Thank you for coming to your one stop shop for snorkeling information, snorkel gear, and reviews of products. Why a site dedicated to snorkeling? Well on the surface,( see what I did there?) snorkeling seems like a simple enough task. However, walk into any dive shop and you can quickly be overwhelmed with options! Which mask type? Shape? Size? Snorkel type? Also…not all of us live right next to a dive shop!
I personally have tested a multitude of fins, masks, and snorkels during my time as a spearfisherman, scuba diver, freediver, and of course….snorkeler! For those still testing the waters….check out my Snorkel Basics page to get started.
What Do I need to Snorkel?
The beauty of snorkeling lies in its simplicity…a mask and a snorkel is your basic setup. However, it does get more complicated as dive manufactures have created a multitude of styles, shapes, glass types, and snorkel options. I also recommend basic fins to assist you and keep your legs from wearing out!
The best option is to buy a snorkel set (mask and snorkel) and go from there. There are also many accessories which you may consider when shopping such as wetsuits, weight belts, and mask defogger but most people will be fine with just a snorkel set in most settings.
My Top Snorkel Combo Picks
1. Cressi Frog Plus Fins with Dive Mask Dry Snorkel Set
My favorite combo comes first. For the new or experienced snorkeler, this is the set you want if you are serious about quality.
2. Phantom Aquatics Cancun Mask and Snorkel Combo
Easily the most affordable, well rated, and feature rich mask/combo available. At $24 this is a quickest way to hit the water.
3. U.S. Divers Junior Regal Mask, Trigger Fins and Laguna Snorkel Combo Set ( FOR KIDS)
I wouldn’t dare forget about the most important people on the trip! This took research, but this is by far the best quality for the money set for the kids.
4. Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
My top pick for a reason…for the price, and the brand name, this is your best all around bet for a snorkel set/combo that will last.
5. U.S Divers Lux LX Mask, Fins, and Snorkel Combo Set
An all-in-one solution for those ready to hit the water. At an affordable price, this snorkel gear is definitely worth a look.
Where Should I Snorkel?
The options are limitless! However, I would recommend taking a look at my Top 5 Snorkeling Destination on a Budget post to get started. Need recommendations? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment! I will be expanding this area soon.
Before You Hit the Water
So you have your gear and you are ready to jump in…but wait! Do you actually know how to snorkel? What may seem like common sense may surprise you once you hit the water with a tube in your mouth. Instead of long winded paragraphs on the topic, here is my quick 7 step checklist before heading out into the blue.
- Make sure all clips are secure. Check your mask to snorkel connection as it can come loose and this means no more snorkel if you are in deep water. Also check your fin clips as many are detachable.
- Get your mask wet first…then spit in it! Many masks have a factory “coating” of sorts which can cause bad fogging if not lightly washed away. Be sure to check out my Top 3 Mask Defogger post to keep your lens clear!
- Adjust your mask so you have a tight, but not uncomfortable, seal around your nose and face. Too tight and you may get red lines, too loose and water may get in. Be sure your snorkel also sits at a comfortable level to reach your mouth and be nice and high out of the water.
- Practice clearing your mask, and snorkel, before heading out for the day. Regardless of how dry a snorkel may claim, water will inevitably sneak in. Best clearing method? Blow out hard! For a mask, coming out of the water and emptying it works until you learn more advanced scuba techniques.
- Make sure that if you put fins on, you are in a good place to go ahead and enter the water. This may sound obvious, but many injuries are caused on dive boats each year by people clonking around with fins on and limited vision with a mask on. Be careful!
- As with anything new, take your time as you start swimming around and learn to breath through the snorkel. Water will most likely get into either your mask or snorkel eventually due to it being your first time so don’t worry when it happens.
- RELAX. RELAX. RELAX. Bobbing around in the ocean with a snorkel for the first time can cause quite some tension for newcomers. Remember you are on vacation! Take in the fish and coral, feel the water moving around you, and most importantly have fun!
For those TRULY new to snorkeling, it is best to start from a beach. This way you control your depth, are not overwhelmed by deep water and the creatures that inhabit them, and you can practice without worrying about being waited on. Be sure to check out my Top 5 Snorkel Combos Page to decide which combo is right for you to get started.
Surviving the Sun
“A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age” -skincancer.org
How freaking scary is that!? Unless you are night diving, you are most likely going to be experiencing intense sun while snorkeling or diving on vacation. While re-applying sunscreen ever hour will help, someone in your family will inevitably start resembling a lobster.
The best way to protect yourself during a long day in the sun? RASHGUARDS
Rashguards, water shirts, guard tops…whatever you want to call them…are the best choice for protecting your skin from the sun. I have owned 10-15 through the years and have saved tons of money on sunscreen as well as protecting my skin. If you have kids, I would definitely recommend buying protection as re-applying can be a pain.
Luckily…I have sorted through and come up with a quick list of the top mens rashguard, womens rashguard, and kids rashguard in one simple post. Check it out here: Top 7 Rashguards for Snorkeling, Paddleboarding, and Diving.
If you are looking for the best snorkel combo for your money, the work has been done for you. Click here to head over to my #1 pick for best set. Great gear, great brand, great price. Head on over to read why.
Well go ahead and dive in! The best way to get started is to buy some gear, learn how to snorkel, and enjoy!