What is snorkeling?
Snorkeling is an underwater sport that involves a breathing tube. It is designed to give you the chance to explore the beauty of the underwater world without worrying about breathing. Snorkeling is very easy, all you need is a mask and a snorkel tube and of course the water to snorkel in.
What is a Snorkeling Mask?
A snorkeling mask is an item in diving equipment that allows snorkelers to see underwater. Whenever the human eye comes in direct contact with water, as opposed to its normal environment, the air, the light is refracted at a different angle and the eye is not able to focus light on the retina. But when you provide an air space in front of the eye, it will be able to focus normally.
Are Scuba and Snorkel Masks the Same?
Are you confused about whether scuba and snorkel masks are the same? Well, many people are thinking you can use a Scuba mask to snorkel or a snorkel mask to scuba dive. The answer is you can’t! Below are the differences between scuba and snorkel masks.
They have different designs
The design is the main difference between the two, they are designed to perform different tasks. Though snorkeling and scuba diving involves floating inside the underwater world to admire its beautiful scenery, they are two different activities.
Scuba diving involves submerging the whole body completely underwater and going deep into the surface of the water. Because of this, scuba masks require a less buoyant design, that will allow less water to be trapped inside the mas so that you won’t be pulled upwards while underwater.
On the other hand, snorkeling involves the body floating above the surface of the water. Here only your face is submerged below water and the mask is designed to breathe as you glide along the edge. You can go deep here and there but snorkeling is all about enjoying the beauty of the water surface from a bird’s eye view.
In snorkel masks, buoyancy isn’t a big concern as you’ll keep floating on the surface of the water while diving into water from time to time. However, some snorkel masks now feature a less buoyant design that allows you to dive deep into the water and admire more of the sea life.
They are made from different materials
Another difference between scuba and snorkel masks is the materials that they are made from. Scuba masks are designed to go deep underwater and handle a lot of pressure, while snorkeling masks are designed to be used on the surface of the water and to handle little pressure, because of this the materials can’t be the same. However, both are made from high-quality materials, just that they will serve different purposes so needs different materials.
As said above, scuba diving masks a going to handle a lot of pressure, so they must be able to withstand that pressure without cracking or breaking, else they will put the life of a diversity risk. While the windows of snorkeling masks are made from acrylic or plastic, scuba masks are mostly made from tempered glass that will have no sharp edges even if it breaks, thereby reducing the risks of injuries. However,r in snorkeling, there’s no need to use tempered glass, as there are no risks of mask shattering because of too much pressure.
Also, the materials from which the frame and the skirt of scuba and snorkel masks are different. For scuba masks, the frame and skirts are made from extra durable, nontoxic, and high-quality silicone that can create a watertight seal around the face. This guarantees that water will not leak in while they’re underwater.
On the other hand, snorkel masks are usually made from traditional silicones or rubber making them less durable and they are more prone to cracks compared to scuba diving masks. These are pretty okay for snorkeling but they are too dangerous for scuba diving.
They are built differently
It’s well known that snorkeling involves shallow water swimming on the edge of the water, while scuba diving involves diving deep up to 100 meters below the surface of the water. that reason, Scuba masks are built with high-quality materials and they usually undergo vigorous testing to ensure they are safe and sturdy enough to withstand the tonnes of sea pressure.
Thi, however,r doesn’t mean that snorkel masks aren’t safe and durable, f you stay snorkeling without diving, then your mask can last for a lifetime, however, if you go deep scuba diving it might be a different story.
There’s A price difference
Price is another major difference between snorkeling masks and scuba diving masks. As already known, scuba masks are a more complex activity than snorkeling, it requires going deep down in the water and the ability to withstand a high amount of pressure, thereby they need to be sturdy, strong, and more durable. They also need to undergo vigorous testing to guarantee how safe they are, all these factors sum up and make scuba masks pretty expensive than snorkel masks.
Despite being available at friendly prices, you can still find a more advanced and more expensive snorkel mask. It’s your budget that will decide though.
How to choose full-face snorkeling masks
A full-face snorkel mask is like a normal mask, just that it doesn’t stop just below your nose, it goes down to cover your mouth. It also allows you to breathe comfortably as opposed to a normal mask.
For a better snorkeling experience, note choosing an ideal mask, as it is what will give you a good view of the underwater world. The better it is on your face, the more you can comfortably snorkel. Well, you see how important it is, therefore, you have to choose a good one. Here are some factors to note when choosing a full-face snorkel mask.
The mask skirt
The flexible rubber-like part of a mask the makes contact with faces is called the mask skirt. A bad mask skirt will cause the mask to seal unsightly thereby causing leakage and fogging. A good mask skirt should:
- Be able to create a watertight seal against your face. If it doesn’t create a tight seal, water will be leaking in which will make you uncomfortable.
- Should not require an adjustment that will expose the inside of the lens allowing moist air to enter which will cause fog.
- Be made from high-quality silicone instead of rubber as silicone doesn’t crack easily. Some advanced masks come with a crystal silicone that fits more comfortably than normal silicone.
- Be moderately wide as the wider it is more seal it provides and the more comfortable it is
The strap of the mask
Another thing to note when choosing a full-face snorkel mask is its strap. A strap is an adjustable buckle that secures the mask on your head. Straps are made from different materials and each one has its benefits. Let’s look at some:
- Silicone straps tend to last longer than rubber straps. They are more durable and less likely to crack after a short period.
- For snorkelers with long hair, a thick neoprene strap reduces the risk of entanglement. So if you’ve long hair, note choosing a mask with a neoprene strap.
- However you don’t wish to get a mask with a neoprene strap, there are neoprene strap covers available to be put over silicone or rubber straps.
The lenses of the mask
The lens is what acts as the person viewing the window of the mask, they are usually made from tempered glass or plastic. When choosing a mask lens note choosing the one :
- That is made from a sturdy durable material. Tempered glass lenses are more crack-durable and stretch-resistant than plastic lenses. And when it breaks, it is scattered into chunky non-sharp pieces inside of sharp shards that can cause injury. However, plastics work perfectly well for snorkeling while tempered glasses work better for scuba diving.
- That provides great peripheral vision. Don’t get a mask that gives a tunnel-like vision rather choose the one that provides better and straight views of the ahead
- That has vision enhancement coatings. These are lenses that provide a delicate view in poor lighting and also feature special tint that reduces sharp glare from the sun
- That has a UV protection that protects the eye from ultraviolet rays from the sun and other harmful rays
- That is non-foggy: A lens can’t be completely protected from fogging but some brands design lenses that have low fogging properties. You can also use a mask defogger solution to reduce condensation.
Other things to note when choosing a mask are the price of the mask, the brand, and the materials it is made from.
The 5 Best Full Face Snorkel Mask Are Reviewed Below
Below we shall take a look at the five best full-face snorkel masks that are available on Amazon. These masks are made from durable material, and they feature the right kind of lenses. Take a hot coffee as you go through the list.
WSTOO Advanced Snorkel Mask
The WSTOO advanced full-face snorkel mask is the best seller on Amazon in Diving packages. The full face mask features 180 flat panoramic lenses that don’t alter your sight of the underwater world. The lenses eliminate dizziness and discomfort allowing you to have a good view of the underwater world.
It also features a camera mount that will make your hands free during snorkeling allowing you to enjoy and record your adventurous moments and share them with your family and friends. Made from high-quality liquid silicone material, the masks have good elasticity and it is made according to the facial features of the people of Europe and America. The mask skirts are enlarged to ensure a perfect fit of the face and mask, and also to prevent leakage.
The WSTOO snorkeling mask features a dual outlet channel that doubles ventilation rate, reduces atomization, and increases exhaust of gases. The respiratory tube channels are divided to provide more oxygen reducing the risk of getting dizzy that is caused by lack of oxygen.
A more amazing feature of the WSTOO snorkel mask is that it can be folded, thereby saving space and making it more portable. Its breathing tube comes with an anti-shedding silicone band that prevents the breathing tube from plunging off.
It features a new breathing system where you can enjoy three separate air channels (an air outlet on both sides and an intermediate water intake channel) thereby ensuring you inhale & exhale fresh air every time. It is double exhale passage helps in increasing the ventilation speed thereby preventing the exhaled gas from entering back inside and causing fog.
The brand used a food-grade silicone that is very elastic making it more suitably fit for your face while preventing leakage. The silicone lining is designed to put less pressure on your face and nose bridge making it very comfortable to wear.
The WSTOO snorkel mask uses a silicone elastic rubber band to connect to the snorkel tube. They can be easily folded, are very simple to install, take up less space, and can be easily stored. Two quick-release buttons are added for easier and quicker removal of the mask in case of emergency.
- Features a new breathing system: The WSTOO full face snorkel mask has three separate air channels (the intermediate air intake, and air outlets on both sides) making sure you inhale fresh air every time
- Astonishing Anti-fog & Anti-leak technology: It has a double exhaust passage which will double the ventilation speed to prevent exhaled gas from entering the lenses and causing fog.
- Food grade silicone with high elasticity: It has an enlarged silicone skirt that fits the face comfortably and effectively prevents leakage. It also features a deeper silicone lining that doesn’t put pressure on the nose bridge and ensures you’re comfortable while wearing.
- 180° Panoramic view: The mask has transparent flat lenses that don’t distort your view underwater and also eliminate dizziness and irritation. It also has an additional camera mount that allows you to capture your beautiful moments in water and share them with family and friends.
- It is enhanced: The WSTOO mask uses an enhanced high-quality silicone rubber band to connect to the snorkel tube. They can be easily folded, simple to install, and easy to store
- The WSTOO mask is the perfect gift you can give a family, relative, or friend that loves snorkeling
- Brand name: WSTOO
- Manufacturer’s name: WSTOO
- Weight of package: 0.8 kilograms
- Dimension of item package: 13.15 x 9.02 x 4.69 inches [L × W × H]
- Color: Different colors are available
- Material: High-quality silicone
- Suggested users: Unisex
- Age recommendation: Adults
- Size: Small size
- Part number: LGB-13-S
- Specific uses of item: Snorkeling
- It has three separate air outlet channels thereby ensuring you inhale fresh air always
- It has a double exhaust passage that enhances ventilation and reduces fogging
- It is made from a high-quality food-grade silicone
- The lenses provide 180 panoramic views that don’t distort your view and also reduce dizziness and discomfort
- Some users claimed its too hard to breathe with the mask
ZIPOUTE Full Face Snorkel Mask
This is Amazon’s best-seller in diving mask slap straps. The ZIPOUTE snorkeling mask features an adjustable strap that allows you to have the required fit. The UV400 mask has a special coating on its lenses that acts as an anti-fog, making you free from worrying that your mask might fog up or you will lose your visibility.
The mask also features a dry snorkel system that has a floating ball that closes the valve once you go underwater. This helps in creating a seal and keeping out water.
Having a camera mount, you can easily put on your travel camera on the mask and film your beautiful moments underwater and share it with family and friends.
An additional good feature of the ZIPOUTE snorkeling mask is that it gives you 180-degree visibility and a more superior view compared to normal masks. It gives you more impressive visibility of the underwater world compared to other traditional full-face masks making it easier for you to breathe comfortably when snorkeling.
It’s technology help in preventing the mask from fogging up by providing separate exhale and inhale channels. Also, it has an anti-fog coating on its lens to ensure perfect protection from fogging. The leak-proof silicone sealing helps in keeping the mask perfectly sealed with a floating ball that stops water from entering.
The mask has a camera mount with a camera stand that you can put in a removable motion camera giving you the chance to capture all your amazing moments in the underwater world.
You can easily fold the snorkel tube and it’s pretty easy to install and detach. Made from high-quality PC and medical-grade silicone that is non-toxic and safe, the ZIPOUTE full-face snorkeling mask is the perfect mask for you!
- 180-degree visibility full-face snorkeling mask: The panoramic mask gives you full visibility for a better experience compared to traditional snorkel masks. It also makes it easier for you to breathe comfortably through the nose and mouth. It is advisable to adjust the elastic strap and also put all your hair inside the mask.
- Anti-leak and Anti-fog technology: The mask comes with a separated inhaling and exhaling channel system. It prevents the snorkel mask from fogging up, also the anti-fog coating ensures the lens doesn’t fog up easily. The advanced leak-proof silicone sealing ensures a perfect seal with a floating ball that prevents water from entering the mask.
- Features a camera mount: The ZIPOUTE mask has a camera stand that is compatible with a removable motion camera, giving you the chance to capture your bests moments in the underwater world to share them with family and friends
- Easily foldable and stored: The full face snorkel mask can be easily folded. It can also be stored, installed, and detached easily.
- Made from high-quality materials: It is made from a high-grade PC and a medical-grade non toxic silicone thereby ensuring safety and durability.
- Brand: ZIPOUTE
- Manufacture: ZIPOUTE
- Weight of package: 0.69 kilograms
- Dimension of item package: 12.64 x 9.13 x 4.06 inches [L × W × H]
- Color: Black
- Suggested users: Unisex
- Age recommendation: Adults
- Part number: Snorkel Mask
- Size: S/M
- Materials: Silicone & PC
- Specific uses: Snorkeling
- The mask offers full visibility and a panoramic view more than traditional masks
- It features an inhaling and exhaling channel, an anti-fog coating, and silicone sealing to prevent fogging and leaking
- It has a camera mount where you can put a removable motion camera
- It is made from high-quality materials and can be folded and stored easily
- The mask doesn’t fit people with big faces
- It comes in one color only
Mifanstech V2 Foldable 180 Degree Panoramic View Full Face Snorkel Mask
The Mifanstech V2 Foldable 180 Degree Panoramic View Full Face Snorkel Mask is designed with two separate breathing tubes, thereby reducing the risk of oxygen mixing up with carbon dioxide and causing the diver to feel dizzy.
The mask also comes with transparent flat lenses that were made from high definition and high-grade PU resin that provide divers with a clear panoramic view. It also has a camera mount that gives you the chance to put a removable motion camera enabling you to capture your beautiful moments in the underwater world.
Made from full grade silicone, which forms a cubicle inside your mask helping you to prevent water from leaking in and also prevents the exhaled Carbon dioxide from coming back to your mirror and causing fog.
It has an innovative design, it can be easily folded and it is easy to carry out. For a better swimming experience, note buying the Mifanstech V2 Foldable 180 Degree Panoramic View Full Face Snorkel Mask as it is made from high-quality materials and is very durable.
- Features the newest breathing system: The Mifanstech V2 Foldable 180 Degree Panoramic View Full Face Snorkel Mask is designed with separate independent dual breathing channels. Thereby preventing the inhaled oxygen from mixing up with the exhaled carbon dioxide.
- A panoramic clear vision: The full face snorkeling mask features transparent flat lenses that are made from high-grade PU resin that provide you with a wider field of view.
- A camera mount: It comes with a camera mount that allows you to mount your removable camera, thereby allowing you to capture your best moments in water and also share them with family and friends
- Features an innovative design: The mask has a creative design, making it easily foldable and easy to carry out.
- One year warranty: The brand offers a 12 months warranty and 24-hour customer service
- Brand’s name: Mifanstech
- Manufacturer’s name: Mifanstech
- Weight of package: 0.83 kilograms
- Dimension of item package: 11.61 x 9.57 x 4.96 inches [L × W × H]
- Color: Black
- Suggested users: Unisex
- Age recommendation: Adults
- Part number of product: LGD1
- Size: L
- Materials: High-grade silicone
- Specific uses of product: Snorkeling
- It comes with a dual breathing channel, preventing oxygen and Carbon dioxide mix up
- It offers a clear 180 degrees panoramic vision
- It comes with a camera mount enabling you to put on your removable motion camera
- The brand offers 12 months warranty
- Some customers complained they became busy minutes after putting on the mask due to a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen
Buying Guide Questions
Below we shall take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions by snorkeling mask buyers.
These questions are related to snorkeling masks, how to choose a good one, how to maintain it, and other general questions about snorkeling. Take a chilled juice as you go through the questions.
Are full-face snorkeling masks dangerous?
Yes, full-face snorkel masks are very dangerous. Carbon dioxideis usede to build up inside these devices thereby exposing you to a dangerous situation. These masks have caused several deaths and near-death experiences.
This is why brands nowadays offer dual breathing channels to reduce the choke up of carbon dioxide.
Is a full-face snorkel mask better?
Well, many experts suggest that full-face snorkel masks aren’t better. This is because they tend to be dangerous by allowing carbon dioxide to build up inside thereby causing death or near-death experiences. Therefore, traditional snorkel masks are noteed better and safer than full-face snorkel masks.
Why can’t you wear snorkeling masks in a swimming pool?
It is not advisable to wear snorkeling masks in swimming pool during busier swimming sessions or when there are swimming lanes as snorkel can affect the vision of the swimmer as the face of the swimmer is mostly down, thereby increasing the risk of accidents when the wearer of the snorkeling mask mistakenly collide with other swimmers.
Can you go underwater with a full-face snorkel mask?
No. It’s not advisable to go underwater with full-face snorkel masks, as you won’t be able to breathe underwater with them.
When wearing a full-face snorkel mask, you should avoid leaving the surface of the water as they are designed to be made from less strong materials than diving masks, Therefore they won’t be able to withstand the tons of pressure underwater.
How long can you breathe underwater with a full-face snorkel mask?
Experts caution that it is not advisable to breathe underwater for more than two minutes with full-face snorkel masks. Even professional swimmers are not advised to dive for more than 2 minutes with a full-face snorkel mask, as it is not manufactured to withstand the tonnes of pressure underwater.
Why is snorkeling dangerous ?
Snorkeling is noteed dangerous as it exposes swimmers to risks of heart problems, wild marine creatures, underwater objects, strong currents, drowning, equipment issues, death, and other risks. However, this doesn’t mean snorkeling doesn’t have advantages, as we all know everything with advantages has its disadvantages.
How do you keep a full-face mask from fogging up?
There are many ways to keep your full-face snorkel mask free from fogging, these include: cleaning the mask, using an anti-fog spray, keeping the mask on your face, spitting on it, or burning it in a dive shop.
What should I look for in a full-face snorkel mask?
Things to look up for in a full-face snorkel mask include a good mask skirt, the lenses of the mask, the strap, the material from which it is made, and also the price.
Full-face snorkel masks are loved by most swimmers as they cover the whole face, unlike traditional masks. However, these masks expose wearers to the risk of getting choked up by carbon dioxide causing death or serious health damage.
The above reviewed full-face snorkel masks mostly offer dual breathing channels reducing the risk of oxygen mixing up with carbon dioxide which causes dizziness.
For more about the sea, check out our previous article:
Best scuba diving masks in 2021