If you happen to be a snorkeling lover, then you might be familiar with the use and the importance of using snorkel gear.
But if you’re just getting started, then it is important to know the benefits of choosing the right snorkeling gear that suits you best, and how having your own instead of renting it or have it borrowed from a friend can help you better perform and experience being underwater.
In this article, we present you with a complete guide that tells you what to look for when choosing the right snorkeling gear for you, as well as some reviews of different snorkeling gears for each person and level of expertise.
How to Choose the Best Snorkel Gear?
In comparison to scuba diving, snorkeling is known as the more tranquil and light tempered brother that doesn’t demand that much in terms of equipment. Yet it does require the proper equipment, therefore it is as much important to select gear properly.
The features you should look for when buying good snorkel gear are the following.
When it comes to the mask, make sure it is exclusively made for diving, also don’t go for the ones that make your face look incredibly small. Choose one with the right volume that best fits your face and has shatterproof glass, as well as a good vision field.
A test you can do to ensure the snorkel mask fits you is to put it on, press it slightly with your hand against your face and inhale through your nose. The mask should hold on to your face without inhaling continuously or using your hands to keep it in place.
The snorkel is probably the second most important piece of your gear, as it is the piece that makes breathing underwater possible. It is better to look for one that isn’t way too long, so you don’t run into trouble when trying to breathe in.
There are many types of snorkels, some of them even come with one-way filters which stop water from leaking into the snorkel. However, when choosing one, make sure the mouth piece suits you well.
Also, you want to go for the kind of snorkel that gets attached to your mask strap in order not to drop it when snorkeling.
Fins are also very important for providing a great underwater experience, thus you also want to make sure you buy the proper ones, as they have to also be designed exclusively for snorkeling instead of scuba diving.
Fins come in open heel and close heel types, and the best option will depend on your level of expertise, as well as the temperature of the waters you explore. You want to ensure the fins you get to pick are flexible but stiff in the area around the foot
When it comes to hot water, open heel fins are the best, on the contrary if you dive in cold waters, and use booties, then the open heel version comes in handy.
The snorkel wetsuit is not generally required, especially when you’re in tropical waters, where only a normal swimsuit and a 50+ solar protector will do, however if you happen to explore colder and deeper waters, a neoprene top comes in handy.
You want to make sure that the wetsuit fits you just fine. That means not too loose so your whole body doesn’t touch it, but not too tight so you have difficulties moving freely.
In some cases a knife for snorkeling might be required in order to prevent yourself from being entangled to some boat or rock, but the possibility of that happening is quite low at worst.
Now we are going to move on and review different snorkel gears that adapt to different situations and levels of expertise.
Best Snorkel Gear for Beginners
Just because you’re just getting started snorkeling doesn’t mean that you have to completely rely on other people’s gear. On the contrary buying a snorkel gear can actually motivate you to practice more often.
Take a look at this beginner all-in-one gear option from Seavenger that comes with the following items:
In general, the gear is quite acceptable, especially the lenses that are pretty thick and allows a good panoramic view. Also, they can stand the heavy use of a 2-week-long vacation in which you might go snorkeling every single day.
The snorkel device is made of high-quality material with a flexible tube that makes it pretty comfortable and easy to carry around when traveling constantly.
The mesh bag does its job well in allowing the gear ventilation for a fast dry. It is also easy to carry, and the snorkeling gear goes in with no problem.
The snorkel set comes in three different sizes and in different colors like gray, black silicone and orange.
One thing that does tend to break in some cases are the fins though, so make sure to test them as soon as you get the chance to do so.
Also, for the price asked it is quite cheap for a snorkeling gear, especially if you compare it with the price of daily gear rent in which you can spend up to $10 per day.
This makes up for the right piece of equipment for amateur snorkelers who want to have their first underwater experience on a summer vacation on a tropical beach.
Best Snorkeling Gear Package
This gear package from U.S. divers is one of the best options for high quality snorkeling and it seems to measure up out there as 64% of Amazon customers who already bought this, rate this product with 4 and 5 stars.So, its best to test the mask and see if it fits comfortably before diving
Let's go through all the items this snorkeling gear set has to offer.
The snorkel mask comes with double tempered glass goggles, with a built-in purge valve that keeps the water from leaking. It is also made of hypoallergenic silicone that provides for maximum comfort and a leak-free fit.
The fins are of a compact design with a soft and comfortable foot pocket with dual composite heel straps that can be easily adjusted and fitted for all sizes.
The snorkel clip has been redesigned and has totally submersible dry top technology that keeps water out of the breathing tube above and below the surface of the water. Its ergonomic silicone mouthpiece brings maximized comfort that reduces jaw fatigue.
The snorkel gear bag is made of heavy-duty nylon that ensures durability. It is perfectly suited for traveling and comes with a shoulder strap for easy transport, as well as an extra storage pocket to carry anti-fog solution and more items.
One of the things that stands out, besides the top quality of the material the gear is made of, are the incredibly stylish fins. Not only are they great to look at, they also provide an adjustable mechanism that does allow every foot to fit in comfortably.
It is also heavy duty and is ideal when to carry when traveling. The gear also comes in a wide variety of colors that will make you look more stylish while you explore the underwater world.
The only cons that you might find with this gear set might be that the mask tends to leave face marks as it seals a little bit more than it should, ironically, not so favorable reviews reported a little bit of leaking on the mask, but not at all with the snorkel.
Best Professional Snorkeling Gear Set
The guys of Phantom Aquatics developed this professional snorkel gear set that comes in two different sizes as well as a variety of colors, that will give you a more professional look regardless of your level of skills.
Laying out one by one the items of this snorkel gear we get the following:
A high-end mask that does not allow water from leaking, as well as its ability to tighten up more closer to your face due to its lower inner volume that decreases the chunky sensation that comes from larger glasses.
The snorkel has a valve that allows to have a semi-dry tube that is flexible and allows it to be perfectly molded to your face shape.
The open heel fins are the highest value on these gear as they come with an adjustable strap and the design allows to deliver twice the speed with half the effort.
The mesh bag allows the gear to be carried around with ease and comfort.
This time we’ll go backwards and start with the cons of this snorkel gear, which happened to be the mask and the snorkel. The water does tend to leak from time to time, and the semi-dry mechanism of the snorkel doesn’t ensure a full blown water free breathing.
That said the heavy duty fins are simply amazing and able to stand the test of time. The lightness of these fins reduces the probability of ending up with leg/foot cramps after an intensive diving session.
The mesh bag is low profile, however its design is practical and compact, also the snorkels only positive feature is that it is flexible and molds to basically everything, meaning that it won’t be a problem when packing the gear set in your suitcase as it will not invade extra space.
Best Kids Snorkeling Gear
We close this review with a look at snorkeling for kids. Because kids also have the right to have fun when journeying into the water, we review this gear set for kids from the guys of Seavenger.
This gear set also comes in various colors that will attract your kids’ eyes, especially since they will look stylish and ready to rock when diving underwater.
The kids gear set comes with the same equipment as in the Seavenger adult snorkeling gear, the only thing that changes are the sizes of the fins, as they are available up to size 10 for the youngsters of the family.
The pros of this snorkeling gear set are that we are talking about a high quality reliable gear set that will give your kids the best protection possible at a very affordable price.
The mask comes with a single lens design that is shatterproof and will provide your child with a crystal clear view.
Also, its highly comfy silicon material will provide the best protection without leaving any face marks, but it is tight enough to prevent any water leakage that might hurt the eyes.
The high quality snorkel is something that makes this set something you can never go wrong with, as it is proven to be 100% dry.
This allows you to come full circle with a snorkeling gear set that won’t put your kids’ security at risk and does provide an incredible underwater experience that he or she will never forget.
Finally, the mesh bag does its job well in allowing the gear ventilation for a fast dry. It is also easy to carry, and the snorkeling gear goes in with no problem.
We hope that the review has been helpful to you and that you were able to get a better perspective on the things that need to be taken into account when going snorkeling, and be well informed on the best snorkeling gear sets so you can choose the best one for you or your family members.
As a last tip make sure that you also wear a good high quality sunblock, especially if you're not wearing any wet suit, as your skin is going to be directly exposed to the sun each time that you go up to the surface. So choose a +50 SPF to protect your skin from burning.