Are you looking to get yourself some top quality snorkeling gear for your next adventure? Is renting sub-par equipment that’s been used by hundreds of other people just not your thing?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Below, you’ll find my handy list of top quality snorkeling gear that I personally love and recommend. Just so you know, most of the links I provide are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you buy something after following the link (at no additional cost to you!) If this guide helps you in your quest for epic snorkeling gear, then consider it like giving me a little thank you!
Disclaimer: Some of the links used in this article are affiliate links (learn more here). That means I may get a small commission if you buy a product after following the link. If this guide helped you in your quest for snorkeling gear, consider it like giving me a little thank you!
Snorkeling Gear: Masks
1. My Favorite Mask
Cressi Matrix Mask
The Matrix’s design predecessor, the Occhio Plus (now discontinued), was my first low-volume mask. The Matrix perfects an already great design. To this day, Cressi remains my go-to for high quality that’s also affordable.
3. Best Frameless Mask
Atomic Frameless Mask
This exceptional mask has very wide horizontal and vertical fields, plus optical quality tempered glass to maximize light transmission. With two adult sizes available, anyone can enjoy peak frameless performance!
5. Best for Prescription Lenses
Cressi Focus Mask
A tried and true model with swappable lenses that’s been in production for decades. The versatile design is popular with technical divers and spearfishers as well!
2. Best Mask for Beginners
Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal Mask
This mask is light, fits a wide range of faces, has a soft, clear silicone skirt, and large lenses for superior field-of-vision. You won’t go wrong with this mask, whether you’re using it for snorkeling or diving!
4. Best Purge Mask
Scubapro Crystal VU with Purge
With optical quality glass and side panels (3 windows total), this is a premium quality mask that will give you both a fantastic view and a reliable nose purge mechanism. The skirt seal is suitable for a wide range of face shapes.
6. Best Micro Mask
Aqualung Micro Mask
With an internal volume of less than 100 mL, this mask is ideal for freediving and spearfishing. The lenses are positioned inside the ocular orbit for superior peripheral vision despite the compact design.
The dive shop I used to go to near my old house would throw in complementary Sea Drops when I bought stuff there, and I’ve been using them ever since!
2. Strap cover
A strap cover will make your strap easier to put on, particularly if you have long hair. If your hair tends to get tangled in your mask strap, then one of these should help.
Mask Gear Guides
Snorkeling Gear: Snorkels
1. Best Snorkel Overall
TUSA Platina II Hyperdry
This is a semi-dry snorkel, but the splash guard uses a specially designed escape channel to shunt water away from the main tube. The narrower tube and rounded reservoir result in a more hydrodynamic design than other semi-dry models.
3. Best Dry Snorkel
XS Scuba M-Line 3D Flex Dry
This is the original dry snorkel float valve design and it’s as close to “perfect” out there! The mouthpiece is also ball-jointed for a custom fit. The snorkel also features a quick-release mask attachment clip.
5. Best Classic Snorkel
Cressi Corsica Snorkel
The tube on this snorkel is made from flexible polymers that allow bending and folding (into a belt or pocket). The narrow tube diameter and small profile result in a light and hydrodynamic design suitable for freediving and spearfishing.
2. Best Beginner Snorkel
Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel
Dry snorkels are best for beginners and this is a highly affordable and effective option with hundreds of 5-star reviews. The float valve is reliable at keeping water out of the tube but may jam in sandy water. The snorkel also features a quick-release mask attachment clip.
4. Best Semi-Dry Snorkel
Aqua Lung Impulse 3 Flex Snorkel
The exceptional splash guard feels like a dry snorkel when not submerged. The purge valve is also very easy to clear. This is a great choice for beginners who don’t want a dry snorkel, but it might be a bit bulky for smaller faces.
6. Best Travel Snorkel
Aqua Lung Nautilus Travel Snorkel
This is a foldable snorkel that curls up into a package small enough to fit in a pocket! SCUBA divers may also appreciate having these snorkels as backups, or if they prefer to take their snorkel off underwater.
1. Snorkel keeper
Be prepared in case your snorkel clip breaks with a couple of these simple silicone snorkel keepers. The loops on this one can even be separated for easy snorkel attachment and detachment!
2. Extra mouthpiece
Depending on your propensity for chewing on the bite tabs, your snorkel may outlast its mouthpiece. Most snorkel mouthpieces are replaceable so be prepared by keeping a spare in your gear bag!
Snorkel Gear Guides
Mask & Snorkel Combo Sets
1. Best Beginner Snorkel Set
Cressi Big Eyes Mask/Dry Snorkel
A low-volume mask designed for adults with small to average faces; choose Big Eyes if you’re average and Eyes if you’re small. The design of the lenses and the soft, clear skirt make the mask feel “invisible”. The dry snorkel is contoured for an ergonomic fit and includes a replaceable mouthpiece, purge valve, flex tube, and quick-release attachment clip.
2. Best Freediver Snorkel Set
Cressi Perla Mask/Mexico Snorkel
This set features the Perla Mask, which fits a wide variety of face sizes. The lenses sit close to your face for a wide field-of-vision and the nose pocket is easy to pinch even with gloved hands. The Mexico Snorkel is the same model as Cressi’s Corsica Snorkel, but it includes a simple splash guard. This snorkel is light, flexible, and has a swivel mouthpiece.
Snorkeling Gear: Fins
1. Best Snorkel Fins Overall
Scubapro Jet Sport Full-Foot Fins
The vents on these fins help to reduce drag and resistance on both the forward and backward strokes. The ergonomic foot pocket can be worn comfortably either barefoot or with a thin fin sock. These fins are best for warm water activity.
3. Best Open-Heel Snorkel Fins
Cressi Palau Long Adjustable Fins
These soft-bladed fins have a comfortable elastomer foot pocket that can be worn barefoot or with a thin fin sock. Large bolsters help channel water off the fin’s edge. These fins are ideal for casual snorkeling even in cooler waters or rocky areas if worn with a soled bootie. A great option for snorkelers who want a soft, open-heel design.
5. Best Beginner Freediver Fins
Cressi Reaction Pro Full-Foot Fins
Though these fins aren’t quite as long as most freediving bi-fins, they are still lightweight and have fluid, flexible blades. I got these fins before taking an entry-level freediving course, and have used them ever since. They’re versatile enough to work well for snorkeling and SCUBA diving too.
2. Best Beginner Snorkel Fins
Cressi Clio Fin
These soft-bladed fins are best for beginners and casual snorkelers on a budget. The open-toe adds comfort and allows water to flow through the foot pocket. The yellow color increases the snorkeler’s visibility (great for kids!). Lightweight for easy traveling.
4. Best Split Fins
Atomic Aquatics Split Fins
Considered to be the “definitive” split fin, the Atomic Split has won multiple awards and is a great choice for both snorkelers and SCUBA divers (provided your wallet can handle it!) The durable quick-release buckle can be swapped for a spring-strap. Power rails add some rigidity that makes the fin more adaptable to alternative kicks (e.g. frog kick).
6. Best Snorkeling Fins for Travel
Cressi Light Short Swim Fins
These very short, inexpensive fins are ideal for casual snorkeling and swim training (I use them for both!) I bought these specifically because they would fit in my tiny carry-on suitcase. They may run a bit large for women, so I recommend wearing them with a 1-2 mm fin sock.
1. Lycra fin sock
XS Scuba Lycra Sock
These inexpensive water socks are ideal for when you want the least amount of extra insulation. They’ll make slipping on your full-foot fins and dive boots easier without overheating your feet!
3. Cold-water boot
Mares Trilastic 5mm Dive Boots
These beefy hard-soled boots with reinforced toes and heels offer maximum grip and protection on rocky shore entries. A rubber ridge on the heel also helps to keep your fin straps in place! Wear with lycra socks for smoother donning and doffing as well as for protection against rubbing and chafing.
2. Neoprene fin sock
Akona 2mm Neoprene Low-Cut
The cut on these socks is low enough to be comfortable in warm water, but the ankle tapers slightly at the back. This makes them great for protecting the Achilles area, which is a notorious blister spot!
4. Universal Spring Straps
EZ Spring Straps
EZ Spring Straps kits can adapt to fit most modern open-heel fins. The Recreational Diver version comes with snap buckles, while the regular version uses a simple stainless steel cable wire. The latter works best with more traditional fin models such as the Scubapro Jet Fins. The large D-ring is a bonus!
Fins Gear Guides
Snorkeling Gear: Clothing
UPF 50+ Rashguards and Leggings
The great thing about rashguards and leggings is that not only do they offer great sun protection but they also look really cool! With high coverage and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), rashguards and leggings allow you to use significantly less sunscreen or avoid it altogether. No slimy and cumbersome applications and re-applications for you, and no stress for the coral either!
My favorite rashguards and leggings are the sea creature-inspired designs from Waterlust (the whale shark rashguard and leggings are on my wishlist!) Waterlust also carry swim shorts, swim tanks, and bandanas! 10% of the proceeds from Waterlust purchases contribute to ocean conservation causes including shark research, coral conservation, and coastal resiliency.
If you’re nervous about floating unaided, getting tired, or are simply not a strong swimmer, then I highly recommend you invest (haha) in a snorkel vest. Unlike life jackets, snorkel vests are designed to keep you buoyant while you’re in a front-floating position. Most tour operators will have snorkel vests available for you to use, but I highly recommend getting one for yourself. That way, you’ll be certain it’s a good fit for you and not damaged/leaky.
Blue-Reef Snorkeling Vest
Orally inflate to your desired comfort. Add just a little air to aid your floating position, or fully inflate to take a relaxing break! Bright colors keep you visible to your tour group.
Scubapro Cruiser Snorkeling Vest
Though more expensive than a standard snorkel vest, the Cruiser makes up for it with a more secure and form-fitting design. A great option for folks who want a more versatile, sleeker-looking vest!
Snorkel Clothing Guides
Snorkeling Gear Accessories
1. Full Gear Bag
This compact backpack is designed specifically for snorkeling gear, which is something I haven’t seen elsewhere. The main compartment can accommodate fins up to 30 inches long and the mask and snorkel bag is detachable! Light and minimalistic!
3. Valuables Pouch
I prefer soft pouches for storing valuables rather than hard cases. A pouch like this is versatile in where you can keep it. Around your neck on a lanyard, tucked into your snorkel vest, or tied onto a belt, it all works well! Waterproof to 5 meters deep (15 feet).
2. Mask & Snorkel Bag
A compact mesh mask-and-snorkel bag is ideal for storing your gear while allowing it to dry. A small bag likes this also makes your mask and snorkel easier to access outside your full gear bag! There’s room in there for some anti-fog and other small accessories as well.
4. Utility Belt
A simple nylon belt with a snap buckle is a great way to carry your valuables or a small camera while snorkeling. The nylon pouch on this belt is big enough for a wallet and waterproof up to 5 meters deep (15 feet). I tuck my snorkel into my belt on duck dives too!
I hope you’re ready to get fully kitted up with snorkeling gear for your upcoming adventure!
Got any recommendations for great snorkeling gear and accessories? Let me know your favorites in the comments!
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