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Snorkeling is an enjoyable pastime that allows you to take a peek into an underwater world, but having the proper equipment can make all the difference. A quality snorkel set can prevent water from leaking into the tube or mask, and well-designed fins can make gliding through the water a breeze. Want to know which ones you should pack for your next trip to the beach? Here are the best snorkeling gear options to buy now.
Best Set Overall: IST Orbit Snorkel Set
For a moderately priced set that is well constructed, comfortable and easy to use, spring for the IST Orbit. The set includes open-back fins, a mask, snorkel and carry bag. Available in several sizes and six different color varieties, the IST is durable and affordable, making it a handy set to have. The snorkel has a soft mouthpiece and allows snorkelers to dive down without water coming into the tube, while the mask keeps water out of the eyes and face as it grants panoramic views. The fins are small enough that this set can easily pack up in a suitcase, making them ideal for Caribbean cruises or other travel to coral reefs.
Best Mask: Cressi Nano Crystal Mask
If you are interested in doing some serious snorkeling, scuba diving or free diving, then consider investing in a high-quality mask like the Cressi Nano Crystal Mask. Constructed in Italy, the mask is hydrodynamic and compact to help you glide through the water with little resistance. The mask features swiveling adjustable buckles, tempered-glass lenses, as well as a form-fitting head strap with a silicone face skirt. The contoured tube of the snorkel allows for unrestricted airflow, while keeping water out (even when you go underwater), and is fitted with a comfortable mouthpiece. The snorkel mask is clear but comes trimmed in pink, blue, purple or yellow.
Best Budget Mask: Enkeeo Snorkeling Mask
If you’re just looking to splash around on vacation and don’t need the fins, the Enkeeo Snorkeling Mask is a perfect wallet-friendly option. The mask is made of tempered glass that is impact-resistant and shatterproof and has silicone face skirting that creates a water-tight seal (read: it's designed to fit almost anyone). The snorkel tube has a dry top to prevent water from coming in, and buyers appreciated that it allows you to take large breaths without impeding air flow. The mask set also comes with some “freebies” such as a cell phone case, carry bag and swim cap. Be sure to treat the mask with anti-fogging products (or baby shampoo) before use.
Best Splurge Set: SealBuddy Panoramic Snorkel Set
If you’re looking to splurge a little on a snorkel set that has it all, take a look at the SeaBuddy Panoramic because it bundles together premium quality gear. The four-window mask offers more visibility with a wider front, as well as side windows for peripheral viewing. It also has a concaved nose piece to balance pressure – a stark difference from “standard” snorkel masks. The snorkel is sturdy but has a bendable curve to easily adjust the angle, as well as a dry top to prevent water from seeping in. The fins are small – but durable – and feature the open-heeled design with straps. The set also includes a carry bag and a life jacket.
Best Closed-Back Fins: U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins
Great for snorkeling and scuba diving, the U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins were designed to provide a snug fit and more power underwater. These closed-heel fins optimize the water flow using long, dual-blade channels so that each movement propels the diver or snorkeler further without putting too much pressure on the legs. The blue and gray fins come in a variety of sizes and are flexible yet sturdy, and have a soft, comfortable foot pocket. Buyers noted that the fins run a size smaller than expected, so consider getting one size larger. These fins are ideal for snorkelers who prefer longer fins, however, they do not fit easily into suitcases when traveling.
Best Adjustable Fins: Promate Spectrum Snorkeling Mask Dry Snorkel Fins Gear
For those who prefer a snorkel set that includes adjustable fins, look at Promate Spectrum Snorkeling Mask Dry Snorkel Fins Gear. The set includes long (20 inches for large or 18 inches for small and medium) open-heel fins that can easily slip on and off with straps to tighten and adjust, and comes in a convenient mesh carry bag. The snorkel features dry top with a purge valve to prevent water from collecting in the tube and a safety signal whistle. The mask is made of silicone with flexible buckles and has an indented nose pocket to allow an easier equalization process (when diving down to get a closer look at something).
Best Full Face Mask: Usnork Full Face Snorkel Mask
One of the latest trends is snorkeling gear that not only covers the eyes but extends to the entire face – instead of just goggles. The Usnork Full Face Snorkel Mask allows you to breathe normally without the need to insert a tube into your mouth, and have a wider viewing lens that provides a 180-degree view. The mask is designed with a constant air stream to help prevent fogging, as well as a water blocking system to keep it from splashing into the tube – and into your mouth. The mask comes with adjustable textile straps for a comfortable, watertight seal. It's available in two sizes and three color varieties.
Best Universal Mask: Water Foxy Snorkel Set
The Snorkel Set by Water Foxy contours to many different face shapes and sizes, so it's a good choice kids, teenagers and even adults. The snorkel contains a dry valve that does not let water in when submerged – so no more need for clearing or coughing on sea water. The mask comes in blue or ruby and features a single wide lens (no side windows) for better frontal viewing, tempered glass that doesn’t fog easily and silicone for a comfortable fit. A mesh carry bag is included. Buyers were impressed with the high quality of the mask, loved the way it fit and appreciated the reasonable price tag.