This year looks to be the year of the full face snorkel mask but now with so many to choose from which should you select?
For many years cheap masks have been on the market, with many to be quite frankly dangerous. However it appears the tide is turning with the main scuba manufacturers introducing offerings. If a scuba manufacturer knows about one thing it is air flow and life support equipment.
If you are reading this wondering what could be dangerous about a cheap full face snorkel mask read my colleagues Mark’s explanation of the problem with build up of carbon dioxide within masks. The problem in a nutshell is that the air flow from you to the outside world is not sufficient or is blocked in some way (I have seen masks where you can clearly see the factory have drilled holes in the poor moulding of the airway to try to resolve the issue).
There is currently no clear, accepted standard to test full face snorkels which allows some marketplaces to sell masks that have never been tested or checked but hit a price point the consumer finds acceptable. If you are willing to risk yours or your children lives rather than pay extra ten or twenty pounds then there is no need to read on…
After reviewing the offering our scuba experts have chosen a few different ranges of full face snorkelling masks that offer safety, performance and comfort. We could have added more but we felt these were the best and safest at each price point.
The Best Full Face Snorkel Mask – Top 5
5. If your budget is tight then consider the Seac Magica, it is a basic but comfortable mask. Cheaper materials are great for testing the waters but if you think you’ll make a habit of snorkelling then it may be worth looking at more expensive masks.
4. The OceanREEF Aria is one of the first Full Face Snorkel Masks to be produced and has some great lineage. OceanREEF specialise in Full Face Masks so their Full Face Snorkel, the Aria, is top notch.
3. The Aqua Lung Smart offers great value for money. Made by the first scuba diving company, founded by Jacques Cousteau, the Smart has a prestigious heritage and high quality materials.
2. Introduced by Seac in 2018 the Unica is back again, a popular favourite. By shortening the exhalation track it reduces the work of breathing and ensures you breathe fresh air every time.
1. The Seac Libera is by far the best full face snorkelling mask we have seen this season. With a super soft skirt (the bit that sits against your face) and three sizes means you get a great fit. The field of view is in my opinion best in its class.
Choosing the Correct Size Full Face Snorkelling Mask
When selecting which is the best full face snorkelling mask for you be sure to use the size guides (one of the extra pictures on the product pages – ideally get someone to help measure so you get the correct size first time).
How to Test My Full Face Snorkelling Mask Fits
To test the fit place against your face without the straps behind your head, block the snorkel with your hand so no air can get in that way and suck in, if the mask sucks onto your face it is air tight and then by default watertight.
How To Use A Full Face Snorkelling Mask
Simply lay on the surface of the water, with your eyes and head looking about 45 degrees down but ahead of you. Although the snorkel is usually self sealing to stop water coming in, these masks are best for those who wish to remain on the surface as equalising the pressure in your ears is a little tricky without being able to pinch your nose. It is possible by swallowing but this does not work for everyone and you mustn’t descent underwater with pain (pressure) in your ears or any other air space.
|5.||SEAC Magica||Budget Mask|
|4.||OceanREEF Aria||Top Quality|
|3.||AquaLung Sport Smart||High Ease of Breathing|
|2.||SEAC Unica||Most Popular|
|1.||SEAC Libera||Premium Materials|