USnork Full Face Snorkel Mask
How does it compare with other full face snorkel masks?
I was approached by Usnork to review their full face snorkel mask directly in comparison to the Tribord mask.
Usnork is a new full face snorkel mask that sits in the mid-price range of this product. Tribord invented the first full face snorkel mask at great expense to them. The Tribord masks are more expensive than the Usnorks.
I agreed to write a review on the Usnork versus the Tribord based on my personal findings, as long as they were okay with a warts and all review. Bravely, they agreed.
If you already know that the Usnork full face snorkel mask is for you, click on the button to see current pricing and any discounts that may apply on Amazon.
Click on the link in the table below to go straight to the answers of your most pressing question, or continue to scroll for the entire review.
Before we hit the direct comparison between the Usnork and the Tribord, let's have a look at full face snorkel masks in general.
The best things about Full Face Snorkel Masks
As snorkelers are trying the new full face snorkel masks, many are leaving the traditional snorkel mask and snorkels behind.
More full face snorkel mask brands are entering the market making these more affordable, at the same time as the overall quality gets better.
There are many good reasons to love full face snorkel masks. Once you try a full face snorkel mask, you'll never want to go back to a conventional mask and mouth piece again.
There's no cumbersome mouthpiece or gagging with the full face masks and their design makes it easy and natural to breathe through your nose and mouth when submerged.
If you suffer from jaw fatigue or have problems with your teeth, you'll know the pain that comes after clamping down on a mouthpiece for an hour or so. There is no jaw fatigue (or sore teeth) even after hours of snorkeling with a full-face snorkel mask.
Most well designed full face snorkel masks have a breathing chamber that is separate from the main viewing section. In most quality masks, this eliminates, or greatly reduces fogging.
The field of vision in the new full face masks is unequaled. Some people feel a little claustrophobic with traditional masks, especially with ones that have black silicone or rubber skirts. Full face snorkel masks viewing area open the underwater world right up.
Water won't enter the snorkel thanks to a ball float system inside the snorkel. The float rises inside the stop section of the snorkel as you go underwater which stops water from getting in. If any water does enter the tube, its channeled down each side of the mask to the chin area. This then drains away through a valve as soon as you lift your head above water.
How does a full face snorkel work?
Full face snorkels use a dry top system to keep water from entering the main section of the mask. These snorkels are able to channel any water that enters the snorkel through channels on each side of the mask, and out through a valve in the chin area. These channels are separate to the areas that cover your mouth, nose and eyes.
The dry top system has a hollow ball in the top of the snorkel piece. As the snorkel is lowered into the water, the ball moves up and covers the vent that lets air into the mask when above water.
You need to take a breath and hold it before submerging, just as you would a traditional snorkel mask. Once you get back to the surface, you can start to breath normally again. You don't need to blast clear the air from the tube with a big blow of air when resurfacing.
The masks may look difficult to get on initially, but after a couple of goes, you'll realize how easy it is to put on and adjust. The straps are elastic and won't get caught on your hair. It's very comfortable once in position.
Why getting the size right is important with full face snorkel masks
The best full face snorkel mask is the one that fits you properly! Even the best quality, highest priced snorkel mask isn't any good if it's the wrong size. A mask that doesn't fit your face properly will feel uncomfortable. Masks that are too big will also let water leak in.
Always check the size chart of each brand as there are slight variations in sizing between manufacturers. Also make sure the supplier of the brand you intend to buy has developed a good customer service reputation as well as a good Returns Policy.
Regardless of which snorkel mask you look at, while there are hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon, there's also a few complaints and 1-star reviews on all full face among them about leaking. The main reason most full face snorkel masks leak is because they are not the correct size for the person wearing them.
Usnork full face snorkel mask - Sizing Guide
The Sizing Guide below will help you to select the correct size for you. Usnork come in two adult sizes - S/M and L/XL. You'll find these sizes are also good for teenagers but not younger children.
May 2018 Update - Usnork has introduced an XS size for children.
Ask someone to measure the distance between the bridge of your nose and the bottom of your chin.
Select Size XS if the measurement is greater than 3.35" (8.5 cm) but less than 3.93" (10 cm).
Select Size S/M if the measurement is greater than 3.93" (10 cm) but less than 4.7" (12 cm) - This size will fit most women and teenagers. It also fits slim faces.
Select Size L/XL the measurement is more than 4.7" (12 cm and above), This size is generally for men.
If you're unsure, always go DOWN a size.
When you receive your mask, put it on straight away to check that there's no gap between the bottom of the mask and your chin. If you feel a gap with your finger, then the mask is too big. It won't be able to form a good seal and this is the most common reason masks leak.
Usnork Full Face Snorkel Mask Colors
The Usnork mask comes in 3 colors for the S/M and L/XL and 2 colors for the XS size.
Things you need to know before buying a full face mask
These masks take a little getting used to when switching from traditional masks and snorkels. Full face snorkels are not for swimming laps, or fast paced snorkeling. They are for leisurely snorkeling on the waters surface in relatively calm water. If you're looking for a swimming snorkel, then take a look at these.
Just like conventional style masks, some water will enter the snorkel if you lean your head too far forward. The float system only works when the snorkel is in a vertical position. Water may enter the snorkel when attempting to free dive or duck dive.
These are not designed for Free Diving or Scuba diving. You cannot equalize with a full face snorkel mask. These are not designed for diving below depths of 10 feet (3 meters). The volume of air in the chamber causes these to feel uncomfortable below this depth.
Beards will cause water to enter the mask. This applies to both traditional masks and full face snorkel masks. Beards create tiny spaces that allow water to slowly seep in.
Any long hair or fringe trapped between the silicone of the mask and your skin will let water slowly seep into the mask. Make sure long hair is completely cleared from your face before putting on the mask.
General care and maintenance of full face snorkel masks
Always rest the snorkel mask visor side up when not in use, as sand and rough surfaces can scratch the lens.
Thoroughly rinse your mask after swimming in salt water to clear any sand particles that may be in the snorkel. If you do find sand, don't force the snorkel piece into place - just give it a quick rinse in fresh water before attempting to connect the snorkel tube to the main mask.
Don't wash in the dishwasher as this will damage the mask. A quick rinse in fresh water followed by a quick towel dry is all it ever needs. Rinse the mask after use even if it's only been in a swimming pool.
Detach the snorkel tube after use and once the mask is completely dry, store it in the bag that it came in. Keep this away from sunlight.
USnork versus Tribord full face mask comparison
A distinct difference between the Tribord and the Usnork mask is that the USnork doesn't have a bright fluorescent tip on the snorkel tube. This is considered a safety feature and is included as such on many snorkel masks. A bright snorkel tube tip makes snorkelers more easily seen at surface level by other water users. Having said that, I know of snorkelers who simply don't like a bright tip on the end of their snorkel.
When tested side by side with a Tribord Easybreath mask, the ball valve mechanism in the breathing tube behaves differently after being submerged. As a snorkeler returns to the surface after submerging, the ball float in the Tribord is released instantly, and the snorkeler can breath as soon as the tube rises above the water. The Usnork ball mechanism takes slightly longer to drop and allow air back into the tube. This is only minimal and something that you may not normally notice but when compared side by side with the Tribord, this is noticable.
The storage sack of the Usnork is a nice bag with a draw string. Mesh storage bags are better as these allow for airflow which prevents mold from developing on the mask if it's not cleaned properly before storing. Making sure the mask is thoroughly cleaned and dried before storing should overcome this.
The Verdict - How does Usnork compare?
Pros - What we liked
Cons - What can be improved upon
* I personally found the snorkel tube difficult to connect and disconnect from the mask. I was concerned I was going to break the tube when I disconnected it. It took about a minute and a bit of wiggling, but it did come way from the mask in the end.
Mind you, I have the same issue with the Tribord mask. I also find it difficult to connect and disconnect the Tribord Easybreath snorkel tube.
The Usnork is a great mid-priced mask for adults, teens and older children. The Usnork full face snorkel mask comes in 3 colors in two adult sizes, and 2 colors in an XS children's size. It also comes with a spare valve, o-ring seal and camera mount accessories.
To see the latest price on the USnork Full-Face Snorkel Mask including any discounts that may apply, click the button below.
I know it sounds cliche, but I genuinely have a passion for travel - and let's face it, who doesn't enjoy a great adventure? I've always loved the beach and snorkeling, and to me, some of the best experiences are with the people you get to meet on the journey.
This website and its articles are about providing valuable and helpful information for everyone looking for unforgettable holiday and travel experiences.
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