Snorkeling in beautiful clear water is like being transported to another world – an underwater world of brightly colored corals, hundreds of fish, other sea creatures, and waving forests of seaweed. However, this world can only be seen with a good snorkel mask that fits well, doesn’t leak, and doesn’t fog up.
Choosing the right mask can be a daunting task with so many sizes, shapes, and varieties available on the market, so we’ve put together a guide on how to select the correct mask for your needs.
Masks are needed to see clearly under the water when snorkeling or diving as it’s not possible to see clearly in saltwater without them. Snorkel masks differ from swimming goggles in that they have a larger surface area to allow you a greater field of vision under the water so you can see and enjoy the beauty of the underwater world.
Snorkel masks allow you to see the beauty of the underwater world.
The main difference between a mask used for snorkeling and a mask used for scuba-diving is that a scuba mask is built to withstand the water pressure at depth for an extended period. A snorkel mask is designed to be used in shallow water and at the surface where there is less or no water pressure.
You can use a scuba diving mask for snorkeling, but not all snorkel masks are suitable for scuba diving at depths of more than a few feet. An unsuitable mask can leak, fog up, or crack during deeper dives if it is not designed to withstand the water pressure.
There are several types of masks for snorkeling and diving on the market and it is important to find a mask that not only fits well but gives you the best field of vision for soaking up the underwater world.
Mask lenses are made from plastic or glass – a mask with tempered glass is a better option as cheap plastic lenses tend to scratch and warp easily and are not very durable. Most masks have high-grade silicone skirting which provides a comfortable and leak-proof fit.
Single-lens masks do not have a solid nose bridge dividing the front lens and provide an unobstructed view of the underwater world. The single lens allows you to look left and right without losing binocular vision and is great for looking straight-on and up-close at subjects.
Single-lens masks do not have a solid nose bridge dividing the front lens.
Dual-lens masks have two separate lenses held together by a frame. While a dual-lens mask reduces the field of vision, it is easier to clear and equalize. If you decide on a dual-lens mask, make sure the middle frame does not press on the bridge of your nose and is comfortable.
Dual-lens masks have two separate lenses held together by a frame.
Panoramic masks have extra glass on the sides of the mask and a larger internal volume of air. These masks have a broad field of vision and allow in more light for superb panoramic views.
Panoramic masks have extra glass on the sides of the mask.
Full-face masks have become popular over the last few years and are another option for snorkeling. These masks cover the whole face and allow you to breathe naturally through your mouth and nose. They are a good option for people who struggle to only breathe through the mouth and struggle to use a snorkel.
Full-face masks cover the whole face and allow you to breathe naturally through your mouth and nose. Full-face snorkel mask by Marco Verch Professional Photographer / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
A snorkel mask is an essential piece of equipment for diving and snorkeling and it’s important to get one that will not only be comfortable and secure but allow you to enjoy plenty of time in the water with a clear, leak-proof field of vision.
The most important aspect of a snorkel mask is the fit and as this differs from person to person, you must fit a few masks before you purchase one. The best way to see whether a mask fits securely is to place the mask on your face and breathe in through your nose until the silicone seal sucks onto your face. If the mask sits on your face securely without using the head strap, it is a good fit.
Watch this video to see how to go about checking whether a mask is a right fit for your face.
Other things to consider when shopping for a snorkel mask include:
The skirt of a mask is the silicone seal around the frame of the mask, and it usually comes in two hues: clear or opaque. A clear skirt allows light to enter the mask and offers a good peripheral vision. An opaque skirt is a good option for a diver who wants to take underwater photographs or videos as it blocks the light.
The number of lenses is entirely dependent on personal preference. If you want a large field of vision and extra light, a single lens or multiple lens-mask is a good option and if you want a mask that is easy to clear and helps with equalizing your ears, then a dual-lens mask is your best bet.
Some masks have built-in purge valves, which make them easier to clear if they flood with water, however, these types of masks could fail at depth, so are better for shallow diving and surface snorkeling.
In addition to a great fit on your face, go for a mask with these features:
The most important aspect of a snorkel mask is the fit.
Here are some of the best snorkel masks on the market for getting your face into the water and taking in the beauty of the underwater world.
The ScubaPro Spectra 2 Window Mask is a comfortable and clear snorkel mask that offers unrivaled clarity underwater with ultra-clear lenses. The mask also comes with mirrored lenses if you want additional glare protection and has a low volume with a broad field of vision.
The mask has high-grade silicone straps with push-button swivel buckles that are easy to adjust, and the soft skirting is super comfortable to wear. The ScubaPro Spectra 2 Window Mask is available in several different colors.
Designed and manufactured by one of the world’s leading dive and snorkel gear brands, the Cressi F1 Scuba Diving Snorkeling Frameless Mask is the best budget snorkel mask on the market. This top-quality snorkel mask is made from premium-grade materials and has an ergonomic design and a solid structure with a single lens of certified tempered glass.
A durable and soft silicone skirting provides a comfortable and leak-proof fit against the face. A low internal volume in the mask allows the wearer to clear the mask quickly and the straps are easily adjustable with quick-adjust buckles that are bolded directly into the silicone skirt.
The Cressi Matrix Scuba Diving & Snorkel Mask is a great option for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. It provides a comfortable, leak-proof fit against most face sizes and shapes, and is durable and long-lasting.
The low-volume mask has inverted teardrop-shaped lenses that provide exceptional visibility, and the lenses are treated with anti-fog properties that prevent fogging. High-grade silicone straps have micrometric adjustable buckles that can be easily adjusted both in and out of the water.
The Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180° V2 Full Face Snorkel Mask is one of the most reliable full-face snorkeling masks on the market and comes in at a good price. The best feature of this mask is the Flowtech Advanced Air Intake System, which allows you to breathe naturally through your nose and mouth. It has a separate breathing chamber and two one-way valves that circulate fresh air through the mask at all times.
The angled snorkel tube allows for two-way airflow and gives your head more freedom of movement. The field of vision is great due to the large mask and there is a camera mount near the chin for a GoPro to record your underwater experiences. The separate breathing chamber reduces fogging.
Designed and manufactured by a world-renowned dive and snorkel gear brand, the Cressi Panoramic 4 Wide Multi-Lens View Scuba/Snorkel Mask is the best on the market for unfettered panoramic views of the underwater world.
This snorkel mask features four lenses that provide maximum light and a fantastic field of panoramic vision. It has a relatively low internal volume, which makes the mask easy to clear of water and fog and offers an ergonomic and low-profile design in the water.
Made of 100 percent high-quality silicone, the mask is very comfortable to wear and super durable and has adjustable buckles for quick and easy adjusting both in and out of the water. The nose pocket can be reached with ease to equalize when snorkeling and diving.
All four lenses are made from tempered glass which provides excellent clarity in the water and they are joined with an invisible seam so as not to distract the eye and allow for the best peripheral vision of any snorkel mask.
The TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD Scuba Diving & Snorkel Mask may be slightly more expensive than other masks, but it offers an amazing snorkeling experience. Boasting TUSA’s patented Freedom Technology, this single lens snorkel mask has a fantastic field of vision and can be adjusted to fit any face size while still maintaining a low profile in the water with its 180° rotational buckle system.
It has an innovative dimpled silicone skirt with stability ridges and varied thickness for a very comfortable fit and soft, supple feeling when wearing. The low friction surface of the silicone creates a secure and snug fit and super leak-proof seal.
The SeaDive Oceanways Superview HD mask has a low-profile, ergonomic design, enhanced brightness, and a high-definition single lens which offers outstanding clarity and field of vision. The single lens is designed using Optical MultiCoat Technology which minimizes glare and deflects harmful UV rays, while at the same time, adjusting the light’s wavelength to enhance brightness and clarity. A high-grade silicone skirt provides an excellent seal and a comfortable fit on the face and is long-lasting.
The Atomic Aquatic Subframe ARC Scuba/Snorkeling Mask is a great mask for spearfishing or freediving. It has an anti-reflective coat on the tempered glass lenses, which reduces the bright reflection of the sun on the surface while snorkeling and increases the amount of light within the field of vision. This mask has excellent clarity and is a good option for photographers due to the black silicone skirting.
The mask is made from high-quality silicone which provides a soft and comfortable fit, a snug, leak-proof seal, and excellent longevity. It has adjustable clips on the side of the masks to find the perfect fit both in and out of the water and a low internal volume which is good for clearing the mask of fog and water.
No products found.
The Aqua Lung Linea Single Lens Dive Mask has an excellent field of vision with a clear silicone skirting and a single tempered glass lens. Designed with Micromask technology, the mask’s lens, frame, and skirt are molded together as one piece. This allows the lens to sit close to the face and maximizes the field of vision.
A low internal volume reduces the buoyancy and makes the mask easier to clear of fog and water. Advanced Fit Technology (AFT) makes use of strips of different textures around the edge of the skirt to create a superior seal against the face and prevent leaking.
The mask has a unique Comfort Buckle System (CBS) that prevents any hair getting stuck in the buckle.
The Scubapro Synergy 2 Single Lens Scuba Diving Mask is a good option if you have a beard as it is designed with Synergy2 Trufit Technology and features two separate silicone skirts. The inner skirt is thin to provide a soft and secure fit against the skin, while the outer skirt is made with firmer silicone and is slightly thicker to provide rigidity and support near the frame.
The mask’s single lens provides an excellent field of vision and quick-release buckles attach to tabs on the silicone skirt, which optimizes the angle of the strap and the range of motion. It also allows the mask to be packed easily for travel purposes.
The Scubapro Synergy 2 Single Lens Scuba Diving Mask’s unique ribbed system allows the mask to fit all face sizes and promises a super comfortable fit.
Rotating Hydraulic Cylinder Exporters Flame Retardant Knit Fabric 36 Cell Solar Panel Cast aluminum furniture parts high voltage cable wholesale fruit powder tempered float glass Wholesale Camping Chairs Different Kinds of Camping Chairs rubber oil seal nitrile cleanroom gloves Mercedes Benz Brake Discs and Pads scuba mask wholesale Wholesale 104 Holes Plant Starter Trays for sale Achromatic Lens Aromasin Powder