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- Why Use A Full Face Snorkel Mask
- Best Full Face Snorkel Masks
- What To Look For When Choosing A Full Face Snorkel Mask
- Are Full Face Snorkel Masks Dangerous?
- What’s Next?
Full-face snorkel masks are a great option if you don’t feel comfortable or confident using a traditional mask and snorkel.
But as full face masks have become increasingly popular so have the number and variety of products available. Which makes choosing the best (and safest!) full-face snorkel mask a bit of a minefield.
So how do you know whether you’re getting a good deal, or a cheap, shoddy knockoff?
We’ve compared all the full-face models on the market today, from the original models to the most recent editions.
WildHorn Outfitters Seaview 180˚ V2 Snorkel Mask
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DiveLux Original Full Face Snorkel Mask
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Tribord Subsea EasyBreath Full Face Snorkel Mask
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HEAD Sea Vu Dry Full Face Snorkeling Mask
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Want to review more options?
Keep reading, as we review all the important features and functions to help decide if a full face snorkel mask should be a part of your snorkel gear.
But why would you use a full-face snorkel mask over a standard snorkeling set?
Firstly, the curved lens gives you a much wider and uninterrupted view of the underwater world as the frame seals far beyond your line of vision.
Because it seals around your entire face there is much less chance of water getting in. With a normal snorkeling mask, you only have to smile slightly and it’ll start to flood.
They’re perfect for kids, or people with respiratory issues who need something a bit less constrictive than a traditional snorkel.
They also allow you to breathe through your nose and mouth underwater, which is much more natural than only breathing through your mouth. This helps keep you calmer and more relaxed in the water
Plus, it’s more comfortable as you can fully relax, rather than having to constantly clench your mouth to hold the snorkel. So you can snorkel for longer.
Best Full Face Snorkel Masks
After using the WildHorn Outfitters Seaview, you’ll never go back to your run-of-the-mill snorkel mask again. Snorkeling has never been this easy or comfortable!
With the FlowTech advanced air intake system, this full-face mask offers 50% more air circulation compared to others on the market. With 2 chambers and 4 one-way valves that ensure the fresh air flows freely. It’s an innovative system that ensures there is absolutely no build-up of CO2, making this one of the safest full face masks available.
The patented design and position of the snorkel tube stay above water more easily, giving your head significantly more freedom of movement than typical full face masks.
Ideal for all levels, even kids or newbies who are going snorkeling for the first time. And true to its name, it offers a 180-degree view for the best underwater viewing experience
This full-face mask is also 100% leak-proof. Even with facial hair, rough seas, or fast swimming it never lets even a drop of water inside.
- Effortless breathing experience
- Leakproof without having to pull straps super tight
- Stays perfectly in place once adjusted
- Beautifully clear 180-degree views
- Removable snorkel for travel
- Action gopro mount on top
- Sleek and more stylish design
- Variety of colors available
- A little pricey
- Not the sleekest looking option
If you’re looking for a comfortable full-face snorkel mask that won’t break the bank, then this is the perfect option.
It’s made of lightweight polycarbonate plastic and soft hypoallergenic liquid silicone for the highest level of comfort, safety, and durability. It’s ideal for anyone with silicone allergies.
The snorkel tube is longer than other full face masks which gives you a little extra protection in the wind and waves. It also comes with a free waterproof phone case so you can capture all those magical underwater moments without forking out for a waterproof camera.
- Sturdy and strong construction
- Scratch-resistant lense
- Excellent anti-fog properties
- Wide field of vision
- Super soft, hypoallergenic silicone
- Longer snorkel
- Needs to be tight to avoid leaks
- Strong plastic smell
This was actually the first full-face snorkel mask on the market. While many brands have tried to imitate the design, the Tribord remains securely at the front of the pack thanks to its patented easy breathing system and superior construction quality.
If you simply want the safest, most reliable option for your short aquatic getaway, we highly recommend this model.
It comes in 4 different sizes. That’s a huge advantage over the cheaper models because it allows for a more precise fit. This means significantly fewer leaks and a much more comfortable snorkeling session.
Special vents help prevent fogging without impeding your air supply. After an initial wash with dish soap (always a good idea), you won’t have any visibility issues.
The innovative air channel makes sure you’re not breathing in the same air you’ve just exhaled. That’s a crucial difference between this mask and cheaper imitations. This model also has a dry valve snorkel tube and a one-way drain valve on the chin.
The snorkel top is designed with safety in mind. The super-bright end is visible from 4x the distance you’d spot a normal snorkel. That’s a huge plus for parents keeping an eye on kids, and new snorkelers who might not be as confident going it alone. It’s a smart, simple way to keep everyone safe and to avoid collisions.
The flattened, crystal clear window allows for undistorted and unimpeded views of all the subterranean sights.
We found that on the whole, those who have tried the Tribord and one of the cheaper, knock-off versions always recommend spending extra for the Tribord. It fits more securely, breathed more easily, and was more of a pleasure to use. It’s well worth the money!
- Available in 4 different sizes
- Super clear, uninterrupted wide-angle views
- High visibility snorkel end
- Shatterproof and anti-fog
- Comfortable, safe, and natural breathing
- High-quality materials and construction
- A little pricey
- Not suitable for lap swimming or intense workouts in the water
Perhaps the best budget choice on our list is the Marlrin Full Face Snorkel Mask. Made from high quality, non-toxic, medical-grade silicone, this is a full face mask that you’ll barely feel even when snorkeling for hours. You’ll also enjoy its large 180-degree viewing area and comfortable breathing.
There are so many things to love about this full face snorkel mask including its dry snorkel technology that eliminates the chances of leaks. So you’ll never have to worry about gagging on saltwater.
A separate breathing chamber prevents fogging by ensuring that the air you expel does not end up in your viewing visor.
The Marlrin full face mask comes in different sizing options for both children and adults so you can find the right fit for everyone. Plus the straps are more easily adjusted than other models which creates a super comfy fit.
For the features it offers, it’s very reasonably priced and less expensive than other full-face snorkel masks. It’s ideal if you’re buying for an entire family.
And if that’s not enough, it also comes with a free waterproof phone pouch, earplugs, and a mesh storage bag.
- Excellent anti-fog properties
- Sizes for both adults & children
- Easy to adjust straps
- Wide panoramic view
- Well made and long-lasting
- Comes with free accessories
- Features a sturdy action camera mount
- Straps need to be quite tight to create a good seal
- Not ideal for swimming under the water
This X-Lounger model is a good low-cost solution for people who need a full-face snorkel mask on a budget. It has all the basic features of the high-end versions, with an off-brand price tag. Perfect if you want to try out a full face mask before investing in a premium model.
There’s a 180-degree viewing window, a dry-valve snorkel tube, and a silicone skirt that creates a good seal. We especially like the camera mount feature, which isn’t always included on some of the more expensive versions like the Tribord.
Plus it’s covered with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee period. Ideal if you’re buying the mask for a trip, as you’ll still be able to return it if you have any issues while you’re away.
However, it’s not as comfortable or easy to breathe as some of the more expensive options on our list. Some users also had trouble getting a good seal. Just like most full-face masks, the X-Lounger has a specific shape and there are only 2 sizes available so it might not fit perfectly on every face.
Lastly, it is pretty dorky-looking. We know that most people aren’t buying a full-face mask for its look, but there are definitely more attractive options available.
- Lightweight for travel
- 180-degree panorama view
- Leakproof, non-toxic silicone skirt
- 90-day satisfaction guarantee
- Dry-top snorkel valve
- Looks pretty dorky
- Only 2 sizes available
- More prone to fogging than other models
- Not as comfortable or easy to breathe as more high-end options
You’ll get a great view of the underwater world with the help of this fog-resistant full face mask. The panoramic view is always crisp and clear and it makes breathing feel effortless.
The Ocean Reef Aria is also one of the comfiest full face snorkel masks. It feels comfortable and not at all constricting but without compromising its seal. The soft silicone sits well around the face and doesn’t put any additional pressure on your cheeks or temples. It’s the perfect option for those who want to snorkel for extended periods.
It’s also one of the easiest full face masks to use. You can put it on, fit it, and take it off without grappling with it’s also simple to adjust which makes it perfect for kids.
- Excellent seal & superb fit
- Incredibly comfortable to wear
- Suitable for swimming under the water
- Easy to use and adjust
- Dry top snorkel
- Elastic straps feel a little flimsy
If you’re looking for a top-quality full face snorkel mask then this is the one for you. Created from premium materials and featuring advanced anti-fog technology, the HEAD Sea Vu will give you a crystal clear picture every time.A soft, silicone skirt coupled with the dry top snorkel ensures that you’ll get no leaks when using this mask. It’s comfortable, durable, and breathes naturally. There’s very little more you could want from a full face snorkel.
One of the best things about this full face snorkel mask is that it has an excellent strap system. Unlike the others, it is not made from a rubber material. It is actually a type of cloth that has a good enough stretch to it, so it is comfortable to wear and it does a good job in keeping the mask in place.
- Well constructed from high-quality materials.
- Fog-free and leak-proof no matter how long you’re in the water
- Super comfy and reliable straps
- Crystal clear and wide-angle lens offers exceptional clarity
- Can be tricky to take on and off
What To look for when choosing a full face Snorkel Mask
Know what you’re getting
With traditional snorkel masks, there are many different brands that each have a distinct style and design. But the full-face market has only a few reliable brands, and many other companies are offering cheap, and often shoddy, imitations.
Tribord created the very first full-face mask and they own quite a few patents for certain features of their design. It has a very effective design for making sure you can breathe easily without fogging or having hot air back up.
Be wary of cheap Chinese-made products, as these often mimic Tribord’s shape but don’t actually feature a proper breathing system.
As a result, many of the cheaper options tend to fog up more easily, fit more awkwardly, or fail to function. Not only is this frustrating but it can also be dangerous. If the mask does not ventilate properly CO2 builds up, leading to dizziness, and eventually blackouts.
Whilst you should avoid the super cheap full-face snorkel masks, there are still some reliable and safe options for those on a budget. Just make sure you check out reviews and choose a mask from a reputable brand and retailer.
All in all, we think it’s worth spending the extra money to get the real thing. However, we’ve gone out of our way to recommend the best imitators, so cash-strapped shoppers don’t have to settle too much.
Think about fit
One of the most important things to consider when buying any type of diving mask is the fit. If your mask doesn’t fit properly, it’ll be uncomfortable and you’ll probably end up with leaks.
Remember to check the sizing chart when choosing a full face mask. Models with multiple sizing options usually give you the best chance of finding the perfect fit.
Make sure the strap system doesn’t easily come loose and that the full face snorkel mask has a tight seal. Having a soft silicone skirt helps to create a snug, yet comfortable seal.
Look for Additional Features
When choosing a full face snorkel mask you want to make sure it has these key features:
- A separate chamber for breathing to prevent fogging.
- A dry top snorkel that prevents any water from going down the tube.
- A drain or purge valve in the chin area helps expel any water that gets inside the mask
- Quick-release buckles that allow you to remove the mask fast in case of flooding or an emergency
And lastly, if you want to easily capture all those magical underwater moments, look for a full face snorkel with an action camera mount.
Full Face Snorkel Mask vs Traditional Snorkel Mask
So you’ve reviewed the options but you’re still not sure which is best for snorkeling. Honestly, this really comes down to personal preference and what you feel most comfortable using.
In general, we’ve found that those who are completely new to snorkeling and not very confident in the water tend to prefer a full-face snorkel mask. There’s less chance of leaks, super easy to use, and allow more natural breathing.
At ScubaOtter, we prefer a traditional snorkel and mask set because they can be used for freediving and scuba diving as well as snorkeling. Plus they’re easier to pack for traveling and tend to be more reliable.
Check out this video for a more detailed comparison between a full face snorkel mask and a traditional snorkel and mask.
Full Face Snorkel Masks: FAQs
Are Full Face Snorkel Masks Dangerous?
This is a very controversial topic. But in general, full-face snorkeling masks themselves are not dangerous.
However, if they’re used incorrectly, or you use a cheap, shoddy model that doesn’t properly expel the stale air, then there’s certainly safety concerns. This is primarily due to a build-up of carbon dioxide which can lead to a blackout and potentially drowning.
Whenever you head out snorkeling, whether that’s with a full face or regular mask, make sure that you know how to use your equipment properly and you’re fully aware of any potential hazards in that area. Assess the conditions and avoid heading out snorkeling by yourself.
And as we’ve already mentioned, choose a full face snorkel mask from a reputable brand to avoid badly designed breathing systems that could lead to issues with CO2 buildup.
Can you Breathe Underwater with a Full Face Snorkel Mask?
No, you can’t breathe underwater with a full face snorkel mask.
When you are using a full face snorkel mask you are breathing air from the surface through the snorkel tube. They don’t have a self-contained air supply for you to be able to breathe underwater.
To be able to breathe underwater, you’d need to go scuba diving where you have a self-contained tank of air that you take down with you. Which requires you to be properly certified so you understand how to do this safely.
Full face snorkel masks aren’t suitable for freediving and don’t really allow you to dive under the surface like you can with a traditional mask and snorkel set.
This is mainly because the structure of the mask makes equalizing very difficult. Full face snorkel masks don’t give access to the nose, and most people struggle to equalize their ears without being able to pinch the nose.
Do not use a full face snorkel mask as a dive mask or freedive mask.
Are full face snorkel masks actually any good?
Full face snorkel masks can be a lot of fun and are a great piece of snorkeling gear for those who don’t get on with a traditional snorkel and mask set.
They’re very easy to use and eliminate many issues that can often put people off snorkeling such as water leakage in the mask, aching jaw from holding on to the mouthpiece, or not being able to clear the snorkel of water. Plus they give an increased field of view.
Ultimately, it’s about what you feel most comfortable with. Many snorkelers love full face snorkeling masks for surface snorkeling, and will never use a traditional style set again. Others hate them and prefer to stick with the separate mask and snorkel.
Now you’ve got all the information you need to choose the best full face snorkeling mask.
Here’s a quick recap of our top recommendations:
Each of these products fit comfortably, seal securely, and breathe easily. Plus they’re from reputable brands that guarantee the safety of their design.
Looking for a more traditional mask for snorkeling? Check out our complete guide to the best snorkel masks.
Have you tried a full face snorkeling mask before? Or do you prefer a mask and snorkel set?
Let us know in the comments!
Alexa Worswick is a PADI and SSI scuba diving Instructor, recreational freediver and freelance copywriter. She first learnt to scuba dive in the UK aged 15 and has since travelled and dived in multiple locations across 3 different continents. After quitting her marketing job in London in 2016, Alexa is now based in Indonesia where she can pursue her passion for the ocean fulltime.