5 Top-Rated Best Snorkel Masks: 2023 Snorkeler’s Review
My husband and I plan quite a few “snorkations.” We love getting in the water to discover the marine life and to date have snorkeled 39 different sites around the world. Some of our favorites have included Belize, Bora Bora, Maldives, Bonaire, St. John USVI, and the Great Barrier Reef. I share this because I mean it when I say having the right gear is important to having an amazing underwater experience. The snorkel mask is the most critical piece. Here are my top 5 recommendations of what I consider the best snorkel masks out on the market.
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Top 5 Snorkel Masks
If you don’t feel like reading through this detailed review, here’s the TL;DR version of my top 5 picks in no particular order!
SeaDive Oceanways SuperView-HD Mask
Cressi F1 Frameless Mask
Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Mask
Cressi F-Dual Frameless Mask
ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask
If you are not quite sure what to look for in a good snorkel mask …
We’ll go over all the snorkel mask features to look for in addition to how to figure out if your snorkel mask is properly fitted.
Anatomy of a snorkel mask
01- SeaDive Oceanways Superview-HD Mask
SeaDive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask with my Cressi neoprene strap
Wearing the SeaDive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask (sorry for the mirrored effect which shows my phone tripod assisting in taking the photo)
The SeaDive Oceanways SuperView-HD Mask is one of my favorite snorkel masks.
The silicone skirt is super soft, probably one of the most comfortable fits I’ve experienced. The HD coating allows so much lighting to pass through, providing great visibility underwater.
The lens also filters out UV rays.
I use this mask most of the time. The only minor thing I don’t like is you have to adjust the strap buckles manually instead of pushing the two side buttons like on the other masks.
FEATURES TO LOVE:
→ HD coating gives you really clear visibility
→ Adjustable strap for an optimized fit
→ Super soft silicone skirt! * I can’t emphasize this great feature enough
→ Single lens offers a nice wide field of vision
→ Filters out UV rays and glare
02- Cressi F1 Mask
Cressi F1 Snorkel Mask
Wearing the Cressi F1 Snorkel Mask
This is an excellent value snorkel mask by Cressi, who is well known for making great diving and snorkeling gear (since 1946 to be exact!).
The Cressi F1 Mask offers a fantastic fit at a good price point.
It has a high-grade silicone skirt, which is super important! It fits comfortably because the material is more pliable. It also has a frameless design, giving you a great wide field of view.
FEATURES TO LOVE:
→ High-grade silicone skirt
→ Frameless design so it can actually be folded flat (easy to pack for that Caribbean vacay!)
→ Great price point
03- Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Mask
Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Snorkel Mask
Wearing the Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Snorkel Mask
As you can see, I’m a big fan of single lens mask! This type of lens offers a much WIDER field of view than then a two lens mask.
I used a two lens mask when I first started to snorkel but since switching to the single lens mask I’ve never looked back. The Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite is another great single lens snorkel mask.
A unique feature of this mask is the 5-position strap angle adjustor. This allows for very small adjustments in the strap to give you a really nice customized fit.
This snorkel mask also has what is referred to as “Freedom Technology” to reduce any uncomfortable pressure points on the face. This includes features such as a dimpled skirt and a low friction, rounded edge skirt.
Compared to the other snorkel masks, my field of view feels a little more narrow because the sides of the mask are almost vertical instead of beveled.
FEATURES TO LOVE:
→ Single lens so better field of view
→ Dimpled and low friction skirt with a rounded edge (reduces pressure points for a really comfortable fit)
→ 180° Rotational Buckle System
04- Cressi F-Dual Mask
Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask
Wearing the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask
This F-Dual Mask is another solid choice from Cressi. It’s frameless, single lens design offers great visibility. It also has a double-feathered edge silicone skirt offering great comfort.
FEATURES TO LOVE:
→ Frameless, single lens design that folds flat, great for packing
→ Double-feathered edge silicone skirt
→ Wide split strap so for ladies (or men) you can pull your ponytail through the strap
→ Quick adjusting strap buckles molded right to the skirt to reduce drag
05- ScubaPro Solo Mask
ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask
Wearing the ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask
Last but not least is the ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask.
ScubaPro is another top-rated company that specializes in snorkeling and diving gear. I’m also a big fan of their snorkel fins. See my full review if interested: BEST 3 SNORKEL FINS
The ScubaPro Solo Mask is another frameless, single lens mask that offers an incredibly wide field of view. It also has a double-sealed silicone skirt offering a comfortable fit and a watertight seal.
I will be honest. The ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask is basically identical to the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask but with a slightly more narrow nose pocket.
FEATURES TO LOVE:
→ Frameless, single lens mask
→ Double-sealed silicone skirt available in 2 colors: clear and black
→ Adjustable buckles
Snorkel Mask Accessories
Neoprene Strap Cover
Cressi neoprene strap cover
I have fine hair that tangles in like 2 seconds. I used to rip my hair out of the strap after a snorkeling session.
The secret is the neoprene strap cover that you pull over your snorkel mask strap. This little secret accessory allows the strap to literally glide over your head.
I’d like to keep all of my hair if possible. No more tangles now!
Despite your best efforts, at some point, your mask is going to fog up. What do you do?
I have used a lot of anti-fog sprays and even my own spit to clear my mask. The best solution I have found is diluted baby shampoo.
I carry a little silicone bottle with the diluted baby shampoo in my board shorts. Before I get into the water, I squirt the solution into my dry mask and then rinse it right before I jump in.
Understanding Snorkel Mask Features
Having the right sized mask for the shape of your face is CRITICAL.
When I first started to snorkel, I would rent the gear (which I never would do now!). The masks never fit me quite right and would often leak water and fog. I would constantly have to stop and try to clear my mask, which quickly detracted from my enjoyment.
So, what should you look for in a snorkel mask?
Clear vs. Black Silicone Skirt
The skirt is the portion of the mask that is coming into direct contact with your skin.
Look for a skirt that is made of silicone, which is a longer-lasting material over rubber. Also, the wider the skirt, the better the seal because of the increased material coming into contact with your skin.
Does the color of the skirt matter?
The silicone skirt can come in different colors. A clear skirt maximizes the amount of light entering the mask, which makes you feel less closed in.
However, some people prefer darker or opaque skirts because they block light, allowing for less glare and squinting when trying to take underwater photos.
Single Lens vs. Double Lens vs. Frameless
Single lens vs. double lens mask
A single lens mask gives you a great WIDE unobstructed view.
A two lens mask has that little plastic section in the middle, which I find annoying. When I first started to snorkel, I had a two lens mask. Once I switched to a single lens mask, I fell in love and and have no intention of switching back.
The glass lens of a frameless mask is molded right into the silicone skirt. The frameless design is lightweight, super comfortable, and offers a great seal with fewer leaks. It also offers an unobstructed panoramic view.
You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to the snorkel mask strap. Just make sure you can easily adjust it, and it stays in place.
If you wear your hair in a ponytail, consider a strap with a wide split-style strap to get your hair through.
Signs of a Well-Fitted Snorkel Mask
Do not buy a mask based on its “looks” or higher price tag. A more expensive mask does not mean this will be the right one for you.
GO BY PROPER FIT.
I used to be that person you see out in the ocean popping up every 5 minutes trying to readjust my mask. Not anymore! Understanding how a mask should fit is going to make a world of difference in your underwater experience.
How do you tell a mask is going to work?
We all have differently-shaped faces, so it may take several different mask fittings to find what works for you. Here are some general guidelines:
01- Place the mask on without the straps
A good seal comes from the skirt of your mask NOT your straps.
Put the mask on your face and slowly inhale as you drop your hands. The mask should continue to have suction to your face.
02- Tilt your face down while gently inhaling
A mask should continue to maintain the seal.
DO NOT INHALE TOO HARD, or you will create a false seal. As soon as you exhale, the mask should release from your face.
03- Look for a narrow inner seal + wider outer seal
Your snorkel mask should have a narrow inner seal and a wider outer seal.
IN ADDITION to steps 1 and 2, confirm every part of your mask’s outer and INNER seal makes contact with your face. You will need a second person to check your inner seal, especially around your eyes.
If there is a gap between your inner seal and around your eye socket, you are NOT going to get a good seal.
Make sure the inner seal is NOT coming into contact with your eyebrows or hairline, which will also break the seal. The nose pocket should not be touching your nose.
04- Attach the snorkel
Attach the snorkel and confirm there are still no gaps in your mask’s outer and inner seal.
I hope this snorkel mask guide has set you on the right path to discovering the best snorkel mask for your underwater adventures. While it might take a bit of trial and error, your dedication will be rewarded when you venture into the ocean with a mask that fits you just right. Happy snorkeling!
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