When you start snorkeling or Scuba Diving there are tempting offers of Mask and Snorkel Sets but be careful!
Sometimes masks are sold in conjunction with snorkels and or flippers. Be careful: Mask and Snorkel Set are often of poor quality, they may not have real tempered safety glass but instead plastic lenses and are often PVC or rubber skirt. Choose the ones we listed below and you get a good deal for a Mask and Snorkel Set.
PVC Rubber or Silicone skirt Mask?
You want to get a mask with a silicone skirt because it will seal much better than the PVC or rubber skirts. even better is the very smooth liquid silicone skirt.
Another advantage of the silicone masks is that they have no odor and taste.
However the silicone skirt masks will be a bit more expensive but it is worth going for it.
Construction of a Scuba Diving Mask
Diving masks can have a single or double glass pane made of tempered safety glass. Silicone skirt lips to achieve a watertight seal with the diver’s face and a mask body made of a dimensionally stable material.
Some two-lens masks allow the user to swap out the existing lenses and replace them with prescription lenses. Some companies have these lenses in stock to use in certain masks. If the lenses have to be specially made, you can go to the optician with the mask and have it made there.
In the case of free diving masks, which must have a small volume in order to minimize the pressure change that occurs with depth, the lenses can be made of polycarbonate plastic.
There are different types of masks which we have guides for here
All masks have an elastic strap to keep them in position.
Nose Pocket is important to prevent Mask-barotrauma (Mask Squeeze)
Diving masks must be constructed in such a way that the diver can exhale through the nose into the mask in order to compensate for the increasing pressure with increasing depth inside the mask in order to prevent mask barotrauma.
The nose pocket of the mask also needs to be flexible to allow the diver to perform an equalization maneuver such as the valsalva maneuver or the frenzel maneuver when equalizing pressure in the middle ear.
Mask Clearing underwater
A simple and effective method for clearing a diving mask while underwater is to look down, place a finger on the top of the frame at either side, and slowly look up while exhaling through the nose. The trick is not to blow out air through your mouth, but rather to exhale everything through your nose. The increased pressure created in the mask pushes the water outwards.
Divers often test whether a mask is a good fit by placing it on their face, without using the straps, and gently inhaling through their nose. If the mask stays on without any help this indicates that no air is being drawn in and that the fit is good. But ultimately you only know once you wear a Mask inside the water.
To prevent a mask from fogging up due to condensation on the glass plate many divers spit into the mask, wipe the spit around the inside of the plate and wash it out with a little water. There are commercial products that can be used as an alternative to the saliva method.
Refraction of light
Refraction of light entering the mask makes objects in water appear about 33% bigger and 25% closer when underwater.
As the diver descends, the water acts as a color filter eliminating the red end of the visible spectrum of the sunlight entering the water leaving only the blue end of the spectrum.
Depending on the depth and clarity of the water, eventually all sunlight is blocked and the diver has to rely on artificial light sources to see underwater.
Prescription Lenses in Masks
Some two-lens masks allow the user to swap out the existing lenses and replace prescription lenses. Some companies have these glasses in stock to use in certain masks. If the glasses have to be specially made, you can go to the optician with the mask and have it made there.
Divers and Snorkelers are able to use contact lenses inside the mask but they must keep their eyes closed if they remove or clear the mask underwater to avoid losing the contact lenses.
Cleaning and Storage of Masks
Masks should always be rinsed inside and out with clean, fresh water after each day’s use, and dried off after washing.
A mask should not be stored in direct sunlight for long periods of time as ultraviolet light degrades the silicone. A well-maintained mask will last for many years.
Most Masks come with a hard Plastic Box but in case you’d like to have a better fit for you or your hard plastic container is broken there are alternatives like soft carry bags.
With a Mask and Snorkel Set you can see things like this.
Even better with a propper Snorkel!
The Snorkel in a Mask and Snorkel Set
A snorkel is a flexible tube, generally made from plastic or stiff rubber which connects a snorkeler to the surface air. Snorkels are a snorkelers and diver’s lifeline, allowing them to breath at surface while their face is in the water.
There are a couple of important features to know before you buy a Snorkel.
The right snorkel should let you breathe easily and comfortably for extended periods of time, without making you short of breath or light-headed. Also look after Ergonomic design and conformable wearing it.
A snorkel should always be a complete signaling color or at least the top end should be conspicuously marked so boats and other water crafts can see you easily and move out of your way.
Made of food grade silicone as they have no odor smell or taste. It should be the right size for you.
Kids need smaller mouth pieces and might need smaller snorkels depending on their age and size.
Some mouth pieces are moldable. Completely personalized mouthpiece, molds to fit teeth.
Be careful when buying a replacement mouthpiece not everyone will fit your snorkel.
Snorkel attachment to the Mask strap Snorkel holder
There are a few different mechanics to attach a snorkel to a Mask.
Silicone snorkel keeper can easily attach , allows the diving snorkel move up and down to a fit position.
Top left: of the Picture is a plastic clip which attaches to the mask strap.
Top right: is a clip which stays permanently on the mask as you have to remove the mask strap from the mask and fiddle it through then reattach the mask strap on your mask. Then you can put your snorkel through the round hole.
Bottom left: If your Snorkel has a strange form this is a silicone holder you can use.
Bottom right: The most simple Snorkel Holder made out of rubber but effective robust and almost fits any snorkel.
Snorkel on the left or right side?
Snorkels are always made to wear on your left side. That’s because a divers Regulator second stage comes from the right side so they can’t be mixed up. Modern dry snorkels are ergonomically formed and built so they only can be worn on the left side of your head.
Surface Marker Buoy
If you do a lot of Snorkeling, freediving and spearfishing it’s always a good idea to carry a signaling surface marker buoy with you.
Other watercraft can see you easier as most of your body is submerged in the water while snorkeling the buoy reveals your location from far away.
Increase your Dive Safety with a Bright Orange Buoy with Flag.
Snorkel Length & Diameter size
The snorkel should not exceed 45cm in length and a max diameter of 2cm because of Pendulum respiration. Which means if it is longer than 45cm for example you’d use a 2meter long garden hose, you inhale the same air you just exhaled as you can see in the first GIF the exhaled air is not exchanging to new oxygenated air due to your lungs are not big enough to exchange the air.
You will breath in your exhaled low oxygen air you just exhaled, which you might do a few times and after 15-20 breath you become unconscious due to a lack of oxygen (Hypoxia) and high levels of CO2. You can have symptoms like headaches, insomnia, nausea, but mostly the unconsciousness kicks in before you notice anything else.
When your Snorkel is the correct length.
However if you buy a proper Snorkel which is shorter than a garden hose as in a max of 45cm and has a Diameter less then 2cm the low oxygen air you exhale gets pushed out and new oxygenated air moves in as you inhale which does then not cause any problems.
Different kind of Snorkels
There are different kind of snorkels available.
It all started with the Simple Snorkel back in the days where there is not much to it hence the word “Simple”. They are still around today as well as preferred by many including me.
The Simple Snorkel is just a bent tube with a silicone mouth piece at the end so clearing it out, if there is water inside is much harder than on a Snorkel with purge valve.
When water enters the Snorkel it will stay in until you give it a hard blow and all the water sprays out on top of the snorkel.
The snorkel is sometimes not empty after the first blow and that’s where it gets a little hard as you have to slowly breath in and surpass the water still remaining in the snorkel. That only works if there isn’t too much water inside.
If there is still water left in the snorkel at the surface and you can’t bypass it or don’t have enough air to blow a second time obviously you can still remove it from your mouth and empty it that way but you might have lost sight to that beautiful turtle you were just watching.
Simple Snorkel advantages
- No issue with pendulum breathing
Dry Snorkels are a further development from the simple snorkel and have a few advantages such as a purge valve or sometimes a closing mechanism on the top end of the Snorkel.
Dry Snorkels have a one way purge valve on the bottom that opens when you exhale.
If water is inside your snorkel and you do exhale all the water will flow out on the bottom while you exhale.
A simple puff of air is all you need to clear the water through the snorkel’s lower one-way valve. It saves you energy and is especially easy to clear.
Controversial Top dry valve and splash guard
Dry snorkel splash guards automatically closes when submerged, not allowing water to enter the Snorkel. Even with waves crashing over you, the splash-guard will prevent water from entering into the snorkel.
It is controversial because it is a factor for pendulum breathing. The chances are higher that the air inside the tube is not exchanged especially when high waves splash frequently over you or when doing yo yo snorkeling. They might not work properly or not open all the way so your exhale Air doesn’t get exchanged all the way and replaced by fresh oxygenated air and you end up floating unconsciously.
Dry Snorkel advantages
- Purge valve
- Easy to use
- Ergonomically built
Here are our recommendations for a proper Mask and Snorkel Set you can use for a long time!
WACOOL Mask and Snorkel Set
- ONE SIZE FITS ALL: This snorkeling set for adults comes with fully adjustable head straps and a high-grade silicon face skirt which molds to fit virtually any face shape. The ribbed design provides extra support and ensures a water-tight seal.
- ANTI-FOG COATED TEMPERED GLASS: Enjoy maximum under-water visibility. Advanced lens shape design and tempered glass with anti-fog treatment means you’ll have a crystal clear underwater experience, especially for beginners. One piece glass design enables better and wider vision under water.
- FULL DRY SNORKEL with PURGE VALVE + SPLASH GUARD: The advanced anti-splash system prevents water from entering the snorkel and the purge valve allows for easy clearing and draining water out of the snorkel.
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE MATERIALS: The mask and snorkel are manufactured using top grade materials. The silicon mask and mouth-piece provide maximum comfort and long-lasting performance.
- Our snorkel gear and scuba equipment is fully tested and we stand by every single product. Customers are our top priority and we will happily replace any defected products
Dry Mask and Snorkel Set – Foldable Dry Snorkel
- The Ikarus & Orion combo is lightweight equipment great for travelers that want to discover the underwater world.
- Both mask and snorkel have parts made with soft and hypoallergenic silicone to ensure comfort and easy to use.
- The mask has a silicone skirt for ensuring comfort and a perfect seal. Thanks to the adjustable buckles it is possible to adjust the length of the silicone strap. The lenses are made in tempered glass.
- The snorkel feature a special guard on the top that protects the tube from the water. The mouthpiece is made in soft silicone for avoiding jaw fatigue. At the bottom, a purge valve makes easy to purge the water from the snorkel.
- The Ikarus & Orion is designed by Cressi and made in China. Cressi is an Italian brand pioneer in scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming equipment since 1946.
- 4 different color options available
Dorlle Mask and Snorkel Set – Dry Snorkel
- Anti-fog and anti-scratch technology: The tempered glass of the snorkeling mask is covered with an anti-fog film, which can fully absorb water vapor and prevent fog from being generated in the lens. High-definition view can let you enjoy the beautiful underwater scenery; At the same time tempered glass is resistant to breakage and water pressure impact, which can protect your eyes from various hard or sharp objects in the water and bring you extra safety when swimming or snorkeling.
- Upgraded full-dry breathing tube:The upgraded full-dry breathing tube adopts a safe design of water-air separation and a three-channel design suitable for human body diving, which is divided into a main drain valve and a secondary drain valve and a breathing channel, and the water flow is separated from the air. The double ball type at the top of the breathing tube can prevent water from entering and allow air to enter the breathing tube to help you breathe smoothly under water.
- Odorless food-grade silicone: the diving goggles and breathing tube are made of food-grade silicone material without any odor. The mouthpiece is also comfortable to use for a long period of time. The silica gel on the edge of the diving mask is durable, and the edge fits the face, preventing water leakage. It is the best choice for divers, snorkelers, recreational divers, photographers and adventurers.
- Universality: The snorkeling package adopts adjustable buckle, which can easily adjust the headband and fit the head .The snorkeling mask prevent water from entering the eyes.Diving mask is perfectly suitable for men, women, teenagers, perfect for different face shapes, no need to worry about leakage. The breathing tube can be fixed on the mask to complete your free diving.
- Guarantee: Our snorkel set has been fully tested and customer satisfaction is our top priority. If you feel that the product has any defects, please contact us and we will provide you with free replacement or full refund.
Top 3 are below
Cressi Mask and Snorkel Set with Dry Snorkel and Frameless Mask
- Frameless mask with single lens design, tempered glass lens for extra durability.
- Ultra clear lens for vivid colors, soft and comfortable mask skirt, low volume design. It features push button buckle for easy strap adjustments, wide field of vision.
- Dry top design snorkel, anti-splash top, special valve seals tube when submerged.
- Corrugated smooth bore lower tube, quick release snorkel keeper, easy clear purge valve.
- The F1 & Supernova Dry is designed in Italy by Cressi and made in Taiwan. Cressi has been an Italian brand pioneer in scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming equipment since 1946.
Phantom Aquatics Rapido Mask and Snorkel Set – with Dry Snorkel
- RAPIDO BOUTIQUE COLLECTION SNORKEL SET INCLUDES: Otimo Duo Lens Tempered Glass Construction Mask, Maximum Performance Senhora Dry Snorkel.
- Two-Windowed Mask, Low Volume Design, Wide Field of Vision, Extremely Durable and Strong Construction.
- Maximum Underwater Vision and Intake of Light, Crystal Clear Double Feathered Edge Silicone, Swivel Push-Button Buckles for Easy.
- SNORKEL FEATURES: Superior Dry Performance, Low-Profile Dry Top, Angled Purge Chamber, Swivel-Adapter for Easy Mask Mounting.
- Removable and Replaceable Mouthpiece, More Refined and Streamlined Design.
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Mask and Snorkel Set with Premium Dry Top Snorkel
- Perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling and free diving
- High grade silicone mask design with wide field of view, Dual tempered glass lenses
- High quality sealing soft silicone for great comfort and fit
- Dry top snorkel is 100% submersible, Mouthpiece is made of hypoallergenic silicone
- Purge valve allows easy clearing, Ergonomic shape delivers maximum comfort
This was our Equipment Guide and list of the Best Mask and Snorkel Set in 2021!
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