Reviewed by our experts:
The best Snorkel Masks in 2018
Our experts at work
We gave our two Snorkel geeks one job:
Test 22 different Snorkel Masks
and write reviews of the best.
The result is 10 of the best Snorkel Masks on the marked today.
Snorkel & dive gear expert
Jennifer is a snorkel and scuba expert, and the main person behind this guide
Snorkel mask geek and editor
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially snorkel masks.
Fancy going on a snorkeling holiday or just looking to upgrade your old mask There are many reasons why you might need to purchase a mask.
Choosing a snorkel mask can sometimes seem like a hard task.
With so many varieties, shapes, sizes and colors on offer, how are you to know which one is right for you?
Learning the different components of a mask and how you can use them to your advantage is a good start.
The whole point of a mask is to provide comfort, security and clear vision once you go into the water.
So, you’re standing in front of a wall of masks, they all look professional and reliable, but how do you know which one will work for you?
Well, this is why we have created this snorkel mask guide, to help you decided, whatever your level is, on the perfect mask to suit you.
If you're lookig for a Full Face Snorkel Mask, go here.
Best Beginners Snorkel Masks
So, you’re just about to embark on your very first snorkeling holiday or you’ve just qualified as a scuba diver and you’re looking for a snorkel mask.
Where do you start? Comfort should be top of your list as well as well fitting. There is nothing worse than going diving or snorkeling with a mask that is uncomfortable. Not only can this ruin your dive, it can also leave you with a nasty headache at the end of the day, which is not conducive to having fun at après dive.
Here are a good few choices to look into and choose from…
Cressi PANO 4 Wide View Scuba/Snorkeling Mask Review
The Cressi Pano 4 has front glass as well as side glass positioned in a way to provide a full panoramic view for maximum visibility, which is exactly what you need as a beginner.
Pro's and Con's of the Cressi PANO 4 Wide View Scuba/Snorkeling Mask:
- Specially designed for medium to large faces.
- Low volume design.
- Unobstructed panoramic view.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Made of strong material.
- 100% liquid silicone to help mold the mask to your face.
- Easy to adjust swivel buckles.
- If you have a smaller petit face, this is not the mask for you.
- Slight distortion where the seams of the glass meet.
- The silicone skirt can sometimes sit low on the lip of the snorkeler.
Atomic Aquatic Subframe ARC Scuba/Snorkeling Mask Review
There is nothing worse than being hit with a bright reflection whilst on the surface snorkeling. Atomic Aquatics have sorted this issue out by providing an anti-reflective coat on the glass of this snorkeling mask. The ARC mask technology not only reduces reflected light but also increases the amount of light available to the divers eyes. This can improve vision dramatically, especially on a sunny day.
Pro's and Con's of the Atomic Aquatic Subframe ARC Scuba/Snorkeling Mask:
- Sub steel frame for strength and rigidity, making it virtually indestructible.
- Lifetime guarantee for breakages.
- ARC mask anti-reflection technology.
- Quite an expensive mask.
- Slight distortion where the seams of the glass meet.
- The ARC lenses scratch quite easily removing the protective anti-reflection coating, so scrubbing this mask and using anti-fog on it is out of the question.
ScubaPro Spectra 2 Window Scuba/Snorkel Mask Review
The ScubaPro Spectra 2 Window mask is not a cheap mask, however, tends to appear to be more expensive than it is.
Pro's and Con's of the ScubaPro Spectra 2 Window Scuba/Snorkel Mask:
- This mask has a compact 2-window design.
- Tempered glass lenses.
- Swivel buckles for easy adjustment.
- Double sealed silicone skirt.
- Classed as the most comfortable mask on the market.
- Not a cheap mask but worth its price.
- Sometimes (depending on the shape of your face) the frame can push against the bridge of your nose.
- The special finish on the mask can be easily damaged.
Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask Review
If you're interested in a Full Face Mask, we made an in-depth guide and reviewed the best. So, go here to read more Full Face Maks reviews
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask:
- Amazon with Worldwide shipping
If you’re a beginner who wants to see all that the underwater world has to offer but hate the restrictive style of the standard snorkel mask, then the Seaview 180° GoPro compatible snorkel mask is the mask for you.
Pro's and Con's of the Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask:
- Provides a totally unobstructed 180° view.
- This mask allows you to breathe normally, through your nose and mouth without a snorkel.
- Has an anti-fog design.
- Has a mount on the top of the mask to attach your GoPro, to capture all your exciting moments.
- Quite bulky and takes up more space in your luggage than a normal snorkel.
- Due to the positioning of the snorkel, you can only really snorkel in calm waters.
- As you cannot adjust the snorkel, avoid waves and turning your head from side to side.
Best advanced Snorkel Masks
As an advanced snorkeler, you have already decided what kind of mask works well for you and know what kind of mask to avoid for the shape of your face, so here are the best snorkel masks for the advanced snorkelers…
Cressi F1, Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Frameless Mask Review
Most advanced snorkelers love a frameless mask and this mask does not disappoint. It comes in a range of colors to suit the buyer however; the clear mask is always the most popular.
Pro's and Con's of the Cressi F1, Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Frameless Mask:
- This mask is made from silicone and will last and last over many seasons of snorkeling.
- Has a wide-angled lens made from tempered glass.
- Anti-fog technology.
- Easy to adjust buckles.
- Best budget mask available on the market.
- Tends to fog up quite easily.
- Make sure to check the mask for issues or damages when it arrives.
- Make sure it fits perfectly to your face before purchase.
Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba and Snorkel Mask Review
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba and Snorkel Mask:
- Amazon with Worldwide shipping
This mask is both a snorkel mask and a scuba mask. Sometimes buying a scuba mask when you’re using it for snorkeling can be a good option as scuba masks are built to endure pressure deep under the water and can be stronger than an average snorkel mask.
Pro's and Con's of the Phantom Aquatics Panoramic Scuba and Snorkel Mask:
- This mask has a clear, double sealed silicone skirt around the frame that provides comfort and an excellent fit.
- Has two seamless side glass panes for excellent panoramic views.
- Has a durable frame, which makes it built to last.
- The frame of the mask can sometimes press against the bridge of your nose, so make sure to test out this mask before purchasing it.
- The silicone edging can sometimes put pressure on your forehead.
Tusa M-1001 Freedom HD Scuba and Snorkel Mask Review
This mask is in the slightly more expensive range, however you cannot scrimp on quality.
Pro's and Con's of the Tusa M-1001 Freedom HD Scuba and Snorkel Mask:
- Rotational buckle system.
- Provides 180 degrees of viewing.
- Large frame with rounded-edge skirt to help you see what’s going on around you.
- This mask is perfect for any and every shape face as it has a 5-positioned strap angle adjuster.
- Low volume masks means it’s easy to clear.
- The frame of the mask can sometimes press against the bridge of your nose and between your eyebrows.
- If it is not adjusted properly to your face it can leak easily.
Best Freediving and Skindiving Masks
Freediving and Skin diving are both quite advanced sports and are the perfect mix between snorkeling and scuba diving.
Freedivers and Skindivers hold their breath at the surface and dive deep with little equipment to go and explore what the underwater world has on offer.
This require a mask that is able to go down below the surface easily. Some snorkel options available have too much air space within the mask, which can make it extremely difficult when diving below the surface.
Kraken Aquatics Snorkel Dive Mask with Silicone Skirt Review
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Kraken Aquatics Snorkel Dive Mask with Silicone Skirt:
- Amazon with Worldwide shipping
This is known amongst freedivers and skin divers as being one of the best masks of the year. It has one of the most comfortable skirts made for this type of sport.
Pro's and Con's of the Kraken Aquatics Snorkel Dive Mask with Silicone Skirt:
- Extreme comfort.
- Has a completely watertight setup.
- Tempered Glass.
- As a skin diver or free diver you tend to travel a lot, this mask is scratch and shatterproof, making it strong and endurable.
- Uses an anti-fog technology.
- Easy to use buckle adjustment.
- Also, great to use for snorkeling and scuba diving.
- This mask is for slightly smaller faces.
- Make sure it seals perfectly to your face before purchasing.
Oceanways Superview HD Dive/Spearfishing/Freediving/Skindiving Mask Review
We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Oceanways Superview HD Dive/Spearfishing/Freediving/Skindiving Mask:
- Amazon with Worldwide shipping
This unique mask is a top contender for our best snorkel/scubadiving/skindiving/freediving mask. It uses a single pane of glass with enhanced brightness so that you’re able to see more vibrant colors under the water. This mask is slightly wider providing a great field of vision.
Pro's and Con's of the Oceanways Superview HD Dive/Spearfishing/Freediving/Skindiving Mask:
- Due to its width, this is a great option if you’re looking to freedive or skindive at night.
- The skirt is made from high-grade silicone, making an excellent bond to the face.
- This mask is great for longer usage as it sits comfortably against the face.
- Anti-glare coating on the lens as well as UV protection.
- This coating has been designed to enhance the color red, which you cannot see past 3m below the surface.
- Tends to fog up quite quickly.
- Quite expensive.
- Can sometimes sit too close to the face and cause headache, so make sure it fits before purchasing.
Cressi Nano 2 Window Freediving Mask Review
Like all Cressi equipment, this mask was made in Italy from top quality materials.
Pro's and Con's of the Cressi Nano 2 Window Freediving Mask:
- Has been designed to be compact and extremely hydrodynamic to help divers get through the water easily especially in small spaces.
- Low internal volume.
- Swiveling micrometric easy to adjust buckles for increased comfort and excellent fit.
- Double-feathered silicone skirt provides a perfect fit to the face.
- You may need to purchase an anti-fog solution to help protect against the mask fogging up.
- It is not for all face shapes and size, so make sure you try it before you buy it.
General things to know before buying a mask.
Out of the thousands of masks available, not only have we narrowed down the selection above, but also, you’ll find a great guide to helping you decide what mask to go for, below…
When buying a Snorkel Mask, check to see if the mask creates a seal.
This is one of the most important steps to follow when choosing a snorkel mask as there is nothing worse than not testing your mask out and arriving on your snorkel boat, getting kitted up, jumping in and being welcomed into the sea with a face and nose full of water. Testing your mask out before buying it is essential.
Here is the best way to see if your mask creates a perfect seal around your face.
- Hold the mask up to your face without securing it with the straps.
- Make sure all hair is out of the mask.
- Inhale through your nose slightly until you feel the mask grip your face.
- If it fits you, you will be able to release the mask and it should stay in place without the straps and your hands.
- If the mask does not stay in place or you cannot get a good grip when inhaling through your nose, then the mask does not fit you properly and it is time to try a different one.
What to look for in a snorkel mask
Feathered, Double Skirt Seal – this is the seal around the mask, make sure that whichever mask you choose, has this feature as this will be more reliable when it comes to leaking and will also be more comfortable against your face.
Enclosed Nose – whether you are using your mask for snorkeling, scuba diving, freediving or skindiving, make sure that it has an enclosed nose, within the eye pockets. This way it is easier to equalize if you are going below the surface and will also prevent you from inhaling any water in through your nose whilst snorkeling.
Tempered Glass – Plastic masks tend to fog up easily and can spoil your dive or snorkeling trip. If you choose normal glass, then this can be extremely hazardous if an accident should occur under the water. If you choose normal glass, you won’t be able to use your mask for scuba diving as the pressures can cause this glass to crack and shatter under the water. Tempered glass is your safest option.
Low Volume – low volume masks tend to sit closer to your face and reduce the amount of drag in the water. However, sometimes divers or snorkelers may require a slightly larger volume mask, so choose the one that best suits you. Low volume masks are also easier to clear when under the water.
Wide Head Strap with Touch Adjustment Buckles – a mask should fit comfortably around your head and should also be easy to adjust, if necessary under the water.
Shaped Lens Panel - When choosing a mask you should think about how much of the ocean you would like to see. If you’re hoping to have peripheral vision to see what is going on around you, shaped lens panels are the choice for you as this will give you the ability to see side to side as well as up and down.
If you’re looking for a little bit extra from your mask, you may want to consider a purge valve. A purge valve isn’t 100% necessary as you can still blow the water from your mask without one, this just makes it slightly easier. Prescription Lenses, if you wear glasses on a daily basis, there is absolutely no reason why your mask should not be fitted with the same prescription. If you cannot see well without glasses on land, it won’t change when you’re under the water so make sure you look into getting your new mask fitted with your prescription lenses.
Types of Mask
There are so many different types of mask that one can get lost in a sea of information, so here are the 7 most common types of mask to choose from…
Side Window Masks
Side window masks have 2 extra panes of glass found on the sides of the mask. These not only allow for extra light to penetrate the mask, it also increases the snorkelers, skindivers, freedivers and scuba divers field of vision. These types of masks are usually slightly larger than other masks, so they may require slightly more air to clear them.
Two Window Masks
Two window makes are known for having two panes of glass that are separated by a frame. The shape of these masks usually means that they sit very close to the face, making it easier to clear and to equalize. One thing to be aware of when choosing a two-window mask is to make sure that the frame does not press against the bridge of your nose. In the event of a snorkeler not seeing you behind them and kicking out this can be extraordinarily painful and can cause an issue when under the water.
Corrective Lens Mask
There are many mask production companies who provide a wide variety of corrective lenses for their clients. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, make sure you look into this option, as it will be extremely beneficial to you when under the water. Some manufacturers even create masks that have interchangeable lenses.
Single Window Mask
Single window masks have a continuous window of glass that covers the whole mask. Many divers opt for this particular style, as it has no frame between the divers eyes, providing comfort and maximum viewing ability.
At around 3m below sea level the color red is lost and at 6m below sea level the color yellow is lost, so having a color correcting mask can help to define objects under the water in a clearer way and provide a clearer depth perception.
Built In Purge Valve Mask
These masks are much easier to clear when under the water. Divers find these masks much more convenient than snorkelers. Additionally, if you’re considering this mask, it would be good to know that if the purge valve breaks, then the whole mask can flood, ending your dive or snorkel almost immediately, however this is very rare.