorkeling snorkel in a pool. That will help them get more comfortable with it. You should especially practice the clearing the snorkel technique.

Conclusion

Snorkeling is a fun activity that allows you to explore the wonders of the sea. However, you need the right snorkel to ensure you have an enjoyable timing doing it.

With so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is best for you. But with help from the Athlete Approved guide, you are sure to find the perfect snorkel.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore some new dive sites!

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