How to Pick the Correct Size
Full face Snorkel Mask
Just like with clothing, full face snorkel mask brands use different sizes as their standard. Masks are sized as XS, S, S/M, M/L, and XL but it's not until you take a closer look at individual sizing charts, and you'll see small variations in these general sizes.
Fit and Comfort doesn't come in all sizes
Masks made with higher quality materials have a softer, more flexible skirt. (The skirt is the piece that creates the seal between your face and the mask).
Some masks sitting at the lower end of the full face mask price range are made with stiffer materials that aren't so forgiving with faces of not-so-average size.
What all fail to mention is that it's not just the length of your face that counts for comfort and a good fit, but also it's width. The size of your nose also counts.
Faces that aren't so average
As we know, faces come in all shapes and sizes. What manufacturers are trying to do is fit a standard sized full face mask, to a variety of face shapes. If your face is wider than most, you'll probably find the mask is ok, but it may not feel as secure as you'd hoped.
Manufacturers claim the range of sizes will cover about 90% of the population, so there is a small chance you may not get a mask to fit comfortably.
If you've been blessed with a larger than normal sized nose, you could find that no matter which brand you buy, most full face snorkel masks will rub on the bridge of your nose. This may cause some minor discomfort. If the mask you choose is not generous in this area or the material is stiff and unbending, this can really cause some pain.
Choosing a full face snorkel mask for children
It's not just faces that come in different sizes, children do too. Some kids are big for their age while others are small.
If you have a big 5 year old, they could easily fit into some of the masks for small children, whereas you could be hard-pressed finding a mask small enough to fit a regular sized 5 year old.
This is why it's important to look past the age of the child. It's about the size of the child you're buying for, not the age.
Full Face Snorkel Masks Measurements vs Sizes
To work out the size that fits best to your face, it's recommended you ask someone to take the measurement (in a straight line) from the bridge of your nose, to the tip of your chin.
Check the sizing chart below to work out which size and mask brand is closest to the size you need.
3.35" - 3.94"
< 12 cm
> 12 cm
< 10 cm
> 13 cm
< 12 cm
> 12 cm
3.35" - 3.94"
> 12 cm
< 10 cm
> 12.5 cm
< 10 cm
< 11.5 cm
> 11.5 cm
If you're uncertain, always go DOWN a size. Most full face snorkel masks have standard sizes of S/M and M/L in their snorkel mask range.
The Ocean Reef Aria standard size is slightly smaller than others, and along with Mares Head, Tribord Easybreath, and Wildhorn Outfitters SeaView, these come in a greater range of sizes compared to other brands.
Reviews of the best Full Face Snorkel Masks
Now that you've checked the chart and worked out which brand sells the size closest to your face measurements, click the link below to read a full review, or the icon to take you straight to Amazon for pricing.
Aria masks have slightly smaller sizing, and are made with higher quality materials. These also have a near transparent skirt near the nose and mouth area giving a better peripheral view.
Ocean Reef also make full face Scuba masks so you know you're getting a quality product.
Tribord have a greater range of sizes in the mid pricing range although they are now phasing out their smaller sizes to cut down on manufacturing costs making these more affordable than ever.
SeaView come in 3 standard sizes including an XS for children. These come in a huge new range of colors.
All SeaView masks include a camera mount incorporated into the design of the mask.
SeeReef come in 2sizes to suit adults and teens. These are in the low pricing range and are a very popular choice among snorkelers.
The TriMagic masks come in 2 standard adult sizes, and an XS for children.
Things you need to know before buying a full face snorkel mask
Even with some great innovation taking place with full face snorkel masks, there’s still no getting around some things.
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 (3 meters).
Remove the mask when swimming longer distances to get to a new snorkel location. Heavy breathing/exercising is less effective in full face mask designs. Most full face snorkel tubes are not wide enough to provide a swimmer with enough oxygen when swimming at an exercise pace.
Full face snorkel masks are designed for snorkeling in relatively calm water. The float valve system only works when the snorkel is in a vertical position. As with traditional snorkels and masks, if you lean your head too far forward, water enters the snorkel piece. Water may also enter the snorkel tube 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.
Still not sure if a full face snorkel mask is for you?
If you want to swim laps, or love duck diving while snorkeling, then have a look at the PowerBreather Snorkel.
These come in 5 different models for different swimming requirements. These are made for endurance and lap swimmers, as well as recreational snorkelers.
Full reviews of Full Face Snorkel Masks
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