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Reviewed by Scuba Divers:

7 Best Prescription Snorkel Masks in 2022

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Our divers at work

We gave our dive geeks one job:
Test all the different Prescription Snorkel Masks and write reviews of the best.

The result is 7 of the best Prescription Snorkel Masks on the market today.

christos nicolaou

Christos Nicolaou

Divemaster and Paddler
Christos is a passionate diver, enthusiastic paddler & amateur SUP racer.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

A prescription snorkel mask is the best alternative to having to wear contact lenses when snorkeling. Buying one can provide you with a way to avoid the hassle and discomfort of wearing contact lenses while snorkeling.

Available off-the-shelf for nearsighted and farsighted snorkelers, there are also bifocal options. It’s also possible to get a mask customized for a particular prescription.

Clear vision and comfort is key, but so is some durability so these slightly more expensive masks don’t shatter and ruin your vacation.

There are many prescription masks on the market and having to choose between the different models can be challenging. For this reason, we’ve done the work for you and have found the best prescription snorkeling mask on the market.

The Best Prescription Snorkel Masks In (Year)

See our top 7 prescription snorkel masks:

The Promate optical corrective snorkel mask is a great option for farsighted snorkelers with average face shapes. Even though this model has nearsighted and bifocal lenses too, it has the most lens options for people having trouble focusing on nearby objects including a camera.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Farsighted: +1.0 to +5.0
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -10.0
  • Bifocal: +1.0 to +4.0
What we like:
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Many different prescriptions are available
  • Lots of customization options
What we don’t like:
  • The bifocal separation line is very thick
  • Bulky design

The Promate Optical is a low-volume mask, making it easier to clear of water as there is less air space in the mask. It comes with a liquid silicone strap and skirt for extra comfort and fit.

The design is best for snorkelers with medium-sized faces that are looking for an affordable option. There are lots of different colors to choose from and a wide range of lens strengths available making them versatile and suitable for most snorkelers.

The Genesis SL Prescription Snorkel Mask is a great choice for snorkelers who like a standard mask shape with a soft, but not too bulky, silicone dress around the frame.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Farsighted: +1.0 to +5.0
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -8.0
What we like:
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Glass and liquid injected silicone
  • Easy to adjust ratchet buckles
  • Variety of diopter for flexibility and custom fit
What we don’t like:
  • No bifocal option
  • 2 window, low profile design
  • Not the most durable material

The Genesis SL RX prescription snorkel mask uses silicon on the skirt and straps of the mask making it an excellent choice for comfort. With a variety of prescription options, this mask offers snorkelers the flexibility to choose a mask that can be customized specifically for the most optimal snorkeling experience.

Another fantastic prescription mask from Promate, the Promate Hawk Eyes provides snorkelers with a reliable and suitable tear-drop mask for underwater exploring.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -8.0
  • Bifocal: +1.75, +2.25 and +2.75
What we like:
  • Suitable medium to large faces
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Quick-release strap
  • Comfortable skirt seal
What we don’t like:
  • No farsighted option

The Promate Hawk Eyes prescription snorkel mask is one of the best prescription snorkel masks that offer a range of high-quality nearsighted lenses as well as three bifocal options. This mask will fit comfortably on medium to large faces and is a great option for snorkelers who want a reliable and durable mask that is easy to use.

If you’re new to snorkeling, the IST Optical Corrective mask is an excellent choice as it is reliable and beginner-friendly.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Farsighted: +1.0 to +4.0
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -8.0
What we like:
  • Simple yet durable design
  • Fits most face sizes including narrow
  • Good option for younger divers
What we don’t like:
  • No bifocal option.
  • The frame between the lenses can dig into the forehead.

Hypoallergenic liquid silicone gives the skirt a soft feel and offers a snug fit on every snorkel outing. The low-volume design offers a good range of vision while swivel buckles and a split strap give additional comfort and are easy to adjust.

The Promate Pro Slender has an innovatively designed purge system. A little pricier, it has more than little extra technological features for comfort and keeping the goggles clear of fogging.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Farsighted: +1.0 to +4.5
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -10.0
What we like:
  • Ideal for medium faces
  • Comfortable double edge strap
  • Patented purge design
  • Patented channeled skirt design directs bubbles away from view
  • Broad peripheral view
What we don’t like:
  • Not great for those with narrow or larger faces.
  • No bifocal option

The Promate Pro Slender prescription snorkel mask has a double-edged comfort seal, liquid silicone-injected skirt and strap, and good adjusters that don’t slip when engaged. Considering how affordable this mask is, the lenses offer crystal clear visibility, making the Pro Slender one of the stronger options for prescription snorkel masks.

The fit is great and the frame is sturdy. The Tilos Universal is a reliable mask that’s both robust and travel-friendly.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Full range of near and farsighted lenses available as well as bifocal options. You can email Tilos with your prescription when purchasing online
What we like:
  • Simple yet functional design
  • DIY option so you can easily remove and replace your own lenses
  • Well-known and trusted brand
  • Fits most face sizes including narrow
  • Great value for money
What we don’t like:
  • The nose pocket runs on the smaller side.

Tilos has been a popular choice for corrective scuba masks for a number of years but their Universal is an industry game-changer because it’s now easy to replace or change the lenses yourself. The mask itself comes in a wide variety of colors and either black or clear silicone.

The Promate Brigadier prescription snorkel mask is the company’s affordable mask option specifically aimed at short sighted snorkelers.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Nearsighted: -1.0 to -7.0
What we like:
  • Ideal for larger faces
  • Silicone injected skirt and strap
  • Double edge comfort seal
  • Easy and adjustable buckles
  • Broad peripheral view
What we don’t like:
  • Not great from those with medium sized faces
  • No bifocal or farsighted options
  • Somewhat bulky design

The Promate Brigadier is an easy to use and affordable prescription snorkel mask. Ideal for snorkelers with larger faces, the Brigadier has a silicone injected skirt and strap that provides snorkelers with a high level of comfort where the mask makes contact with skin.

What to Consider When Buying a Prescription Snorkel Mask

When snorkeling you want to be able to see all the beauty that’s below the surface. Those with 20/20 vision have no issues. But people with near- and far-sighted vision can’t use glasses in a mask. Only contacts work.

But using contacts with a mask can be bothersome. You don’t want to leave them on land if you have a considerable prescription, because you don’t want blurry scenes when you could have clear views.

Note: You can also check out our Guide to Prescription Scuba Mask

Do I Need a Prescription Snorkel Mask?

When you wear a mask underwater, everything looks 25 percent bigger because of refraction.

If you wear glasses on land that only correct your sight by a small amount, you may not need a prescription mask, however, it is always more enjoyable to have crystal clear visibility when snorkeling.

If you require glasses or contact lenses to drive then you will benefit from buying a prescription mask for snorkeling.

The difference for night diving is also surprising for people with refractive problems. Having small myopia for some means they don’t bother with contacts. But after trying out an appropriate mask at a depth where there is less light or at night, the advantages will be made clear.

Premade or Custom-Made

When buying a prescription snorkel mask, you need to order the correct corrective lens based on your current glasses or contact lens prescription. Snorkel masks usually come with premade lenses available in optical factor increments of 0.5. If your prescription is +3.75, you have to decide whether to order +3.5 or +4.0.

Ordering custom-made lenses means that you do not have to make the decision to go higher or lower. They are tailored to your exact prescription requirements. However, this comes at a price as custom-made prescription masks are always more expensive.

Additionally, people with astigmatism might need specific spherical correction lenses that will need to be custom-made.

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocals have two lenses that are plain glass with a small corrective area in the lower section of the window. It is possible to get different bifocal lenses for your mask depending on what your prescription is.

Bifocals come in handy as farsighted people might need the “+” lens to read their gauges for example on your new Garmin Descent Mk 2. Alternatively, they might need the “-” lenses to see further away.

Tempered Glass

Like with any Snorkeling mask, be sure to buy a snorkel mask with tempered glass. You don’t want to make the mistake of buying a prescription snorkel mask that won’t stand up to the increased pressure at depth.

Prescription Mask or Contact Lenses

Before prescription masks, snorkelers with poor eyesight could only enjoy the underwater realm while wearing contact lenses under their masks. This is a simple, and affordable alternative but it isn’t the most effective.

Contact lenses seem like a good option, but what happens if your mask floods? To avoid losing your lenses, you have to dive with your eyes closed, even if momentarily. In the event that you do lose your lenses, the rest of your dive will be a blur.

On the flip side of this equation, bring your lenses on your trips if you have some in case your mask malfunctions. You can always borrow or rent a mask without any script.

Soft contacts are also known to absorb some of the chemicals used in defogging agents which can cause irritation. Though rare, they also increase your chances of contracting an infection if bacteria in the water get trapped under your lens.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Prescription Snorkel Masks

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    What are the best prescription snorkel masks?

    The best prescription snorkel masks are comfortable, durable and provide you with crystal clear visibility when snorkeling.

    Here are the top 7 prescription snorkel masks on the market:

    1. Promate Optical Corrective Snorkel Mask
    2. Genesis SL RX Prescription Snorkel Mask
    3. Promate Hawk Eyes Prescription R/X Snorkel Mask
    4. IST Search Prescription Snorkel Mask
    5. Promate Pro Slender Prescription R/X Snorkel Purge Mask
    6. Tilos Universal Prescription Snorkel Mask
    7. Promate Brigadier Prescription R/X Snorkel Mask

    To find out more about these masks click here to read our prescription snorkel mask review.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How to order a prescription snorkel mask online?

    When ordering a prescription snorkel mask online, make sure to select your specific prescription from the available options.

    Read on to find out what the best prescription snorkel masks are on the market today.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    When ordering a prescription snorkel mask do you go up or down to the closest RX?

    Prescription snorkel masks usually come with premade lenses available in optical factor increments of 0.5. If your prescription is -1.25, you have to decide whether to order -1.0 or -1.5. For near sighted people it’s better do go down as if you go up, the mask becomes uncomfortable to use

    Make sure to check the companies website for this information and if you are still not sure you can always send them an email for confirmation.

    You can always order custom-made lenses so that you can get the prescription just right.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Should I go for Prescription Mask or Contact Lenses?

    The choice is up to you, however prescription lenses are the solution to wear contact lenses when snorkeling. Additionally, people with astigmatism might need specific spherical correction lenses that will need to be custom-made.

    To learn more about, the benefits of prescription snorkel masks read this article.

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