Best Snorkels Reviewed & Rated for Performance
Are you an explorer on the brink of finding a new adventure, no? Perhaps you are an athlete looking to up your physical prowess, no? Let me guess, you’re a stay at home parent and your children are learning to swim? Whatever your reason, a lot of people have found themselves looking for something to make a new hobby easier or learn to make something old new again. There are of course a few mermaids in the making or the occasional Captain looking for adventure off the submarine in the backyard.
Maybe you have gone snorkeling in the past and didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would, due to equipment being older or just malfunctioning. Now is the time to replace your old snorkel! There have been many advances in design and function in recent years. It can also be a relaxing hobby. Snorkeling is an easy, fun activity to accomplish. It is not an expensive hobby to take on either. It can be as easy as just putting your swimsuit on, grabbing your snorkel, and heading to the water!
- Cressi Supernova Dry
- Splash Guard
- Phantom Aquatics Dry Snorkel
- Quick Release Buckle
- MP Michael Phelps Focus
- One Way Purge Valve
We don’t guarantee to find the kind of magic you see on stage, or in your favorite movie. That is a bit beyond our ability. We only hope that this list of informational research below can help you find a little something special for you or a loved one that maybe wouldn’t have been quite so easy to find without a bit of help from us. Use our knowledge wisely and find great ways to experience things old and new. Wherever your next adventure takes you, we hope this list can help you get whatever it is your looking for out of life!
10 Best Snorkels
1. Cressi Supernova Dry
Most divers have a favored face mask to use when we are in the water. The good news is that this particular snorkel will work seemingly with whatever mask fits you best based on personal preference.
In today's society, everyone seems to have sensitivities or allergies to something. Latex is a big one, however, this particular snorkel’s mouthpiece is 100% silicone meaning it is latex free. A great alternative to those with sensitive skin or easily chapped lips.
Cost and Value
We don't know about you, but when we are looking for a snorkel for diving our two main concerns are comfort and placement. Cressi Supernova Dry potentially provides you with both. The ability to keep your breathing tube water free and to have an easy to use purge valve can be a great relief especially if you dive with gloves. The hypoallergenic mouthpiece saves even the most sensitive diver from dealing with pain or discomfort after a long trek into the briny blue, and the freedom to wear your snorkel on either side of your mask allows for personal preference.
- Great for recreational use
- Maintains dry air tube
- Works with any mask
- Hypoallergenic silicone mouthpiece
- Oblong air tube can potentially limit airflow
- Seems to work better on left side
2. Phantom Aquatics Dry
Ok, let's be honest. What is the point of doing these things if you can't look cool doing it? Phantom offers you a wide variety of colors, giving you to the freedom to match all your scuba or dive gear. This may not be important to everyone but even the kiddies can appreciate looking more like a secret agent as opposed to a comic relief.
I Don't like Masks
Anyone that has a problem with tight spaces can tell you dive masks are not your friends since they encompass most of your face. If you are someone who wants to snorkel but can't deal with a full-face mask Phantom Aquatics Dry can be used just as well with goggles. Something that we feel is both a novel and welcome concept.
Cost and Value
Phantom is on the less costly end of your choices. Sure there are some potential minor issues as there are with any snorkel you pick but we feel these are outweighed when you add up the cost, overall look options, and the price. Potentially more bang for your buck.
- A LOT of color options available
- Can be used with goggles or a full mask
- Splash guard keeps water from entering breathing tube
- Quick release buckle can be used one handed
- Air plug valve can stick in a tube
- Sometimes makes whistle noise while breathing
3. MP Michael Phelps Focus
All Hail! It seems like the majority of users appreciated the overall triangular shape of this breathing tube on this set-up. Apparently, the shape allows the water to peel off gracefully with little to no resistance that the typical round breath tube is known for having.
Using a snorkel for swimming is something not everyone is accustomed to. It seems however that this is a great place to end up. The forehead rest and strap are well designed with locks for the strap to allow for movement with minimal interruption from the snorkel itself moving around on you.
Cost and Value
Overall, we feel this sounds like great snorkel that gets the job done with minimal issues. It seems to be something for someone that may have a smaller head, which is a nice change from the usual. Also, the tension system seems to keep the forehead rest in place but still allows for minor adjustments without complication. If you’re looking for something to help increase your overall body movement but minimize breathing distraction this would be a good pick for you.
- Well known endorsement
- Works as well on smaller heads
- Less drag due to hydrodynamic shape
- Little to no leaking in the breathing tube
- The mouthpiece can seem awkward with sharply defined edges
- Cost seems elevated due to endorsement
4. Kraken Aquatics Dry
Anyone who has spent time with any snorkel knows the pitfalls of gulping water. The Kraken Aquatics Dry snorkel has a system that closes the airway when submerged to keep water to a minimum and a purge valve to clear the tube when the rare leaks occur.
Soft and Comfortable
Unlike most models, the Aquatics Dry snorkel has a nice soft mouthpiece. Most snorkels have a standard quality of silicone for the mouthpiece but this one is noted as having a slightly smaller, very comfortable mouthpiece that is wonderful for longer use.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for a good all-around dry snorkel that won't break your wallet this seems to be a good pick. Users who are just starting out and have never used a snorkel while swimming through to the experienced diver looking for a good mouthfeel seem to enjoy this item. I think it would have rated higher if we had more reviews to go on but it seems a good choice.
- Stays dry as advertised with minimal leaks
- Purge valves do a great job of clearing air tube
- Smaller mouthpiece for more comfort over long-term
- The adjustable clip makes this easy to add or remove from the mask
- Only available in Black
- The ball valve can cause issues when taking a deep breath
5. Zionor Snorkel Lap
Unlike a lot of other snorkels that are trying to cover a duel purpose Zionor has created this one strictly with the lap swimmer in mind. A center-mounted tube stays out of your line of sight and the hydrodynamic curve cuts through the water without the neck discomfort of turning your head to breathe.
A seemingly common occurrence in these types of pieces is the head strap. Too often consumers find that after some use they come away with discomfort where to strap and breath tube situate on their forehead. Seemingly Zionor has minimized that with padding and an easy to adjust headband. This seems to minimize the constant pressure one usually receives when using a swim snorkel.
Cost and Value
At number 6 on our list, Zionor Snorkel for Lap Swimming seems like a great buy. Pressure relieving pads, a well-made mouthpiece, and a consistently dry airway are all good things to have in this type of product. The purge valve works well on the off chance you get a tad more thank you want in your air tube and snorkel works with most setups. Good quality at a more than decent price seems to be the claim to fame on this product.
- Good quality items used
- Comfortable mouthpiece
- Pressure pads relieve head discomfort
- Hydrodynamically shaped for less water intrusion
- Purge valve for when rare leaks occur
- Takes time to get used to breathing in thru mouth out thru the nose
- Almost no user instructions for first timers
6. Aegend Dry
Everything we have seen states that this is easy to attach to your favorite mask brand, even if it's not the same manufacturer. This seems like a nice bonus for anyone looking to use this product. Almost everyone states this was the most used item in their pool.
While most dry snorkels claim that they keep water out of the air tube this one seems to really mean it. A lot of that is due to the dry valve and some due to the seeming comfort of the mouthpiece which is both flexible and comfortable during use.
Cost and Value
Once again we seem to have found an economical way to get a nice device to accomplish your end goal of keeping your breathing even and dry. The Aegend not only has a cool name but a cool price tag to go with it. Plus you don't have to worry about a spare set of goggles taking up storage space or lying unused in your pool room.
- Comfortable mouthpiece
- Dry valve to keep water out
- Comes alone no extra goggles
- Easy to use even for the kiddies
- Valve doesn't stick like some others
- Not the best for rough water
- Smaller mouthpiece
7. Speedo Bullet Head Swimmers
When it comes to matters of shape speedo seems to know what’s up. The tear-drop shape is made for low visibility and low aquatic drag when moving at an accelerated speed. This allows the user to not worry about their aquadynamics when using this product to increase the body motion.
Not that we want to sound like a mouthpiece....(ahem), But we have noticed that once again silicone is the way to go to avoid the skin reactions that seem to be an ongoing issue for swimmers. Luckily the silicone is not only hypoallergenic but is less likely to break down in pool chemicals or to get hard from use.
Cost and Value
As we have seen time and again with speedo, you get what you pay for, which is a lot. This particular center-mount snorkel is great if you are taking a more professional tack at your local swim club or trying to work solely on your body dynamic and not so much on having stereotypical "fun" in the family pool. If you're looking for something to help Timmy with his doggy paddle though, this may not be what you're looking for.
- Made from high-quality products
- The shape is better for aquadynamics
- The headband is padded to minimize discomfort
- Replaceable Mouthpiece
- Do not make a replacement for the mouthpiece
- A shorter breathing tube will allow in water
- Not every part is covered under warranty
8. Poppin Kicks
Snorkeling is something most of us have gotten used to, but not something we would call comfortable. The usual issues you would have when snorkeling seem to be void when using a mask snorkel combo that not only encompasses your whole face including your mouth, but that has a separate breathing chamber in the lower portion to help keep your mask from fogging up.
Most of the time when using a face mask in the water you have an issue with small seal leaks allowing water drips to barge in and slide down in front of your eyes, eventually pooling in the bottom. This mask, however, avoids this issue by creating a seal at the top with a special purge valve at the bottom that allows the water out when your head is raised.
Cost and Value
Even though this one is listed as one of the more expensive models, it seems to be the best rated in its class at this level. Only slightly more than the typical full set or even some of the individual pieces in the bigger brands, Popping Kicks seems to have found the happy medium between cost and functionality. We think this would be a great investment if you want to explore that beautiful coral reef but are having issues with the commonplace equipment for that type of adventure. It would also be a good way to help the younger adventurer be more willing to dive in face first.
- Sizing chart on manufacturers site
- Go Pro compatible with removable camera mount
- Good at keeping fog free mask
- A nice seal on youth and children
- Not all sellers have all sizes
- Better with angular faces
9. Mares Ergo Dry
This product has a neat little feature. Not only is the mouthpiece soft silicone but the tube connector to the snorkel itself is corrugated to allow for more flexibility as well. This means you not only don't have to grit your teeth to hold on but you can adjust the whole unit and allow for comfortable neck positioning. This would be especially useful if surface snorkeling and trying to see more without turning.
Left or Right
Alright we know we have mentioned this before but it really is nice. Most of us have a dominant hand or side. What you don't realize until in a particular circumstance is how much that can affect the way our things are set up. If you majorly right handed it can be a big pain to learn to do something as potentially important as switching a mouthpiece or clearing a purge valve with your other hand. I know there are a few ambidextrous people out there who can do it all either way but, don't forget out the rest of us.
Cost and Value
Right off the bat, we noticed that the overall cost of this product was a bit steeper than most. It doesn't come with a mask and that seems a bit harsh on first look. However, the more we looked the more we realized that something like this can be seen as an investment, especially for the serious snorkeler. Comfort is a big feature when it comes to this snorkel and few things are more important to anyone be they professional or casual in interest. It also seems noteworthy that more people seem happy with this despite the cost as opposed to because of it. In our opinion, if you’re looking for a good dry snorkel this may be your best bet.
- A plethora of color options
- Little to no Jaw fatigue
- Comes with clip to attach to mask of your choice
- Can be worn on Left or Right
- More expensive than other choices
- The dry valve can get stuck in a closed position
- Mares cannot replace the dry valve tip if broken
10. Finis Swimmers
As the first center mounted swim snorkel the Finis Swimmers Snorkel allows you to see using even standard swim goggles. The center mount stays away from your main line of vision meaning you can focus on what you're doing and not worry about seeing where you're going.
Never worry about adjusting
Anyone who swims laps knows that things that are wet tend to move and are often hard to adjust. The Finis Swimmers Snorkel allows you to make minute adjustments if needed, keeping everything just where you want it for ultimate comfort and easy breathing.
Cost and Value
Overall Finis Swimmers Snorkel seems to be a good pick for someone looking to increase their body condition without stopping to struggle for air. A newer swimmer can have fun not having to worry about how to breathe while staying afloat, while the more experienced swimmer can focus on their form and not on their breathing or line of sight.
- Trusted Brand
- Center mounted so you don't affect peripheral vision
- Don't have to struggle with head-turning to breathe
- Great for beginners to advanced
- Side clips can be fragile
- A headband can be hard to get used to
- Headband pressure can cause markings
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Snorkels
As you would expect none of us are made of money. For most of us, the cost can have a big impact on whether we buy something because it is the best fit or because we can afford it. We have done our best to make sure every piece of equipment we listed will get the job done and not break your bank account in doing so. It may not be something that is important to you personally but it was one of our top priorities and we used that to our advantage in finding the best for you as well. Ultimately, snorkeling should be relatively inexpensive.
Most of the materials used to make these kinds of products come from an “Old School” way of thinking. This is what had always worked so this is what we use. In today’s society that may not always apply. The constant change in people and their habitat has given way to allergies and sensitivities that would have meant giving up on your dream in the past. However, with a little effort, we were able to find several products that took this issue into account. Most of the products listed are hypoallergenic and/or silicone based. This means that the pesky rashes or inability to use the correct product due to a sensitivity to its core materials are no longer the issues they once were. Silicone has replaced latex in a lot of these instances, allowing more people the option to relax and explore without the irritating and potentially painful side effects.
When researching we have tried to look at things from every angle. This has allowed us to keep the extremely new and untested or rarely used products off our list. Most of us have learned that the brands we recognize are recognizable for good reason. This could be because we have seen it used, heard about its superiority, or know someone who had used the product to great benefit. This is something we have striven to find for you. No one likes to be the first at trying something, especially something that could potentially be used in a life or death situation. We have researched and compared what is out there, trying to make things not just easier for you but safer in the long run.
Additional Information or things to take into account
A lot of people ask us if there are any reasons to avoid diving either SCUBA or snorkeling. When you are getting ready to take classes you will be given a questionnaire which has a lot of very important questions. When answering these questions, you must realize that there is a reason to be truthful on every single one. If you have a health issue on land, it can very easily be made worse by going into a high pressure underwater dive, and falsifying the facts can land you easily in the hospital with life-changing or threating problems. Just like going up in an airplane, going down in the water has pressure variations that will harm you if you aren’t careful. In fact, coming back up has just as much to worry about doing right, as going down does when diving.
Some of the issues you have to look out for involve your lungs, ears and even plain old allergies. Most equipment today is hypoallergenic, but some still use material that can cause major issues. You don’t want to go into the water for fun and come back out having forever changed your life in a detrimental fashion. With this in mind, if you have any of the health problems listed on the questionnaire, you may want to consider a different activity. Another thing you should do as you continue to dive throughout your life is to keep referring back to the questionnaire, just in case something changes and you should stop doing the activity.
Also, if you have any issues with claustrophobia you may want to stick with snorkeling. The feeling of being completely engulfed between the mask, the mouthpiece, and the water can be a bit overwhelming for some. It is best to start off slow and stick within your comfort level. If you are a beginner I would recommend wearing a lifejacket. If you are unsure of whether a medical condition you have would be enough to keep you out of the surf take the time to check with your local dive shop or look into one of our sources below to make the most informed decision.
The last thing we will mention is that before entering the water for any adventure be sure that the surrounding weather is good for the adventure. It isn’t suggested that you go for a dive, snorkel, or even a swim if there is a storm approaching. Trying to see fish during a hurricane is not the best idea, and even though its beautiful and sunny and you will be in the water that doesn’t mean skip on the sunscreen. We all need to remember that the suns affect are increased by the water not decreased to sunscreen will save you from a painful burn. Nothing can ruin a good time like being in pain to the point of not being able to sleep. So, take care of yourself and always protect your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between a wet and dry snorkel?
A. The difference is actually not as big as you would expect. A standard wet snorkel is what we call a J-shaped. It is just the standard clear piece of plastic in a J shape that has a mouthpiece you use in your mouth and the tube which extends up your jaw, and above your head allowing you to breathe air while floating above a coral reef. However, this style also permitted any small wave or fluctuation of water to creep or in some cases pour into your breathing tube and therefore permit you the wonderful experience of swallowing what feels to be half the ocean when you need a breath. This would bring you to the surface panicking and sputtering trying to get that needed gasp of air. A dry snorkel, in theory, removes that issue. You are still required to keep the top of the snorkel above the water line to breathe clearly, however, unlike with a standard j shape, the dry snorkel has a valve at the tip that closes once you inhale preventing water from traveling down to your airway. The valve can be slightly different depending on the manufacturer but the end result is the same. Little to no water in your airway means less panic and sputtering while you explore.
Q. Can we take our kids snorkeling?
A. Absolutely. We understand that the average family today is looking for something they can all enjoy. Keeping that in mind if you look closely you will notice that our list also includes items for children and youth. Gone are the days when only mommy and daddy can do the cool things that the kids have seen or read about. We have kids of our own and understand the concept of family adventure. That said if you as parents want to have a solo adventure, just hide this list.
Q. Are the snorkels size adjustable?
A. Unfortunately, no. There is no way to adjust the size of a snorkel. That is why you have to pay strict attention to the size and description before buying one for yourself or the young adults in your life. Some items like the full-face snorkel seem to be better suited for a younger person. That does not mean however that an adult cannot use this style of product. The same rule applies to a standard or dry snorkel. As with most things we wear do not just buy the first one you see whose description matches what you think you need. Take your time and allow yourself the freedom of knowing you chose based on your needs.
Q. How much difference does the color make?
A. This one is easy to answer, None. Contrary to popular belief when buying a snorkel, or any piece of gear the color makes no difference in the products ability to perform. A lot of people will tell you, “I bought the black one because it’s the superior version”. In some types of equipment that may be true but when it comes to snorkels this is not the case. Color is strictly a matter of preference, whether that is due to wanting it to match your other dive gear or to bring out the color in your new swimsuit. Maybe your sweetheart’s eyes are just this shade of blue, or you want the neon yellow for the youngsters to be easier to see. Whatever your preference is, the overall color is just that. A personal preference.
Q: Do I need flippers to snorkel?
A: The short answer is no. It might make it easier depending on your particular swimming skills and the application you intend on performing. It is always a good idea to do some extended research to see the exact items you will need for your intended activity.