Best Full Face Snorkel Masks: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Snorkeling has grown in popularity over the past few years. In fact, it has become one of the most popular vacation activities for individuals and families alike!
The best thing about full face snorkel masks is that unlike traditional snorkel masks, they don’t come with a mouthpiece. Therefore, it eliminates the gag reflex many snorkelers experience. It also means that you won’t experience sore jaws or teeth after wearing the mask.
If you’re searching for a full face snorkel mask to use for your next family outing, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll be listing 5 of the best full face snorkel masks you can purchase today. Let’s dive right in!
What Are Full Face Snorkel Masks?
Full face snorkel masks are a type of snorkel that covers your whole face. They’re comprised of two different sections: a top section for viewing the great depths, and a lower section for breathing.
If you’ve never worn a full face snorkel mask, you’re probably thinking that it must fog up a lot. After all, where would all the excess moisture go?
You’ll be happy to hear that full face snorkel masks, particularly those that are well-made, don’t fog up in the top viewing section. This is because air is funneled down the snorkel tube and internally through the mask.
To hold the face snorkel masks in place, they’re equipped with wide elasticized straps to make it easily adjustable and comfortable to wear. This component is often referred to as the “spider.” The silicone skirt seal that runs around the edge of the mask makes it entirely water-tight to prevent water from seeping in.
5 Best Full Face Snorkel Masks of 2020: Let the Adventure Begin!
Ready to explore the deep waters with the aid of a full face snorkel mask? Here are 5 of the best options worth checking out!
WildHorn Outfitters Seaview – Best Overall
The Wildhorn Outfitters snorkeling masks makes it on the top of our list because of its brilliant performance when underwater.
This is primarily due to the mask’s air intake system, which comes with two chambers and four intake valves. As a result, air circulates in and out freely, which in turn prevents fogging more efficiently than masks with only two or three valves.
The mask itself is of great quality: high-grade silicone skirt, polycarbonate lens and frame, and soft, elasticated fabric straps. The durable silicone insert creates a comfortable, watertight seal that allows you to keep snorkeling all day.
Even if water seeps through, for reasons such as improper fitting, Wildhorn Outfitters installed a one-way drain system into the base to allow water to automatically drain out when you surface.
Similar to a lot of the other high-quality masks on our list, the Seaview comes installed with a 180º fog-free lens visibility.
- Camera securely stays underwater when mounted
- Four-intake valve system makes the mask a fog-resistant
- Comfortable when worn
- Bands are easy to adjust
- Designed for both adults and kids alike
- Comes in multiple color options
- Slight distortion in the peripheral area due to the lense being curved
- Doesn’t have quick-release straps
Decathlon Tribord Subea Easybreath – Runner Up
Tribord is the mother of all snorkeling masks. After all, the Subea Easybreath is the first original full-face snorkel mask distributed worldwide; one that every company tried to copy.
The silicone facial lining made with this mask is hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for those who suffer from rubber allergies and the like. It also offers superior comfort and creates a leak-free seal around your face.
Furthermore, Easybreath’s anti-fogging patented design guarantees a fog-free diving experience. Thanks to the double-chamber air vent valve installed in the mask, you’ll be given a continuous fresh air flow without trapping hot air.
The mask has a shatterproof, polycarbonate, multi-lense, as well, which allows you to easily install corrective lenses if you’re short-sighted.
One of the complaints by customers on the Easybreath 2018 version is that the snaps would sometimes detach unexpectedly. Taking customers’ feedback seriously, the updated 2020 version comes with a spare ring to prevent such a thing from happening.
So if you’re a frequent snorkeler, the Easybreath mask is certainly one you should check out. It’s comfortable, offers an unobstructed, 180° panoramic field of vision underwater, and comes in multiple sizes. It has everything you’ll ever want in a face snorkel, and more!
- Lenses are high-quality
- Multiple sizes fit both children and adults
- Hypoallergenic silicone skirt prevents allergies and leakage
- O-ring included to prevent the mask from unclasping
- Top snorkel valve helps to prevent water from entering the breathing tube
- Backed with a 2-year Tribord warranty
- Can be paired with a GoPro mount
- Requires several adjustments to secure it properly
Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkeling Mask – Best for Those Wearing Glasses
The Ocean Reef company is well-known among scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts for its high-quality products, and the Aria full face snorkel mask certainly doesn’t disappoint.
The best thing about this mask is the fact that it allows you to insert prescription lenses into it. Unlike the Easybreath snorkeling mask, wherein you have to install the lenses permanently in the mask, the Aria mask allows you to slot the frame into the full-face mask for unimpaired vision underwater.
If someone else wants to use the mask, they can just simply remove the lenses you’ve inserted and it’s good to go.
Its special features are impressive, as well. From anti-fog lenses, detachable snorkel, to improved panoramic vision, the Aria has it all.
The detachable dry top system prevents water from splashing into the snorkel and automatically closes when submerged to keep water out. It also uses light colors that let in as much light as possible, further increasing your field of vision when underwater.
- Straps are elastic and don’t get caught on your hair
- Comfortable when worn
- Doesn’t leak or fog
- Supports GoPro and other action cameras
- Allows you to install optional lenses
- Wide panoramic vision
- A bit tricky to get the mask on initially
- Might be too pricey for some
QingSong Full Face Snorkel Mask – Best Affordable Option
There are several safety concerns when buying a low-budget full-face mask, which is why we recommend you to buy the best high-quality snorkel mask you can afford.
That said, the QingSong snorkel mask is one of the safest and most affordable masks you’ll find today. After making sure it checks all the recommended safety precautions, we’ve found that this mask passed our tests in flying colors.
The QingSong’s snorkel mask comes with three completely separate air channels, which can effectively prevent the re-inhalation of exhaled CO2. This, in turn, ensures that you inhale fresh air every time without worrying about fogging up the lenses.
Another great thing that this mask has, and some other big-brand masks surprisingly don’t, is its quick-release function. So if an emergency occurs, you’ll be able to remove the mask without any hassle.
The flat lenses provide an undistorted 180° panoramic view of your surroundings. It also prevents any dizziness and discomfort when underwater.
- Simple and easy to wear
- Silicone skirt provides a comfortable fit
- Great price
- Brilliant visibility
- Large comfortable straps
- Lens isn’t scratchproof
- Would sometimes leak
Seabeast AF90 Full Face Snorkel Mask – Best Value
We’ve chosen the Seabeast AF90 because of two reasons. The first reason is that it has a foldable design, which makes it a great space-saver when traveling.
The second is because it features a unique hydrophilic anti-fog coating on the lens, which, unlike the other snorkelers on this list, absorbs excess water droplets to give you a totally fog-free view. Plus, it’s bonded with the polycarbonate and can’t be washed off, guaranteeing longevity.
Furthermore, the Seabeast claims to have the largest field of vision of any mask out there. It has a watertight silicone seal, which is always a great plus, and a drain valve just in case water gets through.
Overall, the Seabeast has excellent visibility and packing design. Although it’s at the lower end of the price spectrum, it’s praised for its secure, and almost perfect, fit, crystal clear vision, and 100% fog-free technology.
- Big bang for your buck
- Foldable feature makes it easy to carry around
- No leaks or fogging
- Soft silicone insert makes it extremely comfortable to wear
- Shatterproof polycarbonate lens
- Limited sizes
A Buyer’s Guide to Full Face Snorkel Masks: Important Factors to Consider Before Buying
As full face snorkel masks are relatively new, not a lot is known about them. If you want a truly unique snorkeling experience, you need to make sure you’re buying the right gear. Here are some important tips to find the best full face snorkel mask for you:
Buying the right full face snorkel mask starts with the right fit.
Similar to traditional snorkeling masks, the rubber seal around the mask, aptly named skirt, is intended to create a watertight seal around your face to prevent water from seeping in. If you don’t choose the right fit, your mask will cause leaking, thus making it virtually unusable when submerged.
Plus, it’ll make the mask highly uncomfortable to wear. Fogging is also possible if you buy an improperly fitting mask.
The best way to ensure the mask you’re buying will properly fit is to measure the width of your face and the distance between your eyes. If they match the dimensions given by the manufacturer, chances are the mask will fit.
Regardless, we recommend you to try on the mask before purchasing it. If you’re buying it online, make sure there’s a decent return and/or exchange policy so you can buy another that fits if this one doesn’t.
High-quality face snorkeling masks have an anti-fog technology built in the lenses, which prevents fogging 100% of the time. They also have an anti-scratch coating that increases the mask’s longevity. So when you’re buying a snorkeling face mask, make sure that you’re buying one with these two lens features.
Snorkeling face masks also come in single, dual, and even multiple lenses. If you’re planning to install your prescription rating on the mask, it’s best that you purchase one with multiple lenses, It also makes your vision feel less restricted than, say, a single lens mask.
Lenses with tinting and/or coloring aren’t recommended as they interfere with your vision. Masks with a curved viewing area distort the view and sometimes make people feel dizzy, so it’s best to go for masks with a flat viewing section.
The skirt’s material dictates a snorkel mask’s lifespan and function. Cheaper masks are typically made from plastics or rubbers, and while that isn’t always a bad thing, these types of materials come with many faults. They’re also less durable and might crack with time.
Snorkel masks that are made with a silicone skirt are far superior to the alternative. They’re also thinner, which makes them more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
Some of the more high-quality snorkel masks are made with a secondary skirt. Adding this double layer system reinforces the seal even further. It’s sort of like a backup seal; if the first one gets damaged for any reason, another one lies underneath.
Full Face Snorkel Masks vs. Traditional Snorkel Masks: What’s the Difference?
Are full face snorkel masks best suited for you? Let’s find out.
Full Face Snorkel Masks
The first full-face diving mask was invented in 1933 by Yves le Prieur. But it wasn’t until 2014 when Tribord, a French company dedicated to sailing sports, popularised the full face snorkeling mask. They called it the facial “Easybreath” and is still, to this day, is one of the best full face snorkel masks available.
What makes full face snorkel masks so well-loved?
The first and most obvious reason is that full face masks allow you to naturally use your mouth and your nose, making it easier to breathe underwater.
They also allow you to have a full 180° field of vision of the surroundings around you. And, as we mentioned earlier, you won’t experience jaw fatigue, sore teeth, or gagging on a snorkel mouthpiece.
Here are the other advantages of full-face snorkel masks:
- Less mask fogging problems
- Large, unobstructed view as they offer less peripheral vision than traditional masks
- Ideal for men with beards and mustaches
- Options for prescription lenses are available
- Great for beginners
- Increased tightness, thus fewer leaks
Regardless of how brilliant these snorkels are, they also come with a few disadvantages. These include:
- Designed only for casual snorkeling; not built for active snorkeling and exercise
- Fabric straps can sometimes be a problem
- Too bulky for travel
- Difficult to remove
Traditional Snorkel Masks
Would you believe me if I said that Leonardo da Vinci, the same man who painted the ever so famous Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, invented the first modern snorkel?
He was also the person who created self-contained diving suits and webbed swimming gloves, similar to those worn by scuba divers today. This happened back in the 16th century.
Today, traditional masks are what most divers and snorkelers use for their snorkeling and scuba diving adventures.
Here are some reasons people love traditional snorkel masks:
- Ideal for rough waters
- Smaller seal makes it less uncomfortable
- Plenty of size options
- Can easily be removed
- Cheaper than full face snorkel masks
On the other hand, here are the disadvantages found in traditional masks:
- Slight learning curve
- Mask can fog
- Narrow range of vision
- Separate pieces make it harder to breathe
- Mouthpiece can be unhygienic if not cleaned
Can I use full-face masks for freediving?
Full face masks aren’t ideal for freediving, no. Primarily due to their one-piece design, equalizing the pressure in your ears isn’t possible when diving too deep. Full face snorkel masks are designed for leisure surface snorkeling only.
How long can you breathe with a full face snorkel mask?
Full face snorkel masks allow you to breathe fully submerged underwater for about two to three minutes. To enjoy the water’s depths much longer, swim with half of your head in the water so your snorkel sticks out.
How do I know if my full face snorkel mask fits properly?
It’s easy to check if your full face snorkel mask fits. Here’s how:
- First, you’ll need to pull the strap to the top of the mask.
- Without putting the strap behind your head, tilt your neck up to the ceiling and put the mask against your face.
- Make sure the skirt fits comfortably around your face lying flat.
- Push the mask towards your face and take an inhaled breath so it suctions to your face.
- Then, lift your head to a normal position and see if there is any air leakage through your mask.
- Can you feel the air get through? If not, then it’s the right fit. If air does get through, so can water.
Snorkeling is a wonderful activity that comes with a ton of health benefits. To experience all of them, you’ll need to get yourself a high-quality full-face snorkeling mask.
Our top choice for the best full face snorkel masks is the WildHorn Outfitters Seaview, followed closely by the Tribord Subea Easybreath. Both these products are a great choice because of their premium-grade lenses, high-quality silicone skirt, and fog-free performance underwater.