Category Archives for "Snorkeling Accessories"

Which are the 5 best full face snorkel masks & which to avoid?

SeaView 180° Full Face Snorkel Masks

Full face snorkel masks have come a long way to overcoming many of the negatives aspects of snorkeling. New brands continue to enter the market, and prices and quality varies.

We've put together a list that covers the best quality brands, and which full face snorkel mask and snorkling gear to buy if you need to stick to a tight budget. 

Click the item below to see the answer to your most pressing question, or keep reading to read the entire article.

 

What is a full face snorkel mask?

The first full face snorkel mask was developed by Tribord and released in 2014. Full face snorkel masks cover your whole face from forehead to chin.  They have 2 separate sections inside the mask. The top section is for viewing, and the lower for breathing. They have a silicone skirt that runs around the edge of your face, creating a waterproof seal.

Full face snorkeling masks have wide elastized straps that are adjustable, and comfortable. 

Well made snorkel masks have virtually no fogging, and there's no mouthpiece. The snorkel is incorporated into the mask. These appear shorter than traditional snorkels, as the snorkel stops at the top of the head. Air is funnelled through the snorkel and to the lower section of the mask, internally.


Full face snorkeling masks vs traditional snorkel masks

Fogging and leaking are the biggest complaints with traditional snorkel masks. Sometimes, no matter what you try, you can't stop a conventional mask from fogging.

One of the main reasons people enjoy full face snorkel masks so much is because they allow you breathe through both the mouth and nose. This such a more natural way of breathing. 

With full face snorkel masks, the fogging is either eliminated completely or drastically reduced (depending on the brand). These masks cover your entire face but are split into two separate chambers. The upper chamber is the viewing section. The second chamber covers both your mouth and nose and is connected to the snorkel piece. Fogging can be seen in the lower area, which is ok as it's separate from the viewing section. Air is drawn through the snorkel piece and circulated through this bottom section. 

Just like a traditional snorkel mask, full face masks leak if it's not the correct size for your face. This is the most important thing when choosing a mask. The size needs to be correct - and the company you purchase from should have a good returns policy in case you need to swap it for a different size. 


Should you buy a Full Face Snorkel Mask?

Absolutely you shouldIf you love leisurely snorkeling, the recent innovations in full face masks are a massive improvement over conventional snorkel masks. The new designs make snorkeling an astonishing and unforgettable experience. These masks really are comfortable and easy to use.

After the initial adjustment of the elastic straps, you'll quickly realize how much fun these are. There is no need to stop to empty out water, defog, or re-adjust the straps.

There is no jaw fatigue, no sore teeth and no gagging on a snorkel mouthpiece.  There are some of the best reasons right there for making the switch!

Moustaches are just fine with full face snorkels, which is the complete opposite of regular masks. A regular mask will leak with a moustache.


How does a Dry Top Snorkel work?

Full face masks have a dry top snorkel system. This is a ball float inside the snorkel piece. As the snorkel is submerged, the float rises up and won't let water into the mask. There are conventional snorkels with these incorporated into them, but with full face snorkel mask, this takes snorkelling to a whole new level. 

If water does enter the snorkel, it drains out through a valve located in the chin area, as soon as you raise this above water level. There's no need for blowing water out of the snorkel when you resurface - you just breathe normally again once back on the surface.


Can Children use full face snorkel masks?

The video below shows how easy it is for kids to put on, adjust and use full face snorkel masks. 

When selecting snorkel masks for kids, make sure you go with brands that have XS or S sizing. These brands should also have a good returns/exchange policy in case the size isn't quite right. 

Looking for some more information on full face snorkel masks for children?

Best Quality, Well Made Full Face Snorkel Masks

The best quality full face masks for 2017 are the  Tribord EasyBreathe, Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180° full-face snorkel mask, and the Ocean Reef Aria snorkel mask.

With each of these full face snorkel masks, you are buying a quality product that will give you many hours of enjoyment. These top brands are all good choices and close in price. There are slight differences between them. 

They all have full manufacturer's warranties and outstanding reviews on Amazon. Always make sure you purchase from somewhere with a good Returns Policy so that it can easily be exchanged if the sizing is not quite right.

Have a look at our full reviews of quality brands and decide which one you want to go with. These really bring full pleasure back into snorkeling.

Once you’ve tried snorkeling with a full face snorkel mask, you'll never go back to the old style mask and mouth piece again.

#1 - Tribord EasyBreath (2017 New Version) Snorkel Mask

The Tribord EasyBreath full face snorkel mask is very well designed and made with good quality materials. It's not a cheap version of an expensive brand. This is a great mask at a very good price.

Tribord developed the first full face snorkel mask. When they released the Tribord EasyBreath full face mask, this became a game-changer for the world of snorkeling.

Tribord has improved on their original design and released a new version for 2017. Tribord masks come in 4 sizes making it easy to find the right one for all members of your family.

Tribord Full Face Snorkel Mask 2017 New Version

#2 - SeaView 180° Full-Face Snorkel Mask

Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180° Full Face Mask is both popular and great quality!

The big advantage the SeaView 180° Snorkel Mask has over its closest competitors is that it comes complete with a camera mount. Camera mounts are often sold as an optional accessory with other full face masks in this price bracket.

The camera mount is located high on the front of the mask making it ideal for taking video of your underwater adventures.

Seaview 180° Snorkel Masks come in 2 sizes.

SeaView 180° Full Face Snorkel Mask

The Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180° Snorkel Mask is the best selling full face snorkel mask on Amazon!

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#3 - Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask

Ocean Reef make diving equipment as well as snorkel masks. They're a great brand and their products are made with higher quality materials.

Ocean Reef also makes full face Scuba diving masks so you know their snorkel mask is going to be exceptional quality.

The Ocean Reef Aria now comes in 3 sizes, including one especially for the kids. The Aria also has more options when it comes to accessories.

They have an optical accessory available for supporting eye glasses.

There are some great savings available on Tribord Subea full face masks, as well as a release of Limited Edition masks at the other end of the pricing spectrum.

Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask
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Which Full Face Snorkel Mask to buy on a Budget?

Not everyone's budget will stretch to a top quality full face snorkel mask. And that's ok. If you're on a budget, you can still enjoy the amazing benefits of the full face snorkel mask.

The most important thing is that you get the correct size for your face. The compromise may be that you buy last year's model of a quality brand.

Great mid-range full face snorkel masks

Two stand out examples of a great compromise are the Octobermoon Full Face Snorkel Mask and the SeeReef Anti-Fog Full Face Snorkel Mask. These are online best sellers at the mid level price range. They have really good levels of customer satisfaction, and great reviews. 

#4 - SeeReef Full Face Snorkel

SeeReef are developing quite a following since releasing their new full face masks with a flat mask area, and longer snorkel piece. SeeReef masks come in 2 sizes, suited to most men, women, and teens.

The SeeReef come in a choice of two colors, and with combo of 2 different sets of ear plugs to make sure they fit you perfectly, a handy travel bag and spare seals.

SeeReef Full Face Snorkel Mask Black
SeeReef Full Face Snorkel Mask Pacific Blue

#5 - Octobermoon 2nd Generation Full Face Snorkel Mask

Octobermoon have released a new version called the 2nd Generation. They've updated the design of the lens which is now flat. Previously this was convex which distorted the view, and made a lot of people feel a bit woozy.

The new flat lens makes a big difference to the enjoyment of snorkeling with full face masks and brings it in to line with other top sellers. 

A minor drawback of the Octobermoon is that its straps are not as long as others. 

Octobermoon full face masks come in 3 sizes, including one for children. They have a built in camera mount.

Octobermoon Full Face Snorkel Mask Full Black II

The Octobermoon Snorkel Mask is the top selling full face snorkel mask in this price range. 


Picking the correct size can be challenging

It may sound basic, but make sure you get the right fit for your face. 

Full face snorkels will leak if you're not wearing the correct size. Width of faces as well as the size of your nose can play a big part in your level of comfort.

Sizes are not universal across different manufacturers. Size charts with measurements are available for all brands of snorkel masks so follow these as best you can. 

READ THIS before buying a full face Snorkel Mask!

No matter how good the brand, there’s just no getting around some things with full face snorkel masks.

Whether it’s a traditional mask or a full face snorkel mask, water will get in if there’s any hair between the skirt of the mask and your face. Beards create tiny spaces that will cause water to enter the mask.

These are not designed for Free Diving or spear fishing. There’s too great a volume of air inside the face cavity of the mask, and it quickly becomes uncomfortable when diving below 10 feet.

Full face snorkel masks are designed for snorkeling in relatively calm water. As with a traditional mask and mouthpiece, if you lean your head too far forward, water will enter the snorkel. The float valve system only works when the snorkel is in a vertical position. Water may enter the snorkel when duck diving.

These are not designed for swimming laps in a pool. Full face snorkel masks are designed for leisurely surface snorkeling. They work wonderfully well when breathing calmly, but are not a good choice for swimmers while exercising. Most snorkel pieces are not wide enough to provide a swimmer with enough oxygen when swimming at an exercise pace.


The Reality of Quality Full Face Snorkel Masks

There are manufacturers who have spent countless hours and dollars developing their full face snorkel mask. These innovations have been game changers for snorkelers.

The best full face masks are made with quality materials. Innovation and quality comes with a price tag. Many of the most popular full face snorkel masks available online are direct rip-offs of good quality brands. Often the materials used are not as good, and the masks don't work as they're meant to. 

The good news is that even the best quality full face masks are becoming cheaper as new versions are released. It's easy to snap up a bargain if you're happy to go with last years model. 


What about really low priced full face snorkels?

Just like traditional snorkel masks, many of the cheaper brands come with their drawbacks.

A lot of lower priced brands won't last as long as a quality, branded full face mask. If the material is poor quality, the fit of the silicone (or plastic) skirt that creates the seal with your face won't be as good. This will cause leaking and fogging. 

Less flexible material means you need to adjust the straps so it's super tight just to create a seal that equals a quality mask with a softer silicone skirt. This puts extra pressure on your forehead, cheeks and the bridge of your nose, making it very uncomfortable to wear.

Another common problem with some of the cheaper masks is that the ball-float can get stuck in the snorkel piece causing the airflow to stop.

There are also cheap versions using the words Easybreath, or 180 sea view in their branding trying to cash in on the better known brands. These are all imported from China and made with inferior quality materials. Most of these are not made well and will fog and leak. 

If you dig a bit deeper into their reviews, you'll find complaints on how the cheap full face mask don't live up to expectations.

Which full face snorkel masks to avoid?

When choosing any full face mask, go for ones with a flat viewing section. Full face masks with a curved viewing area distort the view and sometimes make people feel dizzy. You'll notice ALL of the expensive brands have a flat viewing section.

Two full face snorkel masks in particular to avoid are the Azorro and the Neopine. Forget the misleading reviews. These masks are made of very poor quality materials, and will cause nothing but disappointment. They are not recommended at all. 

Snorkeling Gear - Not a confident swimmer but want to enjoy snorkeling? This will help.

Don't miss out on the fun and relaxation of snorkeling. If you're not a strong swimmer, then the ScubaPro Snorkel Safety Vest is a quality product that offers a nice sense of security. These are easy to inflate and very comfortable to wear. 

2017 Full Reviews of Full Face Snorkel Masks


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Looking for the Best Snorkeling Vest Ranked #1 for safety & comfort 2017?

Although a lot of people can swim, swimming in the ocean can be a completely different beast when you're not used to it.

Regardless of how good or strong a swimmer you are, the ScubaPro Snorkeling Vest will give you peace of mind and make you feel more comfortable when snorkeling.

The ScubaPro Snorkeling Vest allows you to enjoy snorkeling for longer periods before getting tired.

If you already know the Snorkeling Vest by ScubaPro is for you, click on the button below to see the latest prices and any discounts that apply on Amazon.


snorkeling

How does the ScubaPro Snorkel Vest work?

The ScubaPro Snorkel Vest will help control your buoyancy in the water.

It has an easy-to-use oral inflator tube and a quick dump valve for added flotation control. You increase and control your level of buoyancy by blowing air into the tube to inflate the vest. If you want to dive below the surface, air is released by pressing on the tube.

This vest comes in either Hi-Viz orange or Hi-Viz yellow with a dark colored back piece. Having this back piece will provide some protection from over-exposure to the sun. If for any reason you need to rest or float on the surface, people generally turn over and float on their back, making the fluorescent front side of this vest very easy to see.

The vest is not a life preserver but it will help you stay afloat, especially if you become fatigued or distressed. If you need more buoyancy, blow air into the tube and continue adding until you feel comfortable.

Snorkel Safety Vest Yellow

What others are saying:

Snorkeling and swimming in 50 ft. deep water after being beaten down by a couple of waves can be tough. I feel SO much more confident in going out on the water with this snorkel vest.

Pros of the ScubaPro Snorkel Vest

 The safety vest is made from 1/8" Neoprene. This adds some warmth while not compromising on comfort when snorkeling in warmer water.

This vest has a quality zipper on the left-hand side with a velcro strap piece to keep the zipper closed and locked in position. There's a pocket for storing personal items. Keys etc. can be slipped inside a zip-lock bag and placed inside the vest pocket for added security. 

The ScubaPro vest offers a good fit and is much more stylish than most other options available on the market. Using this vest will improve your enjoyment of snorkeling allowing for longer swimming periods before resting.

In some locations, snorkel vests are required by law for safety reasons. Having one of your own is more convenient than having to rent them from boat operators or dive shops. These safety vests are far more comfortable and less bulky than those available for rent (and sometimes, less smelly too). 

Snorkel Vest Yellow Back

How comfortable are these and do they 'ride up'?

Generally, these do not ride up at all while snorkeling,

Some people have mentioned that it feels like it rides up slightly when inflated and floating. It seems to depend on the fit. If it does ride up a little, it's not enough to bother most people - it's just something to be aware of.

What others are saying on Amazon.com

I don't care for the horseshoe types of vests that fit around the neck and has straps between the legs and the sides of the waist. Not fun at all.

If you want comfort and durability I recommend this snorkel vest. It's the best. 

How to pick the correct size Snorkel Vest

These are adult sized vests. 

Measure your waist and check this measurement against the sizes below. If your measurements fall between these sizes, then make sure you order the next size up.  

  • X-Small - Waist 24 to 27 inches (61 cm to 68.5 cm)
  • Small: Waist 27 to 31 inches (68.5 cm to 78.5 cm)
  • Medium: Waist 31 to 35 inches (78.5 cm to 89 cm)
  • Large: Waist 35 to 39 inches (89 cm to 99 cm)
  • X-Large: Waist 39 to 43 inches (99 cm to 109 cm)

Initially, the vest may feel tight or that there's not a lot of room but once you are in the water and have it inflated, it is true to size. If you're a larger chested lady, you may want to go up an extra size. 

ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest
ScubaPro Cruiser Skin Dive Safety Snorkeling Vest

Snorkel Vest Care and Maintenance

All equipment or clothing used in salt water needs to be rinsed in fresh water and allowed to dry between each use. Do not leave it out in the sun for long periods. As with all Neoprene products, you can place the vest in the sun to dry for short periods, but it should be stored for longer periods in a ventilated, shaded area.

If you forget to rinse it off after swimming, salt water will cause the product to smell. If this happens, there are specialized products available to get rid of the odor.

I bought this product to relax and not have to worry when I'm a mile offshore and have been swimming for an hour or more checking out cool coral reefs, schools of fish and/or Leopard Sharks. Let me just say, it does EVERYTHING I want it to.

The Verdict?

If you are new to snorkeling or not a confident swimmer, then the ScubaPro Snorkelling Vest is a quality product that offers a nice sense of security. These are very easy to put on, comfortable to wear and easy to inflate or deflate as needed.

This is the top-rated vest and will assist with your buoyancy while snorkeling. This snorkel vest will also protect your back from excessive sun exposure during long hours of snorkeling.

Snorkelling Vest Yellow

Wondering how to take your Snorkeling to the next level?

 Full face masks hit the snorkeling market a few years ago and they continue to improve each year. Full face masks take a lot of the negatives out of snorkeling.

There's no more jaw fatigue and no gagging on a snorkel mouthpiece. If you want to enjoy snorkeling then the next step is to invest in a full face mask. I can't recommend these highly enough. It's a game changer!

What to find out more? Have a look at the best quality and most popular full face snorkel masks here.