View Full Version : Snorkel gear

02/15/2015, 05:19 PM
I'm in need of a new snorkel mask and wanted some professional opinions on what to get.

Different mask designs and functionality, good brands, etc.

Mask purge valve or not? - the valve came apart on mine.. reason for new mask.

Opinions on snorkel design. Straight tube, splash guard, flippy thing, etc.

I usually go no deeper than about 10-15'


02/15/2015, 06:20 PM
Honestly, the most important thing is the best fit. All the other stuff is bonus. You just have to try them in person. I would order fins and other gear online, but not a mask.

02/15/2015, 06:28 PM
I'm in need of a new snorkel mask and wanted some professional opinions on what to get.

Different mask designs and functionality, good brands, etc.

Mask purge valve or not? - the valve came apart on mine.. reason for new mask.

Opinions on snorkel design. Straight tube, splash guard, flippy thing, etc.

I usually go no deeper than about 10-15'


get a frameless mask. Dont forget to clean it with toothpaste really well before you use it, keep you from fogging. i use spit before i get in water some use baby shampoo, some use defogger. spit is free, plus i like doing manly stuff like snorting and spitting.

dont forget to rinse the mask off, no matter what you choose to use.

purge valves on masks are a waste of money. the will leak eventually and it doesnt take much effort to clear a mask, just some practice.

snorkel, any one will do....i would get the dry version if you could. doesnt have to be over the top or expensive. have fun.

02/15/2015, 08:26 PM
thanks, kind of hard to find anywhere that sells a mask locally that doesn't come from Walmart or Target. Might have to order some and return them if they don't fit right.

Should you get the mask wet prior to the actual snorkeling or is it best to strap in on dry and walk in.

02/15/2015, 08:41 PM
you gotta order one online...or find a local scuba store.

Also, be afraid to get a gently used one off fleabay if you want to save some bux. i'd rather buy something higher end used, verses mid end, full retail.

spend the money. its your window to the sea. keep away from the cheapie kits that come with a snorkel, fins and mask....buy a good one.

generally speaking, you want to defog your mask first, shampoo, spit whatever, rinse it out...get your face wet, then put the mask on.

Since you'll be on the surface, if you fog, its no biggie to take it off and clear it.

02/16/2015, 11:03 AM
Good advice above. And do not forget to protect yourself from the sun. You get a lot more sun than you think you do.

02/16/2015, 10:44 PM
Well, today I went to the only dive shop within an hour, according to Google maps, and it wasn't there anymore.. Been closed for a while apparently. Looks like online shopping it is!

I like the idea of the frameless design and want something decent, not the package deals for $25.

02/20/2015, 09:58 AM
If you are going to do it often spend on some nice stuff. I use Mares Avanti Quattro fins. They are awesome but if your legs aren't up for it you will be hurting the next day. A huge fin is awesome for those of us that use a lot of air. I like fins that are used with booties, not full foot fins.

Sucks you can't test fit in a pool :(

I bought goggles that would allow me to get prescription lenses for them in case I ever want to actually be able to see in detail. The vents are a waste.

Get a decent snorkel. I use an aqualung impulse 3. Most important thing here is comfort, don't want the mouthpiece chewing up your gums or have to bite down hard to keep it in your mouth.

Don't forget the dive gloves!

Toothpaste the crap out of them when you first get the goggles. Always rinse your gear when you get out of the water.

02/23/2015, 02:11 PM
For scuba I would suggest to stay away from a dry snirkel. But fir snorkeling it's perfect

02/24/2015, 09:31 AM
My two cents. I agree with r-ball junkie. I personally think a purge valve is useless and is just a potential problem later on. If you plan to free dive to depth then a low volume mask helps a ton. In terms of snorkel, I also agree that a dry snorkel can be helpful but to be honest I've mostly used a basic pipe design that's been around for decades with no bells and whistles. Works just fine and nothing to break :-)

02/24/2015, 08:15 PM
For a mask I love the Omer Bandit.

For a snorkel, I don't use one with scuba, I don't see the use for it. Plus I hate to have it flopping around and pulling on my mask.

02/24/2015, 10:35 PM
Anyone heard of the Aropec basalt mask? It's a single lens frameless mask. Got a new one pretty cheap, will test it out when it gets here.
Kinda short on time to be picky as I need it in a week and a half.
It looked good online - mostly only foreign sites. Didn't realize this till after I bought it. Lol

02/25/2015, 01:36 AM
Get high volume one glass piece, no purge valve, soft great fit and when trying on do not use strap and sit on face and suck in slightly by your nose, if it sits well and does not leak so it can fall off, its cool. Clear silicon will let light in the side and maybe drive you nuts, I put black aquarium silicon over the sides like paint. Get a tiny plastic squeeze bottle to keep in boat or up your wet suit sleave of dish washing liquid with you always to rinse out mask and never will it fog.
If snorkel is of a narrow tube it will be hard work to breath, if it is a largish open of tube it will be hard to purge extra, have as little as possible flexi part to the snorkel, always have purge valve with snorkels, when using the two just lift mask strap and slide snorkel up between your head and the strap, much easier!
Always wear a thin hood!!!
Oh and with weights, it is one standard weight per I mill of full length rear zip wetsuit and one extra on the belt beyond to allow easy duck diving.

02/25/2015, 03:52 AM
For a mask I love the Omer Bandit.

For a snorkel, I don't use one with scuba, I don't see the use for it. Plus I hate to have it flopping around and pulling on my mask.

Just be careful mate, you need a snorkel if having to swim for it when you run out of air, or boat anchor lets go and drifts or current takes you or the boat away or you have to help some one on the surface.
Done all that and survived, so far! nearly didn't three times, very close each time!!!
my worst was boat set and in I went with a friend who had never dived before into 35 to 45 feet, a nice safe dive to get his live rock for six foot size foot tank! Baskets full, floats up so up we went, the wind had come up and my boats tall radio Ariel was just visible on the horizon approx two miles away! Had to leave the mate there hanging on a float with my scuba gear and weight belt on inflated BC and off I went on snorkel, just over an hour later I returned with the boat. It got to it just seconds from the surf! We were out at an island not far off shore.
In choppy water with no air left in your tank it gets real ugly as you take in more and more water as you try to swim, even on your back.
Much can happen out there!!

02/25/2015, 10:06 PM
Yea snorkel has no use when it all goes well when diving. It's the times you need it you wish you had it. If drifting in rough seas you don't want to use your tank air unless you have to. The snorkel really helps in rough seas. We had a diver go missing in some really rough water last year. An hour and a half later we found him, thankfully he had one...

02/27/2015, 02:15 AM
They have foldable snorkels that fit nicely in pockets. Several of my buddies use them

02/27/2015, 03:44 AM
Its good to learn by experience, but very flexible snorkels may let you down and you will need to change it. They bend while doing a duck dive or if in choppy waters and may take on water due to being less distance from the water each time they bend. It’s up to you.

02/27/2015, 04:26 AM
umm, the guy is going snorkeling.....no need for raising fears, LOL.

Yes yes yes, keep a snorkel with you and evaluate the situation.

Backyard diving, left in the bag 95/100 times.
Vacation diving, on me 100/100 times.

02/27/2015, 06:36 PM
Pretty sure barracuda can smell fear... it's probably better to figure out some of the nuances sooner than later. :lol:

03/05/2015, 04:21 AM
This is a scuba tail, it was two years back I think, not deep water just 60 to 70 feet. I herd a clang on metal sound and it had to be loud as I always wear a hood, “no mater what", this was as i felt something hit my tank, I thought it was mate clowning around, I turned to the left as a very large barracuda swam past sort of spitting out yellow paint bits, my tank is yellow!!
The bite mark is still there.

03/11/2015, 06:09 PM
Oh man...you got me looking at barracudas in a different way now

03/17/2015, 12:51 PM
Kind of depends on how much snorkeling experience you've had. I'm taking you don't do it too often as your asking advice. I'll give my opinion based on that.

I'm taking it you mainly float at the top of the water and don't spend too much time diving below the surface.

My favorites are Cressi or Mares. My most recent mask is and Omersub Alien Mask and absolutely love it. It's actually a spearfishing/freediving mask but the skirt is super thin and flexible/comfortable. The most important thing for a mask is fit. If you can try it on in person, take the mask and put it against your face without putting the strap on. Inhale through your nose to create suction. If the mask stays on firmly, you have a good fit.

I've use them all. My favorite is a plain snorkel but to me, the easiest to use for beginners is the ones with the purge valves/"dry tops". Reason being is that they require little effort on exhaling to clear the snorkel and can give you some confidence with breathing if you are not comfortable with having water in the snorkel while breathing. The problem though with these two is that my experience with the purge valves is that they eventually wear out over time and don't seal the valve and you will get water leaking back into the snorkel pretty much rendering it useless. The dry tops kind of make the snorkel top heavy and it can tend to lean a bit so you have to adjust your head accordingly, but that is relative to the design. I've seen some snorkels with rather clean designs for the dry tops and they look like they would work well. Pretty much any snorkel will work, it's just a matter of how comfortable you are using them and how long you expect to use it/replace it as you gain experience/comfort using it.

I currently have a pair of Mares Volo Race Full Foot fins and a pair of Avanti Quattro Open Heel and both are awesome. Some people like fins that are split. My preference is anything from Mares, Scuba Pro, or Cressi and you can't go wrong.

I always purchase my gear for the most part from Leisure Pro (http://www.leisurepro.com/)...to me they are the Amazon of the Scuba/Snorkel world.

Hope that helps!