Snorkeling is one of the most enjoyable soft adventures that immerse you in the underwater world. And whether you’re trying it out in a pool for the first time, jumping in a lake, or exploring the reefs, the first step is buying a snorkel set. The newest snorkel style on the market is the dry snorkel, and they are the top choice for beginner snorkelers! So let’s go over everything you need to know to buy the best dry snorkel from the get-go.
Quick Answer: The Best Dry Snorkels
- Best Overall: Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel
- Best Budget: Aegend Dry Snorkel
- Best Foldable: Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel
- Kraken Aquatics Dry Snorkel
- TUSA Hyperdry Elite II Scuba Diving Snorkel
- Phantom Aquatics Dry Snorkel
- Mares Ergo Dry Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Snorkel
- Oceanic Ultra Dry 2 Snorkel
- AquaLung Impulse Dry Snorkel
- Riffe Stable Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Snorkel
Best Overall Dry Snorkel
Cressi, one of the most trusted names in snorkeling and diving, boasts nearly 70 years in the industry. So it’s not too surprising to see them at the top of the dry snorkel trend. The Cressi Supernova Dry is rated as the best dry snorkel currently on the market. Not only is it suitable for beginner snorkelers, but it’s also specifically crafted to impress free divers and spearfishers, too. Features like the unique dry top valve, large elliptical purge valve, and drop away flexible silicone tube make this dry snorkel reliable even in rough waters. In addition, the hypoallergenic silicone, ergonomically shaped tube, and quick button release mask clip make it both supercomfortable to wear and easy to use. And, in true Cressi fashion, it comes in just about every color of the rainbow.
Best Budget Dry Snorkel
The Aegend Dry Snorkel is the perfect add-on or replacement snorkel designed to be compatible with the best snorkel brands like Cressi, Speedo, and Phantom. A couple of key elements that make this dry snorkel so great are the tangle-free pinch-release mask clip, the food-grade silicone mouthpiece, the extralong, extrawide curved snorkel tube, and the one-way bottom purge valve. But the real highlights are the advanced paddle-style top dry valve and the splash guard. This new style of dry valve combats the common clogging issues encountered with flotation valve-style dry snorkels. The paddle valve prevents small sand and debris from blocking the tube airway. In addition, the newly designed splash guard is wave-approved and effectively blocks overhead splashes from entering the snorkel. This dry snorkel is also completely detachable, making it supereasy to clean, store, and travel with.
Best Foldable Dry Snorkel
The foldable Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry Snorkel is another win for best snorkel. This snorkel utilizes a float mechanism and grid-style splash guard for its dry top system to automatically close out any water that might enter the tube. It also features a wide elliptical-shaped tube designed for better breathability and greater airflow. In addition, the soft and pliable silicone mouthpiece, silicone flex tube, and quick-release mask clip make it both comfortable and easy to use. And the best feature of all is that the entire snorkel is flexible enough to fold up and can be effortlessly stuffed away for travel or storage.
Best of the Rest
The Kraken Aquatics Dry Snorkel is a high-quality dry snorkel with everything you’d expect from more expensive brands but with a more desirable price. It has the typical dry top flotation system that sets dry snorkels apart from the rest, plus a silicone mouthpiece and the corrugated silicone hose that snorkelers prefer. The snorkel also includes the highly sought after quick-release mask clip and bottom purge valve. It’s even approved for scuba diving, free diving, and spearfishing. And, best of all, it’s backed by a three-year warranty.
If you’re looking for an officially approved scuba snorkel, look no further than TUSA, a scuba gear manufacturer that has been designing gear loved by scuba enthusiasts since 1950. It only made sense for the company to build its own snorkel to ensure the high standards of its scuba customers are met. The Hyperdry Elite II includes numerous meticulously thought out features, including a proprietary low-profile dry-top valve. This specialty float mechanism guarantees that the snorkel will remain entirely free of water regardless of whether you are submerged or get surprised by oversplash. It also includes an orthopedic mouthpiece, a highflow angled purge reservoir, and a two-part comfort swivel mask strap that allows for rotation while it’s attached to a snorkel mask.
For those who are extraparticular about the comfort of the mouthpiece, the Phantom Aquatics Dry Snorkel is the best snorkel for mouth comfort. The rave reviews don’t lie, and the mouthpiece is replaceable, so when you need a new one, it’s not necessary to replace the entire snorkel. The silicone material, ergonomic design, and angled feature make this mouthpiece a perfect fit for a variety of mouth shapes. In addition, the oval-shaped flex tube features a reliable top valve seal system, a quick-release mask buckle, and a purge valve with an extralong self-draining chamber.
Mares is another respected brand in the snorkel and scuba space, which is why its claim of a 100% dry valve top is worth considering. The Ergo Dry snorkel uses a patented exhaust valve designed to meet the performance standards of both snorkelers and scuba divers. It also utilizes an ergonomic tube, a superior quality silicone corrugated hose, a swiveling mask clip, and a molded, soft rubber mouthpiece. In addition, it’s specifically marketed to be suitable for extralong snorkeling sessions and to withstand long-term use.
The Ultra Dry 2 snorkel by Oceanic boasts a patented dry valve technology. But just as notable are the leaps the company has taken in creating an innovative mouthpiece and truly unique mask clip. For starters, the mouthpiece is made from 100% liquid technology with an oversized purge valve. Plus, it features a drop away flex tube for easy detachment. Not only does this make it superfunctional and ultracomfortable, but it also makes it replaceable. As for the mask clip, it’s a fuss-free swiveling hook devoid of any complicated clips, buttons, or snaps.
AquaLung believes in using rigorous performance testing to ensure its products are truly ready for the market. As a result of its testing, the company came up with a forward-facing dry valve with a quick-close prevention method that eliminates the need to clear the snorkel. The tube, valves, and snorkel clips have also been redesigned. The tube includes a flex section that can be easily removed when desired, the purge valve is self-draining, and the snorkel clip utilizes a two-piece push button system.
As far as lightweight and hydrodynamic design goes, Riffe is the clear front-runner with its stable scuba diving and snorkeling snorkel. Thanks to its flexible vinyl tube, it weighs in at just five ounces, nearly half the weight of its competitors. In addition, the dry top valve has an innovative shark fin design intended to easily cut through the water without catching on seaweed or other floating materials. The dry snorkel also includes a top-quality hinge release system and a bottom purge valve.
How to Choose the Best Dry Snorkel
A dry snorkel isn’t the same as a traditional snorkel. It’s a snorkel specially designed to prevent water from entering the tube when a snorkeler goes below the surface. This is usually accomplished with a flotational mechanism that closes when the snorkel is submerged and opens again when it returns to the surface. However, many snorkel manufacturers are now coming out with different valve styles, including the paddle valve and numerous other patented versions. It’s important to carefully consider the valve when you’re buying a dry snorkel, but there are also several other things to consider when choosing the best dry snorkel.
1. Experience Level of the Snorkeler
Dry snorkels are often thought of as best for snorkeling when you’re a beginner snorkeler. Dry snorkels can also be great for children and for anyone who has trouble clearing the water from a traditional snorkel tube. Scuba divers and free divers have even been routinely discouraged from using dry snorkels in the past. This is because the flotational dry valves can cause dry snorkels to be extrabuoyant when air is trapped inside the tube. The added buoyancy tends to make the switch between a snorkel and a buoyancy compensator awkward and inconvenient. It can also cause the snorkel to bounce around the diver’s head when it’s not in use. Fortunately, recent dry snorkel designs have been crafted with this issue in mind and are even tested to ensure they meet the standards of free divers and scuba divers.
2. Snorkeling Conditions
Historically, dry snorkels have been mostly used for snorkeling in calm water because rough water conditions might cause the dry valve to malfunction by closing too frequently or remaining closed indefinitely. This presented a problem as the snorkeler was unable to take a breath when needed, which proved especially dangerous for snorkeling in waves and choppy water or for diving. To many, the main issue was with the float ball in the dry valve device that got stuck closed when sand or other debris was jammed in the tube.
Luckily, many newer dry snorkel models actively combat the issue with special valve and splash technologies. Some dry snorkels are even specifically designed to be suitable for choppy water or waves. When choosing the best dry snorkel, it’s important to consider if these newer developments are important to you.
3. The Snorkel Tube
The tube or the barrel is the main piece of the snorkel mask, and it varies considerably in construction material, flexibility, and added features. You’ll want to look closely at the different variations before committing to your purchase.
Most newer dry snorkels automatically come with a flex tube. This is a flexible portion of the tube that makes the snorkel more adjustable and comfortable. There are still a few brands that use straight tubes, but it’s definitely better to opt for one that has the flex tube. This is an important aspect of the snorkel because it’s the part of the tube that connects the mouthpiece to the snorkel tube. If it’s not soft and pliable, it could rub and feel awkward against your face, and it might even get in your way if you’re diving with a regulator. If the snorkel has flex tubing, you’ll notice a section of flexible accordion-style tube a few inches long above the mouthpiece.
Many novice snorkelers don’t realize that snorkel tubes come in several different diameters and lengths. It’s important to pay attention to this because if you have the wrong size for your body or breathing ability, it could result in improper air exchange. For example, if it’s too small or short, you may not be able to take a big enough breath when you need it. If the snorkel is too long or wide, you could accidentally inhale the breath you just let out. This would mean ingesting carbon dioxide, which can make you feel sick, dizzy, confused, or exhausted.
4. The Dry Valve & Splash Guard
When you are buying a dry snorkel, it’s good to inspect the dry valve mechanism attached to the top of the tube. It’s precisely what sets dry snorkels apart from other snorkels, so check that you can see it at the top of the tube. Most of them have a ball or a flotation device that rises to the top to block out water when the snorkel is submerged. However, these seem to be losing popularity due to inconsistencies in the way they function. Some snorkelers complain that they get clogged with sand and other particles, causing them to get stuck closed.
If you think this might be an issue for you, seek out a dry snorkel that uses some type of alternative valve. Many snorkel manufacturers are coming out with their own patented dry valves, so it’s worth looking into how they are made and how they address the issues of the ball valve.
You’ll also want to be sure you see a splash guard covering the dry valve and the top of the tube. A splash guard is a bit like a backup plan for water that might enter the snorkel even if you’re not submerged. It’s especially helpful if you’ll be snorkeling in choppy waters or waves.
5. The Mask Clip
Although it may seem trivial at first, the mask clip is one of the most important features of the best snorkels out there. It’s a small clip that allows the tube to be attached to a snorkel mask. This prevents the tube from getting lost if it comes out of your mouth either intentionally or accidentally. Instead, the snorkel stays attached to the strap of the mask, which is secured to your head.
Complaints about the inadequacy of mask clips are a chief concern among snorkelers. If the clip isn’t effective, the snorkel can fall off and be lost at the bottom of the body of water you’re snorkeling in.
Nowadays, there are lots of different mask clip styles, and you can choose between rings, snap, buttons, clips, and even two-piece systems. But the most important aspects are the quick-release and swivel features. These prevent restricted movements and allow the tube to be easily moved out of the way when you don’t want to use it.
4. The Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is one of the most personal choices you’ll have to make when you’re looking for the best snorkel. Since it fits in the mouth, it’s especially important to pay attention to the shape and materials of the product. Closely inspect the mouthpiece to ensure it’s made of a soft, durable material that won’t stretch your lips or scratch the delicate mouth tissue. Also, decide if an adjustable mouthpiece is important to you as some come with hinges and ball joints while others are fixed in place. Adjustable mouthpieces usually offer a more comfortable snorkeling experience, but there are some snorkelers who still prefer the simpler, fixed style.
In addition, mouthpieces come in different sizes, and it’s important to choose the one that feels comfortable in your mouth. Some snorkelers say larger mouthpieces are better for beginners because they allow them to take deeper breaths, but for some, the larger mouthpieces cause jaw fatigue. For this reason, more experienced divers and snorkelers often prefer the comfort of a smaller mouthpiece. Even so, some snorkelers say the best way to choose a mouthpiece is to find one that matches the size of your face or mouth – hence, large mouthpieces for people with larger faces and small mouthpieces for people with smaller faces.
5. The Reservoir & Purge Valve
Now for the reservoir and purge valve. At the bottom of the mouthpiece, you’ll see a reservoir for collecting water that accidentally enters the tube. This is a feature that almost all snorkels have now, and it prevents you from ingesting the water when you try to take a breath. Dry snorkels tend to have smaller reservoirs as the reservoir is typically an unnecessary feature. After all, the dry valve is designed to prevent water from entering the tube in the first place.
If you’re looking to reduce the weight and bulk of your dry snorkel, it’s good to look for one that has no reservoir at all. However, some dry snorkels go in the opposite direction and feature extra-large reservoirs plus purge valves. This is usually a precaution preferred by those who are free diving or spearfishing. Bigger reservoirs hold more water and are more suitable for divers who typically take longer, deeper breaths.
The purge valve is the piece that allows the snorkeler to blow the water back out of the reservoir. There are a couple of different styles of purge valves. The traditional style requires the snorkeler to surface and then blow the water out. However, some of the newer models have purge valves that automatically drain while you’re snorkeling so that you never have to make an extra effort to blow the water out. In addition, there are some dry snorkels with new designs that allow the snorkeler to blow the water out while they are still submerged.
5. Weight & Bulk
The last thing you want is for a snorkel to be heavy or bulky, so be wary of dry snorkels that have a lot of extras. When it comes to snorkels, the more minimalist they are the better. In some snorkeling circles, the purge valve on dry snorkels is a bit controversial. Some say that good dry snorkels don’t need a purge valve and that it just adds unnecessary bulk and weight. Nonetheless, many dry snorkels do include them. So inspect carefully before making your decision.
Other add-ons like dry tops, flexible mouthpieces, and fancy clips bring the same concerns. Some experienced snorkelers say they are unnecessary gimmicks that only make snorkel masks awkward and heavy.
6. How the Dry Snorkel Fits With Your Snorkel Mask
Always try on your snorkel and mask together to ensure a proper fit. Be sure that the snorkel doesn’t pull on your mask, tug on your lips, or break the air seal. If it passes those tests, pay close attention to how it feels in your mouth. It shouldn’t be necessary to clench your jaw to keep the mouthpiece in place, but it also shouldn’t fall out easily if you move your lips or jaw.
7. Color Options
Although color won’t have any impact on the function of the snorkel, how the snorkel looks might be important to you. Fortunately, there is a wide array of colors to choose from, from classic black to blue, pink, yellow, and more. When you choose your color, think about matching your swimsuit, wetsuit, or flippers. Also, consider choosing a bright color that is easy to spot if you happen to drop your snorkel in the sea or on the bottom of a pool.
Dry snorkels usually aren’t the cheapest snorkels available; you are paying for an extra mechanism that will protect you from breathing in water through the tube. This is a benefit well worth the added cost. However, the brand, style, and materials used can also impact the price.
Paying more for a good snorkel may prove worth it if you are a frequent snorkeler or if you’d like to have a snorkel that lasts for many years. But if you are just a casual snorkeler, paying for a top-of-the-line snorkel isn’t necessary. And it’s not uncommon for beginner snorkelers to lose a piece of their snorkel set in the sea when they are starting out. So it’s good to consider how much you’re willing to risk until you’re more experienced.
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on the latest and greatest dry snorkelers around, it’s up to you to decide which is the best snorkel in the world. And don’t forget to check out our list of the best snorkel masks and snorkeling fins to complete your snorkeling set.