Thinking of buying your children full face snorkel masks?
Full face snorkel masks have made a big impact in the world of snorkeling. The new full face masks overcome many of the pitfalls of snorkeling and have been a game-changer. Although these are becoming very popular, the full face mask concept is still a new thing for many people.
There are some drawbacks to full face snorkel masks that you need to be aware of before working out whether these will suit your children or not.
Click on the link below to take you to your most pressing question, or keep scrolling to read more on how to pick the right full face masks for you and your children.
Snorkeling is now better than ever!
Innovations in designs of snorkel masks have been game changers for anyone who enjoys snorkeling, especially for children.
Even the best quality full face masks are becoming more affordable as newer versions are released. As new brands continue to enter the market, prices and quality varies.
Should you buy children a full face snorkel mask?
If your kids love paddling around on the surface then, absolutely you should! The innovative design of full face masks makes snorkeling a fun and unforgettable experience. These masks are so comfortable and easy to use. Once your children have tried snorkeling with a full face snorkel mask, they'll never want to go back to the old style mask and mouth piece again.
The straps are elasticized making these easy to put on and adjust to a snug fit. After the initial adjustment, they'll see how much fun these are. There is no need to stop to empty out water, defog, or re-adjust the straps.
There is no sore jaw or teeth, and no gagging on a snorkel mouthpiece.
The full face snorkel mask has a separate chamber for breathing, so the viewing section doesn't fog up. If your kids are anything like mine, having a mask that isn't constantly fogging up is going to go a long way to everyone having a more enjoyable time!
Are full face snorkel masks safe for children?
Children seem to take to these easier than many adults, but are they safe? Generally speaking, full face snorkel masks are no more dangerous for your children than a traditional mask and snorkel. If your children can swim and use a traditional snorkel mouthpiece and mask, then they'll have no problem using a full face mask.
Full face snorkel masks are no different to traditional snorkel masks sets when it comes to safety. Always supervise children when swimming and snorkeling. There are many brands available to buy both online and in stores. The best full face masks are made with quality materials, but innovation and quality comes with a price tag.
A lot of the cheap full face masks are direct knock-offs of good quality brands. Many versions are made in China using inferior quality materials. Sadly, some are very poorly made, with one common complaint is that there are leaks in joins where there shouldn't be.
It's inevitable that kids grow and understandable that you don't want to spend a fortune on a product they're quickly going to grow out of.
When choosing a full face snorkel mask, make sure it's a good brand as there is a difference in comfort for your child as well as the price. Sometimes it pays to spend a little bit more, and have peace of mind. If you buy a decent mask, then it should last long enough to be handed down to younger siblings or cousins after your child grows out of it.
What's a Dry Top Snorkel - Does water get in?
Full face masks have a dry top snorkel system in the tube. There are conventional snorkels with these incorporated into them, but the full face snorkel mask takes this to a whole new level.
A Dry Top Snorkel uses a ball float system inside the snorkel. It stops water from entering the snorkel. As you lower your head into the water and the end of the snorkel is submerged, the float rises up and blocks the tube effectively stopping water from getting in.
If a small amount of water does enter the snorkel, good full face masks are designed to channel this to the chin area of the mask, away from the face. Water then drains out through a valve located on bottom of the the chin as soon as you raise this above water level.
After diving below the surface, there's no need to blow water out of the snorkel when you resurface - just breathe normally again.
Video - Full Face Snorkels are great for kids
The short video below shows how easy it really is for children to put on, adjust and use a full face snorkel mask.
How does sizing work with children's full face snorkel masks?
When buying for a teen or large child, always go down a size if you're unsure. Don't buy a mask that's too big thinking it will work now and last them longer. Always buy the correct size for the child.
When it comes to sizing, full face snorkel masks can still be used even if they're a little small. Recently I used my younger son's XS size mask without it leaking although I fit an adult S/M size mask. I can't use my older son's M/L sized mask as it's just a little too big for me and leaks immediately.
If you want to introduce very small children to the underwater world, you may find that even an XS size may be too big for them. An alternative to a full face or traditional snorkel is a bucket snorkel. These are for very young children who may not yet be good swimmers, or are too small for masks.
Which is the best Full Face Mask for children?
When choosing a full face masks for children, make sure you go with brands that have XS or S sizing. Whichever brand you select should have a good returns/exchange policy in case the size isn't quite right.
With each of these full face snorkel masks, you are buying a good product that will give you hours of enjoyment. All come with a full manufacturers warranty and outstanding reviews on Amazon.
#1 - 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.
These have an optical accessory available. These area a Support only - it's like buying eye glasses without the glass. You can either take these to your optometrists to have lenses fitted to suit your eyes, or you can buy the generic lens to fit.
Ocean Reef are at the top end of the pricing market. This is the mask to go for if money is no object.
#2 - Usnork Full Face Snorkel Mask
The big advantage this mask has over its competitors is its price. We all know how quickly children grow out of things. These masks are one of the cheapest, but still provide very good quality.
As with other quality masks, the silicone of the Usnork is soft. This allows it to form a seal around your face as soon as you lower yourself into the water. The slight variation between the air pressure air and the water gently presses the mask against your face and creates a good seal.
The Usnork comes in 3 sizes including an XS for children.
#3 - Tribord EasyBreath (Latest Version) Snorkel Mask
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.
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. These continue to come down in price as different versions are released.
Tribord has continue to improve on their original design and released a new version in 2017. Tribord masks come in 4 sizes making it easy to find the right one for all members of your family.
Tribord are undergoing a branding change and are also branded as Subea. They are cutting down on their range of sizes so Tribord will lose a lot of the children's market in 2018, but while these are still available, these are an excellent choice for children.
#4 - Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView 180 Snorkel Mask
Wildhorn Outfitters have recently released their masks in a children's size. They have also released a large number of new colors but currently the XS size is only available in the one color.
The price of their children's size full face snorkel mask is very competitive for such a high quality mask. Children's sizes are currently available for just under $50.
SeaView full face snorkel masks comes in 3 sizes, including an XS for children.
READ THIS before considering a full face Snorkel Mask!
No matter how good the brand you pick, there’s no getting around some things with full face snorkel masks. Here are the drawbacks that you should be aware of to avoid disappointment.
Tips to keep in mind when buying
Buy the right size for your child's face. Full face snorkels will leak if it's not the correct size. Size charts are available for all brands of snorkel masks so make sure you follow these.
Go for masks with a flat viewing section. Full face snorkel masks with curved viewing areas can distort the view and sometimes makes people feel woozy.
Go for ones with a transparent or almost clear silicone nose / mouth chamber. Masks with a full block of colored silicone will restrict the wearer's peripheral viewing. Masks with transparent nose sections can be feel more enjoyable to many users as you can see more beneath you in your peripheral vision, and don't feel so closed in.
Which Full Face Snorkel Mask to buy on a Budget?
Let's face it, not everyone's budget will stretch to a top quality full face snorkel mask. 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 and buy one with a transparent (or nearly transparent) nose section.
The compromise could be that you buy last year's model of a quality brand. It's easy to snap up a bargain if you're happy to go with last years model.
These are such an innovation and really do bring full pleasure back into snorkeling.
Looking for more detailed information on individual full face snorkeling masks?
Click on the link below if you'd like to read some more in depth information or see some videos of these full face snorkel masks in action.
Best Traditional snorkeling mask set
Cressi Junior Kids Rocks Snorkel Set
Full face masks are such a big change in snorkeling, but what if you're still not convinced this is the way to go? There are some great (and not so great) snorkeling mask sets available. Regardless of whether you choose a full face mask, or a traditional snorkeling mask, we're here to recommend the best quality gear, so no-one is left disappointed.
The mask set we recommend for children is the Cressi brand. Cressi have been making snorkel and scuba gear since the 1940's so we know they're doing something right.
The Cressi Junior Kids Rocks Snorkel Set comes in three colors and two sizes. These are designed for children aged from around 6 to around 14. The set includes a set of fins, a traditional style face mask with a silicone skirt edge that's designed to accommodate children's narrower faces.
This set also includes a curved Dry Top snorkel which uses the same principal to stop water getting in as the full face mask snorkels. It has a splash guard on the end with a valve that seals the snorkel as you go underwater. A mesh carry bag is included. This snorkel is designed to go on left hand side of face so it can be attached to the mask strap by a snorkel keeper clip.
Which is the best Sunscreen for Kids?
If your family is heading out into the sun, chances are you're going to need sunscreen. Before making a choice on which to buy, there's a couple of things you need to be aware of, especially when buying for children.
I'm going to keep this as simple as possible - there are 2 chemicals in many well known brands of sunscreen that you need to avoid. These are Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. You also need to avoid anything that has a SPF factor of 55+ and higher. Anything up to SPF 50 is ok.
There are plenty of trustworthy websites with in depth information about these chemicals if you need more information but I want to keep this as simple and helpful as possible to guide you to the best sunscreen currently available for children.
Spray-on types of sunscreen can be less messy when applying, especially in a sandy beach location, but a travel packet of baby wipes will easily remedy this if you do have concerns.
#1 - ThinkBaby & ThinkSport Kids Safe Sunscreen
There's some really nice things about the ThinkBaby and ThinkSport Kids Safe Sunscreen products. This is a mineral based non-toxic sunscreen, and it doesn't contain any biologically harmful chemicals, such as the ones mentioned above.
This is the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements, and has won more awards than any other sun care product. This has not been tested on animals.
Both ThinkBaby and ThinkSport for Kids have the highest SPF rating, water resistance and Broadspectrum coverage under the FDA Guidelines. The active ingredient is Zinc Oxide which provides protection against UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation.
ThinkBaby/ThinkSport LIVESTRONG sunscreen is made in the USA and is safe for children over 6 months of age, adults (including pregnant women), and anyone with sensitive skin.
thinkBaby and thinkSport Kids is easy to apply and doesn't feel oily.
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