Whether it’s high summer or high time for a beach getaway, snorkeling is one of the best warm-weather pastimes. But before you head out for the water, you’ve got to get some snorkeling gear. And figuring it all out from the snorkel mask to the dry snorkel tube and the snorkel fins is a bit puzzling. Fortunately, most of the best snorkeling gear can be purchased in snorkeling kits, making things a lot easier.
Even so, a few good tips about what to buy will come in handy, so we’ll get you started on what to look for.
Quick Answer: The Best Snorkeling Gear
- Best Overall: Cressi Palau Mask Fin Snorkel Set
- Best Budget: PRODIVE Premium Dry Top Snorkel Set
- Best Midrange: U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Snorkeling Set
- Best for Active Snorkeling: ZEEPORTE Mask Fin Snorkel Set
- Best Full-Mask: Cozia Design Snorkel Set
- Best for Diving: TUSA Sport Powerview Mask Fins Dry Snorkel Set
- Best for Travel: Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set
- Promate Snorkeling Mask Fins Dry Snorkel Set
- Phantom Aquatics Italian Collection Dry Snorkel Set
- Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Kit
What to Look for in a Good Snorkeling Set
At the top of the list is finding out what’s in a snorkeling set and the cost. From there, you’ll need a little bit of intel on how to choose the right snorkeling mask, breathing tube, and fins.
1. What’s in a Snorkeling Set?
A snorkeling set typically includes a snorkel mask, a tube or barrel, and a set of fins. While each piece can be purchased separately, it can be hard to understand the differences between each item and if they are compatible with the other pieces. So, especially if you are just starting out, it’s best to start with a predetermined snorkeling set created by one manufacturer. But perhaps the best tip for novice snorkelers is: Don’t buy the generic sets you see at the supermarket or department store. They might be cheap and convenient, but you’ll likely regret it when your snorkeling experience is less than stellar. Instead, opt for a professional set from the get-go. Many trusted industry manufacturers use premium materials and develop their equipment for snorkeling based on science and experience. This decreases the chance that you’ll buy an unsatisfactory product that needs to be replaced soon after it’s purchased.
Snorkeling kits can vary quite a bit on the cost spectrum, so it’s good to establish a budget before you start shopping. Usually, snorkeling kits sold at dive shops cost between $50 and $100, but you can sometimes find them a bit cheaper. And superior professional sets can run as high as $200. Having an educated idea about the materials and features that are both necessary and desirable will help you determine an appropriate ballpark range.
The mask is the goggles part of the snorkeling set that allows you to see underwater. How fancy you want to get with different lenses and materials is up to you, but before all else, be sure the mask fits correctly as they come in sizes from extra small to extra large and vary according to each brand. Start the search for the correct size by measuring your face according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you are in a physical store, try the mask on by attaching it to your face without the strap on. Ensure that it suctions your face, maintains an air seal, and doesn’t rub or pinch your skin. Snorkel masks shouldn’t cause discomfort or fall off, so you don’t have the right size if either happens.
When you are buying a snorkel mask online, don’t hesitate to call the manufacturer for help with determining which size you should order. You’ll also want to read or ask about the exchange and return policies to ensure you are protected if the mask you order doesn’t fit. In addition, check their policy about returning or exchanging snorkel gear that has already been used in the water.
Read more: 10 Best Snorkel Masks
The snorkel is the breathing tube that sticks out of the water with a mouthpiece attached to it. It’s the part of the snorkel equipment that allows you to breathe with your face underwater. There are many different features to consider when choosing a snorkel, but the most important is how the mouthpiece is made and whether the tube has a dry valve, splash guard, or purge valve.
For starters, be sure that none of the parts is made with cheap plastic. If it’s a good snorkeling set, the dry valve, splash guard, and purge valve will all be made with silicone. And the tube itself will usually be made with high-grade plastic, vinyl, rubber, or silicone.
If the snorkel has a dry valve, that means there is something in the top of the tube that prevents water from entering through the top when it’s submerged. Not all snorkelers need, want, or like this feature, but it’s a great feature if you plan to dive down or scuba dive. If you plan on simply floating on the surface, it’s not necessary.
The splash guard is a grid or filter fit over the top of the tube, and it almost always accompanies the best snorkeling sets with dry valves. Other snorkels often have it, too, and it’s a nice feature for all types of snorkelers. It’s meant to prevent overhead water splashes from entering the breathing tube.
When the tube has a purge valve, you’ll see a reservoir bulb below the mouthpiece with some sort of drain system. This feature collects any water that might enter the breathing tube in a pocket to prevent you from accidentally inhaling it when you take a breath. The purge valve essentially allows you to spit or blow the collected water back out of the tube without removing it from your mouth.
Finally, check the mouthpiece for size and rough edges to ensure it won’t be scratchy or uncomfortable against your gums, lips, and cheeks. Bigger mouthpieces are often recommended for beginner snorkelers but are often responsible for complaints of mouth fatigue. While a smaller mouthpiece is usually more comfortable, you must consider if it will easily fall out of your mouth when you relax or if it will make it more difficult for you to take deep breaths.
Read more: 10 Best Dry Snorkels
Fins are what go over your feet and allow you to swim more efficiently through the water. Fins are not required for snorkeling, so not all sets will include them. But having them can undoubtedly enhance the experience. What you’ll like largely depends on how much experience you have and what you want to do in the water.
The first two things to consider are the heel and the material. Fins come in either open-heel or full-foot options. Open-heel fins are usually adjustable, and some snorkelers like to wear snorkeling socks or booties inside them to prevent rubbing or discomfort in cold water. Full-foot fins are closed at the heel and fit more like a shoe. They are also less bulky and more lightweight.
Next, how comfortable the fins are is super important. Comfort usually begins with the product materials, and it’s important to avoid cheap plastic and rubber fins. Instead, seek out soft rubber or silicone as they are less likely to cause blisters or chafing. When you try them on, make sure they fit snuggly enough, so they won’t slip off in the water but aren’t tight enough to cause pinching or cramps.
If you’re ordering online, remember to check the exchange and return policies before taking them in the water.
Read more: 10 Best Snorkeling Fins
Best Snorkel Gear Reviewed
Now that you know exactly what to look for, here are the best snorkeling sets currently on the market.
Best Overall Snorkel Set
When it comes to the best snorkeling sets, Cressi is always the best. As a company firmly rooted in the underwater industry for decades, this brand is one you can buy from with confidence. The Cressi Palau Mask Fin Snorkel Set has precisely what you’re looking for if short, adjustable fins, a tempered glass mask, and a dry snorkel are on the list. It all comes conveniently packed into a mesh diving bag and is available in blue, yellow, pink, purple, gray, red, and solid black. As for the details, this snorkel set includes a wide-view Marea Dual Lens Tempered Glass Mask with clear, high-quality silicone, a feathered skirt, and easy-adjust buckles. In addition, the snorkel is an anti-splash, dry top valve tube with a corrugated elbow, a replaceable silicone mouthpiece, an easy-to-clear purge valve, and a quick-release snorkel clip. As for the fins, they are the quick-adjust Cressi Rodine Palau-style featuring a top foot pocket and extended blades designed for getting an excellent kick thrust with minimal effort.
Best Budget Snorkel Set
PRODIVE offers a super affordable, quality snorkeling set without the fins. This set is perfect for snorkelers who don’t need fins. But don’t let the super low-price fool you. This equipment for snorkeling isn’t cheaply made. Instead, the PRODIVE Premium Dry Top Snorkel Set brings the latest materials and best snorkeling technology to the masses. For starters, the snorkel mask is made with highly desirable anti-fog tempered glass especially created to support deep dives. Plus, the breathing tube features the latest trend in snorkeling: the dry top float valve system. Together, this snorkel goggle and dry snorkel set offer a superior snorkeling experience at a fraction of the cost of leading competitors. In addition, the budget-friendly set comes in various popular colors, including aqua, blue, light or dark pink, yellow, and black.
Best Midrange Snorkel Set
The U.S. Divers brand, a division of Aqua Lung, is one of the pioneer diving gear brands. The company has been at it since 1943, when independent underwater exploring first began. For this reason, you can be confident that a hefty amount of history and expertise goes into creating its snorkel masks, breathing tubes, and fins. The U.S. Divers Adult Cozumel Snorkeling Set includes the double lens Cozumel Mask, the hydro-adhesion Seabreeze snorkel with splash guard, and three-way adjustable, open-heel vented-blade fins. The set comes packed into a mesh gear bag in your choice of colors from black, gray, and blue to red and yellow.
Best Snorkel Set for Active Snorkeling
The ZEEPORTE Mask Fin Snorkel Set features well thought out pieces ideal for active snorkeling, spearfishing, free diving, body surfing, and boogie boarding. The snorkel equipment includes a low-profile, panoramic snorkel mask; an extralong, ergonomic, dry snorkel; and lightweight, short blade, anti-slip fins. The tempered glass mask features a four-window design paired with a food-grade silicone skirt and adjustable strap. The breathing tube features a dry top valve, silicone mouthpiece, flex tubing, a draining purge valve, and a fixed mask buckle. And the fins feature a flexible, polymer blade, drain holes, a slip-resistant foot pocket, and straps made of long-lasting rubber. This snorkel set is available in blue, gray, purple, and yellow, plus it comes with a reusable, zip-up, quick-dry mesh bag ideal for traveling.
Best Full-Mask Snorkeling Kit
For those interested in the hottest snorkeling trend, the full-face snorkel mask, Cozia Design has paired one with a set of swim fins. The full-face mask meets the latest technology standards with distinct double exhaust chambers to separate inhaled and exhaled breaths, plus an anti-fog 180° panoramic lens and anti-leak hypoallergenic face seal. In addition, the snorkel features an overhead pointing, extralong, foldable breathing tube designed to prevent condensation. It also includes a dry top float valve that prevents water from entering the mask. It comes in two sizes, one for men and one for women and teenagers. Plus, you can choose from traditional black or beautiful colors, including green, orange, pink, and yellow.
Best Snorkel Set for Diving
When it comes to diving, there is no better brand to trust than TUSA. It’s one of the oldest producers of scuba gear, and when the company says its snorkel equipment is approved for scuba, it is. You won’t find any shortcuts, only the best materials and latest technology put together for the best snorkel sets around. For example, the TUSA Sport Powerview Travel Set uses pure, FDA-approved silicone for the mouthpiece and skirt. It also uses CLEARVU tempered glass in the snorkel mask lens, a patented hybrid long blade system in the fins, and a HYPERDRY ELITE flotation valve dry top snorkel. All of this comes together with three pieces of the best diving-approved snorkel gear for a seamless experience, whether you want to float, spearfish, or free dive. And if all that doesn’t convince you, maybe the unbeatable three-year warranty will.
Best Snorkel Set for Travel
The Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set features a tempered glass snorkel mask, dry snorkel, and Trek fins in a quick-dry mesh bag. The adjustable fins are offered in a wide range of sizes and colors and are designed for easy kicking and convenient removal with thumb loops on the heel strap. They also come with a clever and convenient fin pad to help them hold their shape while packed away and during travel. In addition, this Seavenger set also includes the trending dry top flotation valve snorkel tube with a splash guard, flex tube section, purge valve, and a hypoallergenic mouthpiece. Plus, the snorkel mask is a scratch-resistant double lens design with silicone injected skirt and an easily adjustable strap and swivel buckles. Finally, the Aviator snorkeling set includes an easy-to-clean gear bag that fits inside a carry-on bag.
Best of the Rest
Promate has gone above and beyond the call of duty to come out with impressive innovations for its snorkel mask and dry snorkel. The company has also packaged them with the Promate Wave Snorkeling fins suitable for barefoot use. The open-heel fins feature a double backstrap for added security and size-adjustment, plus a thumb loop on top of the foot pocket to pull them on easily. The tempered glass Promate Avanti TL Sideview Edgeless Purge Mask includes a patented purge valve and purge skirt system that allows water to be channeled and directs purged bubbles away from the face. As for the proprietary breathing tube, it’s the Promate Cobra 100% Dry Whistle Snorkel that features built-in whistle housing, an easy drain silicone purge valve, and a quick-slip snorkel clip. In addition, the set comes with a nylon mesh bag with a drawstring cord. Colors options include four styles of traditional black, pink, blue, and yellow.
If you’re looking for pro goggles for snorkeling, Phantom Aquatics makes a great set paired with superior fins and a reliable dry snorkel with float top technology. The emphasis is on the better-than-average adjustable fins with angled blades and center grooves to glide with ease and minimal effort. They also have a quick-release heel strap, and they come in a great selection of solid, opaque, metallic, and bright colors. The professional mask features a double lens window for excellent visibility and comfort with adjustable silicone straps and buckles. And the snorkel tube is what you’d expect from the latest technology with an ergonomic curve, flex tube, dry top valve and splash guard, silicone mouthpiece, bottom purge valve, and a quick-release mask clip.
Cressi has effectively solved the snorkel equipment riddle by putting together its fan-favorite mask and snorkeling tube into one kit. The set includes the low-profile F1 single lens, tempered glass, frameless mask, and the Supernova Dry snorkel with valve seals, purge reservoir, and dry top flotation valve. This combo promises a superior snorkeling experience with a wide, ultraclear viewing experience and reliable, effortless breathing experience. The set comes with a two-year warranty and in a full range of beautiful Cressi colors.
Now you’re all set to grab your favorite snorkel and make a splash into summer!